A Barn Find’s Worst Nightmare: 1967 MGB

1967 MGB

UPDATE 2/4/14 – This rough MGB has been relisted here on eBay. This time the starting bid was lowered, but bidding is already almost to the previous listings $200 bid. Hopefully this time the seller has lowered their reserve as well.

What is a barn find’s worst nightmare? Maybe it’s moisture, perhaps it’s bird droppings, or maybe it’s the least likely of candidates? How about the barn it’s housed in? Just because a barn protects what’s inside from the elements, doesn’t mean that the barn doesn’t pose risk itself. We have seen a number of great cars ruined by a caved in barn. This 1967 MGB survived a barn cave in, but it suffered some damage in the process. This got us wondering, would this MGB have been better off not being parked in the barn? Take a look at it here on eBay, where bidding is just $200.

1967 MGB rocker

This MGB might have escaped the barn, but it didn’t do so unscathed. A beam landed on it, damaging the driver’s side door, the steering wheel, the turn signal switch, the passenger mirror and the antenna. In the process of freeing it from the barn, it also suffered damage to one of the front fenders. After the cave in, it was left exposed to the elements for around 2 years. This short stint left it rusted and rough, but taking a closer look reveals that this damage might not entirely be the barn’s fault.

1967 MGB motor

The seller claims this one was parked in the barn in 2002 and was in good shape when it was parked. They haven’t tried starting the motor, but it turns and has good compression. As we took a closer look at the engine bay and body, we have our reasons to believe this was previously restored. After taking a closer look at the bottom of the fenders, we see what looks like bondo. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an older restoration in which the restorer tried to fix rust by burying it in bondo. Perhaps the barn wasn’t this roadster’s worst nightmare after all?

1967 MGB interior

Between its time in the barn, the damage sustained from the cave in and the subsequent time exposed has left the interior rather rough too. Other than the steering wheel, everything is still intact and could be restored. Given how plentiful parts are though, it would likely be easier and cheaper to simply buy replacement pieces. The floors look surprisingly solid, but we would assume they have already been replaced. Let’s hope if that’s the case, that they were installed properly.

1967 MGB rear corner

After looking this MGB over, we can see how its time in the barn did some damage, but we don’t think all its issues can be blamed on the barn. Its worst nightmare really was the previous owner who decided to restore it, but did not actually fix the rust issues. Some cars might be better off not being left in the barn, but we think this one would actually be in worse shape if it had been left outside. Even in its current condition, at the right price it could make for a challenging project.

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Comments

  1. Dirty Dingus McGee

    Unless this was your first car, all those many years ago, this looks to be a parts car now. Can it be restored? Sure. But given the number around in far better condition wouldn’t one of those make better sense?

  2. paul

    My goodness judging by the mess of wiring I would say old Lucus had a field day with this one. Well not the worst & not the best but as DDM writes why bother when you can get a much nicer one for not too much $’s. These & Spitfires are quite the deal but for how much longer?

    • paul

      Oh & good parts car for sure.

    • Horse Radish

      How do you fit an MGB steering wheel (or what’s left of it) onto a Spitfire ?

      • paul

        Huh?

  3. paul

    Yeah I saw this .

  4. Robert J

    This reminds me of those British TV series restoration shows where they buy British cars with rusted out sills and restore them. I don’t mind welding in new floors when needed, but I draw the line at sill replacement.

  5. Chris Bater

    I,ve FULLY restored 4 MGB,s two GT,s (coupes) two soft (rag) top B,s one of which was a basket case no better than the one above, the other having suffered a low rent rebuild by an automotive alien, yes the,re around over here as well. Floor pans are reasonably straight forward by require extensive care to ensure that all the available location datum’s have been best used and have not shifted during the welding process, as the location of the sills depends this. If quality time and effort is put into the replacement or repaired floor pan, the task of replacing the sill assembly is usually quite straightforward and rewarding. A common feature on MGBs (particularly the rag tops) is to install not one (as per) but two or even three inner jacking stiffeners to add extra strength, these are cheap to buy and quick to install, but can add much to the rigidity of the sills. A lower rear wing (fender) section makes the correct fitment of the rear sill section (underneath the wing) fairly straightforward, never fit a short sill it severely weakens the body strength by increasing torsional twist. There are plenty of “how to do it dvd,s around, but with good planning and plenty of careful thought, its not difficult, and your MGB will repay you with years of inexpensive fun driving in return. CB

    • paul

      The problem with replacing sills are 2 fold (1) you must be perfect with placement of the sill otherwise the door gap will be off (2) This one is really the hard part is most sills have boxed sections that once welded in place cannot be undercoated on all surfaces unless the car is completely dipped in an epoxy primer, this last item isn’t as critical in a dry climate but in a humid climate or seaside the process will be repeated in a few years.

  6. Gary Fogg

    Looks like it was painted with a wire brush ! Painted over chrome mouldings, my personal pet peeve. Looks like a good candidate to strip down, reinforce and repower with a bigger engine, not destroying anything too “original” on this one considering it needs a Painless wiring harness kit and just about everything else !

  7. Alan

    Ewwww…

    Pretty certain that the most recent time spent parked was not the first one. I’d be betting that this was run, let sit a few years, run again, then let sit some more. There appear to be non-factory items, including wiring and fuel system parts. Someone thought that the stuff coming from the tank was pretty suspect, so two (big) filters were needed. the trunk-mounted battery… Whoa, held in by the cables and the crappy strap only? No wonder one connector broke off.

  8. Dave Dietz

    Parts car………nothing more

  9. Brian

    Surely the MGB is the “64-66 Mustang” of British antique cars. Everything is available in terms of restoration parts. Not sure if it’s still being done or if they are (were) available in the US, but entire replacement bodies be being reproduced a few years ago. I’m sure much worse cars have been restored than this, but with so many available, why bother? Good parts car to convert a sound rubber bumper to an older look…

  10. z1rider

    Either this is a 74 (not 67) or someone inexplicably WANTED big ugly rubber bumpers added.

    • Roy

      Not a 74. Has the earlier interior, dash, seats and other cues. You are correct though the ugly front over rider bumper is a 1974 item prior to later in the year going to the full rubber bumpers front and rear. Rear one appears correct for the year.

  11. Jim-Bob

    The biggest obstacle to restoration of this car is that a good, driveable MGB is not that expensive to buy in the first place. It would be very easy to spend a lot more restoring it than just buying a good one to start with. While not all cars can be thought of from a purely monetary perspective, I think that it is well worth considering economics and crunching numbers before getting involved with a car to begin with.

  12. Horse Radish

    This is heartbreaking, but maybe with exposure here the poor thing will survive or live on….

  13. Horse Radish

    Come to think of it.
    Those chrome bumpers reminded me of an MGB that a local metal guy had.
    He let me take pieces off of it, but the car was solid and rust free, needed a good cleaning and to get running again.
    I am not an MG guy, so I had no interest, but the bumper and grill lived on on another car.
    I was surprised what I got for the parts and the buyer was super happy.

  14. rusty

    I think you lost most of your good B’s overseas in the 80’s when you guys didnt want them…I restored a small bumper US spec B here in Aussie in the 80’s.and left it US spec for its heritage…an easy resto as it was totally rust free but previous owner had installed a fibreglass RHD dash which was pretty basic…that took a lot to get sorted. I wasnt chasing a US MGB but a replacement body for a burnt out and rusted out B I had purchased. Ironically instead I found this going and registered yanky B for a cheap price because it was not finished.[looked too daggy for most B owners here with most US spec still on it, Aussaies then didnt want US spec on them..I did..ie 3 windscreen wipers..cool]…

    I asked my girlfriend did she want it instead of me…she did and i restored it for her but I still had a burnt out B so we used parts from it [new windscreen / surrounds new hood bows etc.] Ironically the burnt and rusted body was sold to a B dealer/restorer..so it was still wanted.Even crap here was still worth something…still is.

    Your rust free cars left your shores in the 80’s…I always find that very sad for any country losing local cars.

    Probably in any other country this car would be restored….I dont think you realise how many of your good B’s may have left your shores. Save it.

    • Jim-Bob

      However, the US was probably the largest market for BL roadsters back in the day and so they still exist here in relatively large numbers. A search of my local Craigslist found several B’s and Midgets and none were being sold for more than $5,000. Probably the best of them is this 1963 Midget for $2500: http://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/cto/4278748886.html

      It’s pretty much the same story with a variety of old European 4 cylinder roadsters from Triumph, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, etc. There are people who love them, but most are too common here to go for much money. About the only exception is certain Alfas and Datsun roadsters, which seem to have gone up in price as of late.

      • jim s

        great find. side curtians, no outside door handles or door locks. toggle switch for turn singles in center of dash, manual choke. pull knob for the starter. rear springs are 1/4, going from the body behind seats to rear axle, not the later 1/2. looks like a lot of mixing of MK1 and newer parts, just like we did ” back in the day “. need more pictures.

      • jim s

        make that ” signals ” not singles!!!

      • jim s

        back in the day some states required self canceling turn signal for state inspection. always fun trying to get these past inspection as they did not self cancel.

      • Jim-Bob

        What is this “inspection” you speak of? This is Florida… We don’t need no stinking inspections! (No Smog, No Safety, No problem… which explains a lot of the cars driving around down here!)

        As far as the actual car goes, sorry… I have no more information than you do. It was just a Craigslist search I did for the post and this seemed like the coolest MG of the bunch. I would try to get the seller to include the real hubcaps shown in the car’s rear view. Those plastic things from Wally World are just hideous. You’d also want to check for rot as Florida cars rust in the most peculiar ways.

      • Don Andreina

        It’s interesting you say that Jim-Bob. I lived in South Australia where you didn’t need a roadworthy cert to transfer title within state. I grew up in Victoria where you need the roadworthy on sale for the registration to transfer. Long story short; great, great barnfinds on the road in SA. I bought a few.

      • Jim-Bob

        In Florida, it’s not just a lack of inspection for ownership transfer, but no inspection of any kind at any point in a car’s life from the moment it is driven off the dealer’s lot to the moment it is scrapped. I am a pizza delivery driver for a living, and do a fair share of charitable work for others who work with me. The state of disrepair some of these vehicles are in is downright scary and I refuse to test drive them outside of a parking lot or residential street. One vehicle I am trying to help someone with (a 1994 Mercury Grand Marquis-basically a Ford Crown Vic), for example had 4 failing ball joints, a pitman arm that had a loose nut connecting it to the center link, a loose and wobbly tie rod adjusting sleeve and an almost completely failed idler arm. It belongs to a friend of mine who is quite poor and had to save up for about 4 months to buy this $500 wreck, so I am using my tools and skills to help put it back to a safe condition free of charge. All he need buy is the parts. I am not all that well off myself either, so I know how to get parts for the minimum cost possible and can work miracles with the smallest amount of cash. I’m also trying to get another co-worker to bring me her Geo Metro (Suzuki Swift/Holden Barina) that has exhaust and suspension problems along with no door mirrors. I figure I can fix it for around $70-for everything (I drive the same basic car and keep spares around). I could go on and on about the dangerous vehicles I know of. I don’t want to deal with real anal retentive inspections and smog checks, but some sort of minimal safety inspection might not be a bad idea.

      • Don Andreina

        You’re so right about the safety of some of those bombs.

      • Brian

        Jim-Bob, it sounds like its a good thing that Fl doesn’t have a State inspection, otherwise you’d have a bunch of friends needing rides!

        I once lived in a state that did have a state inspection. The inspection station were garages that had the authority to pass the work they completed. That state no longer has an inspection…’nuf said!

        I know of at least one state who considered implementing a state inpection until they determined how much tag registration revenue they would lose when failed car owners couldn’t afford the repairs and just junked the cars

      • Elizabeth

        Jim-Bob
        People like you make this world a better place.
        That’s really awesome what you do for your co-workers!

    • Dolphin Member

      The vehicle situation in Florida sounds pretty scary from what we have just heard from J-B. Makes me wonder what FL lawmakers do to justify their jobs.

      Florida sounds like the opposite of Germany, where they have mobile test facilities that are used to give vehicles safety/mechanical fitness tests. I understand that body perforation due to rust is enough to fail a car and send it to the crusher. Maybe that’s why they galvanize the bodies there.

      This MG and many of the cars that are featured here likely would not have survived to be found and restored in Germany.

      • paul

        I think the ratio of cars falling apart verses all the new cars rolling around here is quite small what I’m more afraid of is the drivers who can’t put their smart phone down for a minute. At least the cars falling apart are probably not moving all that fast while the idiot driving the Cayenne & fiddling around with the idiot phone is far more dangerous.

  15. rancho bella

    Write what you will. They sold thousands of these in the U.S. They aren’t rare and when restored they don’t sell for all that much……..guess I’m saying what is the point? Take some parts and call it a day

  16. jim s

    i think this a parts car for some of the same reasons already stated above. title along might be worth something to someone builting one up using a new body. car is listed in Maryland and title is stated as Wisconsin. seller does have some other interesting items for sale on ebay. great find

  17. Ian

    …don’t forget that you can buy new body shells in the UK still….transfer all the parts over. It’s done quite a lot over here in the UK

    • rancho bella

      I was unaware new shells were available……..ahh….my continuing education…….continues. Thanks Ian

    • Jim-Bob

      Yup. The company is called “BMH”, which is short for “British Motor Heritage”. Originally it was part of British Leyland, if memory serves, so all of the stampings are done on the original dies that were used to produce the original cars. However, they are of much better quality than the originals with more rustproofing and a higher standard of fit and finish. They also offer new bodies for several other British Leyland classics too including the Mini, Spridget and some Triumphs. http://www.bmh-ltd.com/

  18. guggie

    never mind the B whats the story on the blue Buick !!!

  19. Richard Member

    Did the hoop of the steering wheel rust away, or did some hungry termites have it for dinner after they’d finished with the barn? I’d say powerwash the thing and hang it from the rafters of some fish/chips chain restaurant.

  20. rusty

    re Jim Bob and no inspections.. on the other hand where I live NSW Australia we have yearly inspections and they are tough [I am told toughest in Australia?]…hence we have very few old cars on our roads in comparison to other Aussie states..many cars are scrapped each year because they have reached the ..”is it worth it trying to get this registered” condition.

    When looking for vintage project cars registered or not….it always hold true that I can only find my desired cars in other states because ours were scrapped years ago because of the tough inspections.Sydney having less farmland near it also meant no one could easily just lay a car up so they usually went to the scrap yards…I can tell you in the 80’s our Sydney yards were a gold mine for vintage cars..now you wont see a single classic vehicle.

    I agree that inspections are needed but taken to our extreme and you wont have many old cars on the road..The other plus is I see very few cars broken down on the side of the road like I did in the 80’s..This is partly because of the tough laws and partly because modern cars generally cannot be worked on by the handyman, therefore everyone pays a mechanic to fix them knowing an inspection is looming each year.

    • Jim-Bob

      I am by no means advocating for the high level of inspection prevalent in many places. I don’t even want regular smog checks. I would like a regular check or suspensions and brakes though since a lot of cars I see have serious problems in these areas and owners who refuse to fix them until they have a catastrophic failure. Then again, this lack of inspections is good for me too as it lets me buy cars cheaply to fix and reuse.The lack of smog also lets me play with cars without fear of failing a visual inspection or sniffer check by the state. For example,my current daily driver sees 30,000 miles a year and I paid $250 for it. I did wind up having to recondition, replace or upgrade everything in the suspension, steering and brakes, (as well as pretty much every other system save the engine) but it’s a 3 cylinder Suzuki so it’s not like it cost me a lot of money either.

      I guess the thing that bothers me the most is that almost all of the cars I fix are used to transport children. It scares me that the parents/siblings are this neglectful of their safety either because they are ignorant of the issues, unable to pay to fix them, or that they would rather go shopping or party than take care of more important things.

      • rusty

        plus jim bob you have to pay for the inspection to a mechanic [$40?] and then unscupulous ones can tell you heaps of things need repair and can cost you thousands literally.

        I have a good mechanic who never lies to me and only tells me what is true, It helps that he knows me from Vintagecar Swap meet days and knows I know cars..but I also believe he is honest, so I give him my work…once you find a guy like that here you stick with him. But i feel for a lot of people who just have no idea about cars here…they can be on a roller coaster ride…often costing hundreds if not thousands to pass inspection..that is why people do upgrade more often here but modern cars are even more mysterious and we still have to rely on mechanics who are honest.

        Its good we are driving alongside well maintained cars but it is at a cost. [I never ever see smoky engines here like i did in the old days, few roadside breakdowns, no colapsed suspensions etc..]

  21. z1rider

    The reason some states do not have annual inspections is because statistically you can’t show they improve safety. I know that is counter intuitive. That’s the beauty of letting each state make it’s own laws. Each can be it’s own test case and as such the trend is away from these types of inspections.

    On the other hand, I suspect in the early days of automobiles, safety inspections were worthwhile, yet I doubt there is any data that would conclusively prove that. Annual safety inspections are slowly going away. In Texas non-attainment areas, smog checks have replaced safety inspections from what I can tell. They hook to your car’s data link connector, which feeds into a centralized system and if you have any codes which show emissions monitors have failed then you don’t pass. No sniff tests. And no checks of suspension or brakes.

    Jim Bob………. I wondered if you were the same Jim Bob who used to comment on another similar site. I was pretty sure it was you, as your comments here and there are always very insightful and informed. I scan that one but find commenting is a waste of time. Too many wise guys there.

    • Brian

      I can only support smog checks if the states are willing to do their part as well, i.e. clean state vehicles and power plants and let’s not get into the whole carbon credits thing….

      I think staggered driviers license retests, speeding enforcement, even anti-road rage and drunk driving law enforcement would probably makes the roads safer than car inspections and bring in more money as well? Just seems like I see alot more stupid and dangerious driving out there than unsafe cars falling apart in front of me.

  22. Plastic man

    Sadly thats a parts car. In UK this would be restored, prices of early B roadsters are rapidly going up. Rimmer bros are another company over here that can suply just about anything for MGs, Jaguars, Triumphs.
    Just about any old hack gets a spit and polish job here buyer beware!

    • Brian

      Maybe I need to get into the business of exporing imports!

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