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Unknown Future - Parts or Project?
|June 8, 2019 - Back in late 1989, this carmine red 1977 MGB roadster had a serious mechanical failure that resulted in the engine being pulled. The owner decided to also strip the car and repaint it while the engine was out, a project that took six more years. Two replacement engines were located, but were ruined when their storage area was flooded. As often happens with old car projects, the MGB was put on the back burner due to frustration, then health issues, and eventual abandoned after the death of the owner. Fast forward to 2019 - the family decided 30 years was long enough to tie up the garage and contacted the Tidewater MG Classics club to see if anyone wanted the car for free. Given that the engines had been ruined by flooding, it was assumed that the car had also been submerged and was likely to be a rust sculpture in the shape of an MG. Since I have 1978 and 1979 MGBs, I figured I might as well at least see if some parts could be salvaged before the hulk was scrapped. It took almost 6 weeks before the owner could find time to meet with me in his garage, but the car was not far from work and I could be patient. We finally connected this past Monday, and I got a big surprise. The engines had been stored elsewhere, and the garage and the car were both untouched by water. What little I could see of the car looked good, if dirty, so I shook hands and became the new owner. Loose parts were carried back that night in my van, and I made arrangements to have it flat-bedded to my house this morning. Pickup was supposed to be at 10 AM, so I went over early to help get the car out. When I arrived at 9:45, the car was already loaded and ready to go! The owner had aired up the tires and even swapped out the spare for one that did not hold pressure. Since I was taking part in a car show nearbye, I paid the driver to leave the car in my driveway and went back to the meet. I got my first good look at the car this afternoon, and am really amazed at the condition. The MGB's sheet metal is as clean as any I have ever seen - there is ZERO rust on the car anywhere. The body is straight as an arrow, with perfect door fit and only a small dent on the front edge of the hood. After a good wash, the paint job looks to have been quite good, but has suffered from 25 years of scrapes and nicks and will have to be redone. The wiring harness looks unmolested, the dashboard is undamaged, and most of the parts are present. Best Bud Chip even has an engine that will work in it! If I can get a title for the MGB, I'll make it a long-term project to restore. If not, then I will reluctantly strip the car for parts. In either case, it was well worth the $100 tow fee!|
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