PCH, British One-Two Punch Edition: Travellers or MGB-GTs?

Illustration for article titled PCH, British One-Two Punch Edition: Travellers or MGB-GTs?

Well, we can all go ahead and change our names to Ettore now, because the 'Bugatti' triumphed over the 'MG TD' in yesterday's Choose Your Eternity poll by a pretty healthy margin. Perhaps the faux MG wasn't really British enough, what with its German underpinnings (and the Fauxgatti, lacking any underpinnings, was undeniably the more hellish of the two choices). Still, the phony MG TD reminded us that there's just no Project Car Hell quite like British Project Car Hell; as William Gibson puts it in Pattern Recognition, you're dealing with the Mirror World when you start tearing up your knuckles on a car from the UK. A Mirror World in which electrons ignore the laws of physics and prefer insulators to conductors, every component containing iron manages to find a source of pure superheated oxygen for more rapid oxidation, and you develop an inexplicable craving for mushy peas after tearing all the skin from your knuckles out in the garage.

It goes without saying that we love station wagons, and what could be better than a woody station wagon? Why, this pair of Morris Minor Woody Travellers! There's a Buy It Now of just $4500 for this package deal, which is comprised of a '70 from Blighty and a '64 from New Zealand. The '64 runs and drives (well enough to limp onto a trailer, at any rate) and is allegedly 100% complete; the '70 supposedly drove when it got off the boat from the UK, but the seller describes it as a parts car. The '64 is allegedly rust free, and you get three engines and three transmissions with the deal, too. Remember, even though the initial $4500 cost seems like a lot, as the seller puts it: "If you restore one of these woodys, you will have a classic worth thousands of dollars."

Naturally, we have to match one 2-for-1 British car deal with another, but what do you do when there's a big price disparity between them? Well, when you're starting with this pair of MGB-GTs, including one with a Toyota 20R engine swap for only $1500 (go here if the ad disappears), you budget extra money for a big power upgrade! Like, say, this bolt-on supercharger kit, available for just $2695 new! Yes, it's for a 22R, but you'll want to ditch the 20R for the common-as-hell-in-junkyard 22R, anyway- hey, if the car is already set up for the Toyota R, it'll be a bolt-in (unfortunately, a stronger differential that won't vaporize when faced with three times the intended power likely won't be a bolt-in affair). Of course, we can't guarantee a blower kit meant for a Toyota truck is going to fit under the hood of an MGB, but you'll sort that out. What you get with these cars is one sorta complete Toyota-powered '68 and one '73 that's missing some stuff; in the words of the seller, the previous owner "did metal sculpture for a hobby and every time he needed a piece of sheet metal he went out and cut it off this car so it needs a nose." But so what? Build one good car out of the pair, add a blown 22R, and you'll have Ferrari-esque acceleration to go with that Pininfarina-designed body!


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I'm sorry, but I just can't see the MG B being all that hellish in the scheme of things- its one of the world's most common classic cars, and literally every part you could ever possibly need is still available brand-new off the shelf, including complete bodyshells from BMH(if you want to avoid the rust repair issue entirely).

There are far less parts available for the Traveller, especially here in the United States where the car was never sold and is as uncommon as proverbial hens teeth. The Moggie would be the bigger long-term hell project, as once the MG is restored, its a relative breeze to keep on the road. Even the most minor (no pun intended) problem on the Morris could take months of searching and waiting for the right replacement bits.