Another Pair: 1966 And 1974 MGBs

Pair of MGBs

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a pair of rubber-bumper MGBs that were available as entry-level classics. Imagine my surprise this morning to find two of the more desirable (to most) chrome bumper models on eBay, both at the same reasonable starting price, and both from the same seller! They are located in Eatontown, New Jersey. The black one can be found here on eBay, with the orange one for sale here on eBay. Both auctions have started at $3,000 with no reserve. (And no, the GT6 on the left isn’t for sale that I can find).

Orange 1974 MGB

The 1974 one is the later model of the two, and seems to be in generally better condition. The ad describes it as being a daily driver, something few MGB’s are used for now. From this angle we can see some mismatched paint, no doubt the result of an accident. The different angles of the front overriders are further evidence of a mishap. The aftermarket hardtop would be a nice addition if you really are going to drive it every day, although my experience with MGB soft tops is that they seal rather well—at least for British cars!

1974 MGB Rocker

Shots of what look like a rust-free floor are encouraging, but it’s the bodywork that was done in 2014 that worries me. Why would you replace the lower rockers and doglegs but not finish the job? And with the rust that normally lurks behind these panels in the castle panel and inner sills, I wonder what this fresh “repair” is hiding. Certainly some more investigation and work are needed.

Black 1966 MGB Rust

Oh my! The black car has some real problems in the sills, and has minor rust and damage throughout the rest of the body. But it is an earlier car, worth more when in comparable condition, and it includes a magic switch!

1966 MGB Laycock Overdrive

Yes, that’s right, the black car has the Laycock overdrive. Available on many British cars and Volvo’s of the era, the “magic” overdrive switch leads to blissful cruising at American highway speeds. I’m a big fan of these overdrives—given the low redlines, long strokes but relatively torquey British powerplants, the step down gear makes one of these much more enjoyable on a trip.

1966 MGB Interior1974 MGB Interior

Interiors are a matter of choice. The later MGB seats are more comfortable for most, while the banjo type steering wheel in the early car might catch your eye. Certainly both will require some work to bring them up to snuff, but neither would keep you from driving the car right away.

1966 MGB Engine1974 MGB Engine

Mechanically, both are straightforward and simple, although I would personally prefer the four-synchro transmission and alternator of the 1974 as opposed to the three-synchro and generator on the 1965—but that overdrive beckons! Which brings us to the question of which do you prefer and why? Or would you be interested in both?


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  1. Robert Park

    Serious issues with both regarding body integrity. So many of these were imported for so many years. With a little patience I think you could do better. I’ve lost track of how many MGB’s I’ve owned over the years. I would NOT own one without the overdrive transmission. It transforms the car into a daily driver as well as a freeway cruiser.

  2. Paul

    pictures are terrible on both cars. The front wing repair over the top of the rusting sill is a bit red flag. A personal inspection would be a must for these cars before bidding.

    That said, the black one would be the better choice. Livelier engine (from spec) and the overdrive. The aluminum hood (if it is the original on the black) doesn’t look it good shape, but still worth a good bit of money. The overdrive is worth a lot as well.

  3. jim s

    i like the black/red for the look and the overdrive. i like the orange for the top and seats. but both have issued and i think i would go for something without rust. i do see a lot of good parts on both. nice finds

  4. Dolphin Member

    Looks like this seller is thinning the heard, starting at the bottom of the pecking order.

    Agreed these two Bs have too many body problems & needs to be of much interest. The cost to make them right will be more than their values when done. So many Bs were made, most of which came over here, and there are so many of them still around that you can afford to be picky until you find a good one that’s affordable. MGBs are slowly inching up in price, but it’s hard to know exactly what proper values are since you see so many of them offered at unrealistic prices that don’t get sold.

    • St. Ramone de V8

      Have to agree with you, Dolphin. When someone shows more of their shop, we get curious. Other, better stuff. More than one car, we get suspicious. This guy may have a building full of parts cars, and is making room. Complete cars sell. If that’s the case, these two won’t be the cream of his crop. Rusty B’s aren’t hard to find, but tough to fix. I’d like the 66, but the shots of the rust issues make me think it’s truly a parts car.

  5. Robert J.

    We don’t replace sills around here. What are we, British?

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Robert, I’ve done one side of an MGB (properly, all three sill components). It’s telling that I sold the car before doing the other side. :-) I freely admit, one of the reasons I tend to prefer Triumphs over MG’s is the body-on-frame construction allowing the cars to continue to be driveable while I work slowly on the body…and still being able to open and close the doors!

  6. Rufus

    Being an MGB guy, it is nice to see interest in these cars on forums like this. I am a frequent poster on one of the more popular B forums, and in that arena, these cars would be heavily criticized. I agree with Dolphin, in the current market, these two cars will have little interest as projects. There are still good rust free steel bumper projects to be found in the Southwest, and having grown up in Texas, I simply look past cars with this level of needed repair. Unfortunately, the fellows back East are stuck with projects such as this that need major repairs just to keep from folding up on themselves.

    Have fun

  7. DT

    air cleaners,we donnee no stinkin air cleaners

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