California Survivor: 1974 MG MGB-GT

For those among us – myself included – who are indecisive about which style of car you want to add to your garage, perhaps this 1974 MGB GT can satisfy a variety of appetites: Sports car? Yes. Hatchback? Yep. Station wagon? Sort of. Seating for 4? Theoretically. This one was spotted by a Barn Finds reader here on eBay in East Berlin, Connecticut. This no reserve auction has received 34 bids, setting the current high bid at $7,067.

The MGB GT was in production from 1965 to 1980 and generally followed the same formula from its introduction until its departure. It was imported to the US only through 1974. In total a little over 500,000 MGBs were built throughout the model run but only 125,000 or so of those were the MGB-GT.

The seller of this MGB GT describes it as an “exceptional example” of a survivor with only 42k miles. It’s currently located in Connecticut, but the seller says, “it has always been a California car.” I’ll assume it recently made the move. The orange paint looks like it’s in relatively good shape, brightwork appears to be bright, and those wire wheels complete the package. It is described as rust-free. I’d be tempted to lose those big rubber bumperettes to give it a cleaner look.

I’d rate the interior as “solid” on the survivor status hierarchy. The seller describes it as “exceptional.” The orangeish-brown seats appear to be in very good condition. The black dash and full-length console show some wear, the door panel upholstery isn’t taut, and the carpet is faded. I feel like I’m picking nits though as this car is described as a survivor, so “fixing” any of those “issues” would really just be a vanity play.

This MGB GT is reported to have recently undergone a mechanical “rejuvenation” but no detail is given on what that entailed. The 1.8-liter inline-four sends power to the rear wheels by a console shifted manual transmission. The seller tells us it drives as good as it looks.

Now that you’ve seen some photos and read some detail, would you agree this 1974 MG MGB GT satisfies a variety of appetites? Or do you find it more one dimensional? To me, all that matters is this really does appear to be an “exceptional example” of a survivor in which I could enjoy tooling around town.

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  1. RayT Member

    Not sure I would “fix” anything on this, except the ugly bumper additions. I suspect they’re original, but they’d need to either fall off or give way to earlier plain bumpers.

    I’m not an MGB fan in general, but have always thought the B GT was something special. I’d love to have it.

    Sadly, it’s a bit too nice to use as a base for my “dream” B GT, which would get a Rover 215 V8. British Leyland never sold B GT V8s in the U.S., but I’m betting that wouldn’t be the world’s most difficult engine swap…..

    • Paul T Root

      The Sabrina bumper overrides are stock. The bumper didn’t change, so swapping other overrides us simple.

      As to the engine swap… the radiator is closer to the engine and the transmission tunnel is the original design. Making extra work. A 1977 on B has both of those changes already made, making them more desirable for engine swaps.

  2. Mdelac

    I would leave the bumper over riders. I would not change a thing! Those rubber over riders are very protective, although not as attractive. Those bumpers were only in mid 1974 right before the full rubber bumpers came in. The bumpers are specific to that era. You can’t put an earlier bumper on the car unless you change the mounting brackets too, especially in the rear.

  3. 370zpp

    Nice example for sure. Just return those “bumperettes” to the checker taxi they were stolen from and drive this beauty into the hills.

  4. Mdelac

    Another thing is that folks think is that the grilles are chrome. Originally they were polished aluminum on the 1974’s.

    Those black rubber blocks help protect that grille that is made of onobtainum.

  5. jerry z

    Yes get rid of those “overriders”. I like this one ALOT! Perfect color combo, nice spoke rims, can’t find any imperfections.

  6. 19sixty5 Member

    A long time buddy of mine I met in the Army in 1973 had a 72 H2 with about 12″ apes on it, it was different for sure, and as I remember the first time I rode it I was scared to death. Between the wicked acceleration and the ape hangers on it, it was a handful. Definitely unique… but then again his car was a 61 Chevrolet Bel Air 4 door sedan painted black primer with a bright orange Batman logo on the middle of the hood. We were great friends for over 25 years. RIP brother!

    • Euromoto

      That would be quite a trick to put ape-hangers on an MG-B!

      • 19sixty5 Member

        Sure would… obviously I *thought* I was on the Kawasaki article. Old age…

  7. hatofpork

    I have to comment that this Cold War era GT really stands out next to the East Berlin (Connecticut) Wall!

  8. JoeMac JoeMac Member

    This car has nice character. I’d keep the big black bumperettes on a shelf somewhere and fabricate something more appealing to protect those fragile bumpers. The car rests not too far from me here in CT which makes it all that much more appealing. Price right now seems fair with <20hrs of bidding to go….maybe I'll jump into the pond.

  9. Howard A Member

    Nice car, couple things, no O/D and wires are deal breakers for me. My ’71 roadster was this color and had wires, which were a major PITA. I didn’t like what they did with the interior, all the plastic, but still a great car. I put a lot of miles on my MGB, and always wished I had gone with the GT. Mine, being a roadster, rusted so badly, you couldn’t open both doors at the same time. I loved my MGB, all 250K miles of it.

  10. Tom S.

    The presence of a functioning smog pump and the windshield washer reservoir are good signs to indicate light use and a light touch under the hood. I have never seen an MGB that didn’t have some wiring hanging down from beneath the instrument panel.

  11. MIKE

    I sold these cars new back in 72-76………. they were Junk when they were new..
    Electrical Problems… clutch problems.. carb problems.. they used to line up at our service dept.. every Monday morning to get fixed… we had one with a clutch go out.. sitting on the showroom floor…. Service Dept loved them to death.. The Triumph line… was much better overall… they would at least get you home.. MOST OF THE TIME

    • Howard A Member

      We’ve heard that before from you when these are featured, I disagreed with you then, I’ll disagree now. What do you say to someone that put over 250K on one? Never had clutch issues, carb issues, and electrical wasn’t any worse than any other car. It was one of my best cars. AND TRIUMPH, good heavens, they are made from the same mechanicals. Like saying, “my Chevy pickup was a POS, but my GMC was a great truck”. Those motors carried millions of Europeans millions of kilometers, in all applications. Sorry, you can rip on a Yugo or a Fiat, but British cars are some of the best.

  12. DRV

    This will be a steal under $10k. The color isn’t orange but a more period red mixed with mustard. The condition overall is very good if there is no rust. It’s tempting me.

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