HOME > LOT 173 - 1968 MGB Roadster

LOT 173 - 1968 MGB Roadster

LOT 173 - 1968 MGB Roadster

  • Very original late ‘MK 1’
  • Desirable GHN3 ‘narrow tunnel’ example
  • Matching numbers
  • Wire wheels and overdrive
  • Aluminium bonnet
  • Telescopic adjustable rear shock absorber conversion
  • Extensive history file
  • Much restoration work carried out from 2006 to 2009
  • Still in lovely condition
  • Estimated at £8,000 to £12,000

Winning Amount: £ 9,500.00

User ID: W*********n

ABOUT THIS CAR

“The Sports Car connoisseur will find in this latest M.G. challenger all that he has been looking for”. MGB Sales brochure, 1963.

For MG, the B took up the cudgels (logically) from the A, which with its separate chassis it is fair to say had its roots in the pre-war design period. Charming though the MGA was, the B’s unitary construction moved the medium sized, reasonably priced spots car game on by some margin as far as the driving experience went and it remained the quintessential machine for the sporty driver throughout the 1960s and well into the ‘70s. Economies of scale as well as a plentiful supply of suitable mechanical components repurposed from more mainstream vehicles meant the MGB was relatively affordable, especially when compared to offerings from mainland Europe whose equivalent machines tended to be priced on a par with more exotic fare such as Jaguar’s E-Type. Today this disparity is far more exaggerated and you can apply the ‘Law of Thirds’ (which we have just invented using a slide-rule); an Alfa Spider is a third of the price of an ‘E’ (£30,000 v £90,000) while an MGB is a third of the price of the Alfa and therefore what mathematicians call “a screaming bargain”.

Oh my word, a narrow tunnel 1968 MGB? That’s crazy talk, Berlinetta have clearly lost the plot. Ah but, though the first so called Mark 2 MGB was built in October 1967, this example (Car Number 132831, the last Mark 1 being 138400) was not registered until 18th January 1968 - coincidentally your correspondent’s birthday if you would like to have a whip round, I’ve never owned an MGB. While the GHN3 element of the Chassis Number (or Car Number in MG speak) identifies it as a Mark 1, the Engine Number confirms it is an 1800 (not surprisingly) sporting the stronger, smoother running five bearing crank, high compression engine and a three synchromesh gearbox with overdrive on third and fourth gears, the latter a surprisingly rare option only fitted to around 20% of production.

The MGB’s original owner was a Mr Richard Harper of Wellingborough who kept it for three months shy of ten years after which it moved around the Midlands, passing through seven further pairs of hands before the ownership history was nicely bookended by another long-term owner and MG Owners Club member who acquired it in 2009 and domiciled it in Ormskirk. Just prior to this, between 2006 and 2009, BMB 474F was extensively restored with attention focusing on bodywork, paint and interior. New wings and floors were fitted along with a new nearside door skin before the B was professionally repainted in its original Mineral Blue. The seats were rebuilt with new foam, diaphragms and covers from Newton Commercial and new carpets were fitted throughout.

Today, while not absolutely perfect, the MG still looks to be in very nice order indeed as can be seen in the photo gallery. Given that freshly restored cars tend to look good almost regardless of the quality of the work, it is encouraging to note that though this B left the workshop over twelve years ago, it is still in fine order.

The bodywork is basically very good with nice panel fit which we would suggest is probably up to the standard set by the Abingdon Factory back in the day. Though straight and ripple free, we would draw your attention to a couple of small uneven areas on the nearside of the rear vallance and adjacent to this on the boot lid as shown in the photo gallery. While perusing the photos, please also have a look at the driver’s side door; the top of the trailing edge looks as though it has either caught something or perhaps has been hit by a falling object. Whatever the cause, the metalwork has been slightly distorted and the paint has chipped. On the upside and more importantly, the susceptible rear wing seams look to be in perfect order as once rust takes hold in these areas it is very hard to eradicate it.

Finished in one of our favourite shades the B looks very smart indeed. Though not perhaps to ‘Pebble Beach’ standard, the paintwork is very good being nice and even with a good shine. There are a couple of areas where it has some slight “orange peel” which could be considered ‘Factory’ or perhaps machine polished out but there are no drips or runs.

At least on a par with this is the brightwork which is very good to excellent throughout. If we had to be critical (and we do, it’s sort of our job) there is a little bit of light pitting on the window frames again as shown in the photo gallery. The boot and door handles are in very good shape as are the trim strips, bumpers and overriders.

All the light lenses, be they plastic or glass, are in great condition with no chips or cracks and the silvering on the headlights remains bright and smooth. Factory reversing lights are present, in line with this being one of the very last Mark 1 MGBs.

The hood is of the more convenient optional extra folding rather than pack away type and it looks to be virtually new with no fogging to the zip out rear window and other clear panels. It is pretty much unmarked and is both easy to operate and well fitted.

The correctly painted wire wheels look to be in good condition with no major dinks to their rims or corrosion. The chromed spinners are bright and pitting free with no significant evidence of hammer blows. The matched set of tyres on the car are well treaded and of the correct 165/80 14 profile while the spare looks to be somewhat older and more of a ‘get you home’ item.

Having been replaced during the car’s restoration, the black piped in light blue seat covers and black carpets are in virtually perfect order. A lovely wood rimmed, rivetted alloy spoked steering wheel is a tradition touch while a more modern radio/CD player is discretely fitted under the dashboard with a subtle aerial and twenty amp socket also present. A full set of traditional Smiths instruments is present along with the radio blanking plate and chrome octagonal speaker grill.

In the engine bay things are smart and well ordered. With the exception of an MGB logoed air cleaner housing and alternator, everything looks to be original down to the Factory fitted oil cooler. The cylinder head has been converted to unleaded fuel specification. The metalwork is correctly finished in body colour while ancillaries such as the radiator and optional extra heater are satin black.

Moving (metaphorically) into the boot, most importantly the metalwork is rock solid while items such as the rubber mallet and substantial jack (which looks safer than the somewhat spindly factory version) are present. There is also a full, centre zip, tonneau in very nice order and the spare wheel resides under a fitted carpet cover.

The underside of the MG is solid and well protected and though there is evidence of some repair work having been carried out, this seems well executed with emphasis on strength rather than cosmetic appearance. A desirable Spax adjustable shock absorber conversion and new Heritage rear springs have been fitted while up front relatively new brake callipers are present. The suspension wishbones and arms are in good condition and the various pivot points look to be well greased pointing to studious maintenance. As shown in the photo gallery the engine, gearbox and (post April 1967) tube type rear axle are all just a little damp but there are no obvious drips. While the structural metalwork is for the most part well protected, there is some light surface rust in one or two places but this needs nothing more than a session with the Waxoyl tin. The original six volt battery cradles are a bit flaky and the B now runs a single twelve volt setup such have been the advances in battery technology over the past fifty years.

The pre-engaged starter fires the engine easily with just a little choke which can soon be dispensed with and the engine quickly settles down to a steady 1,000 RPM idle. Even with a little warmth in the coolant, the oil pressure shows as a very healthy seventy-five PSI, with no smoke or nasty noises. The MG is totally unfussy on the move and with a lovely positive gearchange and firm but comfortable ride, one quickly appreciates why these proper, straightforward and honest sports cars are so popular. The Laycock Type D overdrive operates on third and fourth gear giving both effectively a five-speed gearbox for relaxed cruising, plus on more give and take roads, the option of leaving the car in third gear and flicking in and out of overdrive as opposed to changing into fourth.

A comprehensive history file accompanies the B with the current V5C correctly updated to reflect its Historic Vehicle status. There are some sixteen old MOT certificates dating back to 2003 when the odometer was showing 3,984 miles. Tested virtually every year since, it is clear the car has covered a fairly regular few hundred miles per year and it is now showing 13,526. The latest MOT test was carried out on 31st May this year though of course the MG is now exempt. There are a few Tax Discs and a number of invoices from the likes of Holdens, MGOC (Spares) Ltd. and Moss relating to upkeep performed by the last owner who was clearly a capable fettler. A thick envelope full of invoices relating to the car’s restoration is also present with some thirty-five from Brown and Gammons alone; helpfully these are summarised on one sheet. Harking back to pre-GDPR days, there is a DVLA supplied Vehicle Record which provides a complete list of all the MG’s keepers from when it was new through to its most recent, nineth private owner. This is backed up by copies of V5s and changes of ownership forms back to the original Buff/Green Log Book which confirms the MG’s original engine number (albeit with an ‘8’ misinterpreted as a ‘B’) and colour of Mineral Blue. There are also a few photos of the B taken mid-restoration along with a MGOC charity run Tulip Book from 2012.

A very pretty example of a desirable early MGB in essentially lovely condition which we feel is very realistically reserved in the current market.

  • Registration number: BMB 474F
  • Chassis Number: GHN3/132831
  • Engine Number: 18GB-RU-H 84253 

COMMENTS

newest first / oldest first

BID OF £9,500.00 PLACED BY Williemason

September 27th at 08 : 22 PM

BID OF £9,250.00 PLACED BY Williemason

September 27th at 08 : 21 PM

BID OF £9,150.00 PLACED BY Williemason

September 27th at 08 : 19 PM

BID OF £8,500.00 PLACED BY Williemason

September 27th at 08 : 16 PM

BID OF £8,250.00 PLACED BY Williemason

September 27th at 08 : 16 PM

BID OF £8,000.00 PLACED BY Williemason

September 27th at 08 : 14 PM

BID OF £7,800.00 PLACED BY Williemason

September 27th at 08 : 04 PM

BID OF £7,550.00 PLACED BY Williemason

September 27th at 07 : 54 PM

BID OF £7,500.00 PLACED BY Simonlev

September 27th at 05 : 51 PM

BID OF £7,000.00 PLACED BY Williemason

September 27th at 01 : 23 PM

BID OF £6,010.00 PLACED BY Simonlev

September 26th at 03 : 41 PM

BID OF £5,100.00 PLACED BY AlanD53

September 26th at 11 : 20 AM

BID OF £5,000.00 PLACED BY Simonlev

September 23rd at 01 : 23 PM

BID OF £1,350.00 PLACED BY Simonlev

September 23rd at 01 : 17 PM

BID OF £1,050.00 PLACED BY Bitsilly

September 20th at 07 : 50 PM

BID OF £550.00 PLACED BY Whysopeter

September 19th at 10 : 29 PM

BID OF £500.00 PLACED BY philholland@sky.com

September 19th at 08 : 35 PM