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Cheap Early MG: 1963 MGB Roadster

If you’re interested in an early MGB, you better hurry-  this one may not last long. Here on craigslist is a 1963 MGB roadster for sale with an asking price of just $6,000. The car is located in Houston, Texas, and it runs and drives well. Mark I cars made from 1962 through 1965 are considered the most collectible of ‘B’s; while Mk I production extended to 1967, later cars lost some desirable vintage features. This is a pull-handle car; after 1965, the outside door handles were the conventional push-button type. The bumpers are all chrome, the grille is flat-planed. This car appears to be Blaze Red, which was a 1970s color and thus a repaint; the paint is good driver quality. While many prefer wire wheels, the understated steel wheels are much easier to keep clean, simple to restore, and never need servicing. These are shod in brand new tires. The windshield is also new. Thanks to Matt R. for this great tip!

The motor was a BMC B-series in-line four-cylinder displacing 1798 cc’s and making about 95 bhp. If this is the original engine, it has a three-main bearing crankshaft; after about late 1964, MGBs were fitted with five-main bearing motors. The transmission is a four-speed manual. Overdrive was an option. This car has a Weber carburetor/intake and an after-market air cleaner assembly. Original equipment was twin SU’s; I would absolutely replace this Weber, but I like my cars stock and I’ve never gotten along with Webers. The engine bay should be painted body color. The car has new wheel bearings, hubs, brakes, and rotors. The alternator, fuel tank, and radiator have also been replaced.

The interior is presentable but leaves room for improvement to upgrade the car. The door panels are not original, but tidy. The seats are said to be new, but they aren’t as plump as they should be. The banjo steering wheel could use repair. A modern radio sits in the dash and a large speaker is installed where the speaker grille used to be. The wrinkle-finish paint is faded but that’s its worst fault; the upper portion of the dash is slightly warped. The metal dash with glove box and toggle switches are vintage touches that disappeared with later versions of the MGB.

The top is new; a better installation would remove that wrinkling in the rear plastic window. Early cars have these handsome tall vertical taillights. Though the trunk is spacious, a luggage rack is a popular accessory. Installation does require four holes in the trunk lid, but it’s handy for long trips. I would quiz this seller about rust and take a look underneath, but this is a very nice price for an early car.

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Cadmanls Member

    That’s a downdraft carburetor and have a pair on my TR6 and they work quite well. This looks like a good buy at the price. The top, I may be wrong but pretty sure like the early spridgets they are not attached to the frame. You take it off the frame and fold it up and the frame goes in the trunk in a couple of pieces. Early “B” is a fun car and quite simple to work on. Should bring plenty of smiles per mile.

    Like 5
  2. Avatar photo bobhess Member

    Our ’66 was identical to this car in every way except for the wire wheels. No smog stuff, same dash layout, and seats had the proper shaped foam on them. Nice car here. Agree it won’t last long at this price.

    Like 3
  3. Avatar photo angliagt Member

    Nice car,but WHY IS THE SELLER YELLING?

    Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Ric

    Yeah, even a 69 MGC I had came with the removable convertible frame. Made for a little extra room behind the seats. Wish I had a nickle for every one of those window cranks that snapped off in my hand.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo 19sixty5 Member

      I had a 70 B with the stow-away-top and loved the look (and additional space behind the seats) it provides when taken down and stored in the trunk. The downside is the time required to erect it and re-attach to the car. The top frame actually splits down the middle, and collapses into the two halves. The header bow is attached to the top, you basically fold in the side windows, roll the top up and place it in the storage bag. The 1970 model year also had the one and only year split rear bumper (two pieces) where the top of the license plate was level with the top of the bumper. The result was that the car appeared lower in the rear and the overall look was more streamlined. What I didn’t like on the 70, 69, and 68 was the big foam dash to meet safety requirements. The 67 and down dash was the best. The single Weber setup has to go, bring back the twin SU’s. They are so simple, easy to synchronize and tune. I had mine for 4-5 years and was overall very reliable, and I drove it fairly hard. Safely, but hard. Cool little old B!

      Like 6
  5. Avatar photo Tracy

    This one is a great deal for someone. Happy bidding!

    Like 2
  6. Avatar photo Slomoogee

    This is a deal like everyone on here has said. In addition to the SUs source a o drive, and a cockpit cover, maybe a hardtop and play Sterling Moss on your back roads.

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Scott

    I’d look carefully at the rocker panels.. there are no complete side views of each side of the car to show whether it sags or not .. or presence of rust bubbles or door gaps. The angled side photographs do not afford the viewer a full assessment of the B. Nice car though otherwise.

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo Bruce

    Early cars also came with a folding top that was attached to the car
    If collapses by folding inward. Not a great design with several finger pinchers. The stow away top is not quick to put up, but the space provided when it is folded up is nice.

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Paul Root

    It’s discouraging to see such a low price on a desirable year of the B. My 77 really should be worth this much, if I got it painted. Like others said, there must be rust.

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Lee

    “TOTAL $6,000 IN PARTS.” Parts only! Not the price of the car. This car should be selling around $12k to $14K. Lots more for some.

    Compare sales prices at bringatrailer.com

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Paul Root

      That is such a badly written ad in craigslist. I bet you are right; now that I read it again. I wish more people would learn English.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo MattR

        It also says ‘runs and drives good.’

        Like 0
      • Avatar photo angliagt Member

        Maybe this is Chrisful’s ad.

        Like 1
  11. Avatar photo MGSteve

    Have owned Bs most of my life. Great cars. This car looks very tempting, especially at the seemingly reasonable price. That said, there are pretty much two kinds of Bs: Those which have had rust repair (sills, inner/outer castle pieces, dog legs, maybe floors too) and those waiting to have these repairs done. If I was serious about this car, I’d definitely be checking into the rust status. If done professionally, it can get quite expensive.

    Like 0

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