Let it be said first off, that Roadster Salon is an Italian car specialist. However, we have an appreciation for all fine vintage convertibles, and design in general. Our collector friends, more fluent in British classics than we--have pointed to the 1968 MGB as being held in particularly high regard. It's appeal is obvious. Low slung with wire wheels, a plethora of chrome and a snarling exhaust note, the MGB is both a visceral and aural revelation. Even Italian car snobs like ourselves can easily be seduced by this little gem's cockney attitude.
THIS CAR IS BEING RELISTED AT A NEW REDUCED PRICE. DON'T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY TO OWN A RARE "B". IT ALSO FEATURES A WARRANTY ON THE DRIVE LINE IF IT SELLS FOR OUR PRICE TARGET.
A NOTE TO BRITISH CAR ENTHUSIASTS--ROADSTER SALON NOW HAS A DEEP INVENTORY OF 1967-1980 MGB'S, TRIUMPH TR6, TR7,TR8'S AND SPITFIRES.
There is a lot to like here, and very little to fault. Let's start with the interior. Without taking age into account, which would be to its benefit--this car has one of the nicest original interiors we have seen. It has that look of a gently worn pair of your favorite loafers. Comfortable, yet still looking nice enough to wear with a nice pair of dress slacks. Definitely well above average.
The exterior is a bit of a conundrum. The paint is not original, and possibly a different shade than factory. But the overall impression is one of correctness. It shows some patina, and was not sprayed by a show studio. However, it only looks a bit off beacuse the interior is so nice by comparison.
So here is the question. Do we take the car completely apart and give it the high-end respray it deserves?Well, clearly this would put the car in an entirely different price category. Leaving well enough alone makes the car more affordable and ultimately does not detract from this lovely car's presentation or ambition.
Chrome is presentable with some small areas of pitting but no rust. Once again, this is a chassis deserving of what ever attention the next owner chooses to provide. However, in our opinion a full re-chrome is not necessary. The undercarriage is also quite handsome, only requiring light detail work.
On a car like this, perception is everything. Fully restored, show quality versions of 1968 MGB roadsters are approaching the $50K range and beyond. In an age where Roadster Salon regularly sells our restored spiders for $60-70K, can a well sorted 1960's MG be far behind?
The key here is expectations. Enjoy this collectible MGB as is for our asking price, or have Roadster Salon restore the car to a show car standard. However, in our opinion this MGB roadster should be enjoyed as is, and potentially upgraded as needed in the future.
Mechanical and Driving Impressions
As we said previously, the charm of this car is obvious and difficult for an enthusiast to ignore. Anyone who enjoys classic cars can appreciate the looks, smells and sensations driving a vintage British roadster from the 1960's.
When I was four or five years old, I got my first ride in a sports car, huddled in the storage area behind the passenger seat of an old MGB. I remember those few miles fondly to this day. The wind, the sound and speed reeled me in like a tuna. I was hooked. By the time I was old enough to hold a pencil--I started drawing pictures of the car from memory. Maybe it was actually an old Triumph, but the story plays better as a MGB...
This particular example runs and drives as you would expect a nearly 50 year old classic to roll. The ride is firm, and the sounds are as loud as the car is fun. To expect a contemporary sports car is to miss the point. The car is solid. Its been fully inspected and ready for the next enthusiastic owner.
The NADA guide to classic cars has very specific language relating to their car rating system. Their pricing does not reflect a #1 car that is towed from show to show and rarely driven. Their top rating is reserved for a car that is still used on the road with regularity, but posesses many of the qualities of a show car. 1968 MGB's in this category are rated at $40K plus, with the nicest examples trading even higher. Well sorted, running and driving examples (the proverbial 20 footers) are valued at about half that--or around $22k with hard top.
This car is not a 20 footer. Frankly, with fresh color coded paint and some detail work on the engine, this car could easily be in the upper end of the NADA range. It is only betrayed by the squinty paint and slightly tired bright work. Let's call it a 5-10 footer if there was such a description. This is an excellent driver with solid bones that a true high-end project could easily be based upon. We have priced her accordingly.