Car of the Month : July 2004

When he’s not playing cricket (or football), or fielding enquiries from London Underground’s beleaguered customers, Adam Hills can be seen batting about London and the Home Counties in his sexy black MGB roadster – a refreshing change from the usual array of tackily-modified Fiestas, Corsas and Clios more typically driven by lads in their late teens.

Here Adam explains why he plumped for the MGB, and what he’s got planned for it over the coming months…

I HAD been debating over whether to buy a new car for a while as I was getting slightly tired of my boring old Vauxhall Cavalier. Being a young man of just 19, I wanted a car with a bit of pace. Thing is, I’m not one for driving kitted-up Novas and joining the ‘Chav‘ clan, so my dad suggested maybe looking at a classic car.

One of the last places I expected to go looking for one was on eBay, but there is a tremendous variety of classic cars for sale on there – some in better condition than others.

We won the bid for a lovely little black roadster from Stoke and picked it up on a Sunday. It was in fairly good nick structurally and the 1.8 twin-carb engine was also doing well. The car was first registered in 1980 and has had six owners since then. The mileage stood at 77000, and it had an agreed valuation of £6000.

The car has obviously had a fair bit of money spent on it. It has been fitted with genuine Minilite wheels, a handling kit and has also had the suspension lowered. It makes for a gripping drive – no pun intended.

After an ‘incident’ with the engine overheating, we realised that the thermostat was broken. Much work was done to restore the engine to a good condition. My dad and his mate Andy did sterling work replacing the head gasket and fixing a couple of water and oil leaks.

The Minilite wheels may need refurbishing in the near future, so we will probably do this when we take the car off the road later this year. We also have plans to respray the bodywork, strengthen the sills and possibly even convert it into a chrome bumper model.

The MGB roadster is a car oozing with character. It is no wonder it was recently voted the 3rd favourite classic car off all time, behind the E-Type Jag and the Morris Minor.

Adam’s MGB has benefited from lowered suspension and a smart set of Minilite alloys, and came complete with the practical hard-top. The sills are due to be replaced when the car is taken off the road later this year, and the ‘rubber’ bumpers might also be going.

The tidy-looking interior has been uprated with a pair of leather-trimmed seats and a decent stereo system…

…while the business end has not been neglected, gaining a rather handy twin-carb set-up.

Declan Berridge

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