Category Archives: Members’ Cars and Photos

'79 B of Larry Youngblood

The March 2009 issue’s Queen B is the ’79 B of Larry Youngblood. Here is his story:

About six years ago, a former high school welding student of mine, called me on the phone and asked if I still had my Midget and if I was interested in another MG. Of course, I had to go look. Drove down to the small town where he lived and there it was outside on the driveway, covered in a ratty blue tarp. Pulled it back and what I saw was rough. Interior basically gone, no top, engine froze up, sill and fenders rusted but other than the top, it was all there. He wanted $700, I offered $500. At the time I had no way of having the car delivered to me so I offered him $20 to trailer it to the school where I work.

Once at the school (end of year), I had my few remaining students (all the rest were out co-oping) start tearing it down. Pulled the engine, removed the head and discovered that the #3 piston was “welded” to the cylinder wall. After removing the crank and other pistons and rods, we took a 2X4 and an engineers hammer to the #3 piston and finally popped it out. We then gave the engine to the Engine Rebuild Class for renewing. Continued stripping the car.

Finally was able to move the car to my home garage and got it up on stands. I then removed the rusty sills, inner panel and castle rail. Welded in all new metal and of course, new dog legs.

Front fenders were gone, so had to find new/used ones. Found a good used fender in Arizona and the other was a perfect NOS item that I got from Matthews Parts in Birmingham, Alabama.

Had some minor rust issues at various places on the floor and footwells. A few patches and good to go.

In the meantime, I was busy ordering new parts, interior components, etc. Got to know the UPS man very well!

After all the welding work was done, I started to do the body work but after working off and on for five years, I thought it might be good to let the Autobody Class at the vocational school work on it. Took them nearly the entire school year to finish the car but they did get it finished and I trailered it home for final assembly. The original color of the car was Pageant Blue. My wife picked the new color of ’02 Ford Mustang Mineral Gray.

As I was assembling the car, I found several flaws in the paint but I wanted a “driver” so I am not too concerned. Overall, I was very happy with the work they did.

The engine rebuild came out nice and has been running for the last couple of years with no problems.

In 2007, I took the car to its first two car shows and a lot of folks really liked the color and various little details that I have made such as the Fiero seats, wood cup holder, Bimimi top/wind blocker combination.

I also own a ’75 MG Midget that I purchased new when I was about 22 years old. The MGB was built to use as a “fair weather” daily driver as it has a bit more room for my old bones and fat belly. In the summer, it gets driven most every day and even in the winter on mild days.

'79 B of Larry Youngblood

'79 B of Larry Youngblood

'79 B of Larry Youngblood '79 B of Larry Youngblood

'70 B of Jeff Wergeles

The December 2008 Queen B is the ’70 B of Jeff Wergeles. Here is the story:

I purchased this car in July 1974 with 21,000 miles on the odometer. It was Pale Primrose. It was repainted and given a new interior in 1987. Now, 34 years later, the car has 108,000 miles on the odometer and is still in my garage. It’s driven regularly.

'70 B of Jeff Wergeles

'70 B of Jeff Wergeles

'70 B of Jeff Wergeles
'70 B of Jeff Wergeles

'79 B of Donald Hutchens

The October 2008 Octagon Queen B is the ’79 B of Donald Hutchens. Here is his story:

'79 B of Donald Hutchens 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:

MGB 1979
Runs good
Standard Trans.
xxxx.xx
Call xxx-xxx-xxxx

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!

'79 B of Donald Hutchens

'79 B of Donald Hutchens

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'73 B of Art Isaacs

73 B of Art Isaacs
73 B of Art Isaacs

The August 2008 issue’s Queen B is the ’73 B of Art Isaacs of our technical staff. Here is his story:

I am the second owner of this car and bought it for $300 in 1990. It had fortunately been abandoned inside a garage, so rust was not as bad as it could have been. Though there was some minor collision damage to the front and rust along both sills, the car was basically complete and solid and much of the body remains original even now. The dealer emblem on the rear is from the original new car dealer sale. I took on a full rebuild and restoration that took about 3 years to complete. I still consider it a work in progress, as refinements and improvements are always being made. The Hong Kong and China plates are legit and owing to my working there, but just for show in the US. The NJ “QQ” tags are hidden beneath the HK ones. Though never intended as a show car, it is primarily driven for enjoyment, it has consistently garnered 1st and 2nd place in class honors at shows it is entered in. Even after these many years, it continues to be a source of much enjoyment, pride and entertainment.

Back View

The dealer emblem on the rear is from the original sale to an associates’ son when he was a student in Denver. The Hong Kong and China plates are real and owing to my working there and being an active member of the MG Car Club – Hong Kong (the HK club badge is set in the grille), but are just for show and generating interest in a sea of red MGB’s here in the US. The NJ “QQ” tags are hidden beneath the HK ones which are on removable slip plates.

Interior

The instrument panel and gauges are all original. I used a coverlay on top and sat hours with black silicon and a toothpick to repair cracks in the vertical face which, 18 years on, are still holding up with the repairs invisible. The steering wheel is a Grant Signature Classic. It is not available from any of the MG catalogs, but from most auto parts chains and the JEGS or JC Whitney catalogs. The MG logo horn button is home made from the plain kit piece, but all else is available for all MGB’s.

Engine in place and trimmed

I modified the Stellings & Hellings air cleaners from the HS application by drilling-out the threaded holes in the back plate so they can be fitted to the HIF carbs. I recently changed to a Pertronix electronic ignition and am very happy with the results.

'73 B of Art Isaacs

'73 B of Art Isaacs

'73 B of Art Isaacs

'73 B of Art Isaacs


'77 B of Tom Triatik

77 B of Tom Triatik
77 B of Tom Triatik

For the past 2 years I have been driving my yellow 1977 MGB to a Salvation Army picnic for children in Green Bay, Wisconsin. As a clown I create 200-300 balloon animals for the children during this event and here is a picture of me with the clown suit in the B.

Another picture here is my grandson, Cameron Smits, who seemed to blend in with my 1977 yellow MGB as he was wearing his Packer sweatshirt.

Another picture is my 1977 MGB sitting in my driveway.

The story of my 1977 MGB begins in July 2006 when a friend of my wife (Bonnie) let her know she wanted to sell her MGB of 20 years. She had 55,000 original miles, new tires, new top, wire wheels, and during those 20 years of ownership this MGB had been restored, repainted, and rewired. Being in Wisconsin, she only drove it occasionally in summer. The next weekend my wife and I drove to her home (about 40 miles) for a test drive. She had informed us that while she would not be home that weekend, her home would be unlocked, the keys would be in the MGB, and if we liked the car we could just “drive it home and we’d meet next week to trade the title for a check”. So after a short test drive this 1977 MGB was on the way to my home with my wife following in our van. That was a Saturday in July 2006. The next Monday we met and exchanged my check for her title. She is glad her MGB has found a “good home” and my wife and I, along with our grandchildren, are the happy owners of this MGB. We’ve even taken our MGB camping in October in Door County – Wisconsin to visit Fall Festivals and see the Fall colors with the top down!

Note: This is an article appearing in the American MGB Association club magazine, the Octagon which is received with club membership.

Queen B

This issue’s Queen B is the 1980 MGB L.E. of Thomas Dahlfors. Here is his story:

Just a little about me – thirty years ago I rebuilt my first British car, a ’61 TR3. After selling that car (wish I hadn’t), I bought my first MG, a 1974 British racing green MGB. Then I upgraded to a 1978 British racing green B. Then lastly in 1992, I bought from his 1980 MGB L.E. with 600 miles on it. It still smelled new!

As a retired school administrator, I finally sold my last horse and am converting my barn into a garage as there is less daily clean-up.

I recently acquired a 1953 MG T and have been doing some work on the MGB.

Your publication, the Octagon, is superb – the technical hints and tips are just what I can use.

I am a member of three other MG clubs but from what I have heard, the American MGB Association is really the tops for MG owners.

Editor’s Note: Thanks for the kind words and hope you enjoy your car being featured.

'74 B of Francis P Queoff

The December 2007 Octagon issue’s Queen B is the ’74 B roadster of Francis P. Queoff. Here is the story:

Here are some photos of my ’74 B roadster. I bought it in 1998, the body was in good condition, it had no rust, it was a Florida car but it did not run good. I put in a Weber carburetor and electronic ignition. In the next two years, I did the interior and a new top. In the year 2000 I replaced the motor, the next year I put on a new chromed set of 72 spoke wire wheels. Last fall I stripped off all the chrome and windows and had it painted. I worked all winter putting new chrome and bumpers back on the car. I have gone to six local car shows in 2007 and have taken two first place, three second place and one third place trophy and one best of show for foreign cars. I drive the car and put approximately 2000 miles on the car each year.

'79 B of Tom Bruno

The October Octagon’s (received with club membership) Queen B is the ’79 B of Dr. Tom Bruno. Here is the story:

Here are some photos of my recently, completed 1979 MGB. The engine has been detoxed and upgraded. It is bored out 40 thousandths; new parts include: stock cam, pistons and valve train, 2 bbl Webber downdraft carburetor, exhaust header, alternator, Petronix ignition, radiator, valve cover, water pump, fuel pump and gas tank.

The suspension has all new Urethane bushings and a Monroe shock at each corner. The interior is all new done in Autumn Leaf with ealier chrome stripped door panels. The front tag was given to me by a patient from England.

This car was left for trash in a backyard in Tampa Florida, full of leaves, wasps, ants and rats had nested in the driver’s seat. It was ready to go to the junk yard. The engine was left exposed with the spark plugs removed.

It has taken a year and a half to get it back into running condition.

The only major work left is a little body work and a new paint job, probably Brooklands Green. Thanks to Glenn’s MG in St. Petersburg for the engine rebuild and Victoria British and Moss for all the parts and The Roadster factory for the interior and carpet kits. My wife is happy that it’s almost done because I have spent many hours in the garage with my little MG. I still sneak into the garage and rub her headlights every once in a while just to make my wife jealous, especially now during rainy season when we can go out for a ride.

'74 B of Simon Bentley

I was due for a holiday and I wanted to climb an Alpine ice gully. I had just had an important birthday in May. I decided to drive to California’s Sierra Nevada in my 1974 MG !

This meant a 370 mile drive from Joshua Tree , Ca. to near Mono Lake , about 65 miles north of Bishop . You might think that a long day like that would be tiring , true but I was so excited about going.

I am originally from England. I first visited the USA on an exchange visit with the USAF . The year was 1974 and this is precisely the same year that my MG came over here also . It was also the year I turned 18, a very good year !

I bought the car in January . I paid a fair price for the car , but I wanted to know she would not let me down. I found an English bloke in LA who had moved here from England in 1968 . He has been working on British sports cars in the same location for almost 40 years.

The car was running well when I got her , but that was not good enough for me . I had the mechanic put a new clutch in replace all leaky engine seals , replace almost all the suspension . He also replaced the entire cooling system with new parts . I also had a new Falcon stainless steel exhaust put on . The engine shows about 165 lbs of pressure in each cylinder and has an overdrive gearbox . I was now anxious for the open road.

Early one September morning I set of from the desert loaded with all kinds of climbing gear . The plan was to meet two climbing friends at Matt’s Mobile Gas mart in Lee Vining that evening.

Well it was difficult driving at around 55 mph , but that was what I wanted to do . I wanted to try and return 30 mpg for my trip .

55 mph seems to be around 2350 rpm with my 175 SR14 wheels . I managed it most of the way with a few stretches of 50 mph and some 60 mph. It took around 9 hours . I stopped several times for some serious leg stretching and also to buy food supplies.

I met up with my two friends that evening in Lee Vining . If you ever get up that way you really have to go to Matt’s Whoa Nellie Deli . It is situated on Highway 120 about 1/4 mile west of highway 395 . It looks like a typical Mobil Gas Station , but once inside you see things are rather different . Matt is actually a well known and critically acclaimed Chef. I would describe the place as ‘ fine dinning in a Gas Mart , drinks served at family restaurant prices.

Tomorrow was an early start . We only had a few beers and went to our sleeping bags early . We were going to climb the Mount. Dana Couloir . The climb starts at almost 12,000 feet . I was overcome with the worst altitude sickness I have ever experienced at around 11,500 ft . We all agreed to return to the cars and go back to camp. Well at least I was the bloke driving a real car !

The next day my friends went their separate ways and I decided to enjoy the mountains with my roadster !!

I checked into Murphy’s Motel in Lee Vining and got a good night’s sleep .Next morning I got up early , had a quick breakfast and took the roof down off the car.

I headed up towards the high Sierra . Driving up the Tioga Pass in the MG with the roof down was awesome . The pass enters Yosemite National Park at about 10,000 ft . My car was not too fast going up the massive grade , but once up in the high country of Tuolomne Meadows she flew along really well .The Yosemite High Country is an Alpine region and is full of the most amazing rock domes and meadows .

It is a popular hiking , rock climbing and horse riding area. People travel from all over the world to go climbing here.

Tuesday morning rolled around too soon , and it was time to head back to Joshua Tree .

I drove 997 miles on my trip and using 87 octane fuel managed to squeeze 29.9 mpg . I did not go over 60 mph and my car has overdrive gearbox .

I got home safely that evening and am now looking forward to my next MG adventure!! (excerpt from articles appearing in the club magazine, the Octagon)