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View Full Version : Tunebug vs MGB, initial thoughts



drooartz
05-02-2011, 09:34 PM
So I've had the MGB for a couple weeks now, and have a few hundred miles on it. I've driven it back-to-back a few times with the Tunebug as well and have some initial thoughts on the two cars. So, in no particular order:

* The MGB weights 600# or so more, and you can really feel it. Good, in that it's more comfortable and less twitchy. Bad, as it is noticeably less responsive in the twisties. MGB = Cadillac, Tunebug = sportbike. Okay, not that bad, but it feels it when switching back and forth.

* The extra CCs matter -- I believe the MGB is stock, and the Tunebug is no where near stock. That extra torque can be felt.

* Full throttle and shifting at 6k in the Tunebug is unbelievably fun. Addicting. I want more.

* Roll up windows, leg room, shoulder room, comfy seats -- these things may have a future.

* RHD really is fun, though in the end not as noticeable once you are underway.

* You can really tell that the cars share DNA. So much of the mechanicals feel familiar on the MGB. Same sort of world at 125% of the size.

* Overdrive is not overrated.

* Never really understood how light the steering in the Tunebug is until I drove the MGB.

* My wife loves the Tunebug, but not to ride in. She's already been for more rides in the MGB than in the Tunebug -- she has not even ridden in the Tunebug since I got him back on the road last year.

I was surprised at how different the two cars are. Neither is better, but different. I admit that in the beginning I was prepared for the MGB to replace the Tunebug (more space and the OD are *really* nice). I also really like more stock vehicles, and the MGB doesn't need much more than some tuning to be modern-usable, while the Tunebug has taken lots of work to be usable here in the mountains.

If I really had to choose, I'm not sure which I'd pick. Luckily, neither is worth so much that I have a need to choose -- a benefit of liking cars at the low end of the price spectrum. I do believe they will both stay.

smaceng
05-03-2011, 12:59 AM
Drew,
In my early days, and I mean a long time ago, like when electricity was new, I first had a couple of MGAs. First I had a 1600, and it was sort of comfortable on the freeway, except for the expansion strips. I could sort of take long trips, like 200 miles and live to tell about it. Transmission had a terrible gap between 2nd and 3rd. Bump steer just made driving fun.
I then "graduated" to the BE. I remember thinking at the time it was like putting on a glove....with respects to OJ...if that is possible....and it handled as such. The car revs like there is no tomorrow, unlike the MGAs which were stressed out at anything over 4500 rpm.
Each has its place.
My life has been trying to find the "ideal" sports car. I've had british, italian, german, japanese.....and have yet to find one. The Miata SC I recently sold was close, but still not too fun on the longer trips....maybe it had to do with the competition springs, etc. The Porsche 911, 1980, was a brut, and could tear up the road, but a real handful on the slow stuff. The big healey was great on the highways, but would scream on the slow corners. The Alfa Spider had bubble gum for a chassis, looked great, had good mechanicals, but was weird in the corners. So I am back to the BE, with my new 5-speed almost ready to stuff in.
Cheers to you all
Scott in CA

glemon
05-03-2011, 01:52 AM
Nice comparisons from both Drew and Scott, I have had Sprites and MGBs and I agree with your assessment of both. The B really feels like a barge compared to a Sprite, but it is oh so much more spacious and comfortable, like all the extra size of the car is in the cockpit or something. I think Bs are a nice car to drive, and sporty too, but compare to a Sprite and, well I start to repear what Drew and said already.

I too am looking for that one ideal sports car. I had had Sprites, B and B GT, TR4A, AH100, TR250.

Sprite: As stated great handling, nimble, can be made to go pretty well with mods to the very hot roddable A series motor, but somewhat cramped these days and buzzy.

Bs: I loved my BGT, great highway car, great utility with the hatchback, not as nimble as a Sprite

4a (with overdrive) Great highway car, decent handling, but kind of tall and tippy to do transitions well, but I have very fond memories of the 4A, rugged as heck, always would start and get me there. Didn't like the feel of the rigid suspension coupled with flexible frame.

Healey 100 Classic lines, big four torque, but whole different era and feel, still a blast to drive and nice to cruise in, but don't get caught in the rain or cold, terrible weather protection, but it made me feel special just to drive it.

TR250 Built this car, my current one, to be that ideal all-arounder. Love the power and torque, great ride compared to the live axle cars, I am modifying to get good handling, but not sure how far I am can get from the "tall narrow and tippy" feel it has compared to the Big and little healeys and the MGB.
Comfortable tourer, wife loves it.

O yeah, honorable mention, generation one RX7, great car, tossable, 7000 RPM redline, smooth revving, smooth ride, great highway with the 5 speed, etc. But not British and not a convertible, but great all arounder.

Though about a Jensen Healey, maybe it would fit the bill as the all around classice sportscar? Have driven them, they are pretty nice. Have a friend with a Rover V8 in a BGT, that is a very nice car in every respect, but he spent major bucks to get there.

aeronca65t
05-03-2011, 05:42 AM
Yep, the DNA sure seems similar to me too. My MGB feels like a scaled up Spridget in many respects. And that's a good thing. My B could use new lever shocks. Also, I love the way the banjo steering looks (It's a '69) but it feels too big to me. I'd like a thicker, smaller-diameter wheel. Those simple changes would go a long way to improving it, but I haven't has the time. Knock-off Minilites would be nice too.

I had O/D in my old TR3 and it was neat, but the MGB never really sees any multi-lane highways here in NJ. So not such a big deal to do without it. I'm sure it's useful in the Square States.

My daily drive is a second-gen Miata and to be objective, it's miles better as a street car than the MGB or a Spridget. And considering it's over 40 years newer, that's as it should be.

My B was more of an accidental purchase (I was buying wheels from a racing friend and he said, "Hey, how'd you like to buy my wife's MG while you're here?. She never drives it anymore.") I may keep it; I'm not sure.

There are other cars I'm intested in. I'd like to own a Ford Model T. And I've never owned a street Lotus Seven (or clone). Plus those Speedster replicas are the bee's knees. But in the long run, I'd really like a trick box-Spridget street car. And a new Miata. We'll see.....

Yesterday at my house.

https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v170/aeronca65t/Cars/mg-sprite-miata.jpg

vagt6
05-03-2011, 07:08 AM
Of all my cars over the years, the most fun to drive was my '70 Triumph GT6. Yes, it's: too small; too loud; too rattly, too bumpy, etc. But for pure driving fun, no other car beats it in my experience.

Not as comfy as an MGB, but handled very well and had plenty of power, for me. Always a crowd-pleaser. I love the MK II styling, it's so British!

This one was not stock, but had engine mods rendering around 125HP or so. J-type OD made her a decent top end car, too:

https://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m291/vagt6/vagt6side.jpg



There's no other car like a GT6! :yesnod:

drooartz
05-03-2011, 07:14 AM
I'm not so much looking for the perfect sports car as enjoying sampling some different ones. I'd love to try an Alfa some day, but the GTs and early cars I like are all above my price range now. A T-series MG would be fun as well, but I'm not sure I'd like the lower speeds. Even with all of our great (and close) roads here, there is still some unavoidable freeway work.

Having something that my wife likes to ride in is a definite plus. For now I'm enjoying feeling like a *very* low-rent Jay Leno with my little fleet of cars. <<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/grin.gif

DrEntropy
05-03-2011, 07:53 AM
Alfa GTV next, Drew. :wink:

And an S-3 Elan after. :devilgrin:

drooartz
05-03-2011, 08:06 AM
Also, I love the way the banjo steering looks (It's a '69) but it feels too big to me. I'd like a thicker, smaller-diameter wheel.
Funny, my B has a Mountney steering wheel, smaller diameter with thick rim in Leather. I don't like it and want a larger, narrower rimmed one. Too bad we can't trade, I believe the hubs are different.


Alfa GTV next, Drew. :wink:

And an S-3 Elan after. :devilgrin:
Alfa GTV is on my list, Doc. Just need to save up for a few decades. They're not as cheap as they used to be.

DrEntropy
05-03-2011, 08:12 AM
Alfa GTV is on my list, Doc. Just need to save up for a few decades. They're not as cheap as they used to be.

Too true... I blame th' innernet thingie for it. :smirk:

JodyFKerr
05-03-2011, 09:50 AM
I've not had the opportunity to drive a MGB that was in good shape. The bucket i drove was a much more exciting ride than it was supposed to be. :wink:

I would add the Triumph Spitfire into the same general category as the spridgets. They're a heck of a lot of seat of the pants fun from 0 - 70, but not a comfortable distance cruiser. Someonementioned the Jensen Healey. Those are wonderful on the windy roads, have tons of pep, and are nicely balanced. They also have a lot ofroom(it's actually longer/wider then a Miata). The doWnside on the, is thefinal gear ratio which makes road trips painful. 70 mph = 3,000+ rpms. Now, putadecent 5 speed in there and it'sa totally different animal.

My absolute favorite all around spprts car has to be the Porsche 944. Tractable as a daily driver, comfortable on long drives, 50/50 weight distribution, equally fun on windy roads and stfraightaways. Had one as my daily driver for a number of years. Would buy another one in a heartbeat if the costs of the Turbo version in good repair weren't rising so quickly.

Jody

ChrisS
05-03-2011, 10:35 AM
My B was more of an accidental purchase (I was buying wheels from a racing friend and he said, "Hey, how'd you like to buy my wife's MG while you're here?. She never drives it anymore.") I may keep it; I'm not sure.

Bruce tried selling that B to Erica a couple times...should have picked it up.

aeronca65t
05-03-2011, 11:13 AM
My B was more of an accidental purchase (I was buying wheels from a racing friend and he said, "Hey, how'd you like to buy my wife's MG while you're here?. She never drives it anymore.") I may keep it; I'm not sure.

Bruce tried selling that B to Erica a couple times...should have picked it up.

And we BOTH missed the E-type he sold.

<span style="text-decoration: underline">That</span> was the <span style="text-decoration: underline">real</span> steal.

jvandyke
05-03-2011, 12:03 PM
Well, I don't have near the background some of you guys have (yet).

Opel GT, was fairly peppy (modded), fairly good handling, very unique and drop dead gorgeous. Not a convertible and horribly uncomfortable (hot) and I fought fumes in the cabin the whole time I owned it. But it was pretty and "obscure" and that was cool. 4 speed, 'buzzy" at modern highway speeds over extended periods.

Midget, '63, super fun to drive and tinker with, not good for long haul (I don't mind, wife sure did), not good in weather, "dangerous" in modern traffic. But awesome pedigree, very good looking, and absolute pure joy to motor in on gorgeous summer days/nights.

Fiat x1/9 (current daily driver). Fuel Injection-that's good, low maintanance. Good mileage (28 for me, others do better). Removable stowable targa is nice, comfortable, 5 speed is nice for highway, very fun to dive, handles like no other car I've owned, by far and away spanks the daylights out of anything on the twisties. Needs more HP though and mine leaks like a screen door on a submarine (bad windshield replacement at some point).

Favorite so far is (was) the Midget but too impracticle for a guy who needs to run his toys as transportation in all weather (yes, frigid Michigan winters too). Opel wasn't around long enough to test out in the winter (lady crashed into it for me). Fiat has proven a good mix. With an engine transplant it would probably be one of the best little "usable" two seaters ever. Not that the engine is bad, it isn't, very tough high revving and solid, just needs more HP. I took it through a very twisty trail road yesterday, 15mph official limit and I hammered the daylights out of it, very very fun, in that situation the engine is perfect, it's on a long straight where there isn't enough (is there ever?).

Gundy
05-03-2011, 01:04 PM
MGBs are girlie man cars.
They corner like drunken sows plowing every chance they get.
Lots of low end power for those fearful of revving an engine.
Gawd it's so soft it's embarrassing.
LOVE to cruise in it with the ol lady by my side but that's about it.
Chick car.
:jester:

All kidding aside I do like the B...I just LOVE the Bugeye.
I'd never mod out the wife's B. She hates the BE. First time
it stalled coming off the line was enough for her. Stupid car
I think was her comment.
I like the raw, bare bones nature of a Sprite. It's all business.

For us neither car is up to the task of daily driver.
Land Cruiser and Benz handle those chores.
Lovely shopping trips in the country with her friends...
the MGB is PERFECT.
Thrashing around and squealing tires....that'd be the BE.

Two VERY different cars from my vantage point.


I do understand a Pro driver would run over me in a Pinto
if I was in either LBC.
A Pro would beat me in her B and then switch cars and beat me in the BE.
The BE just feeds the Walter Mitty in me better.

Hap Waldrop
05-03-2011, 03:01 PM
I love both the MGB and the Spridget, but since I'm a larger than normal (keywords for fat) human :smile:. I prefer the MGB for a street car, and my new approach at my 67 GT engine is to get it to rev like a a 1275, so I went, lighten rods and crank and aluminum flywheel and added a 100ccs to the displacment, and 15" wheels which greatly increase the steering turn in, as for making it easier. I recently sold my Spridget race car, and will be starting on a 68 MGB GT race car, in fact it's the one Tony B started on and never finished, I fiquired it was a project I could finish for Tony and the car's name will be, what else, The Autoist.

drooartz
05-03-2011, 04:00 PM
You'll do that car proud, Hap.

I'm really working hard to be able to keep both cars long term -- driving each is so different, and keeping the Tunebug gives me an additional incentive to keep from getting larger-than-normal. <<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/grin.gif

If all goes according to plan, you'll see the MGB engine some day, Hap. Would be fun to have a pair of ACME engines.

ABfish
05-03-2011, 04:19 PM
Hey guys. New forum member. Just purchased a '65 Sprite (yesterday, to be exact). I had to drive it about 20 miles from the car lot to my house, and I was grinning when I climbed out (maybe I should say extracted myself, even though I'm only 5'9".) Wife says, "You really like that thing, don't you." "Yes I do, after only one serious drive". I am really excited to have the little car, and can't wait to tinker with it. I learned to drive a manual trans 30 years ago in a '74 Midget, and I swear I was having flashbacks in the Sprite.

I guess this will also serve as my introduction to the forum. Looks like a great group with a ton of helpful info.


More to the OP, my "other car" is a Mini Cooper Clubman S. If anyone can top the Mini as a daily driver/fun car, bring it on. Fast, fun, fuel efficient, can carry 4 in a pinch. If you haven't driven a Mini S with an auto in Sport mode, you'll be surprised how good an automatic can be.

Bob Claffie
05-03-2011, 06:58 PM
I hesitate to reply to this thread as I have never owned a Spridget. But have driven and owned multiple sporty cars. Some of my cars and rating as follows : Lotus Elan waaay up there in desirability and funness. Down side lack of serious chassis scared the **** out of me, felt like I was driving an egg (fragile), also maintenance, equal time driving and fixing. Fiat X1/9 fun to drive just 30 HP too few but nice handling. Porsche 914/6 fine auto, almost fast enough, great handling, down side $$$ german mechanics, ouch. TR3 overrated tractor, cute but not much else. AH3000 and 100/6 both so-so cars, really pretty but not much else! AH 100/4 totally different car from the 3000, basic fun motoring, should have kept that one. Tiger loved the first one enough to get another one to restore. Cobra replica, stupid car , socially unacceptable but outrageously fun. Old Vet the ultimate status car if you don't mind driving a "stone cart" , probably have this one forever. Series 1 Miata, does everything well but needs 20 more HP this one is also a keeper. MGB really nice drivers , love to find a rust free one to restore, likewise I enjoyed a few Spitfires both road cars and racers, nice lines but heavy maint. Bob

glemon
05-03-2011, 08:48 PM
I really like hearing people's impressions and experiences with different cars, like Drew I want to experience a wide variety of cars, x1/9 is on my list, good to hear experiences with those, one of the few things you can still get cheap.

Also would like a Volvo P1800 and a Saab Sonett and an Alfa GTV, as well as an E-type and a Daimler SP250 at some point in time.

If you haven't had a Sprite I highly recommend the experience, great fun, stock or hot rodded up.

Coastalman
05-03-2011, 09:38 PM
Like many of you, I have had many British sports cars. Two TR3s, six MGAs, a new 1973 MGB, two TDs, a Berkley, a Spitfire and now own a BE and a 3000 BJ8. One car I owned and drove the wheels off was a Datsun 240Z. That car took much abuse from me and just kept on going. It was fast, great in Autocross and very comfortable to drive. I would add it to an all time favorite. Have any others here driven or had one?
Cheers,
Charlie

drooartz
05-03-2011, 09:41 PM
240z is on my list, as is an old Volvo (P1800 or 122). Lots of things out there to try!

glemon
05-03-2011, 09:54 PM
I have only driven one 240z and it was clapped out pretty bad, the front end was really loose, but back in the day was still more than the Sprites and such I could afford back then. But certainly packagewise like my RX7 (the 7 obvioulsy copied the Z to some extent) and I loved the RX, I am sure the Z is much more torquey than the 7, but yes I would add a 240Z to my list of want to owns, and also a BMW 3.0CS for when I am feeling elegent and civilized.

Silverghost
05-03-2011, 10:03 PM
I've had a wide selection of cars, many non Brits. There are 3 I'd have again when I win the lottery:

1) 1970 442 convertible. Cruise ALL day at 110mph with over 700lbs of "cargo" - DON'T ask me how I know! I can tell you it wasn't ME behind the wheel though. :smile:

2) 1969 Hurst SC/Rambler. The one with the RED sides and blue stripe over the hood. That car actually kept me OUT of trouble - impossible to mis-identify! LoL

3) My dad's 1928 Rolls Royce Phantom I Riviera Town Car. Some day the fates will put me and that car back together again.

ralph_s
05-03-2011, 10:27 PM
My BE isn't quite ready for the road yet......but getting closer. I think a well restored B is just a great road car, add OD and it's a pleasure to drive. Noticed no mention of TVR's. Love my 2500M and it's quite diffrent from the B. Handles great w/ nice power from the TR6 engine. Will beat you up on a long drive, but it's a nice beating......can't get my wife to ride in it though, suspect the BE will suffer the same fate. Wouldn't make the TVR a daily driver, but have used B's as my daily driver for years.

tdskip
05-03-2011, 11:29 PM
Drew - you can borrow the 122s once she is running. Not too far off now. Fun list of considerations and seeing everyone's thoughts here.

Don't forget that you can really tighten up how the B handles (true for most of the cars discussed).

drooartz
05-04-2011, 08:21 AM
Thanks, Tom. May have to take you up on that one of these days.

At this point I'm just fine having the B as more of a touring car -- means the wife will join me every now and then. <<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/grin.gif

scoutll
05-04-2011, 08:36 AM
Love the Midget... This much fun could almost be government regulated. :driving:
I agree with previous posts on the "B". Great driver, but very different from a Spridget.
If I have the chance, my first choice for a second car right now would be a Jensen Healey.
Another car that nobody has mentioned yet is the Dolomite Sprint.. Almost the best of both worlds...If you haven't driven one, try to.

tdskip
05-04-2011, 10:05 AM
You guys are missing out if you don't put a TR8 on the list. I may be biased but once you get all the preconceptions out of your head a properly sorted on makes a fantastic touring car and will suck the headlights out of anything else discussed so far. :laugh:

JodyFKerr
05-04-2011, 10:15 AM
You guys are missing out if you don't put a TR8 on the list. I may be biased but once you get all the preconceptions out of your head a properly sorted on makes a fantastic touring car and will suck the headlights out of anything else discussed so far. :laugh:

I shall hopefully echo that statement once i get mine sorted. To date most of the words i've been using to describe my TR8 shouldn't be used in polite conversation :wink:

DrEntropy
05-04-2011, 03:45 PM
I've trounced many a TR-8 at autocross in the Elan, Tom. :devilgrin: :jester:

Bob Claffie
05-04-2011, 07:24 PM
I hate to be hogging this thread but I would be remiss to leave out a few family cars too. Dad's '65 Alfa Gulia 1600 sweet ride, kind of wish I had inherited that one. One daughter had a MR2 another non-LBC super fun driver. Other daughter ran a first gen RX7 loved that one too, except in snow. One off the wall favorite was a 140HP '66 Corvair, wow, what a road car, once GM got it right they were terrific, just don't lose a fan belt in the middle of the night. Bob

14dna
05-04-2011, 10:45 PM
:iagree:

I actually had a Yenko Stinger '66 Covair that was one of two great cars I owned.
The other was an '83 Honda Prelude.
I had a '72 240Z but it was always a little tempermental.
As I think about it, more come to mind, but those three were WOW!

Dvae :driving:

tdskip
05-04-2011, 11:26 PM
I've trounced many a TR-8 at autocross in the Elan, Tom. :devilgrin: :jester:

Come to El Toro (where the US version of Top Gear is filmed) and I'll run you on one of our fast road courses Doc.

OK, OK, you'd still probably win but the TR8 would sound better.

DrEntropy
05-05-2011, 04:51 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:] ...but the TR8 would sound better.[/QUOTE]

:wink:

toysrrus
05-05-2011, 05:06 AM
[quote=Gundy]MGBs are girlie man cars.
They corner like drunken sows plowing every chance they get.
Lots of low end power for those fearful of revving an engine.
Gawd it's so soft it's embarrassing.
LOVE to cruise in it with the ol lady by my side but that's about it.
Chick car.

Hey David,

I surely hope "Your Better Half / ol lady" does`nt know this website exists! If she does and reads this; You just may be in "Deep Duty"!!

Regards, Russ

Hap Waldrop
05-05-2011, 05:36 AM
[quote=Gundy]MGBs are girlie man cars.
They corner like drunken sows plowing every chance they get.
Lots of low end power for those fearful of revving an engine.
Gawd it's so soft it's embarrassing.
LOVE to cruise in it with the ol lady by my side but that's about it.
Chick car.

Hey David,

I surely hope "Your Better Half / ol lady" does`nt know this website exists! If she does and reads this; You just may be in "Deep Duty"!!

Regards, Russ

Russ, not only that, but since he soon be seeing alot of the rear end of a MGB GT, he will live to regret those words :driving: He'll need more than a Speedwell shift knob to keep up with me, he'll need really large attachments :jester:

Legal Bill
05-05-2011, 09:36 AM
Just to add a car that I don't see mentioned in this thread...

If you have not done so, you owe it to yourself to drive a Honda S2000. Many fellow S2000 owners were former British car owners and we all agree that the S is just about everything we ever wanted our British cars to be. Although it weighs almost twice as much as a BE, you would not know it. It handles at near supercar levels. The brakes are fantastic right out of the box. The six speed tranny is so smooth and close that it feels F1-like (not that I would know, but I hear things). And that Vtech engine is just amazing, intoxicating and addictive. 240hp at 9000 rpm says it all.

Although they cost $30K when new, through the miracle of depreciation you can find nice examples for as low as $12K and some well used examples for about $10K.

Jim_Gruber
05-05-2011, 10:53 AM
No one here as yet has weighed in on the virtues of a Boxster. I keep hearing "best ever", "perfect" descriptions to describe a Boxster but have never driven one. Of source adding Porsche in from of the car adds a significant $ level that members of the "We Tight Club" may not want to pay for. Part of the joy of a Spridget is the endless problem solving and engineering challenges we go through almost daily to keep this absolutely fabulous piece of British Engineering running.

And I agree on S-2000. I had the opportunity to drive one and they are indeed fabulous. Although local Autocross Guru here in Dayton says he can eat up an S-2000 with his '06 Miata with sticky tires.

drooartz
05-05-2011, 11:00 AM
Funny how this thread has taken on a life of its own. <<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/grin.gif I just intended to give a bit of an impression of the difference between the Sprite and MGB. Lots of good suggestions here, though.

My experiences with sports cars are very limited. Other than a few test drives, I've really only driven the two that I now own. (I did have a TR4 briefly, but it wasn't running well enough to provide any sort of real experience.)

I've lots of cars still to try in this lifetime. Almost certainly more than I will get to.

bthompson
05-05-2011, 11:12 AM
I haven't had many sports cars over the years, having mostly been enamored with cheap old Cadillacs growing up. Once I realized you should <span style="font-style: italic">never </span>buy a car you can't push, (or bump-start,) my life got easier.

I've had a Fiat Spider, which was beautiful, and a nice cruiser. The twin-cam was a revelation, despite the heavy block and less than stellar acceleration.

Then I got an Alfa GTV6. Fell in <span style="font-style: italic">love</span>. I never knew a car could do the things it did. Should never, <span style="font-style: italic">ever </span>have sold it. (To an old friend for twice what I bought it for...he promptly got it t-boned going through an intersection.)

My <span style="font-style: italic">intention </span>was to buy another Alfa after that, and to continue to buy Alfas until I was too feeble to drive, (and then I would park them in the living room and look at them.) Unfortunately, prices had gone up to the point where it didn't look like I could afford one. So I started looking around at other options, and my wife said "What about an MG?"

Small, cheap, convertible, close by. Why not? Never had one.

It was odd, this little Midget. It was like squeezing into a go-kart with the wheel in your chest, especially compared to the arms-out Italian wheels, but once settled in, it felt "right." The proportions worked, somehow. It was tired, and the carb was shot, but I was surprised how quickly I could get it sorted out. Everything was 'right there,' and it made sense. Not <span style="font-style: italic">Italian </span>sense: good old straightforward British sense.

It is slow. Oh, so slow. It must be; I'm being passed by everything, even though it feels like I'm speeding... The speedo is reading <span style="font-style: italic">ridiculously </span>low numbers, forget about the Interstate. But this can't be right; why am I having this much fun at 35mph? The Alfa blew past 35 in second gear, never even noticed it was there. 35 feels like 50; 45 feels like 70; 55 feels like Formula 1. And the twisties...wheee!

Yep...I'm in love again. I use the Midget for everything, drive it everywhere. Every other car is stupid: overweight, ponderous, numb, insulated, now. This car is perfect. It's not small, it's just right. Everything else is too <span style="font-style: italic">big</span>. <<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/grin.gif

Legal Bill
05-05-2011, 11:20 AM
... Although local Autocross Guru here in Dayton says he can eat up an S-2000 with his '06 Miata with sticky tires.

On certain autocross courses (tight) he can beat a similarly prepared S2000. On most, he cannot, or if he can, he would still be faster in the S2000. On a track the Miata has no chance at all.

tdskip
05-05-2011, 12:33 PM
Boxsters are all that and a bag of chips - not a hit you over the head experience but as a total package they are hard to beat.

But anyway..

Gundy
05-05-2011, 04:01 PM
[quote=Gundy]MGBs are girlie man cars.
They corner like drunken sows plowing every chance they get.
Lots of low end power for those fearful of revving an engine.
Gawd it's so soft it's embarrassing.
LOVE to cruise in it with the ol lady by my side but that's about it.
Chick car.

Hey David,

I surely hope "Your Better Half / ol lady" does`nt know this website exists! If she does and reads this; You just may be in "Deep Duty"!!

Regards, Russ

Russ, not only that, but since he soon be seeing alot of the rear end of a MGB GT, he will live to regret those words :driving: He'll need more than a Speedwell shift knob to keep up with me, he'll need really large attachments :jester:

November can't get here soon enough Big Boy.
:driving:
I can't wait to see the new and improved GT.
Trust me I know my limits and one is I'll never pass ol Hap.
Those laps he gently took in Mimi last year made me about crap my pants.
:jester:

davester
05-05-2011, 04:36 PM
Everything else is too <span style="font-style: italic">big</span>. <<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/grin.gif

My thought exactly, every time I drive the Sprite.

DrEntropy
05-05-2011, 04:56 PM
Legal Bill puts up a real point. The S2000 Honda is the LAST true production two-seat performance sportscar. If ya haven't driven one, you should.

ABfish
05-05-2011, 04:57 PM
I haven't had many sports cars over the years, having mostly been enamored with cheap old Cadillacs growing up. Once I realized you should <span style="font-style: italic">never </span>buy a car you can't push, (or bump-start,) my life got easier.

I've had a Fiat Spider, which was beautiful, and a nice cruiser. The twin-cam was a revelation, despite the heavy block and less than stellar acceleration.

Then I got an Alfa GTV6. Fell in <span style="font-style: italic">love</span>. I never knew a car could do the things it did. Should never, <span style="font-style: italic">ever </span>have sold it. (To an old friend for twice what I bought it for...he promptly got it t-boned going through an intersection.)

My <span style="font-style: italic">intention </span>was to buy another Alfa after that, and to continue to buy Alfas until I was too feeble to drive, (and then I would park them in the living room and look at them.) Unfortunately, prices had gone up to the point where it didn't look like I could afford one. So I started looking around at other options, and my wife said "What about an MG?"

Small, cheap, convertible, close by. Why not? Never had one.

It was odd, this little Midget. It was like squeezing into a go-kart with the wheel in your chest, especially compared to the arms-out Italian wheels, but once settled in, it felt "right." The proportions worked, somehow. It was tired, and the carb was shot, but I was surprised how quickly I could get it sorted out. Everything was 'right there,' and it made sense. Not <span style="font-style: italic">Italian </span>sense: good old straightforward British sense.

It is slow. Oh, so slow. It must be; I'm being passed by everything, even though it feels like I'm speeding... The speedo is reading <span style="font-style: italic">ridiculously </span>low numbers, forget about the Interstate. But this can't be right; why am I having this much fun at 35mph? The Alfa blew past 35 in second gear, never even noticed it was there. 35 feels like 50; 45 feels like 70; 55 feels like Formula 1. And the twisties...wheee!

Yep...I'm in love again. I use the Midget for everything, drive it everywhere. Every other car is stupid: overweight, ponderous, numb, insulated, now. This car is perfect. It's not small, it's just right. Everything else is too <span style="font-style: italic">big</span>. <<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/grin.gif

Bill-
I could have written the last 2/3 of your post, and I've only had my Sprite for four days. I've had numerous American collector cars from Mustangs to Roadrunners (including a 440-6pack car). How could driving the Sprite be more fun than stomping the accelerator on that Roadrunner? I'm not sure, but I have though about how exotic that little devil must have seemed in 1965 to an American who had only driven Fords and Oldsmobiles. It has really dawned on me just why the Brits sold so many sports cars in the US in those days. I was born in '62, so it was not "before my time", but definitely before my love affair with cars began.

I love the way the original post has gotten hi-jacked into a discussion of every sports car that any of us has ever owned. I gotta agree with an earlier poster; the MGB is just too soft.

davester
05-05-2011, 07:01 PM
Yep, what ABFish said. I was in high school in the late 60s/early 70s, and I was totally locked into big american iron with big engines. However, one warm summer evening my dad brought home a 6 month old 1970 MG Midget and he let me drive it on a top-down drive around our local area. That was it. My interest in those gigantic american behemoths with monstrous engines was immediately extinguished, with the exception of my fondness for those large back seats, so useful at the drive-in theater.

nomad
05-05-2011, 08:48 PM
Great topic!! I sold my MGB and now own 4 spridgets! Sooo-- you can see where my position is.



Kurt.

sqbsprite
05-05-2011, 10:12 PM
The Fiat X1/9 was one of the best handling cars I have owned. Amazing even on 165/70-13 tires with no anti-roll bars. It was under powered and although it handled great, when you reached it's breaking point, it would kill you. There was not much warning. Just mild understeer and then you were headed for the weeds with unexpected oversteer. I did that twice without leaving the road and it scared me to death each time. At least with the Sprite and MGB you get predictable handling. The X1/9 was low and very stable up to the limit, but slow. 7000 rpms in forth gear was 115 mph. Smooth and stable. It just took a while to get there.

My current daily driver is new Mini and it keeps me quite entertained. Almost have to be going crazy fast to get into its threshold. It's not a sports car but it's fun.

DrEntropy
05-06-2011, 05:33 AM
I musta been ahead of the curve. Got a ride in an Elan at age 15 (1965). The owner HUNTED a Corvette to tease, and my eyes were opened. Never owned any Dee-troit iron, first car was a two year old MGB. Great trainer! Got my Elan at age 21, they were called "SuperSprigets" back then. Even today the thing is able to best 99% of what rolls around on the public highways at nearly every task but hauling coal or lumber. That's Diesela's job. :smirk:

Whenever a gearhead pal would demean LBC's I'd "invite" them to have a seat, strap 'em into the three-point harness then proceed to the western PA two-lane "local track" and DEMONSTRATE what the silly little thing can do. Most would not bring up disparaging comments after that, some even needed help to get back onna porch after the ride. :devilgrin:

As for the Italians, there's a feel to the Alfas TOTALLY different from the Spartan English cars. Alfa's FEEL big. And they're leggy. :wink: They're the perfect "middle child". Between the German over-engineered and English minimalism.

Brings to mind the old joke about the differences between Heaven and He**:

<span style="font-style: italic"><span style="font-weight: bold">Heaven is: British humor, French cooking and German engineering...

He** is: British cooking, French engineering and German humor.</span></span>

But the Italians are outside it. They really know how to cook, can engineer a great car and then have a good laugh about it all. Bellissimo!

Thread drift? Yeah, it happens 'round here. Livewifit. :jester: :wink:

Morris
05-06-2011, 07:10 AM
I tried to resist but... 72 240z. Best. Car. Ever.

glemon
05-06-2011, 08:01 AM
A while back somebody mentioned an S2000, I think maybe it wasn't mentioned because we were talking more classic cars, I have not owned one, but have driven one or two, it did all the right things, and all limits, acceleration etc. is much higher than most all old British cars other than the more exotic ones. It felt a little big to me (for a sports car) but hey I was raised on Spridgets (first two cars) and the digital read out thingy on the dash left me cold, I know it should not be that big a deal, but I really like a big round tach and speedo in front of me. The Z3 doesn't do most things as well as the S2000 from a numbers standpoint, but if feels more like a sportscar to an old school guy like me. Kind of a modern day iteration of a big healey (but not nearly as pretty).

bill_powell
05-06-2011, 09:15 AM
What an interesting thread.

Insofar as the original 'question' posed: Never owned a 'B' but I did get a chance to drive a BGT over a Summer. Nice car (well set up, non-stock, just as I like). But as others have said, in comparison to my Midget, felt big, heavy.

But I also drove Minis as daily drivers for some 25 years. Had the coupes with both 998 and 1275 incarnations, couple 'vans' and one pickup. After my Minis, everything else feels larger, heavier. Even the Midget, which gives an impression of <span style="font-style: italic">long in the nose</span>, a little more <span style="font-style: italic">heafty</span> in general.

Three of my old friends:

https://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l129/bill_powell/Mini/vanside.jpg

https://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l129/bill_powell/Mini/2pickups.jpg

https://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l129/bill_powell/Mini/MiniBeige3.jpg

But that said, I really enjoy the Midget, and am quite pleased that I got one.

In the non-LBC realm, I've had a few, but in relevance to the thread, I'll mention two.

My '69 Fiat 124 Coupe was a great car, very competant feeling, very <span style="font-style: italic">Italian</span>. But like the BGT, just more 'massive' in general than I prefer.

The other was my '69 Datsun 2000 Roadster. Really great machine, and one I miss sometimes. A little quirky, and parts can get a tad pricey. Also seems heavy for its size, but still great fun.

My Datsun:

https://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l129/bill_powell/CARS/2000.jpg

And here's the Datsun in front of my '68 428-powered GTO:

https://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l129/bill_powell/CARS/GTO.jpg

...but that GTO was a whole 'nother creature entirely, and I'll not go there here. <<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/grin.gif

drooartz
05-06-2011, 09:29 AM
A Mini is on my list as well. Drove one around a parking lot once, that's it. I just need someone to triple my salary and make it so I don't have to go into work anymore. That'd be a nice start. <<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/grin.gif

Legal Bill
05-06-2011, 09:30 AM
A while back somebody mentioned an S2000, I think maybe it wasn't mentioned because we were talking more classic cars, I have not owned one, but have driven one or two, it did all the right things, and all limits, acceleration etc. is much higher than most all old British cars other than the more exotic ones. It felt a little big to me (for a sports car) but hey I was raised on Spridgets (first two cars) and the digital read out thingy on the dash left me cold, I know it should not be that big a deal, but I really like a big round tach and speedo in front of me. The Z3 doesn't do most things as well as the S2000 from a numbers standpoint, but if feels more like a sportscar to an old school guy like me. Kind of a modern day iteration of a big healey (but not nearly as pretty).

I saw Miatas and Porches mentioned, so I thought it was a general comparison list.

I'm 55 and have owned 5 Bugeyes over the course of my life. (Plus 5 MGAs, three MGBs, three Jaguars, one Austin America, two big Healeys, three Alfas....) I sold my last Bugeye three months after I bought the S2000. I have a big Healey, so I satisfy my old English car jones there.

I love the digital tach. All the gauges are set up so that they can be seen, at a glance, day or night. After rebuilding about a 100 Smiths gauges, I'm just fine with the dependability of those digital read-outs.

I own a BMW 330i and I always hear the Healey guys talking about the connection between the old Healeys and the Z3. I test drove three or four used Z3s and M Roadsters (plus a Corvette and a Boxster) before I bought the S2000. Those cars were used and they really felt it. After eight years, my Honda still feels new.

Everyone has different tastes, but at about $12,000 for a good 2002-2003 S2000 with low miles, you can't do better for your sports car dollar.

JPSmit
05-06-2011, 10:22 AM
Brings to mind the old joke about the differences between Heaven and He**:

<span style="font-style: italic"><span style="font-weight: bold">Heaven is: British humor, French cooking and German engineering...

He** is: British cooking, French engineering and German humor.</span></span>

Doc, here's the whole story

Heaven: where the police are British, the cooks French, the mechanics
German, the lovers Italian, and it is all organized and run by the Swiss.
He**: where the police are German, the cooks British, the mechanics
French, the lovers Swiss, and it is all organized and run by the Italians.

DrEntropy
05-06-2011, 01:03 PM
mmmm... but the Italians are consummate bureaucrats, JP!


...oh...

nevermind. :jester:

bill_powell
05-06-2011, 01:11 PM
mmmm... but the Italians are consummate bureaucrats, JP!


...oh...

nevermind. :jester:


...they sure do build a good motorbike. Here's my crazy old Guzzi rig:

https://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l129/bill_powell/PICT0008.jpg

...I have to admit, it does indeed ooze <span style="font-style: italic">bureaucracy</span> through and through.

DrEntropy
05-06-2011, 01:14 PM
:iagree: Everything from Binelli to Ducati.

Mickey Richaud
05-06-2011, 02:00 PM
I'm kinda partial to cannelloni and manicotti.

bill_powell
05-06-2011, 02:16 PM
Mickey, would that be <span style="font-style: italic">with</span> or <span style="font-style: italic">without</span> bananas?

:banana:

glemon
05-06-2011, 10:51 PM
Legal Bill, sorry didn't mean to offend, hope I didn't. When I mentioned my guess for why maybe nobody mentioned the S2000 it was not meant to say you were breaking the "rules", but that the S2000 was a worthy mention, but maybe not mentioned because some were thinking more of older vehicles.

My own views I tried to point out were my own quirky preferennces, purely subjective, part of the deal is when I test drove an S2000 I had really high expextations, because I had read so much good about the car, they are certainly nice, would not turn one down, and I am sure would grow on me over time. Another car no one mentioned is the RX8, they are a very good deal as well, not as reliable as an S2000, but you can carry 4 comfortably, and it is a very sharp, responsive car to drive.

Gundy
05-07-2011, 04:12 PM
Low 70s. Shiny MGB. My baby riding along. Top down,
Ipod blaring her favorite tunes. Drove up the mountains
to Saluda. Wonderful drive on the Cherokee Scenic Highway
to the Greenville Watershed road into Saluda.
House warming/Mother's day party for my wife's family.
Brice, the 3 year old, LOVED the "race car" MGB.
I let him sit behind the wheel and shift and flip stuff.
LOVED it. Start 'em early. Wait till he gets a ride in the BE.
<<GRAEMLIN_URL>>/grin.gif
Coming home I even hit the tach yellow line a time or two.
Shhhh...don't tell Lynn. She was riding along and the B did
the twisting roads so well, just purring along, she never noticed.
:wink:

Point is that B is just so dang nice. With the good tires and wheels it does handle pretty darn tight. The suspension was re-built by the PO.
Not bad.
Mimi better get home soon. I'm making time with Miss B now.
Not bad...that 50 mile drive was great.
:driving:

HealeyRick
05-07-2011, 06:24 PM
Great thread. I doubt there is one overall perfect sports car. In my mind there are 15 mile and 500 mile sports cars. My Bugeye
https://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j222/healeyrick/Stapleton-14.jpg
is a 15 miler (although I've made a couple of 500 mile trips in it) With a hot 948 modified to what was called Stage V in the original tuning manual and 4.55 gears, it's the best thing ever on a two-lane curvy road hugging the ocean or screaming around an auto-x. I've owned a couple of Fiat 124 Spiders. Kicked the crap out of the MGBs of the time. Comfortable, great heater, wonderful one-handed convertible top,and a motor that would rev to 7k in a heartbeat. The 124 Spiders were followed by an X1/9. Great handling, but like was said above, snap oversteer could make an otherwise quiet day into a life or death experience. Also, it needed more horsepower. If you could swap a 1608 cc Fiat 124 Spider Euro motor with twin Webers into it, it would've been awesome. I grew up in the muscle car era and was always trying to find the perfect blend of LBC handling and American power. I love the acceleration of a V-8 and my last two daily drivers have been a Camaro Z/28 with 275 hp and a Chrysler SRT-8 with 425 hp. I drove my Healey 3000 BJ7 for awhile with it's race modified 6 cyl motor. The big Healey is no Sprite in the handling department, more like a cruiser. If you're going to drive for distance, the big Healey is the answer. Still wasn't fast enough, though, and that's why I'm going the Nasty Boy route. It should be a real nice 500 miler. My current choice would be a Lotus Elise for a 15 miler and a Boxster S for a 500 miler.

JPSmit
05-07-2011, 09:10 PM
Nice explanation Rick - now I want more cars - BTW is that the wind up key on the top in your picture? :jester:

HealeyRick
05-07-2011, 11:59 PM
Nice explanation Rick - now I want more cars - BTW is that the wind up key on the top in your picture? :jester:

Funny, but back in the '60s, JC Whitney used to sell a big wind-up key with a suction cup on the end that you could stick on your import ... hilarity ensued. The hardtop was borrowed from a friend's very original leaf green bugeye kitted out from new with all kinds of options, including a roof mounted Lucas light for rallying:

https://i55.tinypic.com/t7hies.jpg

toysrrus
05-08-2011, 02:31 AM
Howdy Folks,

When I had my "Frogeye"; I was looking for a "BIG" wind-up key to mount on the Rear Deck. I came across some on a "VW/Porsche" site: www.thesamba.com: You may want to check it out.

"GUNDY": When your "Out &amp; About" why don`t you stop by the house. There`s an "MGB" parked in my garage to keep the "TR3" company.

I sure wish you had a "Personal Email"!!

Regards, Russ

drooartz
05-08-2011, 11:07 AM
In my mind there are 15 mile and 500 mile sports cars.
Well said. In motorcycle terms, the Bugeye is a sport bike, perfect for carving up a canyon on an early morning run. The MGB is a sport-tourer, still can handle the twisties but it's a bit more relaxed and long-legged.

It is interesting how different the two cars are, given that they were developed by some of the same folks and are only a few years apart (there's not much functional difference between my 70 UK car and one from 62). The Bugeye is definitely a 50s sports car, with the MGB firmly in the 60s.

I've noticed that I'll find myself thinking "if I had to have just one car, it would be this one" no matter which car I'm driving at the time. A few days in the B and I'm enjoying the comfy seats and more practical features (and the OD and the torque). Get back in the Bugeye and it's the nimbleness and screaming engine and styling. Glad I don't have to choose anytime soon.