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Author Topic: Buying a 1966 MG convertible  (Read 4478 times)

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Buying a 1966 MG convertible
« on: March 21, 2007, 09:07:22 PM »
I have an opportunity to purchase a fairly rust free '66 convertible MG that hasn't run in about 18 months because it needs a new carburetor.  It also needs a new interior and top.  The owner is asking US $3000 for it and US $1200 for some parts in the trunk that include interior carpet along with heat shield, new carburetor (not original), new dash strip and some other smaller things.  This is definitely a project car, but I am wondering is it worth the money and how much time in involved in refurbishing this classic?  Basically, what am I getting myself into?
« Last Edit: March 22, 2007, 09:08:14 PM by amgba »


  • chfwrench
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Re: Buying a 1966 MG convertible
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2007, 08:17:25 PM »
Hi Sophia,

Yes this is definitely a major project.  You are paying good money for an almost complete unknown. 

Using the "3 Side" rule - inside, outside and underside: 

So far, the "inside" is neither in good condition nor complete.  The "underside"  has an major unknown quantity in that the engine does not run and cannot until the carb is instaklled, a relatively easy thing to do if you want a price for the car.  Next, the "outside".  How is the body?  Is all the trim and lamps in place and what condition are they?  If there is any evidence of rust or collision damage (or of recent repair, as that could just be filler covering a bad situation), take your estimated cost of repair and triple it.  Check particularly at the sections of the body at the ends of the sill beneath the doors.  Rust there always goes into the sills and that is a structural repair.  Also inspect the floor boards and doors themselves. 

The last part is how skilled you are and how much you can do yourself and hard that is based on the overall condition of the car.  If you need to pay a shop to do most of this work, the final cost will exceed market value of a car already restored.  If the restoration is your desire and the car is solid, this is still higher than a bargain.  Cars in this condsition are one step above a basket case and could easily as much or more than a total restorarion.  I think for the same money or maybe a bit more, you might still find a running complete driver in better condition that you could address the restoration of piecemeal and at your liesure while you use it.  Check out the classified and see what's available for $4,000-$5,000 and compare.

If your heart is set on this particular year and the car is solid, for the money being asked, I'd request the carb be installed and the engine run and checked (compression, oil consumption, leaks, distributor, generator, trans, clutch, etc.).  It also will show the carb works and how well.  Carb rebuilds are not the most expensive work to be done, but it's not cheap either.  To have to pay for that first just to find out if the engine works at all is just more investment that may be in the wrong direction (if restoring to original soec, you would want to find the original SU's versus the aftermarket carb supplied).  Though the current owner should absorb the cost (it will still make the car more saleable if you pass), it would pay to even split the cost of installation with you to check this as it could save you more than your share in the long run or at least prepare you for the cost of a rebuild if the engine proves to be farther gone than just a missing carb.

I hope that helps you.  Please feel free to write at any time if you have any questions or you feel I could of any help.  Good luck.

« Last Edit: March 22, 2007, 09:08:39 PM by amgba »
Art Isaacs
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