Classic MG Midgets, MGBs, Triumphs, Alfa Romeros, etc

I’ve been warned not to buy any of these, unless you know and enjoy fixing cars(I am not good at that). I’ve read some positive reviews about these little classics(of course, those reviewers might be good with cars, for all I know).

Bottom line - for a summer car just to drive around town(no long trips) is it a bad deal for someone like me who isn’t mechanically inclined?

Yes , unless you have access to a good old vehicle shop and a really good credit card limit.
What are these positive reviews anyway. Also you never did say what site you saw all the Thunderbirds on.
Of course there are vehicles like this that have been restored to really good condition but they are not cheap.

I like your new Avatar better then the other one . It is more fitting for a site like this.

You can imajke these to be reliable but it takes a specialist to do so. Sports car market magazine bought 3 mgb’s for a specific road trip and had no problems but didn’t recoup the $2,000 par car they spent to get them ready

With a shop nearby and club support it can be done.

All of these cars were less than average for reliability when they were built 50 years ago. Cars have come a long way since then so by comparison to a modern car, they are worse than the bottom of the list. They leak oil, require frequent maintenance, and leak rainwater into the car.

That cheery assesment aside, they can be a lot of fun to own. But you will need a flatbed tow truck’s number in your cell phone and a local shop that specializes in these cars.

As someone who has a 1974 Triumph TR6; that’s an accurate statement

If you own any of these cars, you’re going to have to become more mechanically inclined than you currently are. None are reliable, even by the standards of their day. You’re not going to find replacement parts down at the local Autozone, and the number of mechanics who regularly deal with cars like these is steadily declining. So it’s up to the owner to know where to get parts and have some knowledge of how to replace them and/or have an understanding what the symptoms of out of sync downdraught Webbers are and other similar ailments.

If you want a similar driving experience, but way more reliability, get a used Miata.


I second the advice on the used Miata! Sports car fun with modern reliability.

1 Like

Good luck finding an “Alfa Romero”.


Isn’t that Cesar Romero’s great grandson?

The best way to experience an MG is to have a friend or family member (like my cousin-in-law) who will let you drive one occasionally.

1 Like

Just find a used Miata and get it over with.

I would think you need to have some mechanical experience, or be willing to learn to own one, unless $ is no problem.

Thank you all for the advice. You just may have saved me a lot of trouble and heartache.

Chuck , I ask again . Where did you see all these reviews and where did you see a lot of Thunderbirds ? I guess you could let us know what you did about the holes in your rocker panels. Curious minds want to know.

Provided you buy the right one I disagree with the above.

Compared to modern cars, cars like the MG’s and Triumph’s are the model of simplicity, a good way to learn basic maintenance skills and excellent tutorials (John Twist) are freely available online. Better yet, reasonably priced new parts are easily and quickly available from a variety of US vendors. You can literally build a new MGB from available new parts.

On the other hand an older MGB or Triumph isn’t going to have the same performance, comfort or safety of a Miata and you’ll have to do more frequent maintenance (oil changes, grease, etc.) which is simple but if have the time for a hobby and you want something different, they’re a good choice.

My recomendation for a first purchase is to go online and look for a parts supplier, Moss Motors is a good place to start, and then buy the best example you can afford.