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I was casually looking at buying a convertible sports car again, something I’d done a lot off and on over the years. In my youth, I owned a Datsun 2000S Fairlady for 10 years, which in a moment many times regretted it got sold.


My search was starting to get a bit more serious. Mazda MX5’s were high on the list and really there isn’t much else in the market unless older classic cars are added to the search criteria which I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to go down the path of fixing and working on old cars again. Rear-wheel drive, convertible and interior space to accommodate me, I’m 6′ tall, were must-haves, the performance was not overly important but would be a bonus.

I made a few casual enquiries about the MX5. The Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider began to stand out as an option while reviews spoke of the Alfas as being more refined than their counterparts of the day like the MGB, with their twin-cam alloy engine, disk brakes all round, 5-speed gearbox etc.

Meanwhile a very tidy, fully and properly restored and somewhat modified MGB Roadster popped up for sale locally. I didn’t think I’d be that interested as I had a few years before looked at a couple and found them a bit rough and tight to get in and out of. With the idea of being a good comparison to the Alfa I was due to look at the next day I went to kick the tyres and take it for a spin. Wow, what an impression that car made on me. It looked fantastic, was comfortable and went like the clappers.

The time came around to check out the Alfa which at this stage I thought I’d be more interested in. The car apparently had a resto a long time ago but presented pretty rough. Sitting in it my knees felt like they were around my ears, driving it only got worse, it was agricultural, sluggish, the gears crunched and protested incessantly, I literally just went around the block, the fastest route back to end the experience was chosen, thanks but no thanks, good luck with your sale, se ya later.

The contrast was chalk and cheese, buying the MGB Roadster was a no brainer. Prices for both cars were about the same. Contact with the seller of the MGB was promptly made to arrange purchase. Now I’m the owner of this fantastic car that although its specification when new was less refined than the Alfa, the driving experience proved to be quite the opposite.

Cool Factor:

Beautifully prepared and presented it looks fantastic and is a very well sorted car to drive in every way, in fact, it rides better than my modern Hyundai. I’m always getting thumbs up from other motorists, shouts and whoops, and “nice car” at traffic lights and car parks. People readily approach me for a nostalgic chinwag. My son, who is reserved and introverted doesn’t get it, “How can you talk with someone like that when you don’t even know them’?


This car is more of an exception than the rule. It’s been properly restored and is a multiple trophy winner in MGCC of NSW Concours events in 1998 and 2000. It’s been cared for and maintained meticulously and only bought out for club and show events by its owner of 17 years who sold it in 2016.

The duco presents beautifully in Pearl Red, of course, there’s no rust and the brightwork is immaculate. Pics prior to the restoration show the car in its original MG Bermuda Blue, a colour listed for the 1970 model year which suggests this car was made in 1970 but sold in 1971. The owner after 2016, Richard, my new best friend, made some mods. He replaced the immaculate spoke rims with Minator mini-light style 15-inch rims with centre lock wing nuts and low profile tyres, they look fantastic.

The interior is of course very nice. The last owner repaired the collapsed seat diaphragm and fitted new vinyl upholstery to the driver’s seat, all the carpets and vinyl are in great condition. I gotta say I love the old school MGB crackle finished dash, I’m a fan. Some of the electrics are a bit suspect, the interior lamp isn’t working, the fuel gauge is unreliable and the blinkers don’t work when the headlights are on, and the headlights are very dim as are the lights in the instruments, all of which need attention, pretty much the only thing to be faulted in the whole car.


Well, as I mentioned above, it drives and rides better than my modern Hyundai. In Spite of the 70’s style vibe, this is a very well sorted classic car, it drives, stops and handles like a dream. I must say thanks are due to the owner who restored and kept it in fantastic condition and also to Richard who owned it from 2016 to 2020 who sorted out a few bugs at considerable expense and sold me a beautifully presented and extremely well sorted classic car.

That aside, the driving experience is all MG joy. I don’t know if there are any more verbs, nouns or whatever to better describe it, it’s just a good experience. I had a 2001 model Alfa Romeo GTV V6 before this which is a fantastic driving experience but this MGB tops it hands down.

Interior Space:

For what essentially is a small car it’s very comfortable. It easily accommodates two adults, and what is very rare for me I actually bring the seat forward on its rails to reach the pedals. The 1st thing I do when sitting in any car is to put the seat back as far as it will go, the MGB is one of a handful of cars that I don’t need to do that.

I like the layout of the dashboard and I must say if the Japanese are masters at designing an intuitive dash layout, the English are masters of an aesthetically pleasing sports car layout.

The deck behind the seat has room for throwing loose items, bags, jumpers, stuff from a shopping expedition. The boot after the spare wheel and tools has limited space.

The steering wheel was replaced by the last owner, a 14″ Moto-Lita wood rim type and the look perfect on MGB’s and MGA’s. Being just that little bit smaller than the standard 15″ wheel makes getting in and out just a bit easier.


Well, this is where things get interesting in this car. The last owner had the Moss Supercharger kit fitted along with extractors and a full stainless steel exhaust system of 1 3/4 inch pipe. Thanks, Richard, thumbs up my friend. The addition of a supercharger transforms these cars. Around town driving on the freeway is a very pleasurable experience, keeping abreast of the traffic is a breeze. Overdrive engaged at freeway speed the tacho hovers around the 2800 RPM mark, right in the sweet spot where this car just purrs and is ready to leap up the rev range with ease on demand, urging to gallop on. The exhaust note echoing off the concrete barriers hint at the willing performance. Four words drift into and reverberate through my mind, “This is #*^@# Superb”.

Exiting the freeway into the flow of suburban traffic and the pace changes but the driving experience doesn’t. Courtesy of the torque generated by the supercharger, the added grunt makes the lower speed negotiating of traffic lights, roundabouts and the like effortless. The car transforms from the ready and willing urge to ‘go’ on the freeway to a docile but at the same time comfortable but willing runabout. The same four words drift and reverberate through my mind, “this is #*^@# Superb”. I really can’t decide which experience is more rewarding, hurtling along the freeway, I’m loving it, pottering around the suburbs, I’m also loving it.

A dyno chart accompanied my purchase but I don’t know how to properly read it. I think HP peaks on a steep curve in 3rd gear at 4000 RPM to 108 HP, drops slightly in 4th then peaking again to 112HP at 5500 RPM in overdrive. Researching the system, Moss recommends a modest boost in a standard engine, which my car has, the aim is to strike a balance between performance and reliability. The dyno chart showed 90 HP before the supercharger was fitted.

On an MG, the supercharger in union with overdrive or dare I say a 5-speed gearbox is a combination made in heaven, this car is fitted with the original overdrive. In the MG scene fitting a supercharger is quite a popular performance upgrade though expensive. It beats shoehorning a V8 into one though I guess! The gearboxes in these cars are great to use, quite notchy and tight if they are in good condition with a fairly short throw. I have driven one in not so good condition and the box was loose and sloppy without that notchy feel. There is no spring loading in the H pattern gate which requires physically moving it through the gears otherwise there will be protests hitting the wrong gears, I learned very quickly.


The rack and pinion steering is precise, the driver feels all the bumps and dips in the road without it being too harsh, excellent. The original suspension on this car performs beautifully. Handling is superb and what stands out to me is the way it rides on the road, bumps are a gentle and smooth affair, the car has no shakes or rattles of any kind, it is just smooth and pleasant, not too harsh and not too soft. To me, it is the quintessential sports car ride.


The brakes too perform flawlessly. Added to the standard front discs and drum brake rear end is an aftermarket booster, courtesy again of the last owner, thanks, Richard. Looking back on the receipts a lot of time and money had been poured into the brakes for reasons unknown to me. There are receipts from the owner who restored it and from Richard that add up to a lot of money. Whatever the problem was it is not present now as the braking performance is fantastic.


The engine performs beautifully in this car, what looks like the standard cooling system works properly which is a necessity with a supercharger fitted, oil leaks seem to be minimal. Underneath the car is immaculate, the gaiters and all the rubbers are in great condition, the steering is direct and sweet.

Richard claims to have had it at quite high speed, somewhere in the 120mph range and reports the car is stable and superb. I don’t think I’ll be testing it to confirm or bust his claims.

So that is a wrap on this lovely example of the 1971 MGB L Roadster. The driving experience of this car is such that it is an easy stretch of the imagination to think that you may be behind the wheel of a meticulously prepared and expensive exotic classic, all amplified when the top is down. In a word, “Superb”.

Happy trails all.