Many of us live with regrets. “I never should have punched that cop!” “I never should have had that 10th beer!” And, of course, “I never should have sold that car!”
Our own Ron Redding knows the last one well and has a story to tell about it:
A customer recently brought me his 1967 MGB to get back on the road. He had owned the car for years but never actually driven it. This was your classic project car: the paint looked good from 10 foot, the motor and transmission were out of the car, the engine was disassembled and machined but never re-assembled, and it came with a basket of parts.
He had enjoyed the car over the years by buying new parts. When he brought the car into my shop, the parts filled one entire side of the garage. So we started putting the pieces together. We rebuilt the dismantled engine. We ordered new seats, door panels and carpet. My customer decided he wanted a 5-speed transmission, so I ordered one of the new Miata transmission conversions Moss sells.
Before the engine went back in, he decided he wanted to paint the car. After we stripped the paint from the car, we could see the car had a rough life. Floor panels need replacing, prior rear end damage was repaired poorly, prior rust repairs were sloppy. A patch panel even fell off when we removed a fender. And there was much more rust that would need to be repaired. Seeing all the damage, my customer decided he would find another car and put his collection of parts and rebuilt engine into it.
He located a rust-free car in Arizona, purchased it, and had it shipped to my shop. The transport arrived at my shop, the rear ramp was lowered, and the car backed out. Wow, that car sure looked familiar! Turns out it was my old 1966 MGB I sold in January of 2012! This car was in the Octagon of Honor from the Dallas Club, was at MG 2006 in Gatlinberg, Tennessee and had won numerous awards from our club. With regrets, I sold the car to a man in New York and had contact with a couple people who had purchased it over the years.
The car has a 5-speed Ford Sierra transmission and a supercharged engine which now has around 8,000 miles on it. We did compression checks on both engines and his rebuilt engine had slightly higher readings, so my customer decided to install the supercharger on his rebuilt engine and match it to the Miata 5-speed. We have transferred the new parts we previously installed on his 1967 car to his new car (my old car!) and we continue installing parts on the 1966. It will be a truly loaded MGB (power steering, tube shock conversion front & rear, rear disc brakes, high output heater unit, and much, much more).
By the way - if anyone needs a low mileage 1800 engine or a Ford Sierra 5-speed transmission, my customer would like to sell them!
- Contributed by Ron Redding