|’73 Midget of Paul Wrightson from Plainfield, Illinois|
|’73 B of Anthony Dieli|
|’79 B of Raymond Kunst from Chicago, Illinois|
|’74 1/2 B-GT of Tom Schrader from Stevens Point, Wisconsin|
An American MGB Association Queen B is the ’68 B of Ron Raymond from Munnsville, New York. Here is the story:
My MG Story
My first car was a Sunbeam Alpine that my father bought from a guy he worked with for fifty bucks so I could learn more about car mechanics. Learn I did; about hydraulic clutches, valve adjusting, synchronizing carburetors and Truck repair was in charge of the wiring.
With that experience I definitely learned about mechanics but I also learned to love British sport cars and spent the next seven years driving only two seat British roadsters. That was in 1970.
During that time I used to always search the classifieds for suitable cars. Sometime around 1974 or 5 I noticed an ad for a ’68 MGB with only 19,000 miles for a very reasonable price.
When I called the gentleman that owned it he explained that he was in the Navy and only drove the car when he was home, resulting in the low mileage. Needless to say I was excited. His house was only about 25 miles away so some friends and I rode out to have a look.
Angus lived with his wife in a new log cabin house that he had just built. The MG was in the garage and when he opened the door I was a bit shocked. While the car was totally rust free (something I insist upon even in the northeast) it appeared to have been painted with a brush! When I questioned Angus he explained that he had put some dents in the front and rear and decided to try his hand at bodywork. Hopefully Angus was a much better sailor. Other than the horrible paint job the MG was fairly unmolested, ran well and really had only 19K miles.
The deal was made and I drove my latest acquisition home. After licensing and insuring the B I began to enjoy top down motoring around our central New York home. That was in the spring. After putting a few thousand miles on the car, sometime during the summer my girlfriend and her close friend took the MG to do some errands. Less than three miles from home, on the main street of our small town a pickup failed to notice the girls slowing, smashing into the back of the poor car.
The unfortunate mishap left the MG with a crumpled quarter panel, trunk lid and the area housing reverse lights and license plate. Fortunately the pickup’s bumper was high enough to leave the trunk floor unblemished.
The girls and pickup driver exchanged insurance information and called the police. Thankfully no one was injured. I don’t remember if the driver of the pickup received a traffic ticket but he was clearly at fault.
Sometime shortly thereafter I called his insurance company and made arrangements to bring the injured car in for an appraisal. Because MGs were probably a bit foreign (no pun intended) to the insurance adjuster I brought plenty of documentation of the car’s value and the cost of parts needed. The day of the “adjustment” he looked at the car for maybe thirty seconds and said to me “The car’s totaled. We’ll give you $1,000 and take the car.” He really rubbed me the wrong way! I quietly explained to him that my car was not a common vehicle and he was probably unfamiliar with the value. I was trying my best to not tell him what I really thought. I showed him the price of parts, explained the value of the car and told him that I was keeping the car and he was going to give me some money towards fixing it. He must have seen how serious I was because without much discussion he agreed.
At the time of the accident MGs were still in production so I was able to buy new sheet metal from British Leyland. With the money from the settlement I had a body shop replace the crumpled panels and at that point ran out of money. I had another MG to drive so I found dry storage and figured I would fix it as funds allowed.
As is so often the case with projects such as that something always took precedence over the funds.
As time passed I would start and warm the car and even take it up and down the road occasionally. Months turned into years and the MG sat. At least it was always inside, under cover and dry.
Fast forward to 2014 and I’m confined to a wheelchair and fighting a horrible disease. Thankfully I have a wonderful wife and friends who have made this experience bearable, and my love of all things mechanical. As my condition worsened I wasn’t able to care for the MG like I had been so it sat in the barn. Unfortunately some critter decided that the interior would make a good retreat for the winter and took up residence, destroying the seats. I figured that having a car restored was out of the question so I placed an ad online. I had one gentleman and his friend look at my car but he wasn’t interested. During a conversation with a friend from high school she mentioned that her husband worked with a guy that was once the president of the local MG club and restored cars as a hobby. When I called Dave he said that he was the guy who came to look at my car and explained that he liked to have a project for the winter and would do my car.
So in the fall of 2014 I hired a rollback to drop my car at Dave’s. After forty years my MG was going to get the attention it deserved! I was beside myself with excitement.
I believe it was the spring of 2016 when our driveway filled with the unmistakable sound of a British roadster. The pictures didn’t do it justice. The MG was absolutely beautiful, better than anything I could have imagined. It only took forty years! Right after I got the car back there was a car show in Syracuse and my brother took the MG. It won Best of Show Foreign.
One hot summer day, with the help of a Hoyer lift I was able to get my only ride to date. Maybe someday I’ll attempt another ride. In the meantime the MG sits in the garage, covered and trickle charged. When the weather’s nice I peel back the cover and think back.
An American MGB Assocation Queen B is the ’69 Primrose yellow B-GT of Bob and Anita Dortenzo from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Here is the story:
Looking for the Next Valuable Classic
I have been buying, fixing and selling classic imports as a hobby for many years. A ’67 Volvo 122S, ’67 Volvo 1800S, ’74 Triumph TR-6, ’80 Fiat Spider, ’80 Mercedes 450SL just to name a few. The TR6 was an anniversary gift to my wife and remains in our possession. The others, especially the 1800S, sadly to say were all sold. After the Mercedes went at auction, I began looking for the next up and coming classic import and my attention soon went to the MGB-GT. This unique little GT with its flowing design and very useful configuration was designated as our next project. And the search began.
After looking on Craigslist, Hemmings, and other classic car sites I was fortunate to find one listed on the MG Experience website. This 1969 Primrose yellow MGB-GT looked interesting and the price was in our budget so I started conversations with the owner. The car was in New Jersey and had a documented history which the owner was very willing to share. He also kindly listed all the things that the car may need. I live in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and the drive to Jersey was worth the traffic and the tolls once I saw and drove this car. It didn’t take long for me to make an offer that the owner accepted and the shipping arrangements were made before I departed for home.
In a few days the GT was delivered and the work started with the intention of entering it in to the Spring Carlisle Auction. This car has many interesting options: wire wheels, overdrive, wood steering wheel and air conditioning. The AC was removed long ago but the switch and vents still exist as installed by the dealer in 1969. Cleaning, polishing, new tires, fuel pump, heater valve, water pump, minor paint refinishing, window repair from Autoglassguru, and a few other odds and ends brought this sports car classic to local show quality and ready for auction.
Well as we all know the Coronavirus hit and the shows and auctions were postponed. All I could do was drive the GT and enjoy the ride. My wife kept saying that she really loved the car and was happy it didn’t go to auction. I also became more attached to it as time went by and decided to keep it from the auctioneer’s gavel. More improvements are made each day as the GT shares the garage with its cousin the TR6.
I believe that the MGB-GT will continue to increase in value and become a valuable classic import in the future. Its style, function, dependability, and fun to drive spirit will all contribute to future collector desirability.
This one is not for sale.
|’64 Midget of Antosz family from Glendale Heights, Illinois|
|’67 B of Hao Anh Do from Seattle, Washington|
|’74 B of Diane and Ethan Harris from Little River, South Carolina|
|’67 B of Don Loeder|
This was my dad’s car. He bought it new in 1977. He parked it in 1983 on blocks in the back yard. I have been restoring it for 20 years and just finished it this past year. I wanted it to look just like it was the day he bought it. Lots of blood sweat and tears on this little car, but it was worth it.
An American MGB Association Queen B is the ’78 B of Barry Barnes. Here is his story with photos:
Someone recently asked me about my “journey” on my 1978 MGB. I answered: Long. Slow. Perfectionistic. Expensive. LOTS of fun! I love working on my MG daily drivers as much as driving them… and I’ve been doing both for 50 years.
Then I added that a more serious reply would be:
▪ Design your project for your car to be DRIVEN – these are tough little cars that are way too much fun to be trailered around
▪ Set a budget… realizing you’ll go 2x or 3x over it before you’re done
▪ Do it in phases, getting it drivable between each sub-project so you can reward yourself
▪ Match your project to your style – if you’re easily bored or impatient, do a simple project; if you’re perfectionistic and love form equally as function, take on something more like mine
▪ Focus on benefits to YOU – I like driving hard, tight handling on steep & winding mountain roads, loud music while I drive, a feeling of automotive excellence, and reliability
▪ Be a member of lots of groups on Facebook and the internet (I’m a member of about 20); ask lots of questions on them and on MG Experience (MGExp.com)
▪ You’ll learn by how others answer whether they know what they’re talking about
▪ When people say “I think” or “I would think” or “it makes sense that” ignore the post
▪ When people write “IMHO” (webspeak for “in my humble opinion), you’re about to read a highly opinionated post that’s anything but humble
▪ Most importantly, don’t listen to anybody else’s opinions about what you’re planning on doing – there are way too many people who will tell you what you should and shouldn’t do with YOUR car!
I have had my Midget Mk II since I was three years old (well, my dad owned her) in 1975. He bought the car on a trailer and in boxes. After some mild threats to “get that thing out of the garage,” he put her together and my parents drove round trip from Milwaukee to Atlanta. At one point, it was our only running vehicle and we used it to make grocery runs in the middle of the Wisconsin winter in the Midget.
My dad and I restored her for the first time in 1990 after sitting for almost 10 years due to rust and a cracked head, and I got the keys for my 18th birthday. My wife and I moved to Arizona in 2000, and I drove her until 2004 when she was literally coming apart. I started what became a 14 year bare metal restoration then and finished in October 2018. I did all the work myself aside from engine machine work and some on-car painting lessons, since this is a great car, if you’re interested in this model you can find useful the information found here.
|’74 B of Stephen Behmlander from Dearborn, Michigan|
|’80 B of Robert Clapper|
|’70 B-GT of Anthony D’Acquisto from Tracyton, Washington|
An American MGB Association Queen B is the 1967 B of Jim Burton from Nashua, New Hampshire. Here are his photos:
|’69 B-GT of Doug Clark from Chicago, Illinois|
|’73 Midget of Paul Wrightson from Plainfield, Illinois|
|’77 B of Jim Nab from Monument, Colorado|