We Just Scored Another MG!

MGB Garage Find

With the Dodge gone, there was a big empty spot in our shop. I mean really big! Well, it didn’t take long for us to fill it back up. Projects seem to come in pairs around here at Barn Finds hq. We bought the TVR and brought home a Spitfire the same day. This time we had just started working on the MGA when I found this MGB. I know, it’s a much maligned rubber bumper car, but I think it was a very good buy.

Getting A Tow

The seller bought the car in 2007 off eBay. He had it shipped from California to Idaho and drove it home from the shipping facility. He had big plans, but life got in the way and the car just sat. A few interested parties had already looked at the car when I got there, but they were afraid to buy a non-runner. I wasn’t afraid though. The body was rust free and still wearing its original Teal Blue paint. Not having to worry about rust or paint is a major plus when dealing with any classic. So, after making sure the engine wasn’t seized, I handed over the cash.

At The Shop

While under the hood, I was surprised to find SU carbs! I assumed that someone had swapped them in place of the single Stromberg, but apparently there were some Bs built at the end of 1974 with the new rubber bumpers and old SUs. MG sold them as 1974 1/2s because they complied with the new safety regulations, but not all the 1975 emissions requirements. That makes this car a little better and I have been wanting to pickup a cheap rubber bumper to see if I could get it up to chrome bumper performance standards, so this should be a good start!

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Comments

  1. Noah Dana

    If you guys need any MG parts, or any British car parts at all, check out Rogers Motors (http://jollyrogersmotors.com/) They’ve got new and NOS parts, and will either have or can help you find any part you need.

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  2. Bob_s

    Hi Jesse,
    “See if I could get it up to chrome bumper performance standards” Does this mean that you will be lowering it to the chrome bumper ride height? Have fun with the new project!
    Bob_S

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    • Jesse Jesse Staff

      It should just take new springs and a front sway bar to correct the handling. There will still be a weight penalty and less power, but I think those changes should up the fun factor quite a bit.

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  3. angliagt

    Good find! RB Bs are good drivers,& more comfortable than the
    early ones,from what I’ve heard.I have a ’67 B GT,which is really a blast
    to drive,especially on the back roads.
    Now it’s time for you to join the MG Experience,& go to the website
    of the same name.

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  4. jim s

    great find. when you said, on the other post, that you filled up the empty space i was thinking work tables/tools to work on the mga. not another project, but this will be fun. i would keep the stock ride height. if you lower the car you will have trouble with speed bumps, etc. a photo of the motor would be nice. thanks.

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  5. rangeroger

    I have never liked the look of the rubber bumper Bs and Midgets. I do remember reading an article when they first arrived over here, that they actually had better cooling.

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  6. Doug M. (West Coast)

    I personally have nothing against a rubber bumper B. There is more to how you take care of it, and how it looks than what kind of bumpers it has on it. I had an 80 a while back that was really clean and nice to drive -black on black. Have fun with this, but beware! Two MG’s are likely to spawn more! Here’s a picture I saved of a nice one that sold for over $10k a few years ago!

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  7. Howard A Member

    I agree with rangeroger. Having a ’71, I was very disappointed with the rubber bumpers. ( and the plastic dash and console) They ruined the classic look, and truth be known, even with the height increase, they still didn’t line up with many US cars and trucks, and suffered just as much damage in an accident. ( or someone backing up) Looks like a great score here. Even with the downsides of that, you can’t beat fun per dollar with an MGB. I never remember having any cooling issues with my ’71, even on the hottest days.

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  8. Jamie Jamie Staff

    The 74-1/2’s had 1/2 year only LARGE over riders, ala 74-78 Spitfires except they were squareish. 75-80 had the rubber noses like yours. If it has SUs they were added by a previous owner. Congrats on the find, looks like a nice car 😄

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    • Jesse Jesse Staff

      That’s what I thought too Jamie, but apparently the cars built between 9/74 and 12/74 came with rubber bumpers AND SUs. Here’s a link with more info: https://namgbr.org/registers/1974-12-mgb/

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      • Rodney

        Yep, the 74-1/2s are rare birds.

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      • Jamie Jamie Staff

        I stand corrected! Learn something new every day! 🙂

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  9. trmotorman

    The rubber bumper MGB’s look pretty good with the bumpers painted body color. This is one we did about five years ago. I don’t care for his choice of wheels!

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    • David

      Great idea. Matching the body color does help. Perhaps one could paint the car flat black to match the bumpers? LOL! Please pass the chrome bumpers!

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    • forestghost07

      I agree, painted rubber bumpers transform the car … look at this gorgeous ’80 I had on consignment, sprayed in Jaguar’s Meteorite Silver over red & black leather.
      Not only a trophy-winning head turner, but also a “calendar girl” ! March 2015, MGEXP.com member calendar. Sold Jan 2015 for $11K (42,000 orig miles, SU carb conversion)

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      • forestghost07

        Another painted RB – my own ’79 LE w/ built ’71 motor, Nissan 5 speed, tan leather, cloth top, my reliable daily driver

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