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Thread: Any Mirage owners also an MG owner?

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    Senior Member dspace9's Avatar
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    Any Mirage owners also an MG owner?

    I'm just putting this out there to the Mirage Forum. In case anyone has an MG roadster from the 60s and 70s I have a question or two about them. I found an MG, very low mileage car for sale.

    Car looks mint.. in the photos. I know they are worth something, but not extremely valuable like say a stingray corvette.


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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 214 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 39.8 mpg (US) ... 16.9 km/L ... 5.9 L/100 km ... 47.8 mpg (Imp)


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    Still Plays With Cars Loren's Avatar
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    I'm not an MG guy, but I used to be a Triumph guy. I know a thing or two about little British cars.

    Low mileage isn't uncommon for those cars as they were often bought as weekend toys, and... well, they had enough problems that it wasn't unusual for one to have a major problem at 40-60k miles that would render it parked in the corner of the garage for a decade or two.

    Extremely simple to work on compared to modern cars, and as long as it's something common like an MGB or a Midget, there are reproduction parts available for almost everything you can imagine. Prices are starting to go up, but you can still get a nice driver for probably $4-6k. A showier one might get up to $10k or more. And something rougher that still runs could get down around $1500-2000. If it's cheaper than that... it just might be worth what you pay for it.

    Here's one of your major suppliers: http://www.victoriabritish.com/

    Look it over carefully for rust issues. But, if it runs and drives like it should, as long as you don't have expectations of it being as reliable as your Mirage, you can have a ton of fun with an old British car. Nearly impossible to find one that's "unmolested" for a reasonable price, though. You'll always spend a fair amount of time either fixing or undoing some previous owner's "upgrades".

    Given that you're in Canada... if you want to get into the LBC hobby, it might be worth shopping down here. You'll likely find a much less rusty car for the same money you'll pay for one with "typical northern rust" up there.

    Let me know if you have questions, I can try to help.
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    Senior Member dspace9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren View Post

    Here's one of your major suppliers: http://www.victoriabritish.com/

    Look it over carefully for rust issues. But, if it runs and drives like it should, as long as you don't have expectations of it being as reliable as your Mirage, you can have a ton of fun with an old British car. Nearly impossible to find one that's "unmolested" for a reasonable price, though. You'll always spend a fair amount of time either fixing or undoing some previous owner's "upgrades".

    Given that you're in Canada... if you want to get into the LBC hobby, it might be worth shopping down here. You'll likely find a much less rusty car for the same money you'll pay for one with "typical northern rust" up there.

    Let me know if you have questions, I can try to help.
    Thanks Loren. I plan on taking a look either tomorrow or Sunday. 11,500 km's. From the photos, seemingly no rust. And a nice year, 1966 and in red. True I can't expect Mirage level reliability if I get into British cars.

    Yet this red roadster looks pretty good. I will take pictures when I see the car, and maybe test drive. As-is under $10,000 and I am thinking around $7000 to offer.

    They do sound like fun cars Loren. A tempting way to get my foot in the collector car scene. Thanks for the tips.

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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 214 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 39.8 mpg (US) ... 16.9 km/L ... 5.9 L/100 km ... 47.8 mpg (Imp)


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    Still Plays With Cars Loren's Avatar
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    Is 66 a good year?

    Things to consider. My LBC cars were all Spitfires, 1973-1976. They were basically the same design from 1962 until end of production in 1981, and the same could be said more-or-less of all of the LBC's. (and to some extent, most all 1960 through at least 1978 cars)

    Somewhere in the late 60's and early 70's is where things started to change. Some changes for the worse (emission controls in the 70's were awful, and there was a long period of adjustment before proper EFI came along to give us good performance AND clean emissions), and some for the better.

    What I'm thinking here primarily is two things that you should consider:
    1) Dual circuit brakes! I'm not sure where the cut-off is for this being required. Find out if it was standard on the car you're looking at. If not, was it retrofitted? If you have a single braking system, then a single brake system leak leads to complete brake failure. Not a good thing.
    2) Electrical system. LBC's have terrible electrical systems by default, no way around it. But, early ones sometimes had weird things like 6v rather than 12v systems, or POSITIVE ground rather than the now standard negative ground. Find out what was standard on the car, and whether it's been converted to a standard 12v negative ground system.

    Another thing that was not uncommon in the 60's and earlier was "lever shocks". Tube shocks are more better.

    The good thing about one that old... they're simple. Very simple. You can fix them with a pair of pliers and a screwdriver. Occasionally, a hammer and (as they say in the Hayne's manual) a "suitably sized drift".

    For $10k, the car better be perfect!

    I paid $4k for my last Spitfire. It came with a hard top that I sold for $500. It wasn't perfect, but it was nicely repainted, rust-free, had a fresh convertible top, and was a good runner. Until the 35-year-old oil pressure sending unit decided to leak intermittently and only when the revs were over 4,000 RPM. I knew I had a leak, but I could never find it in the garage. Of course... out cruising one night at 65 mph (that's 4,000 rpm in a Spitfire), oil pressure took a dive and before I noticed the dim oil pressure light, it was too late. Rod knock.

    I guess what I'm saying is don't jump in just because the car's pretty. Do some research. $10k is a lot to put into a car that's probably really only worth $5k. And it's really easy to sink more money into them. Fine if you're getting enjoyment out of doing it, of course.
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    Senior Member Cobrajet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren View Post
    For $10k, the car better be perfect!
    This. I am no expert on old British roadsters, but I do know that they are not too hard to find and tend to be 'needy'. This keeps prices quite low.

    I was in the market for an older convertible a year or so ago. An old MG/Triumph-type car was on my list of possibles when I finally wound up buying an '04 Saab 9-3 convertible. I think it has as many electrical issues as an old MGB would. Thanks for the car alarm that goes off constantly and randomly when the alarm isn't even armed, GM!

    If you particularly like these old British cars...and I don't blame you...then do your research. You will spend a LOT of time under the hood, and it will pay to know the quirks of this particular model and year. And boy, will there be QUIRKS. A lot of these cars don't even have things like roll-up windows. I don't know how big you are, but you may not be sliding that driver's seat back, and you may not be reclining the back rest, either. These cars are, for lack of a better word, 'crude'...even by '60s standards.

    If you are just looking for an old drop-top, $10,000 will buy you a much newer, more reliable car like a Miata or even an E46 BMW 325i/330i. You know, something that will have brake lights that work every day!

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    Senior Member dspace9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobrajet View Post

    If you are just looking for an old drop-top, $10,000 will buy you a much newer, more reliable car like a Miata or even an E46 BMW 325i/330i. You know, something that will have brake lights that work every day!
    Many things to consider Cobrajet and Loren. I really appreciate the insights. I will post the link here in case you want to see the car:

    https://www.merrittauto.com/inventor...dster/3565589/

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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 214 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 39.8 mpg (US) ... 16.9 km/L ... 5.9 L/100 km ... 47.8 mpg (Imp)


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    Senior Member Cobrajet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dspace9 View Post
    Many things to consider Cobrajet and Loren. I really appreciate the insights. I will post the link here in case you want to see the car:

    https://www.merrittauto.com/inventor...dster/3565589/
    Seller lists it as a 'project car'. Lol! I don't think it is worth anything near what they are asking...even if the price is CAD.

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    Senior Member dspace9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobrajet View Post
    Seller lists it as a 'project car'. Lol! I don't think it is worth anything near what they are asking...even if the price is CAD.
    The price is too high. And all your points are valid for sure. Yet I have been thinking, the car has a few merits. For one thing, if those are original Km's on the MG, that's extremely low mileage. The MG brand mats even look new.

    Looks wise is another biggie for this car. If you're gonna sink your time and money and effort, this is a good classic to go with. I think Loren asked if 1966 mattered, and yea totally matters I have to say it's like curb appeal with a house.

    This particular MG has above average looks, great for shows.

    I should go look at this car today, but it's 90 F today and I have no air in my Mirage.

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        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 214 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 39.8 mpg (US) ... 16.9 km/L ... 5.9 L/100 km ... 47.8 mpg (Imp)


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    Senior Member Cobrajet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dspace9 View Post
    The price is too high. And all your points are valid for sure. Yet I have been thinking, the car has a few merits. For one thing, if those are original Km's on the MG, that's extremely low mileage. The MG brand mats even look new.

    Looks wise is another biggie for this car. If you're gonna sink your time and money and effort, this is a good classic to go with. I think Loren asked if 1966 mattered, and yea totally matters I have to say it's like curb appeal with a house.

    This particular MG has above average looks, great for shows.

    I should go look at this car today, but it's 90 F today and I have no air in my Mirage.

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    Oh, it is certainly a pretty car! Too bad the original wire wheels are gone...replaced with hubcaps that look like they belong on a 1980s Oldsmobile.

    If you go look at it, watch...for...RUST!

    I can tell you from experience that those dual side-draft carbs are a pain in the ass.

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    Still Plays With Cars Loren's Avatar
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    Not a bad looking car, but way overpriced. But, they're a dealer, it's to be expected. I think you're better buying from a private party, particularly one who is an obvious enthusiast and has given the car some personal love. They can tell you not only what they have replaced and have receipts for, but what they planned to replace NEXT because they know its due.

    Paint is faded. But, very EVENLY faded, which means no recent repairs.

    It's obviously been restored in some fashion, I'd guess probably 10+ years back. The paint is not original, the trunk has been painted flat black. I'd be curious to see what it looks like underneath. How old is the spare under that tire cover? (or the other 4 tires, for that matter)

    The cheap "wire wheel" hubcaps are a huge turn-off. It either needs proper wires (which are a pain to keep maintained and clean), or something else. For the price they're asking, they could put a set of Panasport replicas on it and it would look a LOT better.

    Dual SU carbs are proper.

    I'd almost guarantee that this car is one that's gone over 100k KM. In the US, they all have 60-80k miles on them, but it used to be unusual to see one over 100k MILES. But, 111k km is only about 70k miles, which seems about right.

    They cut SUCH big corners with the hubcaps, seatcover, ancient Realistic radio, and steering wheel wrap that I wonder what else they didn't spend money on? This thing looks like it spent 10-20 years in some retiree's garage and was just pulled out, cleaned up and quickly run through whatever mechanicals it needed to get back on the road.

    The fact that it's had parts like brakes replaced and carbs rebuilt is good. But, it's not much of a selling point because rebuilding those systems is just a regular part of keeping a car like this on the road. It doesn't make the car worth MORE, just makes it road worthy!

    The gauge panel and whole dash has been very poorly repainted with rattle-can crackle paint. Dash pad is cracked, of course.

    You can see the passenger seat... they put a cover over the driver's seat, so you know it's worse.

    I swear it looks like they didn't bother vacuuming the car or even washing it. Look at the dirt smudge across the hood. For that kind of money, they really should be trying harder!

    I don't even know MGB's, and those are things I see at a glance. Not saying it's not a good car... it looks mostly all-original, complete and intact. I just think their price is way off-base, and I want you to go in with your eyes open.

    In the digital age, if they're not including ANY under-car photos, they're either hiding something, or they're just plain lazy.

    Oh, wait... they aren't even a classic car specialist. Either lowball them with an appropriate price, or just walk away.


    Simplify and add lightness.

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