Blue Beauty: 1975 MGB With A 5-Speed!

There was a time when the MG’s model ”B” two-seater, known as the MGB, was everywhere. MG’s business travails are long and complicated but what is simply known is that they disappeared from the U.S. landscape some number of years ago. To make matters worse, before they departed, they were forced to make modifications to meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), in particular, to comply with the 1973 domestic 5 MPH bumper standard – not a great look on an MGB. Enter, however, this beautiful, blue 1975 example, located in Dalton, Wisconsin and for sale here on eBay for a BIN of $4,950. There is a make offer option too.

I have never owned an MG but a good friend had one several years ago when we were college students. One, a 1966 version, had a Buick aluminum 215 CI “Fireball” V8 engine but that’s another story. But we did go everywhere in his 1965 British Racing Green roadster. We were young and it was great top-down fun. If you are looking for a road terror, this is not the car. It’s more of a leisurely, primitive, top-down experience. You don’t need to be svelte to drive one of these but size matters and the smaller your frame, the better the fit.

Under the hood, we find a typical 1.8 liter, four-cylinder engine cranking (?) out 63 horsepower. Fortunately, this model weighs in at about 2,290 pounds so the power rating is not as dismal as it seems. The listing indicates that this MG ‘s engine has been rebuilt with “mods” but doesn’t offer details. The owner states that this “B” has had the transmission swapped out for a five-speed model from a Nissan 280Z.

The interior is a nice combination of tan and black; it blends well with the new “Mica Blue” paint finish. There appear to be home-made door cards installed but they actually look pretty good. Speaking of the interior, the odometer shows just 42,364 miles which the owner says is original so clearly this “B” spent a good deal of its 44 years sitting somewhere.

There is not any mention of the structural integrity of this car though there is one image of the front suspension and what is in view looks sound – very important as MGB’s and Wisconsin winters don’t mix well.

As I mentioned at the outset, these vehicles were derided for the FMVSS bumpers along with the mandated ride height increase. Frequently restorers will convert these “rubber bumper” models to Euro-spec status which is essentially the same as the pre-’73 U.S. models. And that rubber bumper and the resulting ungainly appearance being the case, I usually don’t give these mid-seventies models a second look. Not so with this example, I think it’s a sharp-looking car; the after-market wheels really add to the fresh vibe that this “B” throws off. I haven’t followed market values for these but considering all of the resto work that has been done to this car, I think the price seems reasonable. So let’s open it up, what do you all think, worth making a bid?

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Comments

  1. Keith Keith

    Nice MGB!

    Like 3
  2. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Pretty clean looking little car. It’d make a fun driver, IMO. I’m not a fan of the wheels, they have a very heavy look here.
    Great that a 5-speed has been installed, too bad they didn’t also transplant a bigger motor! ;-) But perhaps the modifications to the I-4 are sufficient. Changes to the suspension also are mentioned, but not identified.

    Not one photo with the top up, and I’d want to check that before buying. This is a cheap way to get into sports car motoring!

    Like 2
  3. Little_Cars

    Upgrading to 5 forward gears is always a nice addition to the original 4 speed in MGs, but those seat covers would have to go, along with what looks like SUV wheels. Maybe Acura?

    Like 1
  4. Rik

    One of the “mods” you can add to the list is the Weber carb conversion…makes for quite a bit better breathing engine!

    Like 3
  5. Coventrycat

    I never trust any odometer reading on a British car, especially ones with the cables.They break far more often than I care to remember and are a pain to replace unless it’s a Spitfire.

    Like 1
  6. JOHN Member

    I’m just not a fan of the increased ride-height, single carb, rubber bumper MGB’s. Door panels look to be made out of masonite, the seat covers look terrible, and those wheels don’t go with the car at all. But, to each his own, they say. I had a 67 and a 70 MGB, the 70 was unique with the one year only split rear bumper. The really cool thing is the amount of legroom these cars had. I am 6’1″ and had plenty of room. Replaced the old lever action shocks on the 70 with traditional Koni’s, added wider wheels, cut the head .125″ (it was warped) it was a fun car car to drive, and for the most part, “reliable”.

    Like 4
    • Little_Cars

      @Rik…this one shows a Weber mounted.

      @JOHN And the split rear bumpers are no longer available for Bs, so a number of restored 1970s sport the standard bumper.

      About 22,500 1970 model GTs and roadsters were built with them, all going to North America. This would be 4.5% of total production over 18 years. How many survive today is anyone’s guess. MGB fans seem to fall into “Meh” and “gotta have” factions. 1970 have the ‘fish mouth’ grille with the bonnet finisher strip some parts of which are also NLA, which also adds to the curiosity factor. Safety Fast. Cheers!

      Like 2
  7. Chuck Luebke

    I had a ’79 and loved every minute with it! Rubber bumpers or not, a fine road car. Lucas electrics never caused a single problem either. One pinhole of rust on top of the left front fender… in Wisconsin all its life. If you want something better, look in a higher price bracket and quit bottom-feeding for fun cars.

    Like 4
  8. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended:Oct 04, 2019 , 7:49AM
    Sold for:US $4,950.00

  9. ICEMAN from Winnipeg

    Say this three times fast while patting your head with one hand and rubbing your stomach with the other:
    Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers !!

  10. Doug

    If you go to http://www.BritishV8.org you will find quite an array of these done with the 1993-95 Camaro/Firebird 3.4 V6, and some companies that manufacture kits and parts to facilitate the swap.

    There are also some with the Buick/Rover aluminum V8, as well as other interesting transplants. MG actually sold some cars using the Buick/Rover V8 late in the production of the MGB, starting in 1973, although only in the GT hardtop version

    Like 1
  11. Kelly Breen

    It is generally accepted that it is more satisfying to drive a slow car fast than a fast car fast. The unibody on these roadsters really are not strong enough to handle a large engine with a lot of torque without reinforcing them. If you want to improve the car’s performance reducing weight rather than putting a bigger engine in them is a better investment. The 5 speed is a major improvement though.

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