I am looking to get a convertable thats good on gas to drive sometimes to work in nice weather. I found a nice well kept 1970 MGB for 6200.00. I also found a 1999 VW Cabrio with 122K miles around 5000.00. What would you suggest looking for that will not kill my wallet if work is needed on the car.
Well, you sure have an odd couple picked there. Some repairs could be pricy on both of them; depending on the problem of course.
JMHO, but I would take the MGB if it were one or the other.
Why? Other than the fun factor, the MGB is not going to depreciate, short of meeting a bridge abutment.
Normal maintenance and wear and tear items are very reasonably priced and cost no more than anything else on the road.
Any more oddball items that may be needed can usually be procured from any one of a number of MG aftermarket dealers
The MG is also a vehicle an average guy can raise the hood and learn or improve basic mechanic skills on.
No computers, 500 dollar MAF sensors and fuel pumps, etc.
Just my 2 cents.
Are going to maintain it yourself, or pay someone? While the MG may not have as much extra gear as newer cars, it is a Typical British Sportscar. Has the electrical system acted up? Was it rewired? I guess it’s old enough that the engine has been rebuilt, or at least the obligatory top end job.
Although neither of these is a paragon of reliability, the VW will have much better parts availablity.
Are you looking to take anyone else with you, besides your significant other? If you don’t need to drag more than one person around, then consider a Mazda Miata. Good reliability, parts will probably be cheaper than the VW or MG.
There are lots of used Miatas around. The Miata has proven to be a very reliable car, and is not expensive to maintain. If I were looking for a small convertible, the Miata would be at the top of my list.
When I was a teenager I was in love with British Sports cars. I owned several and learned much of what I know about cars working on various MGs, Triumphs, Minis, etc. You’ll always have the hood (bonnet) open on the MG . . . which for me would be a good thing. Do you like to “tinker”? Are you “handy”? The VW is nmice and probably less maintenance, even an eye catcher to some. I’d take the MG.
The VW got sold and here is a picture of the MG.http://raleigh.craigslist.org/car/359304411.html
I like the Mazdas but not looking to spend much money. What about a Fiat?
The only car less reliable than a Brit sportscar - the Fiat 124 Spider! Great looking car, though.
MG’s are just plain fun, but they’re famous for electrical and engine troubles. VW’s. . meh. . .the reliability isn’t so good.
It is possible to find 1st and 2nd gen MR2’s in your price range - bulletproof engines and a blast to drive. And the baby-Ferarri look isn’t so bad either. Also in a similar size category as the MG, check out Miatas. Those little things are crazy fun.
If you really like it, go for it. You might want to get it checked by a mechanic in Raleigh before you drive it home.
Holy crap! DO NOT BUY A FIAT! I had a Spyder and it was the most beautiful piece of junk I ever owned. Drop-dead nice looking, ran great for the first six months, then . . . a nightmare! I fixed just about every part on that car, it rusted in every area it could, parts were hard to get and expensive. FIAT doesn’t even export to the USA anymore.
I would also be tempted by the MGB (I would be more tempted by good MGA). I assume this is strictly a toy, not transportation. I would find a MG forum and find out what to look for, I would also find a good good shop to perform a pre-purchase inspection. I would probably also avoid the fiat.
The best of the vintage sports cars come from the mid to late 1960s just before emission and safety standards ruined them. You will have to ask someone else which was the last good year. In addition to MG, there are Triumph, Austin Healey and, if you dare to go Italian, Alfa Romeo.
None of these cars will provide reliable, Honda-like transportation. If you buy one, treat it as a fair weather weekend toy and keep a real car for work, shopping, etc. Quite frankly, Miatas and MR2s are much better, both as sports cars and as general transportation.
I can tell you that the driving experience in a Mazda Miata, even an old one like a 95, is very similar to an MGB except for one thing. With a Miata it’s a driving experience and with an MGB it’s a repair experience. The reliability of a Miata is astounding. If you want a car repair hobby then fine, buy an MG. If you want to drive a sports car, buy a Miata.
Do not, I repeat, do NOT think that a Miata is out of your price range.
I wasn’t sure your max price, so I just put in $10k as the max, within 100 miles of Raleigh (assuming that’s where you live).
A low end of the brand new models is in the low $20k range, so a used one should be had for cheap, if you can get the owners to part with theirs.
I’d also suggest a used Honda s2000, but those are too new(2000 was the first year they made 'em) to be too much under $10k.
One other consideration, you can buy a $6K MG that will be worth at least $6K in 10-20 years (hopefully more if you maintain it and don’t run into anything large); or you can buy a Miata that will be worth $500 - 1K, if you’re lucky. If you are planning on running it into the ground, please buy the Miata.
What about this. Its a nice car except I dont know much about the history on a Saab or its history on repairs when it get to a certain amount of miles. Nice mileage and right about my price range.