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It’s A What? 1979 MGB El Camino

Laying claim to the weird has been a bit of my thing at Barn Finds over the past few weeks. My profiles of a 1961 Impala made into a 4X4 and a 1985 Lincoln Town Car made into a mud truck are proof of that. So why not this? This what? This 1979 MGB made into an El Camino. It’s for sale here and will set you back a cool $5900—if you buy from a distance. I’m thinking you could snag it for less if you show up in Miami with some amount under that. Possibly way under. Mason sent in this tip, so thanks for that.

“First I’ve seen?” the enthusiastic seller says. I’ll say. “Last you’ll see” might be more like it. Surely an idea this odd hasn’t occurred to two people in the world? But if it has, and you’re one of them, the other guy already did the work, and now you get to reap the reward. (I use the term loosely.)

The MGB came out in 1962 and carried on until the model year after this one was born, 1980. It was an attractive little sportscar, not fast, but good for nice days of buzzing around with the top down. Probably nobody at the factory ever thought of this modification as possible. There’s no information on the mechanicals of this 1979, and no images of the engine bay or underneath. If the car is true to factory form, it would have a 1798cc displacement four-cylinder, the BMC B-Series engine. If it was a California car, the factory would have been forced to install a lower-compression version of this little mill, with horsepower capability of about 70. It is said to run great, but also to look great, and that’s a debate that could carry us through the evening.

The condition? Beat up. White paint can hide evils, and looking at the lower sides and doors of this little trucklet, I’d be willing to guess there’s been some “naff” (my British friend’s word for crummy) bodywork that’s been done here. The top doesn’t have the fabric attached, though it seems to be draped over the bows in some photos. The grille has an odd-looking and ill-fitting screen in it. It’s hard to tell what’s going on with the bumpers. And the interior is worn and not entirely original. (I’ll let the MGB experts explain how so in the comments.) But the biggest failing here is that there’s almost no decent photography of what makes this number what it is—the pickup truck bed. At least it’s cheap, but ask yourself: how much less am I going to get than the asking price if I decide to unload this after having five minutes of fun with it?

 

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Fahrvergnugen Member

    The grille looks odd because it used to have the mandated safety bumper in place. Weird little B.

    Like 3
    • Avatar photo Paul Root

      That is the mandated safety bumper. It looks like it is flipped upside down to get a flat top, giving the opportunity for a real grill. Then the guy cheaped out and didn’t follow through putting in a grill. The pictures are really bad, so I can’t tell if they cut off the top part of the bumper or if it is under there.

      Gives me ideas for mine…

      Like 0
  2. Avatar photo 370zpp Member

    The “tailgate” looks like a door off a portalet turned on it’s side.

    Like 3
  3. Avatar photo Rex Kahrs Member

    Say what you will, but the cargo bed on this MG is still larger than most American pickup trucks these days.

    Like 11
  4. Avatar photo mike

    More picts would be helpful.And what is that thing on right 1/4 panel?? Gas cap?? This is different.

    Like 1
  5. Avatar photo Allen

    looks like house door hinges welded to the back. lol

    Like 1
  6. Avatar photo wuzjeepnowsaab

    When I saw the listing title I thought it had to be an suburban or rural Oz offering since they make themselves some weird utes. Imagine my surprise when I saw it was a lh drive US offering lol

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Darren

    MelGamino

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo The Other Chris

    No.

    Like 2
  9. Avatar photo MarkO

    Moss motors, purvryor of MG spares had a MG-TD pickup that they used as a shop truck.
    For this “B” , How about a “slide in” camper unit, the one with the “attic” over the cab for the sleeping compartment! The occupants would have to be somewhat “vertically challenged’ (horizontally as well!) It would likely hang over the rear bumper by about 6 feet… the front might get a tad “light”, assuming that the front wheels might occasionally touch the ground.
    It would certainly be a big hit at the MG clubs annual ” Gathering of the faithful”, (GOF) which is held once a year in different locations in the USA. Assuming that you actually made it there, it would save a shitton on hotel rooms!

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo Dave

    Miami? It’s a flood car now folks!

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo wuzjeepnowsaab

      Miami was spared. The Gulf Coast is a mess though :(

      Like 0
  11. Avatar photo grant

    For this money you can buy a nice rubber bumper B that isn’t knackered.

    Like 1
  12. Avatar photo Peter K

    No engine pics or at least one with the tailgate folded down doesn’t bode well for this conversion. The fact that its in Miami and we don’t know if it even runs isn’t on its side either.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo grant

      The ad states very clearly that it runs well

      Like 0
  13. Avatar photo Chris In Australia

    The soft top would make it a roadster ute, rather than a coupe utility.

    Like 0
  14. Avatar photo OldCarGur

    mike, that is not a gas cap, it’s the tank drain.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Paul Root

      Not sure if you are being sarcastic, but that us the gas cap. On a normal B, it comes out the back. The relocation is really low. Probably to stay under the “bed”

      Like 0
  15. Avatar photo George Birth

    It is different that’s for sure. Whether or not it is worth the asking price? This car is one that needs a personal inspection before parting with money.

    Like 0
  16. Avatar photo Bill McCoskey Member

    Lets look at this ad.

    Seller makes a big deal about the fact it’s an El Camino style vehicle, yet shows lots of pictures of every part of the vehicle EXCEPT the one area that makes it different!

    That suggests 3 possibilities:
    1. Seller really has no clue how to sell an unusual vehicle.
    2. The converted area was done so poorly, showing it in photos means no one will even want to see the car.
    3. Both of the above.

    Like 3

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