Limited Abilities – 1980 MGB LE

Produced over 18 years, there sure are many MGBs out there, but since they epitomize the British sports car much like the Ford Mustang epitomizes the American sports coupe, they’re worth a look. As mentioned in an article in Hemmings Sports & Exotic car last year, the great thing about MG’s B and BGT is their simplicity, and, if well-maintained, their reliability. Of course, being the epitome of the British sports car, many other people have picked up on this fact, so you might have to look a bit deeper than the obvious chrome-bumper, steel-dash, wire-wheel cars of the 1960s. And if you can get into the aesthetics of the late 1970s and early 1980s, either for irony or nostalgia, it’s worth a look at this 1980 MGB LE for sale for $3800 in Georgetown, TX.

1980 MGB LE right rear

The seller seems to have taken some time writing the listing, injecting some personality and useful detail instead of the usual “runs good no rust just passed smog call now”. Starting with “Behold. Before you lies two paths, both of which bring great peril, one of which provides admiration from the opposite sex! Many choose wrongly, and few have heart enough to venture down the righteous path of glory” – isn’t that always the case – he shares that he’s worked out many bugs, and the car is his daily driver.

1980 MGB LE left front

Details include a new exhaust system, multiple electrical repairs, new rear and spare tires, a new oil filter and fuses. Hopefully he’s also done a full fluid change on all the car’s systems. He also states that off-roading capabilities are weak, and the car definitely has more than the stock 67hp due to exhaust work. It’s nice to see this car has its smart original LE alloy wheels, along with the sweet decal job, and the original black paint, though the latter is showing its age 36 years on. Also, it’s had a steady diet of premium since January, which means you’re fairly certain it’s had 2 months of ping-free motoring. Out of 36 years.

1980 MGB LE interior

A full detail would probably do wonders, and the interior looks pretty good already – the dash seems in good condition, with no cracks, and all trim and accessories present, down to the all-important Limited Edition badge a British Leyland US marketing guy picked up from the local trophy shop. Cracking in the steering wheel cover is the only clue this car has lived in a hot climate. Another picture with the top up shows it to be in fairly decent condition, which substantiates the daily driver claim – you don’t want to be driving in the rain with a hole in the roof. The car has also been equipped with a modern stereo, which is handy in a daily driver.

1980 MGB LE engine

The engine compartment looks pretty clean, though these late B-series rather resemble an ICU patient with all those hoses going in and out of them. The seller’s video does give away some rather clattery noises coming from the engine, but videos sometimes emphasize noises that aren’t as noticeable in real life. The starting sequence is a little odd too, revealing a failed ignition switch that’s been replaced by an auxiliary ignition switch and starter button. That said, the car’s role as daily driver gives confidence, so if you’re ok with the aesthetics and/or live in a state where you can pull all the smog gear, this looks like a good project to take on.

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2 Responses to “Limited Abilities – 1980 MGB LE”

  1. MountainMan Says:

    The latter rubber bumper cars have grown on me. The prices are generally lower and the fun factor remains in spite of the rubber bumpers and higher ride height.

  2. steve in podunk Says:

    Liberal arts majors,, sheesh.

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