Andy restores a 1967 MGB GT

Andy restores a 1967 MGB GT

This is the first in a series of stories about the hands-on restoration of a practical British sports car

With styling by Pininfarina and amazing practicality, I’ve always been intrigued by the MGB GT. The fact that it has enough headroom for me to drive comfortably also comes into play (and let the jokes begin about the size of my ego). 

My story with MGB started many years ago when, at 14 years old, I actually test drove one at a dealersjip. It was the first sports car I ever drove; being tall for my age, the dealer thought that I was old enough and let me drive the car, a 1980 MG roadster in British Racing Green. That experience changed my view of what cars could be. 

But it was not until last year that I finally pulled the trigger and bought my first MG, a 1967 MGB GT with overdrive that I found on the internet. I called the owner in Holland, Michigan, and then had a friend, Bennett Logan, who is not an MG expert but a Ferrari expert, do a test drive in the car. His advice was to buy it, which I did for $6,500.  

As you can can see from the pictures with the ad, the car looked to be in pretty good shape.

This and the photos below are from the internet advertisement for the car

A few weeks later, I had the car back home in Connecticut. What I saw at first glance was a car with an all-original interior, excellent mechanicals and terrible paintwork. I went through the car, repairing the brakes and a few other little things that needed doing. My only plan for the car at this point was to drive it on the Lime Rock Historic Festival Tour. 

We took the car to the tour and my friend Mark Hamilton Peters and I had a fabulous time. You can see us in the car in the picture above. 

During that weekend, I spent a lot of time with my friend Michael Donnelly talking about my plans for the car. He had just opened a new restoration shop called The Paddock Classic Car Restoration, and he wondered if I would like to get the car painted as art of a cosmetic restoration of the car. 

And that is what we are going to do. We are leaving the interior alone for the most part as the original Connolly leather is in very good condition, but we will be addressing the paint and body issues, and making the car look better than it did when it rolled off the assembly line. 

This will be a series of stories on the progress we make with the car. The plan is to drive it cross-country in August to Monterey Car Week in California.

I will be dong most of the work on the car, though with expert advice and assistance from Michael and his staff at The Paddock. Since I have never done any paint or bodywork, this definitely will be a learning process. 

During that process, I will describe everything we do in detail and  let you know what we find and learn. You can expect to see loads of pictures and likely hear of several headaches along the way.

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7 Comments

  • Len Heggarty
    April 18, 2019, 7:41 PM

    Thanks Andy for that. Back in the 1960s I owned a 1965 MGB, and then sold that in 1968 for a 1968 MGB with overdrive. I am one of the wind-in-the-hair drivers so the GT is not my type. Never the less I would be very interested in your restoration. The GT roof to me adds some weight to the car so for a sports car they are a bit slow compared to today’s high-priced modern cars. The MG is the best handling car I have ever driven.

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    • Steve Lipofsky@Len Heggarty
      April 19, 2019, 6:25 PM

      I’ve owned 8 MGB roadsters starting back in the seventies and currently own a 1973 MGB GT.

      Andy, you could not have made a better choice.

      really, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better styled car. Your assessment of the practicality is spot-on.

      I’m 6’2" and fit nicely inside, with tons of visibility.

      Plenty of room for your stuff and reliable enough to be a daily driver if properly maintained.

      Enjoy it in good health!. I look forward to following your progress.

      REPLY
      • Glenn Evans @Steve Lipofsky
        April 20, 2019, 6:02 AM

        The MGBGT is a really neat car I’ve had a couple of them three or four MGB’s bored mine 40 over three-quarter Race cam With overdrive would run hundred miles an hour all day long on the flat drove across country was fun

        REPLY
    • Jimmy Joseph@Len Heggarty
      April 20, 2019, 5:35 PM

      First car was a 1977 MGB. Actually rode shotgun in it when a family member drove it home new from the dealership. Acquired it from another family member in the mid 1980′ as a teenager. It wasn’t running. Stromberg carb leaked…along with the exhaust manifold gasket and melted some hoses. High school, weekends at the beach, delivering pizza with the top down.
      Weber carb, cracked cylinder head, wire wheels (pinched tubes) ,Lucas Electric, no A/C.

      What a GREAT car! It had personality…

      REPLY
  • Robert Hansen
    April 20, 2019, 9:59 AM

    Does anyone have a ballpark for a complete paint for a ’69 MGB?

    REPLY
  • Gary Goodman
    April 21, 2019, 8:20 AM

    Hello I also own a 1971 MGB roadster I have owned a number of collectible cars but the B is the one I drive the most,With some preventative maintenance , cleaning the electrical contacts ,proper setup of carburetors it has been a reliable road car.Good luck on your project.My only complain is the ride, but it’s a sports car and not a Buick.

    REPLY
  • gregg purvis
    May 13, 2019, 12:01 PM

    Dear Andy, I enjoyed talking to you about the GT. I miss that car and never should have sold it. I look forward to seeing what you do with it.

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