The 1st photo (B roadster) is named Morris and is a tribute to the early race cars run at Sebring. Supercharged .040 over built motor with Ford 5-speed transmission. The 2nd photo (B-GT) is named Myrtle and is currently under construction to pay tribute to the Harrington MGB factory GT; however, for road use. It has a L32 GM V6 which is a built motor and a Borg Warner 5-speed transmission.
Richard Wagner of Pittsfield, Massachusetts attended the 30th British Invasion in Stowe, Vermont where he displayed his ’68 B-GT on the show field. Also shown is a ’63 B with not often seen ACE MERCURY wheel discs.
I purchased the car in 1982 when it had approximately 35,000 miles on the odometer. I drove the car quite a lot, and by 2005, the odometer read 114,404. By then, the car had gone through one engine rebuild, two repaintings, and was on its third type of carburetor/manifold. The car started with a Zenith/Stromburg, then on to twin SU carburetors, then in 2004 to a Weber carburetor. The car never ran correctly with the Weber carb, and, because of other numerous smaller issues, and a larger issue of impending necessary body work, the car has been in storage since 2005. My girlfriend and I have decided to get the car back on the road, no matter what the cost.
An American MGB Association Queen B is the ’74 B roadster of Robert Mullen from Martinsburg, West Virginia. Here is the story:
My MGB Story
I am a retired foreign car specialist. After working full-time, easing down slowly into retirement was recommended and I took the advice. So I cashed a C.D. and bought 19 MGBs and MGB-GTs in various states of disrepair. In October 2019, I was able to construct 10 cars. This is my story about the last one, number 10.
Car #10 was a 1974 MGB roadster which I found at a body shop liquidation sale. All of the body work had been completed using metal replacement panels and only minimal bondo skim coating. It had been sanded using 400# grit and was in yellow primer. All bright work was removed and the interior stripped to bare metal. There was little interest from other bidders because all the items removed from the car had been stolen. My ace-in-the-hole here was that I had everything needed to put this car back together. Sometimes you just get lucky!
I began by painting the car in a nice burgundy single-stage enamel just as it was done at the factory. I installed all new interior parts and a new deluxe top. The best of my collection of bright work was used to complete the cosmetic restoration. I powder coated the wheels and installed new period correct radial tires.
I rebuilt the brake system, clutch hydraulics, both SU carburetors, tuned up the engine and adjusted the valve clearances. With new fluids in everything, I was ready to put this one on the road.
I was soon to discover that my good luck had run out. On the road, the car was sad. It smoked like a cheap cigar, had little power on hills and dripped copious amounts of oil out of the rear main seal. Also, it seems that previous owners had succeeded in tearing out 2nd and 3rd gear synchronizers out of the transmission which made shifting gears exciting to say the least. There were also disturbingly high pitched whining noises coming out of the gearbox at speed. I parked the car.
I knew that I could not quit now. Fortunately, I had some options. At the time, I has a 1971 B roadster with a very nice engine and transmission for sale. Buyers seemed uninterested because the car was rusty. Even thought it ran well, it seemed to be too much of a project for others to handle. I decided to cannibalize it.
So I did the old “take two and make one” story. After many hours and some more new parts, the 1971 drivetrain had a new home. Finally my car ran as good as it looked.’
The American MGB Association (AMGBA) held its 43rd Annual Meet in conjunction with the 34th annual Chicagoland British Car Festival on Sunday, September 12, 2021 at Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois just outside of Chicago. The American MGB Association Meet/Convention was initially held in the Chicago area in 1978 and it was good to be back where it all began. The AMGBA Meet was held with this show because of the ongoing pandemic fears. Neither show was held in 2020 because of the pandemic.
The show itself is organized by a consortium of British Car Clubs in the Chicago area. It has become the premier event for those interested in British cars in the Chicago area.
Each year the show features hundreds of automobiles ranging from those in Concours condition to just normal everyday drivers. This year was no exception as approximately 500 cars were gathered on the field representing virtually every marque produced in England under almost perfect weather conditions. Door prizes and popular vote awards were presented to the lucky winners.
Food was provided by Robinson’s Ribs. Many food vendors as well as some of the entertainment did not attend because of the uncertainty of the show due to the pandemic.
The American MGB Association (AMGBA) was on the field welcoming old members and signing up several new participants. If you have not had the opportunity to attend this popular event be sure to mark your calendar for the 35th annual event which will be held on September 11, 2022 at Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois. For further information go to www.britishcarunion.com or www.mgclub.org .
Next year’s AMGBA Meet is still in the planning stage. Keep an eye on our website (www.mgclub.org) or in future issues of the Octagon for details. The MGB and Midget winners were as follows:
MGB- Chrome Bumper Roadster
1. ’73 red B, Philip Wydra, ’73 red B, Fox River Grove, IL
2. ’67 red B, Denise & Pete Ballard, Plainfield, IL
3. ’64 red B, Chuck & Gail Haskins, Burlington, WI
MGB – Rubber Bumper Roadster
1. ’80 red B, John Frost, Kenosha, WI
2. ’79 yellow B, Dean Hickenlooper, Darien, IL
3. ’79 B LE, Melissa Gonzales, Pingree Grove, IL
1. ’74 gray B-GT, Jeremy Kinsey, Burlington, WI
1. ’65 red Midget MKII, Stephen Sparks, Chicago, IL
2. ’74 blue Midget, Paul Polaski, Lyons, IL
1st place Chrome Bumper MGB – Philip Wydra, ’73 MGB, Fox River Grove, Illinois
1st Place Rubber Bumper MGB – John Frost, ’80 MGB, Kenosha, Wisconsin
1st Place MGB-GT – Jeremy Kinsey, ’74 B-GT, Burlington, Wisconsin
1st Place MG Midget – Stephen Sparks, ’65 Mk II, Chicago, Illinois
2nd place Chrome Bumper MGB – Denise & Pete Ballard, Plainfield, Illinois
2nd place Rubber Bumper MGB – Dean Hickenlooper, ’79 MGB, Darien, Illinois
2nd Place MG Midget – Paul Polaski, ’74 Midget, Lyons, Illinois
I bought this MGB in October 2019. I was not in the market for an MGB, so I knew nothing about them. That is not my style for buying. I normally do a great deal of research.
The gentleman selling the car was in very poor health. He had the car partially restored, and my main concern was rust. He said there was none. I have since found a small amount in the floor pans, and repaired that. I didn’t know much about Lucas electric systems when we bought it, but I have learned a lot in the last year. He had the engine rebuilt with 38K original miles and new paint and did some front suspension work. He pulled the engine to rebuild, but did not redo anything else under hood. The car was white and he repainted red, so engine bay and rear trunk are still white.
Some of my projects in the last year include:
Electrical: 1. Got original radio working and replaced the antenna. (While we don’t listen to it (use iPhone with Bluetooth to a portable BOSE speaker), it is nice that it works. 2. Replaced courtesy light and door switches. 3. Replaced cigar lighter. 4. Replaced several gauges. 5. Replaced turn signal and High Beam headlight dimmer. 6. Installed relays for high beams, low beams, electric fan, all running tail lights, running lights, horn.
Mechanical: 1. Rebuilt rear suspension (new shocks, leaf springs, bushings). 2. Replaced exhaust hanger 3. Pulled heater and rebuilt and repainted it. I haven’t reinstalled it, but as hard as it was to remove, I read that it is harder to install.
Interior: 1. Sealed floor pans. 2. New carpeting. 3. New door cards and front and rear panels 4. New leather cover for steering wheel. 5. New wind blocker
Projects in the future: 1. Repaint engine bay. 2. Repair vinyl seats. 3. Install a new front anti-sway bar. 4. Rebuild the Weber Carburetor that came on the car. (I think jets are incorrect). 5. Refurbish master cylinder. 6. Reinstall heater.