Bush Find: 1979 MG MGB GT

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“If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise.” Okay, it won’t be a Teddy Bear’s Picnic, but you’ll find a 1979 MGB GT. This sad little classic spent years in its current location, but the seller dragged it out to find a new home. It has plenty of issues, not the least being rust, which has consumed a significant amount of steel. The question is, could you bring it back from the brink? I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Wuerstchen for spotting this sad British classic.

BMC introduced its MGB in 1963 as a replacement for the MGA. Initially available only as a Roadster, the company added the GT variant in October 1965. Styling duties fell to Pininfarina, who produced a trendy Hatchback Coupe offering better weather protection. The GT remained on sale until 1980, with our feature car rolling off the line in 1979. Have you ever looked at a classic and felt you could almost feel its pain? Those are the vibes emanating from this British gem, and it goes far beyond the tired and faded Vermillion paint. The MG spent years sheltering in the undergrowth, but it wasn’t thick enough to provide protection from the elements. Instead, its ability to trap moisture will have contributed to the extensive rust problems. The roof might be rust-free, but every other panel has enough holes to make a passable impression of Swiss cheese. However, those are only the problems we can see. It is almost guaranteed things will be no better below decks, and if this car bends in the middle when someone slips behind the wheel, I wouldn’t be surprised. Some trim pieces look okay, and the glass is fine. Otherwise, it seems like this GT is beyond the point of no return.

When it was shiny and new, this MG’s 1,799cc four-cylinder motor would have generated 83hp and 102 ft/lbs of torque. It was fed to the road via an overdrive manual transmission, allowing this classic to cover the ¼-mile in 18.9 seconds. Okay, straight-line performance was never the GT’s strong suit, but pointing it at a twisting ribbon of tarmac was a different story. The occupants’ proximity to Planet Earth makes these cars feel significantly faster than the speedometer indicates, and the low center of gravity provides excellent handling. The seller doesn’t indicate whether the motor turns, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is locked. However, if it is salvageable, it and the overdrive transmission would be another two components that justify the price of this classic.

There are fewer opportunities to spot rust inside this car, but that’s because the cobwebs obscure the view in some areas. As an arachnophobe, those would almost finish me! However, what is visible of the dash, gauges, and console, looks promising. The seats feature cloth covers, and a close inspection will probably reveal other pieces suitable for reuse in another project. I have never been a fan of watching classics destroyed, but if sacrificing this car allows one or more others to remain in active service, who am I to argue?

The seller listed this 1979 MGB GT here on eBay, although they don’t disclose its location in the UK. It might be a sorry sight, but seven bids have pushed the price to £170, which exceeds the reserve. Even if considered purely as a parts source, the glass alone justifies that figure. I’m sure digging deeper will unearth other parts and components that could see a new life in another car if you believe this is beyond salvation. This little MGB could be a gold mine if you have another project on the go and need a few genuine parts. What do you think a fair price would be?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. bobhess bobhessMember

    A fair price would be what the glass, trim, and transmission are worth. Unless you are into rust art there’s nothing else left.

    Like 16
  2. Fahrvergnugen FahrvergnugenMember

    Yard art. As in, junk yard art. Too far gone other than for bitsa.

    Like 8
  3. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

    That lead photo is kind of cool. Given a few more years, if wasn’t for the bright orange paint peeking through, the overgrowth might have completely concealed it.

    Like 6
  4. Derek

    Ad says Chesterfield (between Nottingham and Sheffield). Couple of hundred’s a fair price if you’re after a parts donor; looks all there – apart from the absent steel!

    Like 2
  5. Jeff

    I suggest collect some others and bury them standing up and make a mini Stone Henge art rendition.

    Cheers and now its tea time and biscuits.

    God save the king and good luck with sale.

    Like 0


    Like 3
    • shanahan

      Take it home in lunch bags.

      Like 0
      • Budster

        Hah, that’s funny bring it home in lunch bags! Reminds me of Johny Cash, I brought it home one piece at a time, now it makes sense, thanks for that comment!

        Like 0
  7. Bamapoppy

    Sad. I like the GT’s. When I lived in Georgia a young fellow had a ‘72 BRG and kept it immaculate. I often think of that car and hope it’s still on the road. This one; um, it will be a while before it’s shifted into 2nd gear.

    Like 3
  8. JDC

    I love MGB GTs, but this poor thing is way too far gone. Add that you’d have to ship it across the ocean and it’s a right hand drive, I don’t think it’s worth even the 200 bucks currently bid.

    Like 2
  9. Cobraboy

    There is a point when any car, even a Ferrari or Delahaye, is junk.

    Like 3
  10. justpaul

    A rubber bumper GT with that much rust? 170 Pounds seems a bit much.

    Like 0
  11. MGSteve

    It’s worth the value of the over drive and the glass. PERIOD.

    Like 1
  12. PRA4SNW PRA4SNWMember

    Unless there was a court order for its removal, this one should have stayed where it was.

    Like 2
  13. john

    I can’t see it from my house… all is good. I too like the MGB GT model, but hopefully this one helps some other cars stay on the road. Wash it and get another pound !!

    Like 0
  14. Roy Foster

    Sad to see such a great MG go to rust. This is just a parts car now. I hope the engine turns as it would make it worthwhile to use as a parts source.

    Like 1
  15. Marshall

    Qthis is the type of junk Richard Rollins fixes up when he sober. Here gas monkey here gas monkey..

    Like 0
  16. Bunky

    Early MGB GTs were neat cars. Two friends of mine each had one. They both got tired of battling “Lucas” and sold their cars. They married sisters- thankfully, that worked out much better in each case. 👍🏻
    By the time MG got to turning out these rubber bumpered excuses for automobiles they had been legislated into oblivion. Heavier, with a paltry 83hp, ride height raised, which ruined handling- and pretty much visually offensive with those bumpers. On top of that, convertibles don’t respond well to years of marinating in the elements. This reminds me of a Fiat 124 Spider I was given. Drive about 150 miles to see that it was so rusted that I seriously doubted I could pull it on the trailer in one piece. Drive home empty.
    This is something to pick pieces off and crush. Either that or a Leaveright.
    Leave ‘er right there.

    Like 0
    • Cobraboy

      All you say is true. But the later cars with rubber numbers had much nicer interiors.

      Converting one to a V* is not a difficult task at all. Kits abound for 302’s and aluminum 235’s. One of these sporting 250hp is a pure blast.

      And while chrome bumpers are definitely more attractive, no doubt, painting the rubber bumpers the body color makes those B’s look much better, more modern, and dropping the suspension an inch is inexpensive and easy.

      You can build an MGB rocket sled for not a lot of cheese and effort.

      Like 0
  17. KMac

    Way too far gone for anything. Save your money and go to the pub.

    Like 0

    The title alone is worth a few bucks, if it has one.

    Like 0
  19. George Davis

    Ah, another victim of the mindset of I’ll keep it rather than let someone else have fun or turn a profit. At least it wasn’t an early year. Still a shame. I hear there are a lot of horses in the British Isles so there should be at least one horsewhip to use on the owner. Rude perhaps, but heartfelt.

    Like 1
  20. Enfield 750

    You are absolutely right, nothing there worth anything…

    Like 0
  21. bob

    The interior seems to be an experiment to discover a new micro organism or antibiotic. I think someone was trying to find a way to get somebody else to haul away his trash while getting paid.

    Like 0

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