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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 07-30-2011, 11:10 AM   #1
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Default Sweet FA: Phoebe's 1973 MGB-GT

My parents had my very first car, my 1973 MGB-GT which I’ve owned since age 17, restored as a surprise gift for my 40th birthday. It was in storage for 20 years; about 10 years at the garage I was renting, and then when my parents moved to NJ, it got stored there. Luckily, it was always stored indoors, so it remained intact and in stasis the whole time.

Over the past few months my dad had been mentioning to me now and then that my GT should get put back on the road again. I took this to mean that he wanted to get it out of the garage, which made me really worry because I didn’t want to take on another project right now. Obviously, it turns out I was wrong. My dad had the same guy that did the bodywork and paint on his MG Magnette do the work on my GT, and it now looks much better than it did, better than how it came from the factory, and is definitely show quality. Unfortunately the photos below don’t really do it justice, but it’ll give you an idea anyway.

What’s left to do on the car is to reinstall the glass, put the interior back in, reinstall the lighting, replace all rubber hoses, rebuild the hydraulics and carbs and prepare the motor to start after not running for 20 years. Luckily, the motor was rebuilt when I had it on the road and only has a few thousand miles on that rebuild, so getting it running again shouldn’t be too difficult. I’ll be returning to NJ sometime in the near future and my dad will be helping me to get it back together. I’m the one who took it apart in the first place, and I still mostly remember how it all goes back together. Plus I have the workshop manual for the car, which details everything anyway.

I have to say, I was completely shocked when my dad opened the garage door. He was wearing an ear to ear grin and I just stood there with my jaw dropped open and my eyes like saucers. I think I said “Is this my car?” and just stood there frozen. They said it was my car and told me to check it out. I cautiously walked around it with my hand over my mouth, just in awe and total shock. Of course I started crying and told them that I thought I’d never see it on the road again and thanked them over and over. It was so touching that they thought to do this for me, because I certainly couldn’t afford to do this for myself, and they know that.

This was such an amazing gift for them to give to me, not only because it’s incredibly generous, but because they understand that this car means a lot to me and it’s very much a labor of love. This car is how I learned mechanics. This car is what got me into racing. This car I took to college (for better or worse). They could have taken the money and bought another GT in great condition for the same price, but it wouldn’t have been the same, and they know that. I am way more grateful than I can express.

You all can expect many more updates on the GT project in the future. I'm not entirely set on the name yet, but "Sweet FA" came into my head almost immediately and it's stuck for now. Once it's actually on the road again, I may change my mind. Anyhow, here's some pics:


Me with an absolutely retarded look on my face right after my parents (left and right) revealed my reborn car to me.











Photos of the restoration process can be seen in reverse chronological order in this Flickr set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/phoebeg...7626909235432/

I'm sure you're all wondering if I have any plans for it other than keeping it stock. Yes, of course I do. 20 years ago I was dead set on converting the car to V8 power. I did a ton of research on it and even went as far to get myself a Buick 215 V8, a couple different intakes, a set of exhaust headers, an aluminum flywheel and a bellhousing for a T5 transmission. Keep in mind, back then the car needed a lot of structural work, so it seemed logical to just perform the mods necessary to install the V8 while doing that work. Now that all that work is done, I don't want to spoil the amazing repairs and bodywork the guy did to the car. So, all the V8 parts are going to be sold off, which will help fund the project. So, what are the plans?

Obviously, first and foremost I have to get the car to driveable condition with a few easy mods for convenience and reliability. I don't know how long that will take, and the car may be coming back home with me before it's in that state (since going to RI to NJ to work on it is a pain in the ass). After that, I figure Stage 1 will be upgraded suspension and brakes, Stage 2 will be headwork, exhaust, HD clutch and I hope an aluminum flywheel. Stage 1 and 2 are in preparation for Stage 3...SUPERCHARGING I definitely will need to save my pennies for that though, because the Moss supercharger is about $4k, but in my mind it's a much better solution than the V8 conversion. Perhaps down the road a LSD and 5-speed conversion will be in the picture, but we'll see what my budget can afford. My goal is to keep the car very stock looking (with the exception of a set of American Racing Libre replica wheels), so it will be a period-correct sleeper.

In case you're curious, here's a couple of videos of supercharged MGBs:

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 07-30-2011, 11:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: Sweet FA: Phoebe's 1973 MGB-GT

looks to be an eaton m45 on there. sweeeeet

that has to be an awesome feeling seeing your car back to this point. congrats!!

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 07-30-2011, 11:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: Sweet FA: Phoebe's 1973 MGB-GT

fricken awesome

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 07-30-2011, 11:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: Sweet FA: Phoebe's 1973 MGB-GT

Sweet shit Pheobe. My dad and I are getting ready to start rebuilding our 1977 MGB. We were going to be doing a 302 V8 swap into it, but we got an incredible deal on a supercharger, so that's going in. I don't remember the name of it, but it's a higher end and higher power supercharger than the Moss Motors one that people generally use. I've seen the 1800 engines running about 250hp with the supercharger we have. We're not going to run it that high though.

Can't wait to see the progress.

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 07-30-2011, 11:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: Sweet FA: Phoebe's 1973 MGB-GT

Before heading to FF11 on Thursday, I spent two days in NJ working in the garage. This was Step Zero: getting the garage cleaned out and organized since there were parts from at least four cars in there. Basically, I took everything I could out of the garage, sorted it all outside, got rid of anything that was junk, reorganized all the bins and put everything back in the garage in reasonable order, with the parts for my car, the Magnette and extra parts all separated. Unfortunately there's no shelves in the garage (yet), but I did the best I could anyway. The photo of the garage cleanout in process is below, but it's not quite as impressive as it was in person:



Of course it was hot as hell both days *and* a thunderstorm rolled through while I had everything outside. Luckily I had tarps at the garage.

So, that's where everything stands right now. I'm hoping to go back again for a week in August to really start tearing into it.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 07-30-2011, 11:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Sweet FA: Phoebe's 1973 MGB-GT

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Originally Posted by fslflint View Post
looks to be an eaton m45 on there. sweeeeet

that has to be an awesome feeling seeing your car back to this point. congrats!!
I know it's the same charger that's used on the Mini. Check it out here. The base kit is good on its own, but they also have a higher compression pulley and a couple of other go-faster bits you can add to it to boost the boost.

Yes, it's a totally amazing feeling to see the car like this now. It's way better than when I first owned it, and even better than how it came from Abingdon. I so can't wait to drive it again!
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 07-30-2011, 11:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Sweet FA: Phoebe's 1973 MGB-GT

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Originally Posted by fslflint View Post
looks to be an eaton m45 on there. sweeeeet

that has to be an awesome feeling seeing your car back to this point. congrats!!
That is the Moss Motors supercharger system which does include an Eaton M45. The Moss kit runs at 5-6psi, but can be increased to 7.5-8.25psi with an upgraded pulley.

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 07-30-2011, 11:27 AM   #8
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Default Re: Sweet FA: Phoebe's 1973 MGB-GT

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Originally Posted by SabreV45 View Post
Sweet shit Pheobe. My dad and I are getting ready to start rebuilding our 1977 MGB. We were going to be doing a 302 V8 swap into it, but we got an incredible deal on a supercharger, so that's going in. I don't remember the name of it, but it's a higher end and higher power supercharger than the Moss Motors one that people generally use. I've seen the 1800 engines running about 250hp with the supercharger we have. We're not going to run it that high though.

Can't wait to see the progress.
Oh shit, we have to keep in touch on our sister projects, then! I'm very interested to see yours

I've seen 302 conversions and that motor fits very well in it (it actually fits better than the Buick/Rover V8s, as you probably know). I've also seen the Ford V6 conversions too and they're pretty nice as well.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 07-30-2011, 11:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: Sweet FA: Phoebe's 1973 MGB-GT

Oh yeah, you can't see it in that garage photo, but there's also a 1973 MGB convertible in there as well. Interestingly, it's also the same stock color as my car: pea green.

I'm trying to convince my dad to make it into a vintage racer, but he's not so hot on the idea. Dammit.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 07-30-2011, 11:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: Sweet FA: Phoebe's 1973 MGB-GT

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Originally Posted by Phoebe View Post
Oh shit, we have to keep in touch on our sister projects, then! I'm very interested to see yours

I've seen 302 conversions and that motor fits very well in it (it actually fits better than the Buick/Rover V8s, as you probably know). I've also seen the Ford V6 conversions too and they're pretty nice as well.
We'll have to do that. Our supercharger won't be going on until the winter so we can keep driving it this summer. We were going to start putting the supercharger on to make sure everything works properly and so we can get the stuff built to make it fit before we start building up the engine. But, the guy we bought the supercharger from said that he actually blew up 3 stock 1800 engines with this supercharger using the lowest psi pulley it has. It's going to be quite a beast when we're done.

Can't wait to see where you go with yours too. I have always loved the GT's, especially the chrome bumper ones.

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