Drive or Restore? 1967 MGB Roadster

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

When I first became interested in cars, the only “collector” cars were marques like Auburn and Delahaye and Duesenberg. Cars were either new, or old. We never said “vintage”. Then in the 1970s, along came auctions and the game changed. Cash began shuttling into the market and prices rose to crazy heights, depressing those of us who just like to drive and work on old cars. But there’s one make that’s still a bargain, easy to work on, with great parts availability and nearly bottomless club support: the MGB. Here on eBay is a 1967 MGB roadster for sale, with no reserve and bidding at $2700. This B is located in Highland Park, Illinois, and it runs and drives. While I love MGBs, others object to the Lucas electrical system, its slightly ponderous performance, and its high production numbers – understandable complaints but overcome when you experience a good example. Cars with intact wiring harnesses, kept indoors, and run now and then will have far fewer electrical issues (no matter the make); plenty of performance bits are available to enhance the MGB; and though a lot of examples still ply the roads, that only makes working on them easier. The MGB won’t be a sterling investment, but if you love experiencing vintage cars, it’s a great choice.

And this one, minted in 1967, is one of the best model years made. Pre-emission, pre-5 mph bumper, still decorated with chrome and sporting a metal dash, with the five-main-bearing, 100 hp engine, and an upgrade designed to strengthen the three-synchro four-speed transmission, this year is often considered the best of the breed. The seller indicates that his car has just been serviced and it runs and drives well. It has always been garaged, though this owner has taken the path of least resistance, keeping it mechanically sound but leaving the cosmetics alone. Under the bonnet, the radiator cap and coil look new. An afternoon with a good cleanser will vastly improve the appearance of the engine bay.

The interior is worn but serviceable. Later cars didn’t have leather seats, lost the banjo steering wheel, and the dash was burdened with padding. The seller says the lights, horn, and roll-up windows all work as they should. The top has a small tear but the snaps are good and the rear window is clear. The trunk even locks.

Of course, for $2700 there has to be something wrong. That something is the rockers, which are “hand-formed”. The seller includes a set of rockers still in the box, but it’s up to the buyer to install those. I put this operation in the category “can of worms”. While rust is noted only on the driver’s rear wheel arch, those sills scare me. If you’re going to break into the rockers, you’ll have the doors off, and you can fix the cracks that all MGBs develop by their quarter windows. Aside from the sills, the underside is clean, and the steering rack looks new. So what do you say: drive it, fix it, or both?

Auctions Ending Soon

Comments

  1. HoA Howard AMember

    Michelle, I luv ya’, but don’t give these Lucas naysayers fodder. My Jeep Cherokee was 10 times worse, and I don’t recall my MGB any worse than any other car I had. 1st thing I noticed, those dings in the hood. I became VERY careful where I parked the car, as they are so low, it’s out of sight of most rear view mirrors and my hood looked just like that. The ’67 is the best year, before ’68(?) emission rules, I never cared for my wire wheels, and would never have another car with them. I had the “flat tire” thing down to under a minute. And, if by some miracle you don’t have a flat on a certain wheel, if the splines aren’t greased, good luck getting the wheel off. Luckily, I had so many flats, it was’t an issue. Great find, super deal, and pretty obvious, not many want to mess with a British classic anymore, and “mess” you will. It’s part of the fun. Too bad, their loss.

    Like 18
    • Michelle RandAuthor

      I’m with you. Don’t like wire wheels, never had any problems with Lucas except of my own making, when I installed a wire harness on an MGA and got the tail light ground wrong… not even the most derelict of my British cars gave me any significant electrical trouble. I’m going to watch this one, see where it sells. Someone is going to “mess with it” as it’s no reserve.

      Like 9
      • bobhess bobhessMember

        Loved the spoke wheels on our ’66. No problems with them or the original wiring. Lots of fun.

        Like 9
    • scooter8

      had a 66 bondo bandit. aluminum hood. had to use a sledge to get the spokes off the spline. anti seize was my tool.

      Like 0
    • Thom Moore

      I had a 69 MGB, 4 CYL. W/ DUAL CARBS. REALLY ENJOYED THE CONVERTIBLE OWNED IT ABOUT 4.5 YRS. I WAS 21 WHEN I BOUGHT, FUN AND A DIFFINITE LEARNING EXPERIENCE. 2ND. CONVERTIBLE WAS A 1963 AUSTIN HEALEY 3000. FROM 21 YRS. OLD TO 70 YRS OLD, I HAVE HAD 6 CONVERTIBLES, AT 70 I OWN A 2013 VW BETTLE CONVERTIBLE W/ THE TDI. MOOREFUN FOREVER.

      Like 2
  2. John Holden

    The MGB is just a fun car to drive. Period.
    Mine is 1972, no particular problems. The wire wheels look beautiful if they’re nice and clean and sparkling. The engine note is perfect and the steering´s spot-on. Cruises at 70 in overdrive at 4,500.
    Everyone you pass by, top-down, has something nice to say or smile about.
    What more could you want from a 50-year-old?

    Like 11
    • Lbcspinners54

      “Cruises at 70 in overdrive at 4,500.” Hmmm, typo error? JH., the RPM’s seem a bit high for a ‘B with OD. I have a ’73 ‘B w/OD, and the OD ratio is 22.3 mph per 1000 RPM’s. So, at 3000 RPM, the road speed is…22.3 x 3 = 67 mph (rounded off).

      Like 5
      • HoA Howard AMember

        I thought that too. When I bought my ’71, it did not have O/D, and if I recall, 60 was about 3200. I put over 120K on the original motor, when my old man picked up a GT that was totalled with 25K and O/D. I put that setup in mine( and put ANOTHER 100K, I might add) and the O/D reduced the rpm to 2750 at 60mph. It also dropped the exhaust note from the “boom” of the non-O/D, and made life a bit easier. This car does not have O/D, it would be a switch on the dash to the left of the gas gauge, and was a $200 option. I never understood why it wasn’t more popular, and I’ve seen folks that didn’t even know the car had O/D.

        Like 4
      • John Holden

        4,200 to be more precise

        Like 2
    • jwaltb

      I don’t think so. I drove all night to a race with a friend in his. We were doing over 100 (sometimes over 110) when it was just us and the big rigs. Redline is 6,000 RPM in these if I remember correctly.

      Like 0
    • AllenMember

      Hi John,

      Error: at 4500 rpm our overdrive MGBs would go just over 100 mph. At 70 mph in O/D, the engine is loafing along at 3139 rpm. (3.139 thousands of rpms X 22.3 mph per 1000 rpm = 69.9997). Perhaps either your tach or your speedo is off?

      Like 1
  3. Mike B

    Those hand formed rockers look more like rust covers to me. No mention of the bonnet damage, and I think the paint quality is overestimated. Rear wheel alignment? Uh huh. At first glance I thought maybe overdrive, but it seems like a replacement shift knob. Weighing needs vs. values I think it’s reached it’s apex ‘before’ pricing.

    Lucas: be sure to get the OEM wiring harness. They put the smoke in at the factory.

    Like 3
    • Barnacle William

      I thought the same. My MGA will do 76 mph at 4500 rpm.

      Like 0
      • bobhess bobhessMember

        This one would be a good candidate for a 5 speed transmission transplant.

        Like 3
      • Jeffery Amburgey

        This example I would probably pass on as a very nice example is very reasonable. I’ve been buying, selling and trading cars for almost 50 years. If you buy the nicest example you can afford, and wait for the right car, the 67 MG is a wonderful car. The Lucas curse has never caused me any trouble in the several British cars that I have owned. Before you bid, look closely at the “hand formed” rocker. You would spend twice the amount to make it excellent than to buy the excellent car.

        Like 2
  4. JudoJohn

    If it’s not too rusty, then it’s a good deal. Like others have said, fun cars, fairly reliable and easy to work on. It will be interesting to see what it goes for. Those rockers look pretty janky with the metal on them.

    Like 1
    • BoatmanMember

      “Reliable”? My ’67 Midget broke down every time I took it out.

      Like 0
      • HoA Howard AMember

        Oh come on, I don’t believe that for a minute. Not to be rude, but if it broke everytime, that was your fault. Aside from flat tires, my MG never stranded me and with all the vehicles I’ve come in contact with, the MG was right up there, tops in reliability. I will say, the biggest problem with the electrics, was the fuse box was under the hood, and should have been inside the cabin. With brand new electric vehicles burning to the ground, the MG wasn’t so bad.

        Like 10
      • bobhess bobhessMember

        Put 14K miles on my ’62 Midget in two years with no problems at all. Replaced the junk original tires shortly after buying it. That was it.

        Like 3
  5. C Force

    The biggest complaints that i’ve heard about these cars is the wiring.for reliability and safety you might consider a modern rewire using a kit from painless wiring,newer style fuses

    Like 1
  6. John L Nichols

    This one has potential. WILL require body work and paint/top. Check the front lever type shocks. Fantastic driver car. In a heartbeat but my arthritis/disability has to force me to say no. To the right person with work, and getting those wheel trued, should be able to turn show. Just watch out for the non-syncro first gear and it’s teeth.

    Like 1
  7. dwcisme

    Owned a 60’s B for a few days back in the early 80’s. Turned out that the mint condition car had next to no floor. Got a TR7 convertible instead. Between my early Austin American and the TR7, the only electrical problems were caused by mechanics who didn’t understand negative earth or were careless (pinched a wire between the block and transmission on the TR7 after a clutch change). I love the look of wire wheels but seem to be way to high maintenance. I’d be swapping for a Minilite style wheel.

    Like 0
  8. matt

    One of the “B’s” I had was a ’67’, it had wires and no problems there. I noticed this one has the crack of doom on both doors – its’ from people yanking on the wing window to close the door – I always told passengers to leave the wing window alone and avoided that problem. I am also not in the bash lucas group of people, I never had any serious problems with lights or other items. After I painted my ’67’ I had a brake light that didn’t work, but that was because I painted inside the trunk and did not clean the ground wire location before reattaching it. These are easy to work on for the most part, and fun to drive.

    Like 2
  9. Bruce

    My current MGB (my 23rd) is a 67. It started life with the 3 synchro transmission and wire wheels. It spent some time in Florida and the tin worms were well fed. After replacing a LOT of metal, it got a full synchro 4 speed with overdrive and a set of Minator knock offs. New tan leather seats and a tan cloth top and it is my absolute favorite ride. I cleaned all the electrical connections so no electrical problems. The Bell stainless exhaust sings a nice song. Someone is going to have to spend some time and money on this red car, but it could be money well spent.

    Like 6
  10. Andy Anderson

    My buddy for three years,come onhome.

    Like 2
  11. AllenMember

    Nobody has mentioned those rocker panels are structural on the [monocoque] MGB. Without a much better inspection than these pictures allow, I would question the safety of driving this car until repairs are made! Sometimes door-gaps can tell the sad story of sagging. I learned how to MIG weld repairing my ’65. Generally, for the labor costs of having the work done, you can set yourself up to do the job at home. Also, if there is visible rust in the sills (and that includes “bubbles”) you can assume that the inner diaphragm is also rotted, along with the castle rails and inner sills – and probably the floors too. It is worth doing on a [now] $2800 car – but bear in mind you don’t do it for a profit – it’s for fun, satisfaction in work done right, and love of these wonderful old MGBs.

    I agree, ’67 is generally regarded as the “best” year. But come off it, Lucas haters, there are just too many of us who have not had any Lucas problems. Yes, buying a 56 year-old car, you can expect some problems with grounds, bullet connectors and other wire attachment points. That’s a good weekend’s work. You might even have to replace a few switches. So what?

    To me, the presence of overdrive is a game-changer. I too have often wondered why overdrive was not standard on North American MGBs – at least until 1973, the oil embargo, and the US national 55-mph speed limits.
    My comfort-limit for cruising with “B-series” engines is 3500 rpm, which gives you 63 mph in 4th, or 78.05 mph in 4th-O/D. By fudging to 3587 rpm, you’re going 80. So the car will break any US speed-limit without breaking a sweat.

    There are those who maintain these engines will run 4000 or even 4500 rpm all day. For me, that’s just self-flagellation. I can’t stand the sound of “cruising” them at much over that 3500.

    Speaking of overdrive, we should note that ’67 was the last year of the three-synchro gearbox and Laycock type D overdrive. Yes the later four-synchro boxes were much smoother, more durable, but some of us like the tight “snick” of these earlier boxes that make the driver feel much closer to “the action”.

    Reliability? My ’73 B/GT has been coast-to-coast too many times to question that. ‘ Just returned from a 2400-mile trip from Michigan to Florida. The tools and spare parts never came out.

    Federal regulations worked to detract from just about everything appealing about the nature of the MGB, yet despite it all, the cars were still selling well right up to 1980 when British Leyland finally pulled the plug. Alas, too many TR guys on the BL board.

    ‘ Hope this car finds a good, conscientious enthusiast. My mantra, as I drive my B/GT is: “Isn’t this fantastic? There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that can go wrong on this car that is not worth fixing!” I think the same applies here. This is worth fixing.

    Like 14
  12. 19sixty5Member

    The 67 was my favorite, but I owned a 70 with the obnoxious dash. The 70 was the only year to have the uniquely cool split rear bumper. No electrical issues, broke 2 of the cushioning springs in the clutch disc, that was the only issue I ever had. BRG, rostyle wheels, Koni tube shocks on the rear, milled cylinder head to up the compression, Ansa exhaust, fun and reliable car.

    Like 0
  13. David E KelmMember

    I never had an MGB, just 3 MGA’s, but would gladly try a B. I drove all over the USA, Canada, and Germany, with few troubles. Main Lucas complaint was the electric fuel pump. A US made 12 volt pump is the obvious answer, just isolate electrically and ground the right terminal.

    Like 1
    • Michelle RandAuthor

      A smart knock on the fuel pump usually gets it pumping again. Second use for the “knock off” hammer.

      Like 2
      • David E KelmMember

        you are so right. I had a stick under the seat for just that purpose.

        Like 1
  14. Michelle RandAuthor

    My MGB GT, owned 30+ years, daily driven for about 5 of those years. Dogs Cooper and Riley.

    Like 6
  15. bachldrsMember

    Hi Michelle,

    Nice B/GT! Teal blue – just like mine! I’ve had it since 1986 and it now has 252,000 miles on it. Behind is my unrestored ’69 C/GT – just home now from a 2400-mile trip. Note: it no longer has wire wheels and I no longer have flat tires. ‘ Love these cars!

    Like 1
  16. Izzy

    You call the MGB a car it’s. A toy I have an. 1959 MGA and 1963 Austin Healey

    Like 0
  17. bachldrsMember

    So Izzy, what’s your point? I’m missing something here.

    Thanks,
    Allen

    Like 0
    • jwaltb

      Really!

      Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds