'79 B of Larry
The March 2009 Octagon Queen B is the '79 B of Larry Youngblood. Here is his story:
About six years ago, a former high school welding student of mine, called me on the phone and asked if I still had my Midget and if I was interested in another MG. Of course, I had to go look. Drove down to the small town where he lived and there it was outside on the driveway, covered in a ratty blue tarp. Pulled it back and what I saw was rough. Interior basically gone, no top, engine froze up, sill and fenders rusted but other than the top, it was all there. He wanted $700, I offered $500. At the time I had no way of having the car delivered to me so I offered him $20 to trailer it to the school where I work.
Once at the school (end of year), I had my few remaining students (all the rest were out co-oping) start tearing it down. Pulled the engine, removed the head and discovered that the #3 piston was "welded" to the cylinder wall. After removing the crank and other pistons and rods, we took a 2X4 and an engineers hammer to the #3 piston and finally popped it out. We then gave the engine to the Engine Rebuild Class for renewing. Continued stripping the car.
Finally was able to move the car to my home garage and got it up on stands. I then removed the rusty sills, inner panel and castle rail. Welded in all new metal and of course, new dog legs.
Front fenders were gone, so had to find new/used ones. Found a good used fender in Arizona and the other was a perfect NOS item that I got from Matthews Parts in Birmingham, Alabama.
Had some minor rust issues at various places on the floor and footwells. A few patches and good to go.
In the meantime, I was busy ordering new parts, interior components, etc. Got to know the UPS man very well!
After all the welding work was done, I started to do the body work but after working off and on for five years, I thought it might be good to let the Autobody Class at the vocational school work on it. Took them nearly the entire school year to finish the car but they did get it finished and I trailered it home for final assembly. The original color of the car was Pageant Blue. My wife picked the new color of ’02 Ford Mustang Mineral Gray.
As I was assembling the car, I found several flaws in the paint but I wanted a "driver" so I am not too concerned. Overall, I was very happy with the work they did.
The engine rebuild came out nice and has been running for the last couple of years with no problems.
In 2007, I took the car to its first two car shows and a lot of folks really liked the color and various little details that I have made such as the Fiero seats, wood cup holder, Bimimi top/wind blocker combination.
I also own a ’75 MG Midget that I purchased new when I was about 22 years old. The MGB was built to use as a "fair weather" daily driver as it has a bit more room for my old bones and fat belly. In the summer, it gets driven most every day and even in the winter on mild days.