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1970 MG MGB

Frame off restoration: First Look

The first part of any restoration is performing the first look at the project. In this article we'll be doing the first look at our 1970 MG MGB. This project was selected by my daughter, and we'll very quickly assess the exact condition of the car.

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Now I find the collection of photographs for this first look very interesting. As it is my daughter's car, she was responsible for taking the photos. These are, well, definitely a window into the world the way my daughter sees it.

The convertible top, like with most cars I find out here, is totally fried and crumbles to the touch. From what we can see the interior is all there, but buried under some extra parts. Based on the exterior we initially thought this car was white. Well, it may have been at one point.

From the back you can see the complete disintegration of the convertible top. Most of the snaps on the body look to be in decent shape though.

Here's a quick glance into a very dirty, yet entirely complete engine compartment. Even the emissions equipment is still there! This is important as she'll have to insure the car regularly, not as an antique. As it's a 1970 car, it does not presently fall under our old car rules (66 and earlier) and we will have to take it through emissions. (These are Arizona city emission standards.)

The car had no front wheels or tires. Two good things for us: we had the proper rims in my parts stash, and they are 14" rims which are much easier to get tires for. If it had been 13" we would have had a much harder time. Despite the lack of tires and rims the suspension appears to be complete and the rubber in the suspension is completely toast.

Here we have a better view of the interior of the car from the driver's side. Basically every soft part is completely sun fried, though the seats actually look usable. You can also see the standard smattering oof loose parts.

Here's a close up view of the front suspension. As mentioned before, the rubber is shot. I'm also not sure if those front rotors will survive a turning or not.

Tanith was fascinated by how damaged the top was. Here you can see just how little is left.

The windshield is intact. This is a happy suprise on most Arizona cars. If the heat doesn't crack them the trucks throwing rocks will.

This even has the old luggage rack which should, with a little spit, polish and elbow grease, shine up nicely.

Here you see from the passenger side. You'll note that the driver's side door panel is gone. It's also suffering from a very minor case of "crack of doom" on the passenger side door. It looks bad, but is eminently fixable. The side trim, as you can see in this picture, is entirely dinged all to heck. At some point Tanith will have to decide whether she wants to have it or not. I've seen MGBs with and without the side trim. Personally, I prefer without. It's her car though, so she will be the final decision maker.

The front bumper is off the car. Here you can see the most obvious body damage (just about the bumper mount). We'll have to fix this along the way. Also, you can see the remains of some cloisonne badges on the grill. My daughter gets a kick out of those.

Here is a photo of the passenger side of the grill.

We finish here with a photo attempting to get the engine from underneath the car. You'll note that the boots on teh steering don't look to be in too bad a shape. This is hopefully a good indicator of the overall condition of the steering.

In the next article we'll be going over the Cleaning and Inventory of all the loose parts on this project.

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Contents copyright 2008, 2009 - Jody F. Kerr

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