AutoHunter Spotlight: 1963 MGB Roadster

Featured on AutoHunter, the online auction platform driven by ClassicCars.com, is this very early 1963 MG MGB roadster.

I am often asked what is the best choice for a classic sports car for the first time buyer, and my answer is almost always the same: buy an MGB.

The MGB is the embodiment of what a British sports car is. They have enough performance to be fun to drive and offer enough performance to use in traffic on the roads of today. They also are quite simple to service, are nice looking, and have a top that goes down.

Now, a few years ago I had a bright spark idea of restoring a perfectly good driver-level MGB GT. The car was a decent example with little or no rust and an interesting history. After 18 months, lots of money spent, and after talking to two friends who are experts in the restoration business (Paul Russell and John Saccameno), I sold the unfinished car realizing that I could have bought a fully restored car for as much as I had already invested in the unfinished car. My lesson that I am passing on to you now in relation to this specific MGB is to buy a restored car, as it is always cheaper than having one restored properly.

This 1963 MGB looks to the kind of example of the MGB I should have bought from the start. The seller describes the car as a 1963 MG MGB roadster that underwent a restoration completed in 2020 and received fresh paint, a new convertible top, a redone interior, and a replacement wiring harness. It is powered by a rebuilt 1.8-liter I4 mated to a rebuilt four-speed manual transmission with overdrive.

The exterior of this MGB is finished in its correct color of Old English White paint and equipped with a dark gray convertible top. Its reportedly rust-free body was repaired and refinished by MG Limited of Greenfield, Wisconsin and equipped with new lighting, lenses, and chrome bumpers. Features include a chrome grille, side trim, replacement window glass, and a driver-side rearview mirror. The car rides on period Minilite style alloy wheels.

The interior of this car was restored with period correct Moss Motors-supplied black leather seat upholstery with white accent piping surrounded by black door panels and trim with white accent piping. Features include manual windows and steering, a three-spoke wood steering wheel, and a rebuilt heater. The door panels, carpeted floor mats, and carpeting were replaced as part of the restoration. A new wiring harness has also been installed. This is a step than many people make the mistake of skipping and is important if you want an MGB to be reliable. Lucas electrical systems are not bad but the newest MGB wiring harness dates to 1980 and the components are old and well past their sell by date, making these cars get a reputation of having terrible electrics. They are not as reliable as say a Modern Porsche or BMW but neither is a 1960s Porsche or BMW with its original wiring harness.

Under the hood is a late model but more reliable five-main-bearing 1.8-liter I4 for a later year MGB that is backed by a four-speed manual transmission equipped with synchronized second, third, and fourth gears as well as electric overdrive. The engine, gearbox, and rear differential were also rebuilt by MG Limited. Features include correct dual SU carburetors, a high temperature-coated exhaust header, an upgraded aluminum radiator, and an aluminum flywheel. In 2023, a new fuel pump and an electronic ignition were installed.

This honestly looks and sounds like a truly great example of a second year MGB roadster. Everything I would want to know was taken care of has been taken care of with this example. On top of that, it is a color I like and has the purity of the earliest MGB cars. This is the car I should have bought when I got mine, and whoever wins the auction is going to have years of driving fun ahead of them. In addition this car may even be a good candidate for local and regional concourse events and is a car that is likely to clean up at any MG event near you. If you want a first time classic roadster this specific MGB is the perfect choice.

The auction for this 1963 MGB roadster Sport Coupe ends Tuesday, April 9, 2024 at 11:30 a.m. (PDT)

Visit the AutoHunter listing for more information and photo gallery