Giant British Puzzle: 1965 MGB Roadster

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While I enjoy a good puzzle and love the MGB, this project won’t be for the faint of heart. The seller claims the original owner decided to take the car apart, down to the bare shell, for a complete restoration. Due to health issues, they’ve since changed their mind so now it’s a giant puzzle waiting for someone else to come along and put it back together. If you have been looking for a good challenge, this one could actually be fun! You can find it here on eBay in Scottsdale, Arizona with an opening bid of $699.

I’ve heard many a complaint about the MGB, but my experiences have been nothing but positive. The engine isn’t a powerhouse by any means and isn’t nearly as rev happy as my Fiat 124, yet it gets the job done just as well but with fewer headaches. Its simplistic design might not conjure up the image of the typical sports car engine, but if you plan on driving it regularly, simple is better. Most of the complaints I’ve heard, besides the lack of power, is that they are noisy, unreliable and difficult to work on. And those things are true of MGBs that haven’t been cared for and aren’t properly tuned. Simply keeping the valves adjusted can solve most if not all of the engine noises. And reliability can be improved by converting to electronic ignition. There are even lots of options for adding power to make these cars more lively.

The seller claims that everything is still with the car, but I’m not seeing any of the major interior components. There really isn’t much to the interiors of these roadsters, but replacing seat frames, upholstery and all the various other parts is going to add up quickly. Hopefully, the interior is present and just not shown in the photos. Early cars are the most desirable and featured pull style door handles and a metal dash. This car appears to have been built just prior to the redesign of the door handles, making it a car worth putting back together.

There are a ton of unknowns with a project like this, which makes it a bit scary to buy. The seller may genuinely believe all the pieces are still present, but there’s a good chance that something will be missing. And even if everything is here, figuring out where each screw goes will be a huge challenge. If all the nuts, bolts and screws were properly labeled, sorted and stored than it might not be a challenge, but it looks like everything was simply thrown into boxes or dumped into piles. For the right price though, this looks like it could be a good project if you are up for a challenge! And at the very least, it could be parted out with ease.

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Comments

  1. bobhess bobhessMember

    Parts look good. If you know the cars this is a good buy. Been there, done that.

    Like 10
  2. HoA Howard AMember

    Oh, they sure come apart easy, don’t they? I passed on a really nice one, ’74, I think, 43,000 miles, with a hardtop, listed for $3500, it went for $3, I’m sure. It was on CL for months. Very few today going to put this back together. Way too unexpected surprises doing it this way.

    Like 3
  3. CadmanlsMember

    Looking at the piles of parts, nothing tagged or wrapped. Looks as though either this guy had done dozens of these or was just too much fun taking it apart. Looks scary and I have taken a few cars apart.

    Like 2
  4. bobhess bobhessMember

    This is where you start to build a Vintage race car. Good chassis, someone else doing the teardown, you build up with safety gear, running gear, etc.

    Like 5
    • Eric Z

      But this is a MG Midget, not a MGB.

      Like 0
    • robert gressard

      This is a bugeye sprite. Look at the hood in the corner standing up

      Like 1
  5. Logan

    Difficult to work on?
    DIFFICULT TO WORK ON?!?!?!?
    In what universe?

    Like 11
    • Joseph Zimmerman

      Midget??
      WRONG Wrong wrong

      I agree with Logan; have done two other Bs, would enjoy the “challenge”.
      The only things would be english fasteners (lots of WD-40), some of the electrical bits, and the somewhat screwy wiring diagram codes.
      AND -I would want a volunteer or three to slide in the windshield bottom gasket!!!. That is the only thing I hated. LOL

      Like 2
  6. hatofpork

    Perhaps one might purchase the car and have the seller or some other repository of expertise (Moss Motors comes to mind) provide details like fastener specs (as well as missing parts). I love B’s and would be saddened to see this one just thrown away. They are fun to drive, cheap to maintain and very easy to modify for higher performance. Half a million were built so it’s not impossible to find most trim and ancillary parts.

    Like 2
  7. mtshootist1

    Reminds me of my wife’s 69 Harley Sportster. it only took me twenty years and about six thousand dollars to put it back together. I could have bought her three 883 XLX Sportsters by the time I was done.

    Like 7
  8. ccrvtt

    Looks like a challenge. Looks like a heartache. I still want it.

    But I guess I want to stay married more.

    But then, if she pisses me off one more time…

    Like 3
  9. JunkmanMember

    The best way to do this is to get a complete rot box parts car to use as a guide. Maybe one with a complete, hopefully running engine. Nothing better than having a sample of how the puzzle goes together.

    Like 5
    • Joseph Zimmerman

      Actually, the best way is to bet The Official MGB Service Book (Robert ___) and a couple copies of the MGB parts house catalogs.
      Oh, and join the local club.

      Like 5
  10. OhU8one2

    Its the early B, parts are easily obtainable. Great car for weekend drives. The value on early MGB’s has started to increase. They are alot of fun to drive. Good luck to the new owner getting it built and back on the road.

    Like 4
  11. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    All parts are cheap and easy to get hold of.
    Simple design and so much you could can do with them.
    This would be a fun and easy project.

    Like 3
  12. Skippy

    I agree that early Bs are easy to work on, parts are readily available and they are increasing in value. This would be a worthwhile project but I would want to own a pristine one to use as a puzzle box cover. Buy this, spend a year or so putting it together, then keep it and sell the other one. That is a strategy I use fairly often.

    Like 5
  13. Jim ZMember

    I’m interested, but live in FL
    Hard to hire a transporter who expects at minimum a rolling chassis.
    Of course, I’ve already got a project underway…..
    Sigh!

    Like 1
  14. Andrew S MaceMember

    Assuming that everything is there…somewhere…it shouldn’t be an insurmountable project. A factory spare parts catalog, a couple Moss Motors catalogs, a local club…and about a zillion online forums, Facebook pages and other sources should make this relatively easy for the right person. (That’s not me; as much as I like and respect the MGB, I’ve got too many Triumph projects now! ;) )

    Like 2
  15. pat gill

    I would try to find a 3 syncromesh gearbox and drive shaft as it would transform the driveability, early cars are very rare over here, they have all but rusted away, worth saving, much quicker than the rubber bumper cars, not as nice as an MGA, but more civilised, wind up windows, etc. fyi a 4 syncro box is too fat for the early tunnel,

    Like 3
  16. Wayne

    I get home from the Phoenix area to see this. This would be an easy, fun, time consuming project. ( that is why it is called a hobby/project) Since I already have a “B” as a guide. But if you have worked on one of these before, you should not have too many issues without a guide. Very simple car to work on. Many, many parts and repair resources make this a no brainier if you have the space.

    Like 2
  17. Little_Cars Little CarsMember

    The hardtop is worth the current bid price. I purchased one of my Midgets (sorry I know this listing is for a B) in exactly the same “model assembly kit” condition. Except it was rolling and the rebuilt motor had been mounted. What sold me was the intrigue of finding out where everything fit as none of the bins or bags were marked. When the car was done, my knowledge of LBC had increased exponentially. And I breathed a sign of relief that I didn’t have any leftover parts other than a gasket set for the water pump (not needed). Nice pull handle MGB…hope it stays reasonably priced.

    Like 1
  18. Little_Cars AlexanderMember

    “NO RUST” “Arizona car.” Pffft I spot a huge rust through area behind the drivers door in the rocker panel. Not to mention everything that was once hidden behind those front fenders now removed and of course the floor. Still, a good starting point if it can be had cheaply.

    Like 0

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