"Forget the Spitfires, these are just Heralds which have been tickled up."
True, but don't forget the MGB is basically a rebodied Austin Cambridge.
My 1976 rubber bumber MGB is fun to drive, although I have had some minor problems with the wiring harness -- seems to be the switch on the dash for the lights that causes the real problem. Otherwise, I love driving it, and it is quite fast, nimble and I drive it every sunny day I can through the West Virginia hills on two - lane "highways" dodging lumbering coal and log trucks coming in the other direction (in my lane). I bought my shell of a car from an estate in Arizona and had restored by reputable and recommended shop in Florida -- it costs money to have one of these cars, but it looks better than the Miata (a cheap knock off) and I even get Porshes that want to make runs against me -- I lose that race, but they are over-powered. On winding, curvy roads, however, I can 'kill' a Mustang GT 5.0 every time, and quite enjoy it. Get your car to someone who knows what they are doing and spend the money for the right work to be done -- or don't do waste your time and buy a Pontiac Solistice and look like a wannabe!
Well I must add my 10 cents to this thread. I just flew in from Rome to Arundel, London to pick up a 1973 MGB GT. I researched it for months, and when I picked it up I checked it over with the notes I took from my research, looking at the normal issues points called out over the years on these cars. i.e. electrical, radiator and hose, 6 volt battery condition (old) (bought two spares just in case), brake line rusting (look good), and even transmission and oil for signs of leak. For the trip I was prepared, I bought 5 Quarts of oil, antifreeze radiator coolant and antifreeze washer fluid.
Then I begin the massive cross country drive over 1300 miles in 23 hours 15 minutes non stop (except to refuel). First problem, one hour out of Arundel, was the loss of power and spark, which I found to be the fuel pump, so I thought. Oh did I say I had a brand new spare fuel pump just purchased hours ago for the road trip. (Thanks to Sussex Old Classic Cars Parts http://www.sussexclassiccar.co.uk/Price%20List.pdf) so I change it out in less than 30 minutes. It still would not fire, so I replaced the solenoid, and as a precaution I replaced the plugs, plug wires and also installed the new batteries (all part of the road trip spare parts package from Sussex Old Cars). After the installation, it fired up and it ran even better than before I broke down.
Well the journey began from Partridge Green at 1730 14 Feb 2009. This was the drive of my life in freezing temperatures, very little heat from the heater and snow drifts piled high. There were breath taking views as I crossed England on my way to the English Channel Tunnel into France, through the high elevation of Switzerland, all the way to Gaeta Italy (North of Naples) arriving at 1645 15 Feb 2009. (Timed drive, zero issues, great miles per gallon, I would do it all again, but only in a MG MGB GT.)
Top speed was 100 mph for 10 minutes on the Autostrada (Italy) (testing the engine as I got closer to home) with the stock engine pushed to the limits and the transmission hollering its ass off. Average speed was 88 mph constant for 3 to 4 hours straight between refueling, a little loud from the gear box, but the over drive 3rd and 4th gear made the difference.
The key to owning and succeeding with any MGB GT is research, research, research, dedication to the cause, and good suppliers, and more research. If you are going to purchase a MG MGB GT, I recommend the chrome bumper 1973 MG MGB later year production model *August or later* since it is the only year with the chrome bumper and it was standardized for the 1800 and V8 engine. This will give you an advantage for future upgrade with the bigger engine compartment. Also take note that the exportation of the MG MGB GT (chrome bumper) to the U.S. ceased in 1974.
Know what you want the car for before you buy it. Cross country touring & traveling, joy ride locally, or racing at high speeds... this is the car when properly configured for such. Be prepared to spend around 8k minimum to set the car up just right and to preserver the life of the car.
Modification must. Upgrade the rear suspension for better high speed handling. This is a must or you will regret it in the future. I know I just went 1300 miles in the old model suspension. Now I am switching to a newer IRS and the Front Suspension from http://www.fastcarsinc.com/3link.htm
Upgrade the transmission and engine for more competitive power. For 302, Chevy V8 or even the RV8 (new option Lotus/MG Engine).
Modernize the look of the interior with Dragon Skin, sound damping material and fire retardant matting (electrical work on these cars can cause fires). A quieter, safer, fire resistant interior is worth its weight in pounds.
So the bottom line is the MG MGB GT could be as fast as a Porsche, is greater looking than most classic cars, great for long distance, and they are weekend cruisers with a little research and patience. This is by far one of the best built cars for conversion and classic look. Way better than a Triumph Spitfire.
If you get one, keep it. (MG MGB GT)
I have been looking at MG B GTs for about a year and a half now, and I was wondering if they would be suitable as first cars. I'm 17, but not your stereotypical boy racer, and would love to own such a beautiful motor. I don't have the world's largest budget though, so modding the car too much isn't really an option.