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Can my beloved 74 MGB be saved?

Pit Crew

This past Saturday I rolled my MG over an embankment into a creek. The roll bar and seatbelt saved my life. I have a pretty sore back and some bruises but for a 67 year old I'll take that. 

i'm posting a few photos and was hoping could some opinions on whether it's repairable. i realize photos can be limiting. IMG_9673.jpgIMG_9674.JPG

13 REPLIES 13
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Re: Can my beloved 74 MGB be saved?

Community Manager

Oh no! I am sorry to see this happened, but I am glad that you are doing okay! If you have insurance with us, I highly recommend contacting our claims department so they can help.  That department normally works hard to not total a classic after an accident, so do begin that process. 

NOTE: I am not in the claims department, and my advice may be significantly different than theirs.  That said, here's my advice: considering how affordable these MGBs are (even the older ones with the chrome bumpers) you should brace yourself for the possibility that you need to buy a new one and keep/strip yours for parts.  

 

I have been in your shoes before (in a smaller wreck, newer car) and the insurance company wanted to total the car just because the book value was about as much as the cost of the repair.  So passed on their assessment, rolled up my sleeves, and drove the wreck to a frame shop, and began collecting replacement body parts.  I also splurged for a full body respray, since the rest of the car had faded paint. It's been about 5 years now, I don't regret the decision at all.  

So just be ready for a lot of work, whether you need a parts car or whether you need to make this one into a parts car.  

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Re: Can my beloved 74 MGB be saved?

Detailer

Glad to hear you are okay.

 

Anything can be fixed, but we all don't have Jay Leno's budget.

 

I see front clip, bumper, one rim, windshield frame, a ding in quarter panel?, mirror and trim show the door took some force, possibly damage beyond the bumper horns which is a problem as MGB are unibody and getting a frame straightened can be a hassle  --getting  a unibody done is another level. [Done well and legal and safe for your jurisdiction all come into play].

 

If the unibody is intact you might be lucky again in just swapping out a bunch of panels. Do your doors still open and shut properly and look lined up?

Is that left front wheel located correctly still? That is to say, are the 4 corners of the suspension geometry still in the right places?

 

If the answer is yes to the above questions you might not be that badly off. However, if having an MGB is more important to you than having THIS MGB you are possibly better off finding a replacement car like Sajeev suggested.

 

Good luck whatever you decide to do!

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Re: Can my beloved 74 MGB be saved?

Pit Crew

Thanks very much for your replies. Had a good chat yesterday with a body shop owner. His advice was keep the car, get it home, and get rid of all the damage so we can get a good look and go from there. I believe that's the best idea. 

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Re: Can my beloved 74 MGB be saved?

Community Manager

Very smart move.  Keep us in the loop! 

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Re: Can my beloved 74 MGB be saved?

New Driver

Oh no!

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Re: Can my beloved 74 MGB be saved?

Pit Crew

thank you.  i shall. sent a bunch of photos to a parts supplier in Toronto. Rough estimate for damage he could see was Can$3500. i'm encouraged.  i realize that if the frame is twisted......however the search is therapeutic.

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Re: Can my beloved 74 MGB be saved?

Community Manager

Twisted frames can be straightened out, but that's a slippery slope depending on the extent of the damage.  And you will have to decide if it's worth paying to get it straightened vs buying another car. 

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Re: Can my beloved 74 MGB be saved?

Detailer
Not being negative, just throwing some realistic caution into the discussion:

$3500 seems low to me. If I imagine your car as a squarebody truck (A language I speak better) and use reproduction panels (available and cheap for said truck) I am going to be well over $1000 for the front end stuff alone and that is using the cheap stuff. That isn't painted or put on. That isn't fixing trim, mirrors, bumper or the wheel. Windshields aren't cheap either...

Not sure if this site is a good one or not... but MG prices seem to vary and some are scary: https://mossmotors.com/exterior-body-panels
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Re: Can my beloved 74 MGB be saved?

Intermediate Driver

The car is totaled...technically. And I seriously doubt $3500 would even cover half the replacement parts I see. Still, anyone on this forum should understand that market value isn’t the same as sentimental value of a car. I understand the need to save it.

That said, I worked my way thru high school and college in a family collision shop. While I’ve been out of that industry since about the time your MG was new, if that estimate was for a finished repair, something isn’t right.
Be careful. A second opinion might be warranted. 
Glad you’re OK.