SBCC's First Restoration Project 1963 MG B

Click here to return to Main Page

After several months of looking over prospective candidates for a club project car, the selection group settled on this 1963 MG B. It is from the first year of "B" production and the serial number indicates one of the earlier vehicles off the line. The previous owner had started a restoration but, after an initial removal of some pieces and a bit of preliminary bodywork, abandoned the task. The pieces are all there (a quantity of boxes came with the car). The vehicle is straight with no major rust. The motor was running up until the restoration started. Lots to be done but it all appears to within the scope of club restoration, making it an excellent project car. The plan is to restore the car to be a safe, roadworthy and attractive driver (rather than say a full body off, concours quality "restoration"). The idea is to give club members chance to work at practical, common tasks that are involved in bringing a typical British car back to a state of happy motoring. After completion of the project the car will be displayed at club events for a season and then sold as a fundaiser by some yet to be determined method.

Watch this page as work progresses - for the full tale, start from the bottom of the page and move up - progress reports are added to the top of the story.

New Home (May 2004)

New owners of the SBCC project MG Kelly and Len Bykowy

And so our project car moves on to a new life on the road. We hope Kelly and Len get as much enjoyment out of our MG as we've had restoring it. Kelly and Len anticipate showing the car at upcoming meets, so it's not goodbye to the little roadster that's we've gotten used to having around, just welcome back to the active life every little British car should enjoy.

Finished (Fall 2003)

From this:


Here she is, ready to roll

Well, three years of work on our project MG have come to an end and the final results are pretty pleasing. A lot of club members had fun and gained experience taking our pride and joy apart, cleaning, repairing and reassembling her. The end result is a solid, pleasant to drive, good looking example of one of the most popular sports cars ever to come off a British drawing board. The car will now go on sale to finance the project. .

Thanks to all who worked to make this project a success. Time to get to work on our little bus.

Final assembly (Spring 2003)

On the trailer back into town

We hauled the MG back into town to have it more accessible for members to work on. As there are lots of fiddley little bits and pieces to attach, having it close at hand will allow anyone with a bit of time to drop over and get some more done. The windshild, lights and latchs are back on, next to come is the interior at which point she becomes a driver. Then its just the ragtop and trim.

Reassembly starts (fall 2002)


new WHITE paint!

With the bodywork finished to the best of our ability, the car was shipped off to Perfection Paint and Body for final detail work and painting. Pretty spiffy, eh? Starting to really see the progress from all those hours of scaping, welding, hammering and sanding. Now it's time to dig out all those boxes of bits that came with the car. Sigh - guess we should have been cleaning them up while the car was away getting painted. Brightwork all gets a polish, a few rough pieces found in need of replacement and various little odds and sods are missing from the bottom of boxes and will have to be ordered. Next session we can start putting things back on.

Bodywork (winter 2001 through spring 2002)

The outer sills clamped in place ready for welding

There are REALLY a lot of fiddly bits in the engine bay that need cleanup.

But it's getting closer all the time (note that the red paint in the engine bay has been stipped to reveal the original white undereath).

Final welding of the replacement fender, outer sills and floor panels done. It's getting down to the detail work now. Lots of small parts were removed, cleaned, sanded, repainted and waiting put back on after the paint job. A great many little bumps and dings hammered out, filled and smoothed. The engine and engine bay cleaned, sanded and repainted. Final flatting off and sanding in preparation to send the toy off to the paint shop was done on May 3, 2002. Next step - The NEW PAINT JOB!

Bodywork (May - August 2001)

The crew considers the options before getting down to work

Hernan, Bill and Wayne strip off the quarter window while Bob and Ernie consult
the manual for how to retrieve the bolt that just got dropped down the air vent.
Some members still considering options.

The project car has been moved into Earnie's garage for bodywork. The work crews begin weekly sessions.
Session 1: First order of buisiness is to strip all the trim.
Session 2: Paint is stripped from suspect areas. The body is braced in preparation for cutting the sills to true up the door openings.
Session 3: Dolly and hammer work begins. Hood straightened. Left rear fender smoothed. Outer sill panels removed.

The sill cut and rewelded, floor panels in

The right rear wing tacked on

Session 4: Sill panel cut and rewelded to straighten door fit.
Session 5: Floor panels tack welded in place. New right rear fender panel tack welded on

Bodywork Assesment (April 2001)

Ernie seems pleased with the condition of the project

So Ernie gives the panels the once over and the verdict is: good club project, lots of things to do but nothing major enough to be beyond the scope of members capabilities. What needs doing is: A month or so of weekends and odd evenings should do it. Time to get beating tin.

Spring Is In The Air (March 2001)

The temperature is almost up to thawing, the furnace is running great and the mechanical work on the MG is nearly complete - can life get any better than this? The mechanical condition of our aquisition continues to amaze. There has not been one seized nut, pitted bearing, cracked housing, corroded whatzis... Everything has been textbook simple - take it apart, clean it up, add any new parts required for standard maintainance and put it back together. Ten of us assembled early Sat AM to see if we could complete the mechanicals checklist this go round. And we did. Replaced the homebuilt thermostat housing (which some previous owner had fabricated at great expense in time and effort out of plate steel, plumbing fixtures and washers!) with the BMC part. New front suspension bushings, new steering rack gaiters, new distributor cap and ignition wires, new emergency brake cables, and new tires, courtesy of our tire sponsor Empire Tire. Down off the jack stands, fire her up and back and forth a few feet in the garage just to say she's moved under her own steam for the first time in years.

As soon as the snow melts (hopefully in a couple of weeks) it's up on the trailer and into town for a meeting with Ernie the body man to assess what panels will be dollied, which (if any) replaced and what else needs doing in the cosmetics department. Concurrent with this (while the garage floor is clear), all the boxes of bits need to be laid out and an extensive reference list checked off to see what's missing and what needs replacing. Tally Ho.

The Great Freeze Out (Jan 2001)

January in Saskatchewan, it's 20 degrees C below zero. Our intrepid band heads out to work on our pride and joy, only to discover our first major mechanical repair job. Not the car, it's fine. But the oil furnace in the workshop has given up the ghost! Much whinging and moaning by members of the cast who have not come dressed to face the elements (and have obviously neglected Murphy's Law). Fortunately there is a champion in our midst with extensive (if somewhat distant in years) background in working with oil burners; Jim L. steps forward and with numerous helping hands spends the next couple of hours dismantling and cleaning the injector, filters, lines and ignition system on the wayward furnace. Turns out to be exceptionally similar to the fuel system on an LBC. And like our vehicles, old furnace systems object to being neglected for several years.

Oh, the car. Once the shop warmed up a bit, it got new brake pads all around, freshly turned front rotors, new rear brake cylinders, and all the axle bearings redone.

First work session (Nov 2000)

A dozen or so club members descended on our aquisition to assess the mechanicals and do some basic clean up. An amazing amount was accomplished:

Then the moment of truth... a new battery was hooked up (short pause - what year did MGs switch to negative ground), final fluids check, hit the ignition and she fired right up! No untoward noise, no blue smoke, no drips - cheers all around.

So it appears we have a nice tight, low milage engine to start from - a relief after some of the horror stories one sees on other basket case restorations. Stay tuned for the next episode.

Bob waxes poetic on the internals of the motor while Alan vacuums out several years worth of debris.

Cockpit cleaned up

Robert attends to the carbs.

Club inspection fun run (Aug 2000)

I know there's a bonnet release in here somewhere.

open wide

Not quite as clean as yours, Ron, but all the bits are there.

Reasonably straight and sound back view.


On the trailer, July 2000