“All in all, an exceptional MGB, impeccable road manners, lively acceleration, still retains the rare and desirable aluminum bonnet (engine hood), maybe (needs) a bit of engine-bay paintwork … very little else, ready to take to a show,” the dealer says in the ad.
“And as a ready-to-go classic sports car, just about the ideal compromise in price, ease of maintenance and repairs, all-season use, and fun driving.”
As a longtime MGB owner, it’s with some measure of befuddlement that I witness the continuing lack of respect for these cool little British sports cars, which struggle to gain footing as desirable collector cars and over the past decade have essentially flatlined in value.
No, I never expected to make a killing on what was once my daily driver, yet I believe that these sturdy and enjoyable roadsters and GTs deserve much more love and attention.
But as they say, familiarity breeds contempt, and with hundreds of thousands of MGBs coming over during their 18-year run, they were just too common. As they got older, they became cheap used cars that all too often fell into the hands of careless, neglectful owners, thus furthering their decline.
And when many of today’s collectors were first starting out, an MGB was an easy way to indulge their sports car passion initially, then move up. Those people now see MGBs as been-there, done-that cars.
There were 240 MGB roadsters and GTs listed on ClassicCars.com as I searched for this Pick, with the earlier models from 1963 through 1967 having the most value, followed by the DOT-revised MK II cars through mid-1974, then those built through 1980 with large rubber impact bumpers front and rear, plus a raised ride height, to comply with federal safety regulations.
Model years 1966 and 1967 are considered the sweet spot for MGBs, when problem areas had been pretty much ironed out and before the earliest DOT rules kicked in.
This 1966 roadster seems fairly right on, the dealer stating that the very-low mileage has been authenticated and the car shows no signs of rust or body repairs, with nice red paint and “excellent chrome.” The interior also looks good in the photos with the ad.
The car boasts a new pair of SU carburetors, the dealer notes, as well as a fresh radiator, new stainless-steel exhaust system, apparently reconditioned gauges, a recently replaced steering rack and king pins, and an alternator upgrade in place of the original generator.
MGBs are fairly simple, straightforward cars that are sturdy and simple to repair, with ready availability of parts, including modern upgrades, and widespread club support. And they are totally fun to drive, with a raucous style that is especially great when you get to flog one on a twisting back road.
Yet their values lag. Hagerty’s price guide says that one in “good” condition is worth a paltry $9,900, while an “excellent” one is valued at $20,000. So this “exceptional” MGB’s asking price of $18,900 sounds in the ball park.
And so it goes. My long-term MGB has shared garage space with other, more-special sports cars over the years, currently a Porsche 356, but it is still driven and enjoyed after my more-than 40 years of ownership. Maybe I’ll keep it for a while.
To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.