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320touring

Original Poster:

582 posts

84 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Hi there,
I'm new to these parts, as I generally prefer my vehicle swith a more teutonic flavour..

HOWEVER, as a present for my Girlfriend's birthday, I hired an MGB roadster/convertible (not sure of the correct term) for the day.

Needless to say, the T plate car was a hoot, and she really enjoyed driving it!

She was ok with the manual choke and 4 speeds etc. Additionally, it had a chrome bumper conversion- as the good lady much prefers that style to the rubber bumpers.

Anyway, to the crux of the matter:

Do you think it'd be possible to use a B GT as a daily car- doing circa 8000 miles PA?

if yes, then

1. What is the best way to insure it for commuting- would a classic car policy allow it?
2. Best places to get spares/service items and consumables
3. I'd appreciate your suggestions for the best value B GT for under £2500 (circa)

I currently have a selection of old BMW's, so I'm comfortable spannering and fiddling with old cars- so maintenance etc ought not to be an issue

thanks

Neil

ATE399J

486 posts

122 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
I've just bought a BGT to do just that. Only been running it for a week or so but parts seem to be pretty cheap and, at 8000 miles pa, you should be able to get classic insurance provided it is a second car and you have access to "modern" which is insured in the standard way.

Less that £2500 seems to be the right ball park - assuming you're happy to live with a rubber bumper car.

As I'm pretty new here too I'm sure there'll be someone along soon to correct my rose-tinted views!

Phil.

320touring

Original Poster:

582 posts

84 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
ATE399J said:
I've just bought a BGT to do just that. Only been running it for a week or so but parts seem to be pretty cheap and, at 8000 miles pa, you should be able to get classic insurance provided it is a second car and you have access to "modern" which is insured in the standard way.

Less that £2500 seems to be the right ball park - assuming you're happy to live with a rubber bumper car.

As I'm pretty new here too I'm sure there'll be someone along soon to correct my rose-tinted views!

Phil.
Cheers Phil.

I reckon the good Lady would prefer a chrome bumper, as would I (not to mention getting one thats tax rate £0)

I have a modern (1996) bmw the good lady is on, so that should work out well.

As you've just bought yours, can you give me some hints and tips on what to watch out for when viewing these chariots?

I'm reckoning they'll be similar to my e30s- buy on body condition, as everything mechanical can be resolved by a competent mechanic?

I vaguely recall some issuse with "castle sections" or somesuch in the sills?

thanks!

TaRD

732 posts

72 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Hi, I've been commuting in my BGT for the last couple of months and it's perfect. I think one of the PH tech guys commutes in his too.

ATE399J

486 posts

122 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Neil,

I read this:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/MGB-Essential-Buyers-Guide...

from cover to cover. I found it very helpful and it will tell you a great deal more than I can! And at less than a tenner even if you don't buy one it's not that much of a loss.

Phil
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na

7,729 posts

119 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
320touring said:
Do you think it'd be possible to use a B GT as a daily car- doing circa 8000 miles PA?
depending on the owner and driver then very very easily and able to do a lot more too, regular driving will help the driver and the classic car - teach your g/f the basics of the car get her involved in what's required to drive it and basic maintenance checks, consider rear wheel drive on damp autumn roads ect.

one of the biggest problems with classics is previous and present owners, think of any MGB as a 60’s, different to a 80s on BMW but very easy to own and drive with just a little thought and effort

320touring said:
1. What is the best way to insure it for commuting- would a classic car policy allow it?
yes and loads more, probably get UK & European breakdown cover thrown in too try PETER James (for just one example) also see many PH threads about MGB (classic car) ownership requirements in PH Search

320touring said:
2. Best places to get spares/service items and consumables
loads of places and varies on what you want again this is mentioned in many PH threads, see PH Search

320touring said:
3. I'd appreciate your suggestions for the best value B GT for under £2500 (circa)
buy on body/chassis condition everything else is usually reasonably easy to sort

for that money get a good r/b forget c/b (unless you are very, very, lucky but remember it can be very expensive to buy a cheap car

£200(?) a year road tax extra wouldn't be a lot if your doing 8,000 miles a year

320touring said:
I currently have a selection of old BMW's, so I'm comfortable spannering and fiddling with old cars- so maintenance etc ought not to be an issue

thanks

Neil
buy a Driver's Handbook before even starting to look at a car to tell you all about the car and the servicing details and schedule - see http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a... too

I’ve got a general buying advice notes, OTT for most, PM me if you want a copy

Edited by na on Monday 8th October 14:48

300bhp/ton

29,629 posts

75 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
There's no reason why you couldn't use one daily. Just be realistic that it is a classic, so on a cold frosty morning, if it's parked outside give yourself a little more time to get it up to temp and running smoothly.

As for parts, loads of places, Rimmer Bros, Moss Europe, Brown & Gammons, MGOC and many others.

Personally I'd buy the most rust free example you can. Any of the oily bits such as engine and gearboxes are relatively easy to fix or replace. Rusty bodywork is another matter entirely.

As for using one everyday, I'd say make use of modern technology while retaining the classic car feel. Manual chokes are fine, but ditch the points and fit a hassle free electronic ignition system, getting the carbs rebuilt would be sensible too. With cars like these it's silly little easy to fix things that'll annoy the hell out of you and make you think the car is unreliable when they can usually be solved with ease.

v8250

1,231 posts

96 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
An MG BGT would be very comfortable to live with as a daily runner. Plenty of good cars out there for £2500-£3500, but, one has to be very careful when chosing. Buy the best you can afford. Pay close attention to the bodywork...not just sills but all over. Mechanicals are very straight forward and can be maintained by any good MG specialist garage. Parts are generally well priced but it's the availibility of parts that's phenominal; nearly every component can be bought within 24-48hrs. Join one of the clubs and meet up with local club members...you'll get a mass of support from fellow MG owners...they're a very enthusiastic bunch. Both clubs have approved local 'specialists' who'll be near to you.

www.mgcc.co.uk
www.mgoc.co.uk

There are some good MG owners on PH too who'll give you good advice, particularly ref' servicing. Also take a good look around these forums:

http://mgexperience.net/
http://www.mgcc.co.uk/mg-forum.html

Maybe spend a little more and you could buy something like this...

http://classifieds.pistonheads.com/classifieds/use...


S2Mike

2,970 posts

35 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Not long sold my 1978 MGB roadster, I did the rubber bumper to chrome conversion, myself, which needs some welding/bodywork modifications. If you want the road tax exempt ones pre 1973 they are a little more sought after and command better prices, but the GT (hard top coupe) are less than the roadsters.
All are relatively simple to work on, but as you say buy on condition, the sills, castle sections and floor panels are the most obvious weak points for rust, and are more expensive to get repaired. Front wings do rust as there are water/mud traps underneath, but they are just bolt on parts. Bottom of the doors collect water and lower edges of the rear wings, but there are repair sections that can be bought and welded in.
I used mine for 4 years commuting as much as I could, and have to say, you arrive at work, wide awake, if a little wind blown and cold, ( heaters are not the best ) but the adrenaline pumped. Summer suntan while driving is cool.
They are great fun, with reasonable handling and performance, with an excellent availability for all the parts to repair or tune up.
Electronic ignition is worthwhile, improves the cold starts and fuel economy, but expect 22-25mpg.
The MGOC, MG owners club could be worth joining for technical advise, and even to search for your car in the first place. £33 pa membership, sounds a little steep but quality monthly magazine and free advice, news meetings, local and national.
Any other questions feel free to ask.

na

7,729 posts

119 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
another forum -
MG BBS

a great web site for info but best approached after you've bought your car - http://www.mgb-stuff.org.uk/hometext.htm

a great help for general info and service and repairs - John Twist - http://www.youtube.com/user/Universitymotorsltd

ETA: picking up on a couple of Mike's points, his mpg seems a bit low might be his driving style,
heater are not poor if the heating/cooling system is sorted, more likely draughts coming in from fresh air flap not sealed and door seals, they wont be modern car hot though, I've notes on improving heating and cooling systems, easy to do

Edited by na on Monday 8th October 15:03

mgtony

1,947 posts

75 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Ebay for parts. I sent a friend a link to a pair of early seats in good condition that were local. They were listed as vinyl but would have sorted him for the time being, won them for £31 and they're actually leather!!
Try Footman James for insurance, my policy has no limited mileage and was cheaper than quotes from elsewhere with a limit.
Add a front spoiler to a rubber bumper car and in the right colour they look good. Prices in the classifieds for them seem to have shot up! As an everyday car if it's being left on the street, then idiots hitting it while parking are more liable to damage their car and bounce off the rubber bumpers than wreck your chrome bumper, grill and bonnet.

S2Mike

2,970 posts

35 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
na said:
another forum -
MG BBS

a great web site for info but best approached after you've bought your car - http://www.mgb-stuff.org.uk/hometext.htm

a great help for general info and service and repairs - John Twist - http://www.youtube.com/user/Universitymotorsltd

ETA: picking up on a couple of Mike's points, his mpg seems a bit low might be his driving style,
heater are not poor if the heating/cooling system is sorted, more likely draughts coming in from fresh air flap not sealed and door seals, they wont be modern car hot though, I've notes on improving heating and cooling systems, easy to do

Edited by na on Monday 8th October 15:03
.
Sorry didn't mention, mine was tuned to gain another 10 bhp, and yes I do have a "spirited" driving style, but the MG brings that out in you. My first job after buying was to replace the Heater matrix, with an up rated one, which was better, and did not leak but not up to modern standards.
Another consideration is getting one that the unleaded conversion on the cylinder head has been done , or even better, as mine had was a replacement unleaded engine ( Ivor Searle ) is a name I recommend.

300bhp/ton

29,629 posts

75 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
I used to get 19-21mpg out of mine, but I did thrash the tits off it in proper sports car fashion. biggrin

na

7,729 posts

119 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
It’s your driving style then Mike smile

I follow what you’ve put about your car and make the next remarks as general

10 bhp and a lot more can be gained just by cleaning (servicing) some cars from previous owners

yeap an uprated heater matrix and fan kit is available but I wouldn’t get those until cleaning and sealing the existing ones has been tried – plus spending should only be for servicing, maintenance and repairs in the first 12 months of regular use, upgrades and improvements should be left unless parts or components replacements are required anyway

if the head or engine has been replaced great but if it hasn’t and it’s a good car otherwise don’t worry about it too much, personally I wouldn’t bother with lead additives either, you’re more likely to notice if you run on 95 (rather than 97/98/99) octane on a B that’s not been serviced and set up well

320touring

Original Poster:

582 posts

84 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
many thanks for all the replys chaps (and chapesses?!)

Certainly you have given me plenty to think about- I can see the sense in buying the best condition car We can, regardless of bumper type.. will have to see if the boss could be convinced- out of interest, how much would a chrome bumper conversion cost?

The good lady has been driving my BMW for the last 2 years, so is comfortable with RWD (and no traction control/abs etc) in the wet- as with anything, some time to get used to it and learn the limits will be a must.

thanks also for the information regarding insurance, its certainly an interesting prospect running something so old as a daily, but as rightly pointed out, proper care should see it fine.

I'm away for a think, and a read!


S2Mike

2,970 posts

35 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Chrome conversions are an average of £300. includes bumpers, grille brackets and the plinths/body sections

Quite often sets come up on ebay.
If you are handy with welder and filler/paint spraying this can be done yourself.
Would be a few hundred quid in labour costs for a professional to do.
Plus not essential but by removing the rubber bumpers you lose around 40kg in weight ( they are very heavy ) so the suspension may be good to lower with a kit, which improves handling/ bodyroll, and in my opinion the look, as the gap above the wheels in the arches is reduced almost 2 inches.

Edited by S2Mike on Monday 8th October 16:43

SMGB

786 posts

24 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Where they fall short of a modern car is rust proofing. I go over my car underneath with Dintrol every other year, but I dont use it every day
Get one use it enjoy it fix all the POs bodges with the good advice/suppliers out there and soon it will become as reliable as the proverbial clockwork. The biggest joy is how easy they are to work on and you can do pretty much everything you want to your self. Makes you wonder if car design took a wrong turn somewhere.
The ragtop was called a tourer by the factory but this is technically incorrect as that body style has removable hood and sidescreens, its really a DHC. Als a GT in my book can take 4 people plus their luggage and cruise all day at 100MPH, soAbingdon got that wrong as well smile
100% agree they are fun and there are wall to wall MG events here and on the Continent all summer.

na

7,729 posts

119 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
I'dsuggest only considering converting to c/b after a full 12 months of driving as your girlfriend may get used to the r/bumpers and as stated they do have their uses and c/b offer very little protection from even minor bumps and can be costly to repair the damage - whereas the r/b can just pick up 'scuffs' that remind the driver to pay more attention

I'm disaggreeing again, different people different views, - four seater, hardly and cruise at 100mph, perhaps when new and when owned for a while after full and proper servicing, maintenance and repairs but not before then

car that have low mileage, little use or long periods of being laid up could have a lot of problems because of their lack of use, hopefully minor but brakes (pads and seals) and tyres can get hard and lose effectiveness or be potentially dangerous old and/or little used tyres should be changed ASAP regarless of the tread depth left as braking, steering, suspension, ride comfort could all be effected - http://www.carbibles.com/tyre_bible.html

I'd always go for a less than excellent cosmetic car with good condition bodywork and components than a 'fur coat' job shiney paint and wheels and "they all do that", "it is a x year old car", "that's how they were" faults


SMGB

786 posts

24 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
na said:
may get used to the r/bumpers and as stated they do have their uses and c/b offer very little protection from even minor bumps and can be costly to repair the damage - whereas the r/b can just pick up 'scuffs' that remind the driver to pay more attention

I'm disaggreeing again, different people different views, - four seater, hardly and cruise at 100mph, perhaps when new and when owned for a while after full and proper servicing, maintenance and repairs but not before then
Sorry we actually agree, I used that 4 people etc definition as one that was broadly accepted at that time as a GT car and pointed out that no way did the MGB GT comply. I wouldnt use the rear seats now, the MGb was the first MG to have crumple zones, but I dont know how safe they are back there. An 80 MPH cruise is well within a mechanically sound o/d or 5 speed conversion equipped car, people used to run them at 90 all day new. With a GT it there will be a lot of wind noise unless you seal the quarterlights.
Also 100% agree on the rubber bumpers. In 2010 returning to the hotel in Berlin after a rally a rubber bumper GT was rear ended by a girl in a Polo. The VW may have been a write off, the MG had a small scuff on the rubber and was back out the next day.
Finally, go on you know you want to smile

na

7,729 posts

119 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
sorry yes I did misread it, good point about getting one with an overdrive (all r/b did(?))

yeah I'd say in good condition, fully and proper . . ., with o/d, where allowed of course, a BGT could cruise at 85-90mph

wow, that photo angle seems to oversize the F and undersized the B more than usual

(this might start an old disagreement) -
• overdrive – when engaging or disengaging you do not dip the clutch or fully lift off the accelerator as you switch the o/d in or out as it requires load to operate properly
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