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RE: Are MGB reliable daily drivers?

Subject: RE: Are MGB reliable daily drivers?
From: Glenn Schnittke <>
Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 16:29:23 -0600
Lurk mode: Off

In the past 12 or thirteen years I've gone through three MGB's - starting
with a '74, crashing it, then a '69, having it crashed for me, and now a
'67. (Notice the prevelance of chrome bumpers.) In that time I have been
late for work once because of the car. Surprisingly, it was poorly built
NON-Lucas points that was to blame.

Back in the day, when my wife and I first met, we were a one car family
with a ten year old boy (hers). We needed another car and had about three
thousand bucks stashed away. We felt that any car we would be able to get
for that amount would give us some problem, so we decided that whatever we
would get we wanted it to have an edge of fun to it. *I* wound up with the
'74 maroon roadster. Yes, it needed work. Any car but a trailer queen needs
work. But I am somewhat mechanically inclined and felt I could do it
myself. I picked up the Bentley manual and the Haynes and then found this
listserver. Between the three sources I was able to get the maroon into top
running condition. I had just finished replacing all the suspension and
steering bits and had put a reconned head  on the engine (which was bored
forty over)I was out putting the final tune on the carbs when I hit a car
in traffic (my fault), totalling the maroon. The car performed like nothing
else I'd driven all the way up to the point of impact and the way the car
crumpled saved my life so we decided to get another.

Along came the primrose. Not a great runner, more of a touring car than
anything. Never failed me. Every day rain or shine. Both cars had great
heaters, too. I would normally drive with the windows down even in the dead
of winter. And neither car leaked oil. I can't explain this anymore than I
can explain a sunrise, but it's true. A young foreign student with a cell
phone and no brains or insurance put an end to that car and now I'm stuck
with a red '67 that does leak a little and has crap for a heater.

The red rocket has a great engine, good paint, very little rust and a great
interior. The plan right now is to either take the engine from the primrose
and bore it to 2 liters or look into that Chevy V6 action that surfaced
here a few days ago.

I can say that the MGB is a very reliable daily car, as long as you do the
maintainence. It's easy. The car was designed for the owner to do a lot of
the work and the owners booklet shows you how. Tools are simple. You can
pretty much fix them with a rock and a coathanger. Yes, I've used both.
I've gotten parts from hardware stores. Just don't expect to go 100,000
miles between tune-ups. Even with regular service the engine was designed
to be rebuilt at 100,000 miles. The are lots of fun. I'd rather go to the
store in the rocket than do Watkins Glen in a new Honda. The only way to
get our oldest beagle to ignore the tennis ball is to offer to take a ride
with the top down.

And best of all, chicks dig them.

Glenn Schnittke
Production Manager
Belcourt Theatre
Nashville, TN

   Office - 615-846-3150 x15

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