B Grade Project: 1970 MGB

right front

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At only $1,500, could this MGB listed on craigslist in Indianapolis, Indiana be worth a look? The owner was told it would run by the previous owner. Beyond that, there’s no word on the mechanicals or much else except the tires are new and it needs a top. It it was a half a continent west, it might be a project for the Idaho boys.


The dash looks complete. They’ve even included the trim plate for the aftermarket radio. What do you think has happened to the dash pad? There’s no pavement showing through the floor, so that’s a hopeful sign.


It does indeed appear to need a new top, but the rest of it is all there.


There’s a bit of trim missing here. How much rust do you think might be lurking just under the surface? Is this a parts car or is there hope for it? Was there something the owner discovered that discouraged them from restoring it? One could dream of cleaning it up and driving it, provided the list of “ifs” came out well. If it’s not too rusty, if the dark lord Lucas can be appeased and if the engine has no major issues perhaps it could be saved. From what you can see, is there hope for this B?

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  1. Andy Frobig

    I don’t know why, but I’ve never been able to get excited over an MGB. The MGA was so much prettier, and Triumphs and Healeys have so much more charisma. The Midget was even cuter, lighter, and cheaper. In this condition, I wouldn’t go near it.

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  2. JJ in TN

    Parts car. Maybe worth $500.

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  3. BCG 1

    My least favorite grille but many swoon over it. Too bad the chrome strip on the hood is gone. They can’t be had.

    Asking $1500. Bet you could get it for a Grand and then go at it. If the floorboards aren’t rusted out, You could make $10,000 car out of it for $6k

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  4. Dave

    I believe this is a 72. Earlier bs didn’t have vents on the dash.

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    • Pfk1106

      I had a 72, that’s a 72 dash and steering wheel.

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  5. RayT

    Looks to me as if this B spent some time at least partially under water. If so, you know there’s major rot lurking everywhere….

    Every time I see an ad like this, I wonder if “no $$$$ to finish” means they priced out the cost of replacement parts and services. The seller obviously didn’t put much effort into trying to get going if they are relying on the previous owner’s assertion that it “ran.”

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  6. seth

    at least it has chrome bumpers, if it was closer to the east coast I might go look

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  7. Bob Hess

    Hood chrome strip was only on the Midget. Had to make the last one we installed out of aluminum and polish it. Inner left rocker looks gone….

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  8. Howard A. Howard AMember

    Dave is right, it’s a ’72. I had a ’71 MGB and it was the last year with the old style dash. I never liked what they did to the dash on these. Looks like it was under water, but probably, just left outside. Somebody took the middle wiper off too. I did that, it was annoying. Lot of work. Plenty of B’s around you can drive right away. Parts maybe? Again, no mention of O/D. They may not even know it has it. Good price though.

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  9. AllenMember

    Hood chrome strip was definitely on the B. Plan on new floors, sills, dog-legs and rear wheel arches. Do not do it because you’re going to “come out all right” on it, because you won’t. Do it because you have some mechanical skills, you are anxious to learn, and the car needs you. Do it because, while some of us might prefer an earlier MG, the MGB was the best darn MG ever built. Do it because it’s still a very drivable, useable car – and it’s about the only vintage British sportscar that can still make that claim. My ’73 B/GT is my daily driver. These cars do no wear out. Just keep them in repair. As I drive mine, this thought runs through my mind constantly: “Isn’t this great? There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can break down on this car that is not worth fixing!” These cars are easy to work on and absolutely everything, including a huge aftermarket, is available for them. Check to see if it has overdrive (somebody who knows what to look for has to inspect underneath. The presence of the switch means nothing. If it has overdrive, add $300-$700 to its value. If it does not run and does have some rust-through (which I am sure it does), $1500 might be a bit optimistic, but if it has overdrive, I might be tempted – if I had need for another one!

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    • AutoArcheologist

      Agree totally Allen. I picked one up for $400.. in what I would consider better condition. The interior was moldy but solid. I replaced the floor on driver side, put brakes on her, still patching some rust, but she drives well and is a blast.. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to enjoy her to the fullest.
      I am all about saving these cars.. not just MG’s, anything old.. I know, out there, amidst all the nay sayers, are those with the skills, passion and time (and $$) to bring them back. If there are shops out there rebuilding cars in essence from mid air, creating body panels, etc. then it can be done.. to any car… I am teaching myself metal work, fab and welding. Its almost as much fun as driving them..LOL

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  10. ClassicCarFan

    agree, this does not look like a 1970 car.
    1970 had the one-year-only split bumpers at the rear – and that fascia with the two vertical fresh-air vents started 1972.

    I’d also agree (sorry to be a pessimist) but with “good” MGB roadsters of this generation still available for realistic money – this one is not economically worth bothering with. Too much stuff missing, broken, ruined. It’s been stored outside, with no effective roof, so I think you can expect at least the floor pans to be rusty.

    That doesn’t mean that someone with good skills and a lot of time on their hands should not take pity on this and rescue it….just that it would make little sense financially.

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  11. john C

    I like MGB’s, however I’m 67, and with only 20-30 years left, I don’t have time for this project.

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  12. Dave

    This project may need a 29 year old. Lol.

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  13. Bob Hess

    Wrong chrome strip. Thought we were talking about the chrome spear the Midget had on top of the hood…. not the grill opening. By the way, have a real good B trunk lid in the original red if anyone needs one for a restoration. Also, agree that this car is good for parts, especially when you can buy pretty good drivers from $8 to $12K.

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  14. DolphinMember

    I’m guessing this is a car that looks like the perfect project to a beginner who wants a cheap sportscar to restore, but who found out that it will take a lot more time, skill, and $$$ to make into a decent looking, reliable driving car. So he never went beyond putting new tires on it so they will hold air and the car can roll.

    With topside-only photos and none of the engine bay, trunk, or underside it makes me think it’s probably pretty scary under there, and the seller is cutting his losses. Agree with those who think there are better cars out there than this one, all things considered.

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  15. zack

    I’d be interested in that “B” trunk lid if it’s available. I’m in the process of restoring a ’72 “B” that is totally rust-free but has a significant dent in the trunk lid that I would prefer not to “bondo” even though I’m in Phoenix and rust would never be an issue. I’m also in need of a near perfect hood for the same reason. Feel free to email me at: baonly@hotmail.com

    As regarding this “barn find” B…… I can only say that I purchased my ’72 for a lot less with a whole lot more going for it… and absolutely no rust or rot…. does this one remind anyone of a “money pit” but in today’s terms….dollar pit…?

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  16. Paul R

    I own a 1972 B. When it was on the road it was a fun car to drive and fairly reliable.
    It has wire wheels with knock-offs that are sort of a pain. You have to run tubes in the tires. The previous owner did not keep the hub splines lubricated and it was a bear to get the rims off the hubs. It took heat, a large gear puller and several beers.
    Oil consumption became unmanageable and I parked it in 1996. Maybe one day I will restore it.

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  17. scott

    Cries out for a Rover V8.

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