MG’s B series is without doubt the archetypal British roadster and this brand new sports car represented the modern MG of the time with its contemporary specification making it a sheer delight to drive compared to its predecessors and rivals.
Rack and pinion steering, independent front suspension and disc brakes were standard features right from the start all helped this much loved roadster become the World’s best selling sports car in its time. The MG B is still seen as the epitome of the open top British sports car across the world with a healthy following of enthusiasts from every nation.
Its 1.8 litre B series engine is still a formidable lump today pushing 100+ mph and with excellent road holding the MG B roadster is still a pleasure to take down this country’s B roads today. As values stay strong the MG B is an ideal investment for any would be enthusiast.
Let’s start with the British cars worst enemy…rust. The sills are the MGB’s Achilles heel. These multi panel structures are complicated and so are often bodged so be wary of cover sills and stainless steel over sills hiding poor repairs and rot.
Check the back section of the front inner wheel arches as this area collects mud and eventually rots away. If the car has wheel arch liners make sure they’re not hiding anything nasty underneath. Battery trays can disintegrate so check this from underneath the car; also check all the bushes as they perish with time.
The B series engine will cover 100,000 miles or more without any rebuild although tappet noise is usual at idle. Oil pressure runs at 50 – 60 psi at 3000 rpm but do check for blockages in the crank case breather pipes. If oil isn’t being burnt then check for leaks at the front and rear crankshaft seals. Kingpins require greasing every 3000 miles and check the rear springs if you can’t see the whole of the rear tyre the springs will need replacing.
All Mk I’s run on 6v batteries so just make sure everything is working; if not there may be a poor earthing connection. Running on unleaded petrol means hardened valve seats will have to be fitted so enquire when you’re examining the car.
The MGB is always identified with the classic BMC ‘B’ series engine but when the MGB was being conceived the BMC parent company was also hatching plans for a family of V4 and V6 engines. The MGB was to have been the recipient of a 2 litre V4 but when the new engine project was scrapped it was back to the trusty ‘B’ series.
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:
“Open top driving is still seen today as very British and this is probably because Britain sold so many roadsters in the 1960’s. Of course the MG B is quintessentially British with nostalgia playing its part in these Great British classics.”