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Re: Are MGB reliable daily drivers?

To:, "Chris Thompson" <>
Subject: Re: Are MGB reliable daily drivers?
From: "Denise Thorpe" <>
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 20:19:11 -0500
Hi all,

Speaking of mileage, my '67B had 100K on it when I bought it in '79, and it
has over 300K now.  I'm not sure how many miles over 300K because when I
was driving the car from Southern California to Atlanta I finally realized
that the odometer had read 84,330 (284,330) every time I'd looked at it for
I don't know how long.  That was about three years ago and I've since
driven it all over the South, then towed it to Seattle where I drove it all
over, then drove it to New England where it was basic transportation while
the dreaded Volvo was dead, and now it mostly sits in the garage.  Since
the car now has overdrive, I'll be replacing the speedo with an OD one, so
I haven't done anything about the non-op odo.

Speaking of reliability, I think nothing of hopping in that car and driving
cross-country.  The only repair besides basic maintenance that it's needed
in years was when the brake light switch died en route to Atlanta.  Someone
hollered at me that my brake lights weren't working, and this time it was
true!  Amazingly, I spotted a British car shop on one of my off-freeway
excursions.  They didn't have the switch, but they ordered one for me to be
delivered at another shop that was further along my route.  This was in
Louisiana.  Sure enough, next day in Mississippi, I found the shop and they
had the switch.  In a spot by the side of the road where there were trees,
I wedged a stick between the seat bottom and the brake pedal and changed
the switch jiffy quick while brake fluid ran down the inside fender.  But
it didn't need bleeding!  That darn brake light switch had only lasted 30+
years.  Sheesh!

Just like other people have said, the car wasn't reliable right after I
bought it.  It took a while to fix all of the DPO bodges and frighten the
car into submission.  But now it's the the most reliable car I own.  Every
once in a while, I walk into the garage and shout 'Boo!' at the Volvo but
something still breaks on it every other day.  The B just goes and goes. 
Oh sure, it needs an engine occasionally, but it's fun to build a B engine.
And then when people are being amazed that I change my own oil, I can tell
them that I built the engine.  That usually shuts 'em up.

Ok, that's enough bragging from me, but this is one of my favorite
topics--how reliable, cheap and easy to work on an early B is.  That's why
I own three.  I could go on, and on, and on, and on...


Chris Thompson said:
> On Tony Barnhill's web site he related the story
> recently of his most recent purchase, a 63 B.
> A quote from the blurb talking about the previous owner...
>     "He bought her in 1971 with 60,000 miles on the clock, and put another
> 350,000 miles on her before he decided a restoration was needed."
> I, being the incurable pedant that I am dropped him an email letting him
> know that he had a typo on his web page, that he had said "350,000" when
> had obviously meant 35,000 or perhaps 50,000, as there was no way I could
> conceive of a 63 B with 410,000 miles on it.
> He wrote back saying that the guy had, in fact, put 350k on it, and had
> 5 transmission rebuilds, two ring/valve replacements between 71 and the
> 90's when he decided on a complete overhaul.

--- Denise Th

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