The amazing thing about today’s Nice Price or No Dice MGB-GT is that while it’s a project, pretty much every part of it is readily available. Let’s see if it’s priced well enough to get someone to part with its asking price.
While yesterday’s 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser Trail Team Special Edition was a homage to Toyota’s past, few of you could see much future in it when its $27,999 asking price was taken into account. That gave it an 80 percent No Dice vote, which turned the FJ into more of an F.U.
Now, before we get in too deep on today’s 1972 MGB-GT, I have a confession to make. I once owned a ’69 GT and hence have a soft spot in my heart for the model. Mine was a non-runner with frame damage when I bought it, but after yanking the engine and transmission out to do a clutch, and having a body shop pull everything back into alignment, it ran great and tracked true. A friend gave me an overdrive transmission out of a racer he was building so that went in as well.
The MG served my wife and me faithfully during the early years of our marriage until it was one day stolen from out of the carport at our apartment. Quite amazingly, we got the car back about nine months later when we received a call from someone seeking to claim it after seeing it sitting untouched on the street outside of their apartment for several months. When we went to collect it, the MG fired right up, and felt eager to get home. Remarkably, it had only suffered a fender dent and some cigarette ash on the carpet during its AWOL adventure. After we had our first kid, the MG got converted into cash for things like diapers and daycare. Alas.
I bring all this up because I want to impress upon all of you just how perfect a project car an MGB can be. Add to that the achingly handsome Pininfarina design on the GT and you have yourself a winner of a weekend warrior. I’m at a loss to explain why these cars aren’t more popular and hence dearer to buy.
Okay, there actually are a number of reasons. The first of those is noted in this MG’s ad, where the seller states that over 125,000 GTs were built between 1965 and 1980. That’s a lot of cars. The ad contains another reason why MG’s find less favor these days — the twin inch-and-a-half SU carburetors that feed its B-Series engine. According to the ad, these need a rebuild, which for many folks today is like saying they need an exorcism. On top of a rebuild, they will then need to be tuned and synchronized, and unless you’re Iain Tyrrell with his magic length of black heater hose, that’s not something that comes naturally. Whether it’s our diet or our cars, carbs are something a lot of people try to avoid.
Everything else about this green-over-black GT seems seasonably easy to tackle. There is some surface rust bubbling up on the left-front wing, but that doesn’t look too daunting. There’s a bit more under the bonnet and on the rear rocker, but again, seemingly addressable. This being a ’72 means it’s both negative earth and demanding of just a single 12-volt battery, not the earlier twin six-volts. That will make it a good bit easier to maintain.
The interior looks decent enough. There’s felting around the door jambs that needs attention, but the seats, steering wheel, and dash all look to be in perfectly serviceable shape. All the glass is intact and the wire wheels, while grungy, still look to have all their spokes. Also, have you ever owned a car with knock-offs? That should be on your bucket list. The title is clean and the car is old enough that it can be registered anywhere without a smog test. Classic car insurance should be fairly cheap too.
But what about the cost of entry into this MG’s tinkering? The seller asks $3,999 for the honor. That’s pretty much chicken feed in today’s market, but is it a deal for this car as it presently sits?
What do you say, should anyone pay that much to tackle this MG’s issues? Or, is the project too consuming to ask for that much cash?
H/T to Bill Lyons for the hookup!
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