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Re: Buying a "B" or my car wont start! -- the continuing saga

To: Matt Pringle <>,
Subject: Re: Buying a "B" or my car wont start! -- the continuing saga
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 15:19:41 -0400 (EDT)
Let me tell you a story of my MGB purchase and then you can make a decision:
I bought a 1977 MGB. No rust appeared on the sills or the other parts of the 
body. I was told it was the second owner and he had all the records, including 
one for a rebuild. Oil pressure was 60# at 3000 rpm, no smoke, no clunk on the 
test drive sounded great. I had the car inspected by a mechanic who said the 
mechanicals were in good shape. Eureka -- the perfect car, the year I wanted in 
the color I origianlly looked at!
        So I plunked down the cash, paid the ticket, and started an odassey 
hasn't ended yet.I found a body shop that was "willing" to strip and re-paint 
the original color, install a new top and re-do the interior. Finding a body 
shop that was willing to re-paint a MGB properly was nearly impossible. I went 
to 7 different body shops. I wasn't willing to have Maaco do it and peel a few 
weeks later as this was always my dream car.  The shop agreed to charge a 
resonable price to strip and paint. Since the engine appeared good-- I went for 
it. First came the hidden bondo. That was repaired with a new welded piece 
$200 to the agreed price. Nine months later, after screaming and yelling that I 
could have carried the car to term, it was returned to me. She looks brand 
spanking new and extemely pretty.
        So I drove the car out of the shop, to have a new inspection sticker 
affixed to the windshield, new also. (Why not since the car was stripped and it 
was only a couple hundered bucks more?) This started a saga that to my horror 
doesnt seem to end. I couldn't find insurance that covers collision and 
replacement, except for collectors insurance -- and then I won't be allowed to 
drive it as much as I want. 
        Next, the car wouldn't pass emissions! So I add another $300 for 
to pass emissions. Without the sticker for the next two years I woouldn't ne 
able to drive it at all.  One hundred fifty miles later the car wont start. No 
spark! So I go to the workshop manual, Hayes, Chilton ( another $100) and all 
the tests. First it appears the coil is bad. Replace the coil. $34, test again 
and the amplifier is replaced: $130. Still wont start. Next fully frustrated, I 
call the local MG club for mechanic reccomendations; I have the car towed and 
now am told to replace the whole electronic dizzy with points (How much I have 
no idea.) In addition, I am told that there are other major engine repairs 
necessary (As my I have visions of my retirement account depleting, I curse the 
Previous Owner)         Nevertheless, I would do it again: but beware of the 
DAMN PREVIOUS OWNER! Now I know what DPO means. 

On Mon, 10 May 1999, Matt Pringle <> wrote:
>Hi there.
>I'm trying to buy my first classic car and I'm looking for a B.  I
>really like the chrome bumpered ones and I especially like the better
>horsepower in the pre-emmission years.  I've read a few sources on
>looking the car over and I went and looked at my first one on the
>weekend.  I wanted to buy it right there for the following reasons.
>Body and sills seemed solid (fresh paint though, I gave it a yellow
>Oil pressure was 65 at 3000.
>No blue smoke.
>No clunking from the suspension.
>Top, tonneu, hardtop all in great shape.
>2 owners, repair records kept from day 1.  An appraisal was made by an
>"expert" that details the car.  Original engine.  103 000 original
>$3000 US.
>I'm looking at another this week but I'm really tempted to go for this
>one.  Is it too early?  Should I look at a dozen?  Is it too good to be

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