I left the last post with me having spent a small fortune on parts to sort the MGB out yet being present with a large bill for a steering rack swap.
But what benefits did I feel? For starts the car felt like it was no longer required the force to be steered in any direction. The Spax dampers made a surprising difference to the handling of the car and the exhaust really sounded lovely!
But there was an elephant in the room. That would be any MGB’s Achilles Heel. The bodywork. To summarise:
-The front wings looked fine but they were bubbling beneath the swage lines at the front
-The front valance was in one piece but it did have alot of surface rust present
-Rear valance was not very different and was very thin in places.
-The driver’s side floor had a thin hole in place where it met the gearbox tunnel.
We originally planned to take it down to a painter who was said to be good. Upon initially meeting him this certainly seemed to be the case. He was a very down to earth guy. Unfortunately, fate would intervene. He was due to go in for an operation which would have him out of action for months on end. Cue painter two.
Alot was said about this painter and I had even seen a few cars he had done which looked to be half decent. Thus the stripdown began.
With this done the car was dropped off to him. Little did I know I would not see the car again for a good few years, with it not really resembling what I had dropped off to him.
For those of you who read my last blog you would have realised that my fateful journey into the world of BLs started back in 2002. Little did I know, it would not be an easy path to go down. Here is a tale of how a simple plan went massively out of hand.
So, I had a brown MGB, with rubber bumpers and no real class about it. To top it all off the car felt like a boat on motorways with even a ferry going across the channel rocking less, in addition to an overdrive unit which would disengage most of the time the clutch was disengage, leaving one with no overdrive. Oh, and the exhaust was blowing.
After a polish however, the brown did not look quite so bad. It would not pass an MOT however if it looked shiny! Some would say at this point we should have given up and got a better car. But was is the fun in that? The car was £600 after all…
Overdrives were not cheap units back then either. However, with some luck we did manage to locate a working overdrive rebuilt by an ex-Laycock fitter for £195 ; not too bad I guess when most wanted over £300. Being in Bolton however did make things awkward. Simultaneously, an exhaust was ordered up in the form of a Falcon single box item, for £110. With these two items it went to the now gone D & S Classics garage based down in Stratford Upon Avon. After a week the car was way way better than before. It felt direct, it was safe to leave junctions and drove well! However, more problems became apparent even if the exhaust sounded great! The steering was vaguer than a vague thing. When the garage quoted us £140 to change the rack we figured why not.
The “why not” soon turned to cursing when we had a phone call to say that it took Dave (the prop of D & S Classics) over 3 hours to remove the rack due to the bolts being seized within the steering rack ; I recall him saying that it was one of the worst racks he had ever seen on the car. The price also went up to £300. From not spending alot on cars we decided to begrudgingly spend the cash and drive the car. So even though we were poorer the car did drive far better. With the Spax damper conversion on the back it really improved matters. If we really had any sense the car would have simply have had a little a paintwork here and there and simply enjoyed.