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Thread: LBCs, whatcha gonna do?

Discuss the Austin Healey Sprite and the MG Midget. Two different but similar cars sometimes referred to collectively as the Spridget.

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    Darth Vader Rut's Avatar
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    LBCs, whatcha gonna do?

    I started on this forum thinking about a Bugeye Sprite or MGB for a rolling restoration and found the Bugeye first. I thought it would be a driver in short order, boy was I wrong! The more questions I asked the more involved it got and ended up being a bare metal restoration in its original configuration, but with a hot 1275 and 5 speed, VTOs, etc. This car reignited my passion for LBCs and I added a 1970 MGB and then a 1966 TR4A in short order. Iíve also got 4 TR4/TR4As, 2 TR6s, and a 1975 International Scout II all waiting on either restoration or restomod. I even built a shop and equipped it with a lift, compressed air, parts washer, and just about every tool I could think of, all geared towards restoring and maintaining these heart throbs.
    The purpose of this post is to ask your advice regarding what to do next. My lower back has finally given out and working on or driving these cars has become a near impossibility and Iím looking at my options. Surgery is inevitable and Iíll do well Iím sure, but my flexibility will suffer and Iíve got to make a decision about my babies. To sell is the only logical thing to do, but whatís the best way? I hate Craigslist, Facebook marketplace is ok, eBay or bring a trailer are options as well. Have any of you had experience on these sites and what would you recommend?
    Thanks, Rut
    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life. John Lennon


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    Jedi Knight jcatnite's Avatar
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    Re: LBCs, whatcha gonna do?

    Sorry to hear that Rut. I've had good success with eBay. Might try to sell them on the forum as well. I'm sure you've thought this through but might be wise to move slow and keep at least one to tinker on sporadically.

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    Yoda Jim_Gruber's Avatar
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    Re: LBCs, whatcha gonna do?

    Rut I’d offer to help take one off your hands but it’s hard enough convincing Kate that I came with Bugsy and he’s got to stay. A TR-6 would be a nice cruising alternate.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: LBCs, whatcha gonna do?

    I'm finding it a wee bit (well, a lot more) of a struggle to get out of our Bugeye or 3000, the problem primarily being it's a long way back up to a vertical position. And really durn difficult with the top up. I trust that the Scout accepts us less flexible types... Think about keeping something for down the road, when maybe the back is stabilized and in a happier place (post surgery(?)); another thought is that our Meyers Manx clone dune buggy is fun and doesn't require much in terms of back flexibility and the seat is about butt height. Legs need some flexibility though: stick the right leg over the body edge and in; slide butt over the body edge and into the seat; bring the left leg aboard. Getting out is the reverse. Wish you well, young feller. Doug

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    Darth Vader Rut's Avatar
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    Re: LBCs, whatcha gonna do?

    Thanks guys, I get pretty down thinking about selling out and I’m one of those people who enjoy the process of tinkering with them as much as I do driving them. The lift helps more than I ever imagined and will continue to be used as long as possible since it really makes a difference in what I can actually do. Getting in and out of these cars can be difficult or impossible depending on the day and the clutch, while not heavy can really exacerbate the pain. I’m doing my homework now so I can have an idea of the best way to sell when I have to. I have a ballpark idea of what I’ll accept for each and although I prefer a face to face sale I’m not opposed to eBay or BAT. This has been a wonderful hobby and I don’t want to get out of it and my granddaughters (9 & 5) will probably disown me for selling ‘their’ cars. My wife will be pretty upset as well when I tell her...she’s been so supportive and never had a bad thing to say about me spending money on my passion. She loves it when I find a part or car somewhere far away and we always make it into an adventure. We’ve been able to turn forum friends into real life flesh and blood friends over the years and you can’t beat that.
    Thanks again, Rut
    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life. John Lennon


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    Yoda Jim_Gruber's Avatar
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    Re: LBCs, whatcha gonna do?

    Talk about getting in and out of a BE, I needed to get into the boot of a buddy's BE today to do some wiring work for him. He's 77 and having issues getting around as well. So I'm the youngster at 69 doing the climbing into the boot. Managed to get my knee stuck behind seat. Did not think I was going to get out of there by myself for a few minutes.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

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    Yoda
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    Re: LBCs, whatcha gonna do?

    Unfortunately, most of us are enjoying these cars of our youth. The age of the car's and us are getting pretty lengthy. I have come down with vision problems and am in the same boat. Will be thinning the herd in anticipation of the inevitable. Bug Eyes are pretty hot on BAT now day's and I think mine will go on there next spring. The flaw with BAT is they discourage having a reserve and you have to be able to respond to lot's of questions. Lot's of photo's are a prerequisite as well. I like the auction process though. Sold my MGA on E-bay a few years ago and have sold other car's on there. E-bay isn't what it used to be though according to my recent experiences with it.

    BAT just sold a BE with some rust problems but equipped the same as your's, Rut, for $14.5.
    65,66 Midget
    57 Berkeley, MGA
    Working on quality rather than quantity

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    Rut  (11-22-2019)

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    Yoda
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    Re: LBCs, whatcha gonna do?

    BTW, Rut, lower back issues are a plague of the human race. My doctor says the spine requires a lot to be in this vertical position. I know folks that have had wondrous good results with back surgery though.
    65,66 Midget
    57 Berkeley, MGA
    Working on quality rather than quantity

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    Rut  (11-22-2019)

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    Yoda Boink's Avatar
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    Re: LBCs, whatcha gonna do?

    In my own case, I learned some PT actions that I can do myself... and completely avoided surgery. I also use a serious lumbar support in all cars.
    - Mark

    Former 1956 Austin Healey 100-4 (BN2)
    Former 1962 Mk1 Austin Mini (850)
    Former 1973 Austin Mini (really a 1980s Cooperized Mini)
    Present 1959 Austin Healey "Bugeye" Sprite (with 1275, 5 speed, discs, etc)

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    Darth Vader Rut's Avatar
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    Re: LBCs, whatcha gonna do?

    Mark,
    Ive been using a chiropractor who knows his stuff and I get relief at every visit, but if I do anything that requires bending, twisting, picking something up, etc. the offending vertebrae moves. It moves a lot and tilts to one side compressing things that don’t like being compressed...the X-ray is scary. I’ve used a lot of lumbar support for a pretty long time and it helps, but not as much as it did.
    Rut
    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life. John Lennon


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    Yoda
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    Re: LBCs, whatcha gonna do?

    I've got a couple vertebrae that appear to be down to bone on bone on one side in my lower back. I wake up with a backache every morning but can get the kink's out and function. Think I did the initial injury while I was in the Navy and Navy doctors gave me a regimen of exercise that I have followed ever since. So far so good.

    Kurt
    65,66 Midget
    57 Berkeley, MGA
    Working on quality rather than quantity

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    Yoda Boink's Avatar
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    Re: LBCs, whatcha gonna do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rut View Post
    Mark,
    Ive been using a chiropractor who knows his stuff and I get relief at every visit, but if I do anything that requires bending, twisting, picking something up, etc. the offending vertebrae moves. It moves a lot and tilts to one side compressing things that don’t like being compressed...the X-ray is scary. I’ve used a lot of lumbar support for a pretty long time and it helps, but not as much as it did.
    Rut
    Thanks. I, too, have some chiropractor buddies. I've also have some MRIs and CTs done. Not pretty either.
    For a herniated disc (which I have on one side - L5/S1) I do the "MacKenzie" maneuver, which involves lying on your belly and really stretching upward. This forces the disc in an anterior direction - effectively pushing it back in. It really worked! Unfortunately, I have some stenosis (narrowing) on the other side and that requires a lot of PT work.
    Aging. It's a pits.
    - Mark

    Former 1956 Austin Healey 100-4 (BN2)
    Former 1962 Mk1 Austin Mini (850)
    Former 1973 Austin Mini (really a 1980s Cooperized Mini)
    Present 1959 Austin Healey "Bugeye" Sprite (with 1275, 5 speed, discs, etc)

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    Darth Vader Bayless's Avatar
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    Re: LBCs, whatcha gonna do?

    Man,a you guys make me feel like a sissy for complaining about my back. Just arthritis here, described to me as sort of like tiny bone spurs. It slows me down a lot but still does not stop me from doing most of what I want to do.
    Was Man nicht im Kopf hat muss Man in den Beinen haben
    '48 Ford Prefect
    '67 Sprite (project)
    '74 Super Beetle
    http://enfoprefect.org

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    Yoda HealeyRick's Avatar
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    Re: LBCs, whatcha gonna do?

    Rut,

    I'm really sorry to hear about your back issues and sadly, don't have any advice for them. I've already responded on the Triumph thread about why I think BaT would be a good place to sell your collection if that's what you really need to do. I can't imagine how tough a decision this is to make, and one which I'm afraid we'll all be looking at in the future. If you have to sell off and have a big pile of money (because we all now how profitable LBCs are) you could look at a modern sports car that would let you get in and out more easily and would take the sting out of letting the LBCs go. Good luck with whatever you have to do.
    Rick

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    Luke Skywalker LarryK's Avatar
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    Re: LBCs, whatcha gonna do?

    What else you going to turn to, knitting? Your back will heal, but you are already this slow on restoration, slow down and take a few more years to get them done. Otherwise, you sold and then feel good with no issues and wish you had them back. Do the surgery first, then make the decision.
    Larry K
    58 Jag 3.4 MK 1 auto under restoration, 57 Jag 3.4 MK1 manual ,
    03 Cooper S, 2011 Cooper S Countryman, 2011 Land Rover LR4 HSE LUX, 1964 Valiant V200
    Also had , 68 Cortina 1600E, 64 Spit 4 & 80 1500, 73 GT6 3, 71 XJ6, 79 XJ6, 86 XJS V-12, 53 XK120 OTS.

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: LBCs, whatcha gonna do?

    I'm older than all of you (just 86) but my back is under control. It's stiff when I get up in the morning but a few minutes of yoga stretching and it loosens up. By noon, it's fine. Go to a physical therapist and get a series of exercises - nothing too strenuous, please. My son has a history of severe and painful back spasms - like I used to get - and he's been doing Pilates a few times a week. I also try to walk at least a mile every day if possible. My problem these days is a weak core area that makes it difficult to bend and lift things or pull myself up.

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