MGB Register News February 2018
“MORRIS” THE MGB GT 1978
I bought Morris in March 2017 for £300 from College Motors; they had it stored there for a few years. It was last on the road in 2009. He’s not my first MG. I had a MG ZR as my first car and that was called Donald. I now have a ZS which is called Angus; yes, I name all my cars.
I started working on Morris as soon as I got him home, and managed to get the engine turned over with help from some friends and drove it off the trailer to my drive. No history came with Morris, but I have managed to establish that the number plate has been changed at some point in his life. I also found some MOT history about the car, and when it was last on the road. Also, he’s had 13 former keepers, but that’s all I could find out.
I started by getting the engine running correctly by putting on a thermostat and checking all the wiring. I then stripped the car down to find that it needed some welding. I decided to tackle it myself, so bought a welder and went to work. I’d never attempted welding before, but fortunately I had a friend who’s got plenty of experience. I picked it up pretty quickly and got to work on it. In the end I had to weld both sills, inner and outer, around the windscreen, floor and the rear bumper. Next I turned my attention to the interior. It needed a whole new interior, which again I’m tackling myself and Morris will now sport a deep cherry red trim. This is the first time I have ever done any work with fabric – it was an enjoyable challenge. I ended up doing the entire door cards and the dash. Next, I’ll take on the seats. I also plan to paint the car myself. It’s going to stay the original black. Again, I’ve never painted a car but I will learn as I go.
It’s an original rubber bumper car and it’s going to stay like that. As you can see, I am trying to do all the work myself and learning as I go, with help and advice from friends. This is my first classic car and won’ t be the last.
I recently had to recuperate after a back operation, which meant a month or so of not working on the car. It was hard just to sit and look out of the window at both my MGs on the drive and not be able to drive or work on them. But I’m back working on the MGB now and Morris is progressing nicely. He’s just had a new engine loom fitted with the help of Steve Illing at Abingdon Car Restorations, and I plan to have the MOT carried out at the start of February. I’m now looking at increasing the power with a stage two head and new crank. Hopefully he’ll be ready for pride of Longbridge in April.