For years I had an old MGB GT that wasn’t really used very much and it eventually was just ‘parked up’ on the drive of our old house. After a few years it was rolled into a shed to stop it rotting away too much and eventually I decided to do something with it. I stripped it out, had the body shell media blasted to remove all the old paint and rust, counted up the replacement panels that were needed and decided that it wasn’t worth it so threw it away.

A new replacement shell was ordered from British Motor Heritage and once we collected it I set about building it up. My initial plan was to use a modern 1800cc MG “K” series engine with a modern six speed Ford gearbox with heavily modified suspension and brakes too.

I borrowed a rotisserie and set about doing all the drilling and modifying needed so that it could be painted with no exposed metal anywhere. Once I’d finished underneath, the car was turned over and I very quickly realised that not everything was completely right. The body was 1.75″ (3cm) longer on one side and so all the suspension mountings were geometrically wrong ad the roof was off centre too. This meant that the door windows could never fit. I argued the toss with BMH and eventually got my money back.

Meanwhile, we carried on rallying the Talbot and building our new house. In about May 2013 I spotted a car on Gumtree that needed a closer look. Off I went to Bangor and agreed a deal there and then. It had to go into storage for a few months but once we had the new basement garage sorted I started the strip-down all over again. It wasn’t as good as I thought. I had to replace the sills, floors, rear inner mudguards, boot floor, rear chassis extensions, inner front panels, and do a lot of work to the bulkhead. Much of this was carried out to a very high standard by “Classic Marques” here in Co. Down.

Once home again I began again to do all the “fitting out”. I admit it has taken a lot longer than it should but as of today (1st December 2022), it is booked in for painting and the upholstery is ready for trimming.

The replacement, bought on Gumtree with some of the rot exposed.

This little K series MG engine was part of my original plan for the new car. Being aluminium it is less than half the weight of the original and it has more than twice the power.

6th February 2023

At long last the ‘B’ is off for painting. Work is already progressing on the motor and interior so while there’s a MG shaped gap in the workshop it’ll be time for a tidy up.

March 2023 and work is advancing. The interior is in Ballymena for re-trimming, the engine is stripped and it’s rebuild is progressing. The body is finally in the painting booth and should be back here soon. I have a provisional date for the electricians to begin wiring and I’m hoping that the furniture will be here soon to begin the build-up.

21st March 2023

At last the body shell is receiving some paint. We are hopeful it might be finished by the end of this week and we’ve been promised the interior by the end of the week too. Our very special wheels are in final prep before dispatch so I’ve got a busy period ahead!