The October 2008 Octagon Queen B is the ’79 B of Donald Hutchens. Here is his story:
My love affair with MGs dates back to the late ’50s and early ’60s with a ’58 MGA and high school days. Quite a story, which also includes a ’63 MG Midget and later my son’s first car, a red ’77 MG Midget in 1984.
Now fast forward to 2007 being married for 42 years to my wonderful and understanding wife and with our kids out of college and on their own, I realized I had not found or owned the car I always wanted, a MGB roadster. Now the story of my find and purchase of a red 1979 MGB.
It is late summer of 2007 that I am reading our local newspaper car ads, which I usually do on a daily basis and this ad appears:
I see this ad and read it daily for approximately 2 weeks, so on a pretty sunny Sunday afternoon I told my son about this ad and we laughed but we agreed to call and see if this car was still available. To our surprise, it was, so we were able to set up a time that same afternoon to see this car. Another surprise was that the car was about 4 miles away, stored in a little building in a new housing development. From reading the ad and the price that was being asked, at best it could only be a project car. Maybe good for parts and not much! We arrived at our appointed time and met the owner at the gate of this gated development. We then go to the little storage building and raise the door. SURPRISE is an understatement as here sat a red MGB roadster with the top down, a little rusty and faded, surrounded by stacks of boxes so close you could not open the car doors. The owner stated that the top was good and a new battery had just been installed.
My son managed to climb into the little car and hit the starter and the roar of the four was music to my ears. With only 2″ of clearance of the garage door, the little red MGB was very carefully backed out of the building. Now we could inspect what we had found. First was the current year license tag and the car was last out for a trip to the beach on July 4th as told by the owner. The owner also told what brand and weight of motor oil that was used and that the original owner’s manual was in the glove compartment. By now the roar of the four was sweet, sweet music. Our inspection was really getting serious as we were under the hood, under the car, in the trunk, under the mats, under the door and in the battery area. We were looking for rust and did not find any. We raised the top and the top was in good condition as the owner had said. The tires were in excellent condition and they were a matched set of Michelins with almost new tread. We found in the trunk an excellent spare tire mounted on an original MG wheel ready to go. Also folded neatly was a tonneau cover and top cover and all original tools and jack all in excellent condition.
Now came the driving test and wow! Great handling, brakes good, straight stops, all lights working even the side lights, brake lights, turn signals, clock and also a nice radio set up. All gauges work, temperature gauge right on target, oil pressure right on line with owners manual when driving and when idling. The clutch and gears were as smooth as silk. One more check as the title does number match, motor body and VIN number, etc. Yes, I offered a price and the owner accepted as he is moving to Texas for a new job and does not have time to complete the restoration. The car had 101,402 miles on it and was owned 11 years by the previous owner.
The only thing done to the car by my son and me, was to wash, wax, vacuum the carpet, dust the seats and dash and drive it! Changes that I would like to make in the near future are to install a European type license tag and MGB original type wheels. I would also like to clean and detail under the hood.
This rare find is now a proud member of our family and is run almost daily, except on rainy days.
My son, seventeen year old grandson and 10 year old granddaughter say this little red MGB is not for sale and are waiting for the car to be passed down to them.
A rare treasure can still be found in 2007 or today. You just have to check them out!