Lockdown lifeline - but I'll never try another DIY restore

Torbay Weekly

Many normal ways of life changed during lockdown and the motor trade was no different.

Classic car auctions closed their doors and went online along with main stream car auctions.

However, I was drawn to a classic car auction selling a 1969 MGB Roadster in yellow, one of my favourite period colours.

The description was honest, the photography fair and the DVLA MoT history gave a reasonable background to a well-maintained car.

The rest was a gamble but at £4,000 plus fees not a bad risk.

Actually, it was very exciting and the adrenaline was huge in the hours before delivery at what I had done, buying unseen.

I found myself doing what I have not done in decades, namely working away all hours day and night on my own in the garage, pulling the thing apart, sending bumpers off to be re-chromed, ordering loads of bits on line from a brilliant MG parts company in Cambridge and slowly piecing the car back to life once more.

My knuckles were raw, hands permanently grimed with oil and dirt and my back and knees ached like nobody’s business.

The pleasure of getting down and dirty with my own car took me back to my 20s when I last performed such idiotic tasks.

The bonding I had with the finished article was remarkable and when the time came to sell it a few weeks ago, I shed a tear.

A tear of delight that I would never ever try anything so ridiculous or of such stupidity again.

If you ever feel like trying this yourself, there are few better cars to DIY restore than the MGB due to its simplicity, superb availability of parts, a great club scene and most importantly, they are wonderful cars to drive and enjoy.

The exhaust note is unmistakable, they keep up with modern day traffic and have creature comforts such as a heater and leather seats.

Try to get a chrome bumper model with wire wheels and the essential overdrive. Every pound spent will add at least the same to its value.

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