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Brian
Brian UltraDork
8/2/19 12:36 p.m.

Anyone have any suggestion on a classically styled british convertible that we can swap a more modern powertrain into?
No, the answer is not Miata.  Too expensive of a buy in.

Jumper K Balls (Trent)
Jumper K Balls (Trent) PowerDork
8/2/19 12:49 p.m.

If you can fit into a spridget they are my favorite option.

I keep seeing nice sprites under 3K. At 6' 215lbs I can not fit into the later 1500 cars though. The trans tunnel is too big.

Spitfires are still cheap.

Not my favorite cars though

 

MGB's are cheap for undriveable examples and as Ransom can attest, finding one decent enough to drive to see if he liked it as a starting point was a 6 month excercise. Still affordable though.

Jensen Healeys are good cars wrapped in polarizing sheet metal. The engine is a gem and can easily produce enough power to destroy the stock rear ends.

I think everything else is no longer cheap.

Brian
Brian UltraDork
8/2/19 12:55 p.m.

a couple of clarification points that I should have put in the original post (D'OH!)
 

needs to fit a 6'4" male with a long upper torso
Needs to have engine swap kits available for approx $1k
 

we were looking at the tr7 until his wife said no to the looks.  It had a 3800 swap kit available for $1k.  Miata was ruled out based on engine swap kit costs and high buy in costs.

 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
8/2/19 1:02 p.m.

Cheap?  I think those days are gone.  Maybe you could find a Spitfire, maybe an MG-B or Midget, but it wouldn't be pretty.  Anything for sale around here, even ratty TR-7's, seems expensive to me.

Jumper K Balls (Trent)
Jumper K Balls (Trent) PowerDork
8/2/19 1:04 p.m.

Then you need to see if you fit into an MGB. All the other british roadsters are far more expensive than a Miata

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
8/2/19 1:07 p.m.

Spitfires are still cheap around here as long as they don't have a title. Titled and running cars are usually double what a cheap Miata will set you back. 

 

Indy-Guy
Indy-Guy UberDork
8/2/19 1:09 p.m.
Brian said:

a
 

we were looking at the tr7 until his wife said no to the looks.  It had a 3800 swap kit available for $1k. 

 

The TR7 can be made to look "right" with some modern wheels and tires, and proper "stance"

 

These are Compomotive "CSX" in 15" variety.

With Buick V6 Swap:

Link to some info on this car

JohnInKansas
JohnInKansas SuperDork
8/2/19 1:16 p.m.

If you're doing the work to swap a drivetrain, changing up seats and seat mounting seems like small change by comparison.

At 6'4", I have adjusted small British roadsters so that they feel comfy for me. It can be done.

Find the best example of platform you want that falls in your budget and make it fit you.

That's my $0.02.

Brian
Brian UltraDork
8/2/19 1:19 p.m.

In reply to Indy-Guy :

I think she wants the classic 50s-60s look rather than retro 80s.
the 3800 swap was exactly what we were thinking when looking at the TR7

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
8/2/19 1:23 p.m.

Probably could find some decent prices on the rubber bumper mgb and midgets.

but you can find cheap it’s just what type of shape you are alright with.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia HalfDork
8/2/19 1:39 p.m.

Cheap.......Spitfires,  MG Midgets + AH Sprite (same as Midget) , rubber bumper MGBs , 

sometimes Sunbeam Alpine , Datsun 1600 roadsters , newer Alfas or Fiat 124s

yeah some are not British  but still classic looking.....

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
8/2/19 1:46 p.m.
Brian said:

Anyone have any suggestion on a classically styled british convertible that we can swap a more modern powertrain into?
No, the answer is not Miata.  Too expensive of a buy in.

For better or worse, Miata and MGB prices are pretty much the same for cars in equivalent condition. Parts for both are pretty cheap with the Miata having an advantage.

How exactly do you see the budget breaking down?

Have you considered skipping the engine swap and just buying a nice mgb or Miata for around 5k or so? Both make decent driving cars even with stock drivetrains and topless is cool. 

Maybe it is old hat for you, but until you have done a drivetrain swap it is impossible to foresee where the money is going to go and how much work it takes to do a good job.

 

Pete

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
8/2/19 2:02 p.m.

I agree with some of the budget comments - if the buy in for a decent NA or NB Miata is too high, that pretty much only leaves those British cars that you can carry home in a couple of trash bags. Decent condition MGBs and Spitfires really aren't that cheap anymore.

Not to mention that most engine swap kits I've seen for $1k require a fair amount of work to make work, as they're not very good, not very complete, or very much both.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
8/2/19 2:03 p.m.

So, let's define "cheap", shall we?

Is $8000. "cheap?"

https://smd.craigslist.org/cto/d/waldorf-mgb/6942319799.html

Jumper K Balls (Trent)
Jumper K Balls (Trent) PowerDork
8/2/19 2:34 p.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

Look on the other coast

https://portland.craigslist.org/search/cto?query=mgb

68TR250
68TR250 Reader
8/2/19 2:51 p.m.

I am kind of surprised that no one has brought up British V8 yet.    It was my go to for eye candy when I was playing with the Stags.

http://www.britishv8.org/

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/2/19 2:58 p.m.
Brian said:

Anyone have any suggestion on a classically styled british convertible that we can swap a more modern powertrain into?
No, the answer is not Miata.  Too expensive of a buy in.

You can buy a decent Miata for under $3000 - sometimes, well under, especially if you don't need the motor.  Can you buy a decent LBC for less than that?

There are plenty of reasons to want an LBC instead of a Miata.  I just wouldn't expect cost to be one of those reasons.

[edit] Someday, I'll learn to read a few posts deep before I respond.

 

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
8/2/19 3:00 p.m.

In reply to Duke :

That depends a lot on where you are. I was a bit picky with the last two and both were over $3k. But then I again I wasn't looking for a project, I just turned them into one.

Just to make this clear, I may be a serial Miata owner, but I'd be the first to admit that there are a whole bunch of good reasons to buy something else. Just as others have said, cost these days really isn't as decent examples of LBCs have also gone up in value, like decent NAs have.

68TR250
68TR250 Reader
8/2/19 3:04 p.m.

If you are considering a Miata... Monster Miata makes kits for putting your flavor of V8 into a Miata.  Flying Miata also has everything you need or could want to make the conversion.

Avi
Avi
8/2/19 5:02 p.m.

Hi im the guy looking to buy the car. Wife doesn't like the look of the TR7 or the miata. I'm looking to get in to a car for hopefully around 2k. Mostly I want to do an engine swap I want a project to do. But I don't have any fabrication skills so the car has to have a kit available. So that takes out the spitfire as I could not find a kit for that.

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
8/2/19 5:04 p.m.
68TR250 said:

If you are considering a Miata... Monster Miata makes kits for putting your flavor of V8 into a Miata.  Flying Miata also has everything you need or could want to make the conversion.

The price-deal breaker for a Miata conversion is the rear end conversion. Hard to get under 2k without a lot of research and creative sourcing.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
8/2/19 5:17 p.m.

the fiat 124 spider is the unsung hero in the classic roadster world. More modern than most of the british cars, yet lacking the widespread love. They are a cult favourite, but can be had cheaply.

jfryjfry
jfryjfry Dork
8/2/19 5:39 p.m.

Look through Challenge entries throughout the years for ideas of cars that could be built for $2000.  

But it sounds like your wife’s vision might not fit in your $2000 wallet :)

Avi
Avi New Reader
8/2/19 5:54 p.m.

I should clarify. 2k for the car/body I expect to spend about 5k or more total

slowbird
slowbird Reader
8/2/19 6:15 p.m.

Perhaps a Miata body kit is something to look into...maybe not this one though laugh

 

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