MGB VS SPITFIRE. Which is better?

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shawnxuu
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Joined: 2012-01-16

Hi. This would be my first post on this forum. I've always adored classic cars though I've never owned one. I've narrowed my choices down to 2 cars. Either a MG MGB Roadster or a Triumph Spitfire. To be more specific, a 1968 MG MGB Roadster or a 1966 Triumph Spitfire MK2. Both have been fully restored. Here are some pictures. http://autobahnsing.wordpress.com/category/classic-2/mg/ http://autobahnsing.wordpress.com/category/classic-2/triumph/ I hope that you guys can perhaps list down some pros and cons? Tell me which car you would have if given the choice. Thanks!

Hi. This would be my first post on this forum. I've always adored classic cars though I've never owned one. I've narrowed my choices down to 2 cars. Either a MG MGB Roadster or aTriumph Spitfire. To be more specific, a 1968 MG MGB Roadster or a 1966 Triumph Spitfire MK2. Both have been fully restored. Here are some pictures.

http://autobahnsing.wordpress.com/category/classic-2/mg/

http://autobahnsing.wordpress.com/category/classic-2/triumph/

I hope that you guys can perhaps list down some pros and cons? Tell me which car you would have if given the choice. Thanks!

mikeC
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Either will provide a good introduction to classic motoring.

Which one, though?

That perhaps depends on what you want from the car. The MGB is perhaps a bit more practical - larger, easier to get in and out of, easier to drive, but softer, less sporting, generally a bit bland. The Spitfire will be more exhilerating to drive, but you will need to work harder at it, and you might find it too big a contrast with modern motoring. The MG I would be happy to drive, the Spitfire I would want to drive!

Both are easy to work on, the Spitfire especially so.

I would value them both at about the same money, so those advertised figures would probably push me towards the Spitfire (I have owned three Spitfires, but only one MGB, so perhaps I'm a bit biased!)

Eagerbeaver
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Joined: 2011-08-27

Both are easy to own and very enjoyable. 

The MG is a comfy cruiser, the Spitfire maybe a little more fun. 

You can't go wrong as long as they are reasonable examples. 

GBt
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The B roadster never seemed to actually have direct rivals in its price range, except maybe the Fiat 124 roadster after 66 but they werent officially imported in RHD form.

Another maybe, If you accept that the Triumph Vitesse was actually as good as a sportscar, and I do, having owned one, they were in the same price bracket as the B. Skittish on the early swing axles and nothing like as fast, in early sleeved down Vanguard engine noseheavy 1600 guise, a matter more than adressed with the 2ooo/2 Litre, to my mind having been a past owner of one, a far less boring alternative, and you do actually get two almost usable rear seats too! They just dont look like an out and out sportscar.

So What would I advise choosing if it had to be either Spitfire or B ragtop?,

A later Michelloti restyled a la Stag type rear ended type, like the yellow one below the green Mark 2 picture.? , maybe with the same rev'able 1300 engine and overdrive, as the earlier ones.

Whilst Mike C will maybe beg to differ, as he did  actually own 3 Spits and a B, either way I would as of said Vitesse experience,avoid Mark 1/2 Triumph Spitfires, like the proverbial plague.

Literally steer clear, of a swing axle one, would be my recomendation, even if they were arguably the prettiest of the breed made. They have enough power to get you into trouble especially with the non servo brakes which need a hard shove,if you have to lift off mid bend or worst still brake in a turn, and even super quick steering isnt always capable of getting you out again.An SAH converted one may employ a kit to bolt down the swinging axles, which was more or less adopted by Triumph, to the chassic if you can put up with a rock hard ride.

me I'd sooner have the coupe Rotoflex Mark 2 or 3 GT6 after checking out its Webastow optioned sunroof didnt leak, which was a rival with the MGBGT. I did sometimes in boots with my big feet have occassional dificulties with the offset triumph pedals.

A usable classic has to also really be able to cut it with modern traffic if used more than occassional outings,requirements these days, and back in the day the swing axled sports jobs were on the ragid edge of acceptibility, safety wise, then they were sharing roads with still 50s even prewar cars. The B is the far safer bet in that regard, but maybe thats why I find then just a bit on the yawn making side of the boredom thresholdI 

Anyone for a TR7?

 

mikeC
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GBt wrote:

Whilst Mike C will maybe beg to differ, as he did  actually own 3 Spits and a B, either way I would as of said Vitesse experience,avoid Mark 1/2 Triumph Spitfires, like the proverbial plague.

Literally steer clear, of a swing axle one, would be my recomendation, even if they were arguably the prettiest of the breed made. They have enough power to get you into trouble especially with the non servo brakes which need a hard shove,if you have to lift off mid bend or worst still brake in a turn, and even super quick steering isnt always capable of getting you out again.An SAH converted one may employ a kit to bolt down the swinging axles, which was more or less adopted by Triumph, to the chassic if you can put up with a rock hard ride.

If you are going to avoid the swing-axle rear, then you need to avoid the 1300cc Mk3, too. However, I never found the rear suspension a problem on the Spitfire, unlike the Herald and Vitesse, both of which could be a bit skittish. But then I was brought up on Austin Sevens, which tended to be even more wayward!!! Realistically, I don't think the rear suspension should frighten off a current owner, who is more likely to be driving with a bit more respect for what is now quite an old car.

Given the choice, I too would opt for a Vitesse, of which I have have had several, too. Give me my old Mk1 2-litre convertible, please, with its SAH-tuned engine. I didn't realise what I had got until I replaced the exhaust system, and apparently lost about 20bhp in the process!

James Elliott
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The problem I have with answering the question is that, to my mind at least, they aren't really comparable. An MGB is a much-more accomplished and practical all-rounder, it also handles a hell of a lot better, but is slightly softer and less thrilling (the Spitfire is so close to the the deck that it always feels fast, even when it isn't and is super-responsive).

Perhaps the answer is a Midget: all the best facets of both.

n/a
mikeC
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Trouble is you need to be a midget to drive a Midget...

AdamH
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Joined: 2011-08-13

I owned a Mk3 Spitfire for many years. My experience of MGBs amounts to being given a lift to the station in a late roadster by the specialist who had my Spit in for work. It felt much softer and I really didn't like it. The steering feel of a Spit is excellent - a proper sports car. It is extremely easy to fit the swing spring from a MkIV to an early car which tames the handling sufficiently. Of those two, I'd pick the Spit, but the 1147 engine isn't the fastest...

Triple Twin Choke
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Joined: 2012-01-25

The MGB has excellent parts and specialist support, and you can even buy new body shells. The MGB is also a larger car than the Spitfire, and there are more of them around. However, the Spitfire is a fun, easy to own, small sports car with a huge following and also a very good spares and specialist support. I bought my new Spitfire in 1978 and I still have it - which says a lot about how useable and easy the car is to own and run. The Spitfire is also supported by a very good Club - the TSSC.

You would not go wrong with either. Just pick a good condition one what ever you decide.

Triple Twin Choke

Rainman43
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Hi, I owned both  MkII Spitfire, and a 1962 MGB in the late 1960s.  Both are enjoyable cars, but they are quite different, as you've learned from earlier posts.  The Spit is smaller, shorter, and lighter; less comfortable for medium/long trips ( as your ladies WILL tell you).  If you are taller than 5'9", or of more than slim build, the Spit may feel too small for you.  The MGB has a much more solid feel on the road, the seats are wider, and better padded.

The B is also faster, quieter while cruising-I'd recommend it over the Spit, if you can swing it.

Good luck with either. 

Ray Lynch

Spidermanofbrisbane
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Joined: 2012-02-01

Cheers, GBt, for giving the Fiat 124 a mention. I finally bought one of these last year (1979 124 spider) and love it. Already had the RHD conversion, and one of last 2 liters before fuel injection came in. Physically, from what I've read, a bit bigger car than those being discussed here, but, for my money, hugely undervalued. Tjarda/Pinifarina design and a Lampredi engine..........need I say anymore? (get hold of C & SC, September '98 for a full review.)