CLEAN BRITISH ROADSTER FOR ENTRY-LEVEL $$$, 1.8L INLINE 4, 4-SPEED, DRIVES GREAT
This 1974 MGB might be the last of the affordable British 2-seaters. Sure, there are still plenty of rust buckets out there, but if a clean, ready-to-enjoy MGB is what you seek, there aren't many cars that deliver more smiles for less cash.
Low-key burgundy actually is one of the better colors on the MGB, particularly the later cars with federalized bumpers, and it gives the car a very upscale look. The paint is old, possibly even original, so there are a few flaws but nobody's going to hassle you for buying a car that looks this good from 10 feet away. Looking in the usual places where these cars have issues, there's no evidence that it was resurrected from a rust bucket and instead features decent gaps, good door fit, and a factory look that suggests this car has led a good life. In short, it's the perfect driver. The big, black bumpers didn't do much to diminish enthusiasm for the sporty MGB when it was new, and looking at this car, it's an easy sin to forgive, especially since they're in such good condition. Items like the lenses, trim rings, and even the windshield surround remain in very good shape and work well on this car, adding some sparkle that belies the car's wallet-friendly price.
Original-style textured black vinyl seats are comfortable and surprisingly cool in the sun, and they look right in the compact cockpit. Again, we're torn on whether this is the original interior or an older replacement set of seat covers, but either way, they're in good shape save for a small ear on the back of the driver's seat. The interior is standard MGB fare, with a sporting 3-spoke steering wheel, traditional Smiths gauges in a flat instrument panel, and a seemingly random array of buttons, levers, knobs, and switches to control the secondary equipment. Thick carpets control noise and heat and there's an AM/FM/cassette stereo head unit in the dash that powers a set of speakers in the front kick panels and another pair in the rear bulkhead. This car is equipped with both the collapsible soft top and removable hard top, a rare option in itself, and the trunk is cleanly finished with a full-sized spare and plenty of clean, original sheetmetal.
The 1.8 liter MG inline-four delivers spirited performance and a great exhaust note that's typical of traditional British roadsters. The engine bay is tidy and looks very well maintained, and the engine was reportedly rebuilt by the last owner. It offers twin SU carbs for a delightful intake soundtrack and it's been upgraded with a big aluminum radiator up front that's undoubtedly a smart idea. It starts easily and runs great, and you should be prepared to be surprised by the bottom-end torque this little four-cylinder offers. It's just a blast to drive. The 4-speed manual gearbox shifts crisply and clutch action is light, and it includes a very solid-looking underbody that's lived a clean life. Factory MG wheels with black centers and trim rings add a sporting touch and wear appropriately-sized 185/70/14 blackwall radials.
Now is the time, MG lovers, because cars like this won't be getting any more affordable in the future. If you like the elegant look, this is a lot of fun for the money. Call today!
- AM/FM Radio
- Cassette Player
- Removable Hard Top
- Front Disc Brakes
- Vinyl Interior
- Power Steering
- Body Style
- Seating Type
- Seat Material
- Shifter Type
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