Summer Project: 1966 MGB Roadster

If you are someone who likes a bit of a challenge, then perhaps this grey 1966 convertible MGB Roadster might be up your street. This convertible could be ready for the summer if you put in the hours beforehand given its current condition and the easy availability of parts and spares for these little British roadsters. It’s currently available here on eBay in Joshua, Texas with a low BIN price of $1,300.

You will want to take a close look at this advert – we are treated to a smorgasbord of images – meaning you can probably hopefully buy this with no unforeseen issues. However the seller does not mention if the engine is running, and the seller states that the car is ‘rolling’, so assume that it needs some engine work. Given these B-series engines are notorious for head gasket failure, I would give this engine a minor overhaul before working on the rest of the car. Being a 1966 model year this is likely to be the BMC B-Series 1.8l powering the rear wheels with a whopping 95 hp!

Talking about the rest of the car, although it looks good on the surface, with some small rusty areas, it does appear the floor pan has been replaced (and also has wood screws sticking out of the floor…?). So even if you can drive the car this summer, it’s likely to need a solid restoration in the next few years, especially if you live in a wetter part of the country. The rest of the mechanicals look like they are with the car in various boxes, but it’s unlikely they are all in working condition meaning this project list could go on and on. The interior has good bones, but will also need a lot of love and attention to bring it back. Most importantly it’s a good solid structure for you to base your rebuild on.

The MGB remains to be a popular choice for people to restore and drive with its classic roadster looks and wide range of cheap parts availability. You can even buy brand new shells for these.  So would this be an easy project car with a little fettering needed for top-down summer driving, or would you be looking at a non-stop project which you can complete in 2 or 3 years?

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Interest today? Zero, nada, bupkis, it’s another sign folks of where this hobby is today. I won’t bellyache about the lack of interest, like I did on the Hawk one, it’s just a shame for someone like me,( and other MGB fans, I’m sure) that when I saw the 1st pic, immediately brought up a “visual” ( a BFs exclusive) of my silver ’71 with wires, that I ADORED, well, not the wires part, but put 1/4 mil on that car, and no interest. Pfft, their loss. I loved that MGB, drove it until it broke in half, and would buy another today, if I could.( I’m not going into why I can’t) Anyone else feel the same way? And ’66-’67 were the best years for these, but apparently, who cares, eh?

    Like 4
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      When the gas crisis hit in the ’70s we bought a ’66, did some minor bodywork and paint, and had a go to work car that got 15 more mpg than our Blazer. As you said, the best of the breed.

      Like 8
  2. Troy

    I have always liked these little cars ever since I was a kid and my parents would drive past the dealership in my home town, they went out of business before I was old enough to drive and now I don’t know what it would be like to find parts for them.

    Like 2
    • Steve

      Parts availability is very good, although you have to look out for cheap Chinese parts. A good start is Moss Motors and Little British Cars (LBC.)

      Like 2
    • MGSteve

      Most parts are readily available . . . and less expensive (even now) than for your modern car. Mechanical parts . . . quality is generally pretty good. Body parts, trim, etc . . . figure on off-shore manufacture . . . but that’s hardly particular to MG. Quality can vary . . . again, not particular to MG. I restored a 1958 Dodge pick up truck, and had 100x more difficulty finding body/trim parts (at any price) than I do for MGs. And the Dodge truck vendors I was forced to work with were . . . . well . . . . ummmm . . . !@#$%^&*( The British car community is generally honest, helpful and very supportive.

      Like 1
  3. MGSteve

    1966 is one of the best years for the MGB, included in a group of late 65 to 67. The car is pure to its roots. These years solved some of the early problems, but did nothing to ruin the car. Starting in 1968, the US Federal Regulations began to hit, and for the next 12 years, MG was forced to add on a myriad of lights, reflectors, safety dash, rocker switches instead of toggle switches, lots of smog stuff, ultimately raising the height of the car, and finally the rubber bumpers. That’s not a complete list, but you get the idea.

    Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      Don’t forget the 3 windshield wipers( that I took the center one off), drove me nuts, and all the ladies laughed at it.

      Like 1
  4. V12MECH

    Decades of experience with these, the shell looks ok and then what ? Repo parts from all of the usual suspects are hit and miss, If the buyer has skills to do ALL the work, have at it. In today’s world and this market, with the expense of a correct resto, buy something other than this, there’s plenty of nice drivers for sale.

    Like 2
    • MGSteve

      True. Lots of MGs out there, and the newer they are, the less desirable and valuable . . . IMHO. The MK I cars are drying up. IF you can do the work yourself, this car looks like a good project. I’ve done a couple of them, and there’s nothing complex nor complicated about them. Sadly, folks often buy the later cars, and then find out the problems those later cars have.

      Like 1
  5. Rufus

    MG’s have been everyman’s sports car since everyman started having sports cars. Some of them are rare, some are desirable, some are worthy of having tens of thousands of dollars spent in the restoration,,, some not so much. Being a Mk1 Roadster, it has a bunch of “desirable” built in. But, this car is going to need a ground up restoration. Not just a fresh paint job and new rings and bearings, a ground up restoration. I have to say, this is a roach and I pass on it every day (it is on my local CL). But the fact is that the chrome bumper MG’s draw a premium, and the Mk1’s seem to be the most sought after. Don’t get me wrong, the car is worth the ask, but the purchase price is just the beginning of the checks someone is going to write to have a nice 66B.
    Have fun

    Like 1
  6. OldCarGuy

    bobhess, I have never, ever, seen an MGB owner with legs that long!

    • bobhess bobhess Member

      Can you translate that one for me? If you are talking about mileage the Blazer got 11 mpg whether it was running or not.

  7. matt

    I had a ’67’ and in more recent years a ’76’ rubber bumper. The ’67’ was hands down better in many ways. The ’76’ was a bit of a problem for a time until I determined the (water controlled) thermostat was gummed up and not functioning properly, plus bypassing the smog/air pump and adding dual SU’s from an older model – then, things changed a bit.
    The ’67’ B was much like my ’62’ TR4 in that it always came back for more foot to the floor abuse.

    Like 1
    • Steve

      Not to mention that when the rubber bumpers were added the ride height was raised, ruining the handling. When I had my GT I had the car lowered and it helped the handling incredibly.

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