Other MGB's

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I've received many emails and photos over the years. Here are a few. All photos and email addresses used with permission.

Date sent:          Sun, 21 Mar 2004 08:48:34 -0800
From:               John
Subject:            1966 MGB

Hi Mark,

Your site said, "If you have a 1966 MGB, I'd like to hear from you."  So you're hearing from me.

My mom bought a new 1966 MGB.  It was Old English White with a red interior. I still remember being able to hear the car coming from way down the block when I was a kid in San Diego.  I "inherited it" after high school and drove it for a number of years, along with two used 1977 MGBs that I had picked up.  Being young and stupid, I sold the '66 when I got something more sexy.

Fast-forward 15 years.  I was missing the MGB, and decided to find another one.  I found one in Merced that had been sitting in a yard for years.  The story is this: It's a California car. It was bought by a guy in Alabama, who registered it there; but the car never left California. The Alabama buyer sent money to get the car running, and he would come out to get it later.  After sending $1,500 he arrived to find that the engine had been worked on (carb work), it had a new exhaust, and it had new tires.  But it was by no means roadworthy.  The seller had a restored MGA, so the guy bought that instead; selling the MGB back.  I found the car on eBay.

I had intended to get the engine running, patch the floorboards, and spray a coat of paint on it.  You know, a "rolling restoration".  The problem with "rolling restorations" is that you end up restoring the car at least twice.  I turned the car over to a couple of guys in Orange County, and the deeper they got the more it looked like a total resto was in order.  "Well, you COULD just do this much; but since we're already this far, why not go ahead and to THIS?"

So the car has been sitting in a body shop for a year.  The body has been stripped, sandblasted, and sprayed with zinc chromate.  The new rocker assemblies have been welded on.  New floorboards.  New main crossmember.  New rear fenders may actually be on as I write this.  The body guy is also going to restore the suspension.  I hope it will be painted soon.  Old English White, of course.  This will be a replica of my first car.

From there the car goes to Escondido for the upholstery kit.  (The upholstery guy moved from OC to Escondido, but still has my kit.)  Then back to Anaheim for the engine and overdrive transmission.  I think the gauges are still in England at the moment.

One problem is that I was made redundant at my place of employment, after they contracted with an Indian company (ironically, named "Tata") to do some of the work we were doing in the department.  Since I was buying a house in Washington, I decided to move into the house.  So now I'm over 1,000 miles away from my car, and living in a place where topless driving is strictly a Summer affair.  I'm hoping the restoration will be finished so I can have it for the Summer.

You mentioned the Salisbury rear end.  My '66 also has the Salisbury, and steel wheels.  I know that BMC was not all that particular when it came to parts.  It's possible that they decided to put the Salisbury differential on at the factory.  Or it's possible that someone swapped it out at some point.  Who can say?  Being, by all accounts, a stronger differential, I'm not going to look for a "banjo" type.  This car will be for driving; not just for looking at.  I'm also having it switched to negative ground. Not original, but more practical.  The engine is getting a new head from Moss.  I'd like to get a crossflow head; but with everything that needs to go with it, it gets a bit expensive.  And I'm still unemployed!  Once the car is up here and I'm working again, I want to get chrome wires for it.  Not strictly original, but I think the stainless steel spokes would be better up here in "rainland".

A previous owner had cut speaker holes in the rear bulkhead.  I elected not to have them filled.  Instead, I'll see if I can find some vintage-looking speaker grills and put in a stereo.  It would be cool to install a CD changer, but I want the stereo to look "vintage".  If I can't find one that "looks the part", I'll have to look for a vintage radio.  I have an old GM/Delco AM/FM that I can use in the meantime.

I have another old car as well.  You can see it at my website, http://www.thecj2apage.com/ (main page).  The actual photos are at http://www.thecj2apage.com/jw46.html (owner's pages).  My Willys is being stored in San Diego.  If you know anyone who's looking for one, I'd consider selling it!

Date sent:          Fri, 16 Apr 2004 19:10:25 -0400
From:               Nicholas Wilson <wilnixbellatlantic.net>
Subject:            I have a '66 MGB

Hi Mark,
I too have a 1966 MGB car number GHN3L70211. As near as I can guess it is 1965 car, though titled in 1966. When I found it it had been painted bright yellow but looked fantastic. Of course I thought I had really found something. It wasn't until months later that I took it to a local MG specialist that I learned how bad the body truly was. Much of the body either needed replacing or was replaced at the time to prevent needing replacing later. First of all it had a pair of 1969 fenders on it. Rare, but not right. So I looked for genuine '65 fenders for the car. I found them without too much trouble, only two months of searching. The original aluminum hood had been replaced with a steel one so I found an original aluminum hood. The trunk didn't quite fit right so it too was replaced. The lower quarter panels were replaced as was the trunck floor the left and right door skins and the floors and while I was at it I had the sills replaced. All things considered the car looks fantastic.

Although the original color was the lilac blue I opted for DBRG and I especially like the way the car looks at dusk. It almost looks black. Had the engine out to check the clutch so it was repainted dark red.

Sometime just before I bought the car the engine had been rebuilt although I am not sure to what specs. I have had the car 9 years and (touch wood) have never had an engine problem. Suspension was rebuilt at the time of restoration as was the entire brake system. I do have the Banjo style rear axle. I maintain the twin 6 volt battery positive earth electrical setup. My car has a BMC radio in it although I suspect the knobs are incorrect.

All hoses, bushings and rubber have been replaced. Unfortunately the grill was too bad to keep so there is a repro on the car now. I do have an original badge which I have yet to attatch.

I have included some photo's and will send more if you like. If you would like to post them on your site that would be fine.
Sincerely, Nicholas Wilson

Date:            Sun, 13 Mar 2005 00:22:15 -0500
From:            jackjacobscox.net
Subject:         1966 MGB


I have the exact same car as you which I just bought 2 weeks ago.  You have a great web site and your comments have helped me a lot.  I will send you a picture of my car as well if you are interested.  I have a few questions, that I was wondering if you could help me with?

* Where did you get your retracable seat belts, my car has the loop bolts but no belts.
* Did you have to re-paint your dashboard?  If so, did you use a special black paint and where did you get it?
* Any idea where to find another radio like yours, someone put a modern one in mine and I want to make it look original.
* Paint, I have exact same color and wanted to know where I can get some touch up paint done at for minor fixes?  Can it be ordered?

Any other words of wisdom would be great.

Jack Jacobs
Glendale Arizona
Date:            Wed, 16 Mar 2005 20:10:44 -0800
From:            Jim and Evelyn Hanks <hanksuci.net>
Subject:         66 MGB


Ran on to your site and am responding as another 66 "B" owner.  I own  car # GHN3L86287, originally in Oxford White, but a maroon color when bought used along with a black engine copartment.  This was in January of 1995.  The car has a stock engine, transmission, banjo axle and steel wheels.  The interior is black vinyl with red piping.  The tonnaeu cover is red, as is the convertible top bow cover.  I have been in the process of restoration and driving the car for these past ten years.  In fact it currently has the tranny out to replace the 2nd gear synchro as downshifing to 2nd could not be done.  Since the engine is out also, I decided to repaint the engine bay to match the current color of Tartan Red which I changed to from the maroon in 1997.  Next comes the dash.  In the process of this work I found the car # also stamped into the right hand crossmember tab which is welded to the frame channel. In the coures of the various overhauls and repairs I have found casting #'s on the steering box ( 8/66 ) and in other areas.

I am attaching a photo for your file of the car just prior to the current project.  It's a great car to have fun drives in and I enjoy it a lot.  I also have an Austin Healey Sprite MK1 ( 1965 ) which is also a blast to drive.

Nice website, enjoyed your story on the car.  If you get bored with two radios and want to rid yourself of the other at a small price, let me know.

Jim Hanks, Oregon

Date:            Tue, 21 Nov 2006 12:10:01 +1100
From:            David Taylor <david.taylor@agarcarlyon.com>
Subject:         1966 MGB

Great article Mark
Here’s our very much a look alike 1966 Mk1.
Note – RHD
David Taylor
Agar Carlyon Pty Limited
ABN 84 098 790 259
Level 20, 135 King Street
Sydney, NSW 2000

Date:            Tue, 06 Feb 2007 17:39:13 +1030
From:            GERALD RANKINE <ranxadam.com.au>
Subject:         MGB


Have just been reading your interesting web site about you 1966 MGB. I have just bought one here (1966) in Adelaide, South Australia.

Has a fully rebuilt 5 bearing motor and all sync 4spd gear box (no overdrive). I think the car was fully restored about 10 years ago.

Years ago I had an MG TC 1949 and the MG urge has never left me and now being in late-life crisis I had to get a B and preferably a red one!

Drives very well, no rattles and has the best note (stainless steel system with a 'tip of copper' at the end.

Have now joined the MG Car Club of SA and intend to partake this year in the Bay To Birdwood classic car run. This is in September and has over 500 cars from all over Australia, some others from over the world - one of the best runs of its type in the world I'm told. Everyone dresses up and joins in the atmosphere.

All the best

Date:            Fri, 14 Sep 2007 17:25:41 -0700
From:            Alan Holcombe <aholcombewhiteselectronics.com>

Corvallis, OR

Date:    Mon, 08 Oct 2007 18:32:14 -0400
From:    Darrell Starnik <dstarnikroadrunner.com>
Subject:    1966 MGB

Hi Mark,

I bought this in 2003, stripped it down to the body shell and sent it to a body shop in March of 2004. That's where it sat for a full year, when I finally got fed, picked it up, and took it to another shop.

They had it back to me by October 2005, having done an excellent job.  I spent that winter putting it back together. Of course I had been working on all the bits and pieces while it  sat at the body shop.  Almost everything is either new or rebuilt.  I had it back on 
the road in the spring of 2006, and enjoyed a great summer of driving.  However, I was not happy with my decision that the motor was in good enough shape, so I took that back out over the 2006-07 winter and totally rebuilt that as well. It was reinstalled with a rebuilt 4 synchro overdrive tranny.

Another great year of driving this year, which is now coming to a close.

Darrell Starnik
Date:    Mon, 4 Feb 2008 11:33:46 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time)
From:    "Debra Moore" <RevHerbDocworldnet.att.net>
To:    <markd@silogic.com>
Subject:    MGB

Dear Mark,
I just found you site (haven't cruised it entirely yet) and am wondering if you might be able to help me with some info.
After owning a brand new '71 Midget so long ago and wanting another MG before I croak, my husband just bought me a 1965 MGB Roadster (British Racing Green).
She's in very decent condition but needs some engine work. The idiot seller has put the twin carb linkage on upside down and it apparently needs a new fuel pump and, of course, batteries.
Is it safe to put one 12 volt battery in this car rather than 2 6 volt? If so is there something special we should do when attaching a 12-volt?
If not and 2 6's should be used....just how does one set up the battery to battery part?
I know, rather silly questions here but I am probably going to do most of the restoration and want to make sure it's done properly. I also wonder just where the flipping fuel line is on the carbs. All the springs are just sitting in the engine compartment and I'm a bit stumped.
We have a Haynes book and a parts catalogue but I hope someone can guide me properly...I may be female but have a darned good mechanical background.
Below is a pic of my new toy - only cost us a grand and I can't wait to get her on the road again. She's been garaged for 33 years!!!
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Debbie Moore

Date:    Mon, 4 Feb 2008 17:55:32 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time)
From:    "Debra Moore" <RevHerbDocworldnet.att.net>
Subject:    Re: MGB

>  Dear Debbie
>  $1000 !!!!!
>  WOW. That is a great deal. (Of course, now you have to take care of it.)
Thanks Mark! She is a sweet little ride especially for that amount of money. The guy had no idea what he had be we sure did!
BTW - we're in Florida and I believe there's an MG club somewhere. Will check. Thanks for the thought.
>  It looks like a nice car from the photo. I guess the old owner wanted to get it out of the garage after 33 years.
Sure seemed that way. The seller was going through hard times financially and liquidating a lot of motorcycles and the car. We managed to see the car before it was seen by too many others. Kind of like a karma thing :-)
>  There is no problem with replacing the 2 6v batteries with a 12V. You might need to replace or readjust the cable that goes to the chassis from the battery.
Okie dokie. It does appear that the negative/ground is attached to the chassis via a long cable in the right battery box and it snakes into the left battery box. The hot line is in the left box with a cable to the motor.
>  My battery, bought in 2006, is a Sears DieHard part number 22830326 which I paid $59.99. It is a Group 26 size. Bring your old battery, otherwise there is a $10 core charge.
Excellent...thank you!
>  Install the battery in the compartment with the cable that goes to the engine compartment. You can put a battery compartment liner in the other battery compartment and use it for storage. You will no longer need the jumper cable that connected the two 6v batteries together.
That's EXACTLY what I wanted to know!! Again, thank you!
>  If you can see in some of the photos on my web page, the fuel line for the carbs is the line covered in metal braid. They go into the sides of the carb I suggest getting a book about the carbs if the Haynes manual does not give you enough detail.
Will do! Thanks. Even though my mother is English I'm still having some verbiage issues with the Haynes book :-))
>  British Victoria and Moss Motors are good places for parts.
We have the BV cat. Very good prices but will also get a Moss.
>  The one nice thing about these cars is that they are simple. You won't have too much trouble getting this one running.
Ain't that the truth! I remember how maintenance-free my Midget was. Ran the dickens out of her and missed that car so much...especially 63 miles per gallon:-))
Thanks for responding so quickly. I can't wait to cruise in my new toy!!
Debbie Moore
Joe Daly

From:    "Joe Daly" <jnrc1optusnet.com.au>
Subject:    MGB Head mystery
Date:    Fri, 8 Aug 2008 19:32:40 +1000

Good evening Mark,

How is everything over your side of the Pacific pond. I read with read interest on your web page, the trials you had with the cylinder head. My recently bought '65 MGB has the PAT NO 565494 head on it, which I believe is an MGB head, however the block engine number is 18 AMW/U/H/15549 which according to my BMC engine schedule was built for deployment in either an Austin, Morris or Wolseley. Can you confirm that the Pat No 565394 head is definitely MGB? If so, and it sounds strange, I have an MGB head on an Austin block?

Either way, it goes like a 'cut cat' and corners like a 'cat on carpet'.

Great website Mark,
Kind regards,
Joe Daly
MG car club of Queensland Australia
Capricorn Chapter

From:    "Peter" <c3repairbigpond.net.au>
Subject:    MGB 66
Date:    Mon, 24 Nov 2008 18:27:52 +1100

Hi Mark,
I have been restoring my car these past 12 months, coming to the pointy end of completion. However, hard to keep motivated. Your car looks great. It is a credit to you. I have approx 10 hours left to complete my car. Hoping to drive it soon.
Cheers,  Peter

From:            "Peter"
Subject:         RE: MGB 66
Date:            Tue, 25 Nov 2008 19:37:32 +1100

Mark you will love this, as most MG owners its hard to stop at one. I just picked up a 67 - 68 MGB, an unfinished project with the motor reconditioned overdrive gearbox all the body work complete with a mountain of spares. Car needing preped and sprayed, the engine bay as been sprayed prior to motor being dropped back in. Spares include overdrive box, spare diff, all the guages have been done. Too many to list. All for a take home price of $3000 AUS.

I'll take some photos tomorrow and forward them to you.

Talk soon mate, Peter  

Subject:    MGB 1966 from Portugal
Date:    Mon, 27 Jul 2009 20:11:51 -0400
From:    Pedro Forte <pedroforteaol.com>

Hi Mark

Great pictures, great lessons, great car

Here's mine. I have had it since 1982 and I love it. Always working on something (presently, the dashboard) but that's the thrill of it all


Pedro Forte
Estoril, Portugal
Date:    Mon, 24 Aug 2009 15:31:28 -0700 (PDT)
From:    Mark Anthony <catdaddy1960sbcglobal.net>
Subject:    1966 MGB

Hi Mark,

My name is Mark Anthony I live in CT on the shore. I want to thank you for your great page on your 1966 MGB.
I just bought a 1966 MGB roadster in original BRG. It's a mess  but I finally have the garage space and the time to get into a project like this. I once had a 1976 MGB about 20 years ago that taught me a lot about "Knuckle Busting" . This car is quite different in every way. I don't even know what I've gottten myself into yet! Its got a downdraft weber and a newer year full syncro tranny in it.
I have a 1995 corvette that I'm selling to help finance this project. I plan on doing as much myself as I can.
I plan on joining a local MG club and get some help. I've bookmarked your page. I've learned a lot from it already!
Thanks again.  Mark
Date:    Tue, 23 Sep 2008 15:35:51 -0700 (PDT)
From:    joe wycoco <joepwycyahoo.com>
Subject:    MGB

Hello Mark 

My name is Joe, I love your MGB web site besides your great looking Roadster. As I read along your pages I felt a bit of connection somewhat regarding our passion for (older) classic cars. Also noticed your picture pages regards the October fires, you likely reside at Scripps Ranch and we might be close neighbors.

I just recently purchased a '73 MGB Roadster to restore as a project, It's a barely running car when I got it since it sat for the last two years, on jacks, the engine started ocassionaly. The car is running quite good lately after continuous minor repairs I've done I can handle. Knew little about MG's and still learning. Your website is very informative and trying to pick up most of it, esp. on the cylinder head changeout. My car buff buddies are more into American muscle cars, now they found out I switch to an English car?....you know the comments I get?...you know what I mean?. I cannot sort of relate to them now about my project.....so I'm pretty much on my own for a while. Anyways, don't want to take much of your time, it's nice to come across your your very 'enticy', 'welcomy' website about your very nicely restord MGB Roadster.

Joe Wycoco

About a year later, Joe sent me some photos:

Date:    Thu, 27 Aug 2009 19:48:39 -0700 (PDT)
From:    joe wycoco <joepwycyahoo.com>
Subject:    MGB


Hello there neighbor, I'm Joe. Hope you still remember we had an e-mail chat late last year about MGB cars. I hesitated to send you a photo of my newly acquired MGB then in its' sad form and shape for your web page but, I did work on it quite a bit, definitely had 'some' body work-paint and got it on the road to look fairly decent as a daily driver.............nothing close to the work you've done on your green Roadster that looks real gorgeous.

Anyways, (as attached) this is how the car looks now and I've been driving it quite a bit lately to and from work. Still got a lot of stuff to work on....noticed today temp. gauge went way past the 'N' mark and the radiator started burping water to the overflow canister???.

OK, you take care and your MGB.


From:    AeM Enterprise <asadmoyeengmail.com>
Subject:    Fwd: MGB Dhaka, Bangladesh
Date:    Fri, 10 Jun 2011 02:31:29 +0700

Hey mark, I was just browsing around and came across your webpage, great inspiration for MGB owners I must say. I recently found and bought a 68 MGB Roadster, I am located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Its one of 3 cars in this country. I plan to restore the car extensively as you can see from the pics its in a poor but intact condition. It has incorrect Carbs therefore the SUs must have been replaced with this unit at some point.

I have already started work on the car. Here's what I am doing. Anything I may be missing out please let me know.

* Complete bare metal respray GN29 Dark BRG, replace all rubber seals and gaskets, new chrome trim, buff and polish whatever chrome is in the car.
* Partial engine rebuild 5 bearing model, piston rings and gaskets just to regain compression, new oil pump, water pump, electrics( distributor, coil, plugs, leads etc) have radiator rodded and cleaned.
* Brake master cylinder and wheel cylinders replace, new pads and shoes. new clutch kit- clutch plate, pressure plate, release bearing, master cylinder and slave cylinder. suspension: replace bushes, shocks and ?
* Refurbish guages and meters, new Moto Lita or Nardi steering wheel.
* Need to order a hood.

Will send u some photos of the restoration and of course the end product!
Painting it Dark BRG. Looking forward to all the work and pleasure :)

Hope to keep in touch
Warm regards from Dhaka
From:    Eric Johnson <johnsonrsfmac.com>
Subject:    1966 MGB
Date:    Thu, 11 Aug 2011 18:46:58 -0700

Hi Mark,

I just purchased this 1966 MGB from Florida, GHN3L1168.  Kind of looks like yours.
Its new home is in Rancho Santa Fe.

Eric Johnson


Very nice car, looks a lot like mine - could be twins. I like your outside rear-view mirror. It looks more period than the one I have on my car.

Now is the time to join the San Diego MG Club. Since I moved to Rainbow a few years ago, I haven't been able to attend many of the club's events but they are a great source of information and help.


Date:            Mon, 09 Nov 2009 19:51:34 -0800
From:            don <donnapanet.net>
Subject:         1966 MGB

Hi Mark,
Your car looks great! I have a love affair with early B roadsters for some reason.  I even remember the first time I saw one in 1963 when they were new and how impressed I was as a kid.  I have looked at several, and most of them have suffered from "restoration" rather than being enhanced. I have an MGA and a '73 B GT, and my plan is to consolidate down to an  early B roadster for my golden years in retirement.
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 00:42:03 -0700
From: Don <donnapanet.net>
Subject: MG Reno show

Just got back from Reno where we went to the big MG car event.  On the way there on Wednesday afternoon, we were caught in the worst traffic jam I have ever experienced.  We (wife and me) were unfortunate victims of the horrible traffic jam caused by road construction on Hwy 80 going into Reno.  There was a stop-and-go situation for about 30 miles.  I thought I was so smart- I had driven my 2001 Miata SE, thinking the trip there would be comfortable and stress-free.  Wrong.

The traffic jam was horrible and the ambient temperature was warm.  After about ten miles of crawling, stop and go, the clutch hydraulics quit working.  Clutch was engaged, would not release.  I limped for several miles not being able to disengage the clutch, would start it in gear and just go slow.  A K-rail separated the divided highway and there were no places to pull off safely, so seemed like it would be impossible to get help.  There were numerous times I had to stop completely in the roadway, so would just shut the engine off, and restart in 1st or 2nd and crawl some more.  I was able to pull off the road about 20 miles short of Reno at the little village of Floriston where there was an exit, and an exit on the westbound side of Hwy 80 as well.  So at least it was safe and accessible to a tow truck there.  We ended up waiting two hours for AAA towing.  In the time we waited, the car and the outside temperature both cooled off, and the clutch regained its function.  But the traffic was still jammed out on the freeway, so I couldn't just drive it into Reno as the conditions would surely have caused the clutch to fail again.  Strangely, the fluid level in the clutch master cylinder was/is fine.

Anyway, thank God for cell phones and AAA.  Got a nice flatbed truck transport into Reno, right to the hotel.  I took a chance and didn't do any repairs or take it to a shop.  Drove up 8 stories of the hotel parking garage, and the clutch was fine.  Next day, drove it to the MG show outside of Reno and it worked fine.  The big test was the 200 mile drive home.  Since I didn't get caught in traffic where I would have to use the clutch, it worked fine, and I made it home.

I will rebuild or replace the clutch hydraulics of course.  I can't help thinking the MG gods (or demons) had something to do with this happening to me, since this clutch system is a copy of that used on MGs.

Here are a few photos of the Miata broken down with smiling wife, the traffic jam on Hwy 80, and the great MG car show.  I got a couple pics of Andy Preston and his fabulous MGA coupe (one of only 4 at the show).  Another car that I found to be outstanding was a black '62 MGA Mk 2 De Luxe.  There were more MGTFs than I have ever seen in my life, and all of them were gorgeous.  The cars that came from all over the US and Canada astounded me for the owners' dedication and devotion to the marque.  And some of the preserved cars and original owner cars were really amazing to see.

I didn't take enough photos, and my choice of subjects was limited.  I'm sure there will be much better pics of the show than this, as my camera seemed to want to capture mainly early MGBs that were done to a high standard, as that seems to be my current obsession.


Don Scott
Calistoga CA USA
1955 MGTF
1962 MGA Mk 2
1973 MGB GT (selling)
1963-7 MGB (seeking)
Misc. Japanese cars
Date:            Fri, 12 Aug 2011 18:42:04 -0700
To:              "Mark DiVecchio" <markd@silogic.com>
From:            Don <donnapanet.net>
Subject:         Old British cars

My friend Andy and I drove up to Tim's in Grass Valley today.  Both Andy and Tim are Brit ex-pats, but both have a lot of affection for British automobiles.  Andy had been to Tim's in the past, and had bought his MGA coupe from Tim.  That car was a fixer, now due to Andy's talents and hard work is a concours quality show car.

It is a long trip, over three hours from here.  Tim lives on 100 acres in a very rural area sans PGE.  The little '91 Civic Si was a great car for the trip, as the A/C works fine and it gets 40 mpg, and can cruise at 70+ mph in reasonable quiet.

As you can see from the photos, Tim has a lot of old British cars and parts.  He must have the most Rileys in America, two of which used to be parked in my yard.  The faded red Riley 1.5 was a car I used to work on for a lady that lived in Santa Rosa.  That was back in the 1970s when I was starving and did car repair work on the side for a little extra money.  That poor little car suffered an electrical fire, and has been deteriorating since, but has changed hands several times over the years.

Tim has several different models of Rileys, but the 1.5 model he has four or five of.  They are all in need of love.  Here is what they look like when they are all fixed up or were new:


The red MGB that is in three photos is the car Tim wants to trade me for my MGA.

Here are the photos I took today:

Date:    Sun, 02 Oct 2011 00:27:29 -0700
From:    Don <donnapanet.net>
Subject:    MG car show!

I visited the MG Fall Festival at the Sheraton Hotel in Petaluma today.  As usual, I was driving a Japanese vehicle; this time my Mazda pickup as I had errands to run to get building supplies to prepare for the rainstorms coming next week.  If everyone drove a Japanese car to these events they would not quite work.

Anyway, there were some beautiful cars there.  My favourite was the red 1962 MGA Mk 2 roadster that belongs to Chrisula Asimos.  She bought the car new!  What a vibrant and lively woman she is.  I can't imagine what she must have been like back in '62 when she bought that car.  The MGA is pretty much original other than a repaint years ago.  She said the worst mechanical issue was a blown headgasket on the Bay Bridge years ago which led to her having the engine partially rebuilt.  The original grey top and sidecurtains with grey vinyl still are on the car.  The seats, though worn, are also original.  The photo I took of the interior did not come out very well.  The one of the car's engine bay shows the patina of the nearly 50 years of its life.  Chrisula was kind enough to pose in front of her MGA for the photo of the exterior of her car.  She was also kind enough to laugh at my joke- an MG gal was walking briskly among the cars announcing that a pair of bifocals had been found and she was seeking their owner.  I commented to Chrisula that the bifocals could belong to anyone at the car show.

Andy Preston had two of his four MGs at the show.  His red MGA coupe is gorgeous and is a real work of art as he did most all the work himself on the car.  His cars are so impressive, and his enthusiasm for MGs has inspired me at times when I think of other hobbies to pursue.  Great guy he is.

There were more TFs than TDs, which defies logic considering how few TFs were made, and how few remain.  There was a cream coloured one which I photographed that was stunning.  The owner had just had the car restored, and the detailing was phenomenal.  Even the lining of the little tool box in front of the firewall was there, and intact.  It had a valve cover that I had not seen before with a complex filler on the rear.  I learned that it was a TC item which was sought by later T-series owners as it was such an art piece.  The owner started up the engine and told me it had been rebuilt and balanced.  It sure ran well.  I must say, this car gave me an inferiority complex as I own a similar car with the same colour scheme.  Until I saw this TF, I thought mine was as nice as they got.

I saw Jim Legg of Napa, who had sold me an MGB radio years ago.  He drove his MGB that tows a trailer made of a severed MGB's hindquarters.  Jim is very dedicated to his MGs, and has two MGBs.

One of the more  unusual MGs at the show was a "tubbed" MGA roadster powered by a massive chromed and blown V8.  I noticed that the car's grille was from a '62 Mk 2 and the taillights from a 1600.  No originality/concours prize for him!

The other odd MG was a GT that had been converted to a roadster-pickup truck.  The owner had done a lot of beautiful woodwork to it, and I was impressed how pretty the car looked.  The owner's wife told me that her husband had started with a parts car that ran so well he couldn't just discard it, so made it into a custom.  She placed their little pet dog in its special doggy seat for me to include in my photograph of the car.

There was a dearth of  MG sedans.  Only one I saw was an MG 1100.  It was very well preserved, and wore its original tartan red paint.  I always thought only MGBs were tartan red.  This has got to be one of a handful of 1100s left in the world. (http://www.LittleBritishCar.org)

My photos:

Website for the show:

Don Scott
Calistoga CA USA
1955 MGTF
1962 MGA Mk 2
1973 MGB GT (selling)
1963-7 MGB (seeking)
Misc. Japanese cars 

PS: I am syndicated.  Sorta anyway.

Looks like I have a future in auto journalism and photography!  Maybe I won't need to rely on the silly little county pension when the big money starts rolling in.

Date:    Mon, 17 Oct 2011 20:56:18 -0700
From:    Don <donnapanet.net>
Subject:    Morgan Hill car show


Big car adventure for me on Sunday!  Thanks to email and the MG Experience website, I was able to connect with fellow MG enthusiast Jim Legg of Napa and catch a ride to the Autumn Classic Car Show in his 1970 MGB GT.  We left Napa at 8 a.m., and arrived in Morgan Hill at 10 a.m. for the car show.

The weather was ideal without the rain that ruined the show last year, resulting in an exceptional array of British sports cars for the day's event.  I don't think I have ever seen so many high-end restorations of old British sports cars assembled in one place, ever.  But there were many less expensive, driver quality cars there too.  The cars were displayed along Monterey Avenue which had been closed for the event.

First thing that caught my attention when we began looking at the many cars assembled in the historic downtown was the red '64 MGB body displayed by Bill Hiland of On the Road Again Classics.  His restoration shop is located in Morgan Hill.  The workmanship on the MGB body appeared impeccable in its new tartan red paint, and being a body sans anything else, it was a stark contrast to all the cars that were complete and running.  I asked Bill what it would cost to get an early MGB done properly, and he said about $35,000.  As expensive as this sounds, I can understand with all the detail and handwork involved.  In fact, that sounds like a bargain!

Next car that seemed to stand out from the rest was a white and black 1956 Austin Healey 100M.  My comment to Jim was that the letter M on the Healey probably doubles its value.  The car's owner, John Batterton, laughed and stated that was indeed the case.  He said that his car had been battered and been through some strange ownership history before he adopted it, and with painstaking work he had made it into an absolute beauty.  He told us that there are only 200 100Ms left of the 640 that were made.  He estimated that his car was worth $140,000.  I could see no defects in it  John posed next to the car for a photo.

The black XK150 S Jaguar was concourse quality, but the owner was nowhere to be seen.  I don't know Jags that well, but I think this is another example of an added letter to the name that doubles the value of the car.

I counted five Sunbeam Tigers, and one Alpine.  One of the Tigers, a blue '65, was spectacular, and I made an offer on the spot  . . . to photograph it.  Robert Petrokas, the proud owner, was kind enough to pose next to it for a photo.  I love these cars, and this one was unusually well restored..  He said it has been a concours winner, and it looks it.

A car that was ususual for its originality and unashamedly showing its years, was an early MGA.  A 1956 red roadster, it still had its original leather seats.  The tires were Firestone whitewalls that looked like they could have been with the car since 1956.  The owner said that the car had been stored in a garage for many years, and that he had brought it back to life.  This car was really a time capsule and was unusual among the other cars that have had so much restoration work done on them.  His daughter drives the car, and she seemed to love the car.  Rarely do you see this hobby being passed down to a daughter, and not all that often to a son.

I counted seven MGTFs.  All of them were immaculate and each car would win an award if I was giving prizes.  I am partial to TFs, as I own one.  So few were made it is hard to believe that so many survive in this region.  Not many MGAs were there, but the number of MGBs was high.  But I spotted only one early MGB, an iris blue roadster.  Survival rate of the Mk 1 MGBs must be low in North America as I see so few at any car shows given that they were once abundant here.

A car that I have seen and appreciated at more than one show was the 1975 Midget owned by Craig Kuenzinger.  Craig said that it is a 98 point restoration; his assertion was supported by the beauty of his car which looked like it just drove out of a dealer showroom back in 1975.  He explained that he had done a lot of painstaking work to make it this way as there are many parts that are no longer available since these cars don't have the following of many of the other British sports cars.  I jokingly commented that the radio in the Midget was a Sony, and that if I was a judging the car, I would subtract another point for this glaring defect.  Craig explained that a Leyland radio was nearly impossible to find.  Jim Legg came to his rescue and told Craig that he had one of the radios at home in his parts cache.  Craig was elated to find such a part for his car.  Oddly enough, it was in the course of buying a BMC type radio for an early MGB that I met Jim several years ago.

I caught a photo of a BRG 1967 Austin Healey 3000 as it was leaving the show.  The couple in the car were both smiling and Roger Hawk said that his wife, Donna, had bought the car new in 1967.

At most of the British car shows there are several TR8s and rarely any TR7s.  This time was the opposite, as there was only one TR8, and two TR7s.  The wedge-shaped cars look identical, but the source of power is not the same.  The TR8, sadly, was British Leyland's swan song.  I am partial to these little hot rod V8s, having owned a couple "poor man's Tigers" in my past.

I got some photos that were not of cars.  One is of a lady wearing a very unusual outfit leading her little dog who is also in strange attire.  The two security police were kind enough to smile for a photo.  The fellow walking what looked to be a rather exotic bicycle told me that it was a $7,000 bike.  Dave Laughlin and his British car parts business made an interesting photo.  By chance, Jim and I met up with Rick Anderson of Napa who owns a couple of MGs, but was there in a Honda.  He and his friend Mignon joined us for lunch.  The marquee at the theater proclaimed "Support Our Seniors" which I thought was appropriate given the age of most of us at this event.

There were a few other cars that I liked, and photographed.  One was the '70 Triumph GT6 of John Leggett, which looked like it was a brand new car.  And the Mini Cooper S of Chris Miller who claimed that its engine was producing 120 horsepower.  Two of the Bugeye Sprites were powered by Japanese DOHC engines; they must be like little rockets given the light weight of a Bugeye.  The red '72 RHD Ginetta was a beauty, and had been updated with a newer Ford OHC engine.  Jim thought the Arnolt MG was the rarest car there.  I thought the two Nash Healeys were the rarest.

Later in the day on my way home, I stopped at Peets Coffee in Napa.  Parked in front of the store was a red Aston Martin convertible of the late 1950s that was drop dead gorgeous.  Everyone that walked by that car stopped and admired it.  I was able to catch a photo as it was leaving, and I told the two fellows in the car that there had been a big British car show in Morgan Hill and had they taken the car, it would surely have won a prize.  In the latest copy of Sports Car Market magazine there is a short feature on these cars.  These Aston Martins cost $3,650 new, but their value now is between $275,000 and $450,000 according to the article.
I finally got a photo of Don's MGB:

Date:            Fri, 05 Oct 2012 21:20:05 -0700
From:            Don <donnapanet.net>
Subject:         MGB

Hi Mark,
Picked up the car yesterday from the upholstery shop in Santa Rosa.  Not quite as nice as my friend Andy Preston's blue MGB, but pretty good compared to how it looked before.  It drives better with the new seats as you sit higher in them than the old seats. I still think I would like to find a better example of early MGB, but they are hard to find as most have left, either exported as cars to Europe or as scrap to China.

It belonged to a couple who lived in Bakersfield, and had bought it from the original owner in 1972.  The husband died a couple years ago, and she moved to Novato and I bought it from her there.  It was personalized by them, and I am depersonalizing it, having removed roll bar and wood steering wheel.  Also put in new Moss seats with proper black and white piping covering.  I paid 6k, but must have over 9k into it by now.


Don also sent me this link:   The Cars the Star

Date:    Wed, 10 Oct 2012 16:36:09 -0600
Subject:    66 MGB
From:    Peter Gilbert <peter.gilbert.nmgmail.com>

Hi Mark
            I have a 66 B Vin GHN3L76933, I bought this as a project but it turned out to be more work than I thought, however I soldier on. This was left under a tree for 10 years, it runs great but it was obviously wrecked at one time, it was originally blue but has one originally white fender and a turquoise hood (not aluminum) and yes MG's rust from the inside out.
      However at this point I have completed the body repair on the passenger side and rebuilt the front suspension. next job is to redo the rear axle. My goal is at least save her and make it a nice daily driver.

Your car looks nice!

I am wondering what kind of paint to use the get a good 15ft paint job. It's not worth doing a show paint job on this car.
       Thanks for your reply, you may certainly use the picture, I have about 100 pics of the restoration so far, when I first tackled the job I could find very little information on how to tackle moderate rust issues in the sills, I certainly wasn't going to replace the entire sill as the manual suggest, I believe by boxing and double plating you can patch the sill if the rust is contained to the ends. Anyway if anyone needs some input on this I am more than willing to share my experience.


Subject:    A 1966 MGB restoration underway in MA
From:    Dick Stagnone <dickstagyahoo.com>
Date:    Mon, 7 Jan 2013 17:15:35 -0500


Here is a link to my MG Experience home page:   http://www.mgexperience.net/member/dickstag

I have two MGBs, a 1966 which I think is a few months older than mine.  I also have a 1972. Funny thing is that the 72 needs more body work then the 66 does. The 66 only needs a driver side floor pan and a battery box.

I would be interested in suggestion for MG body work/rust repair for both cars.  The 72 needs a particle sill repair. Need 66 parts like bumpers.  Any suggestions are welcome.

I live in Massachusetts, south of Boston.

Dick Stagnone

Subject:    My 1966 Mgb
From:    Tony Dorman <tonydormanaol.com>
Date:    Mon, 25 Mar 2013 11:23:16 +0000

Just though I'd send you a photo of my "66" roadster,it's in what we call in the U.K. dark British racing green. I have tried to keep the car as it original as possible, hope you like it.


Date:    Sun, 16 Feb 2014 18:19:40 -0500
From:    marc meccia <minormecoptonline.net>
Subject:    Twin sons from different mothers

Hey Mark,
I just saw your site and thought I'd drop you a quick line. Your story is very similar to mine so I thought I'd share. Born in Newark N.J. in 1950. Got my first set of Lionel a few years later. The same set in your photo with a few extra cars.I believe the photo was me and my two brothers. Circa Christmas 1959. Used to set them up every Christmas for years. Then marriage, a house, kids etc. and the trains sat in boxes at moms for too many years. Back in 2005' I bought a log home and displayed dads 1939 Lionel on a shelf. That gave me the bug to do something totally different. I ran the layout 8' in the air on shelves around the great room. The more I did, the more I wanted to add. These are a few shots in the unfinished stage. I finally finished and took it all down due to the fact that my wood stove threw off so much ash, that they couldn't be run with the ash on the track. Anyway, I've decided to use the basement this time around and saw your site while looking for ideas. I too, have an MGB,'65. I also have a Midget, and two Morrises.
Be well Marc Meccia, Howell NJ                                                                                                                                       

Links from Don Scott

Here is an interesting page about the the second MGB built. Car #GHN3L/102.

Here are some really unique MG's:    http://wreckycars.com/page/194

"A friend of mine back about 1970 or so had two Mk1 MGB roadsters.  One of the cars had imitation leopard skin seat covers which my friend thought were a real plus for the car.  I thought they looked very declassé, and that they must have been sourced from K-Mart.  I later read somewhere that these seat covers were an option, and were a genuine BMC factory accessory.  Someone at BMC must have visited India and been enamored with the look of a wildcat for seat covering and convinced management to offer these things to MG buyers as an accessory. This is the 1962 MGB Accessories catalog:"


"Interesting MGB, as it has some of the features of a Mk1, and some of  a Mk2 because it's a European market car."



Back to my MGB web page.

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