View Full Version : Spitfire MGB v. Spit

John Moore
05-20-2006, 09:30 PM
I'm thinking about buying either an MGB or Spitfire. What are the differences? What would you suggest?

05-20-2006, 09:40 PM
If you buy an MGB John, you will never finish welding. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Try a TR7. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

05-20-2006, 09:58 PM
~stomps into this thread and drags John out of the 'rumfy forum~

05-20-2006, 10:05 PM
My vote would be Spitfire... Preferably an early round-tail one - For the money, one of the most beautiful British cars ever made IMHO.

Andrew Mace
05-20-2006, 10:31 PM
Apples and oranges, frankly! Admittedly, I'm a diehard Triumph person, but I have great affection and respect for the MGB. In all honesty, the best suggestion I can make is that you see if you can't at least get a ride or drive in one of each and see what you like.

05-21-2006, 10:01 AM
I would go with a later midget the you could have the spit motor with the durability of MG

steve a

05-21-2006, 10:22 AM
I agree with apples and oranges. If comparing the 2, the MGB would be more compared to the TR4 or TR6 and the Spitfire would be compared to the MG midget. I've owned both the MGB and Spitfire at one time and their both fun cars to drive, but the MGB seemed a little heavier and larger body and interior. I felt the shifting on the MGB was much more direct then the Spitfire, but the Spitfire was just more fun to drive for me. I loved the body style of the Spitfire,the handling and the feeling I got when driving it and I think that is the most important consideration after the mechanical condition of the car. Lets face it, most british cars are not the most reliable cars, so you drive them for the thrill and fun of wind in your hair, not as daily drivers. If both the MGB and Spitfire your looking at are fairly equal mechanically, buy the one that makes you smile when you drive it.

05-21-2006, 02:52 PM
Having owned both of these cars I would have to echo this post. The Spitfire is pure fun to drive and quite easy to work on. I'm looking for an early 1500 myself. A 74 was the first car I ever owned and it was a gas. Good luck.

05-21-2006, 03:28 PM
At the risk of committing blasphemy here (I prefer Triumphs), I think the MGB is generally a more comfortable car to drive than a Spitfire. The MGB suspension (if left stock) is softer and it rides more smoothly. Plus, the MGB interior is larger with more legroom, elbow room, etc. MGs are also a bit safer if you're involved in a crash.

In general, the Spit is a sportier car. It's lighter, and a bit more nimble. Spits are also rarer than MGBs on this side of the pond, making them more of a head-turner, IMHO. Further, the Spit is an easier and less expensive car to maintain and restore, I think. Since the bonnet raises the entire front end of the car, it's supremely easy to work on with the engine and front suspension exposed.

Dollar for dollar, I think the Spitfire give you more bang for the buck. With patience and a little luck, you can get a very nicely restored Spit for less than $5,000. That's a real bargain for a sexy, European convertible sports car.

Can't do better for the money than a Spitfire! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/driving.gif

Geo Hahn
05-21-2006, 03:46 PM
...Lets face it, most british cars are not the most reliable cars, so you drive them for the thrill and fun of wind in your hair, not as daily drivers...

[/ QUOTE ]

That has often been said, and yet: here I am.

John didn't say how he plans to use this car. That, more than anything else, might suggest his choice. For long roadtrips (500 miles/day) at freeway speeds I would think the MGB would be more satisfactory. For just tooling around country roads either would be fun but the edge might go to the Spit.

Of course, to focus on just these 2 is to ignore the many other choices out there but MGBs and Spits can both be affordable and have enough examples about that a fine one can be found.

05-21-2006, 10:47 PM
The MGB is probably one of my favorite cars ever made, but I am kinda bias.....After I sold my daily driver B's I bought a 76 Spitfire(in brown) and I bought my wife another 76 Sptifre in white.....Hers was a summer only car and my brown one went through **** all year round. Although it did serve me well it was one of the worse cars I have owned as a DD...and the final straw that motivated me into buying a non-british daily driver.
But don't get me wrong I love spitfires.....extrememly fun to drive and definatly easier to work on than a B...Actually i almost bought a spit a fe months ago but just couldn't agree on a price.

05-22-2006, 04:03 AM
... the best suggestion I can make is that you see if you can't at least get a ride or drive in one of each and see what you like.

[/ QUOTE ]


I've owned both when they were just used cars and used them as my regular transport back then. I'll have to say I liked the Spit a little better... it just seemed to be more fun.... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/driving.gif

Andy Blackley
05-22-2006, 11:45 AM
My very first car was a MkIII Spitfire back in 1974. I loved that car, but it had a nasty habit of swapping ends when I tried to keep up with my buddy in his Midget in the corners. Another time I did an unintended complete 360 in the high school parking on loose gravel. Pretending to be unfazed I simply pulled into the nearest parking stall. There were witnessess including a lady gym teacher who ratted me out, so I lost driving privledges for the rest of the school year. This tendency for the rear axles to fold under and case the rear to break loose dramaticly was corrected on the MkIV and later Spits.
I have subsequently owned many TRs, MGAs and six different Bs, but not another Spit.
It depends on the year and model. I would prefer a chrome bumpered 'B over any Spitfire. But I would prefer a Spitfire over a stock MGB made from 1975 to 1980.
There are a huge variety of tuning and go-fast goodies for both models, it may get down to looking at and driving specific cars to reach your decision.
I sold my last car, a 69 MGB to acquire my TR250, just because it became available. Kismet?

05-23-2006, 02:42 PM
Having owned both MGBs and Spitfires, I'd say go with the MGB. It has a better over-all feel to it.

Regarding Brit cars being daily drivers, my TR6 has been a true daily driver since I got it last September.

05-23-2006, 03:48 PM
I would say spitfire, and echo the roundtail sentiment. Having driven MGBs and owing early spitfire i could never get over how crapmed MGBs felt compared to my spitfires.

Bob Claffie
05-23-2006, 08:32 PM
Owned two street MGB's and one Spitfire street car and two Spitfire race cars. My personal preference would be a second generation (1972ish) Spitfire with the 1300CC engine an dual SU's. Avoid those Strombergs like the plague in either car . Bob

Mark Jones
05-24-2006, 05:42 AM
I have both and find the Spitfire to be a nice complement to my MGB.

Paul Slice
05-24-2006, 06:54 AM
I have both a 78 MGB and a 80 Spitfire and I love them both and would not/ could not pick between them.

But, after driving both one right after the another the B seems heavy, large and way up off the ground ( yes, it is lowered to CB specs). While the Spit bounces you around you just point it and hang on, the Spitfire feels more like a true sportscar, while the B is more comfortable.


05-24-2006, 11:27 AM
Spitfire? Cute car, flawed suspension design until the last ones. Personally I'd rather have a GT6.....but decent drivers.

MGB - more power, better handling, what's not to like? Forget about the rubber bumper cars - total waste of time - lost both power and handling, but early MGB vs. Spit - I'd have to opt for the MGB.

And as for the TR-6, again, flawed suspension design but rather easily remedied, decent car, but I'd prefer my MGC just for the added power (and before you start on about IT having poor handling, I agree, but it is also easily rectified and then it makes a very nice grand touring car.


05-24-2006, 11:52 AM
The first LBC I worked on was a 1964 "B" and my buddy's always had Spitfires (now I own a GT6). I agree with almost every comment I've read earlier in this thread. The "B" will be harder to work on but has more room and (to me) more comfort on a long trip. The Spitfire is just raw fun. In both cases, stay away from rubber bumpers. As suggested, try to get a ride in each one before you make your decision.

Mickey Richaud
05-24-2006, 03:42 PM
Flip a coin! Buy whatever it is... Then go look for the other one - you'll want 'em both!