Leons MGB V8

This site is about my 1975 MGB that I started with a 62 Buick 215 V8, then changed to a 1963 Oldsmobile 215 after a rear main seal leak in the Buick. It’s now running with a Holley Sniper EFI 650cfm. I love it. This setup may just stay for a while 🙂

Leon's MGB V8

The car is a 1975 MGB with a 1963 Oldsmobile 215cu (3.5L) V8. Currently fitted with a Holley Sniper EFI throttle body injection. It’s is almost white – Chrysler 300 Vanilla. It has a Monza Vega positraction rear end with a T5 GM transmission, dual exhaust. It’s been dismantled and rebuilt twice.

And I constantly tinker with it.

In May of 2018 I ran across some videos on YouTube about the Holley Sniper EFI. I was very impressed. They said you basically hook up 12V, 12V switched, a distributor feed for rpm, install their temp gauge and their fuel pump and return line. I have been playing with various tbi systems for over 10 years – a couple Holley Pro-Jection styles and a couple Mega-Squirts. I really liked them but they just didn’t seem like they completely hit the mark. So went online looking for one.

I was kind of put in a self proclaimed hard spot – we had decided to go to NAMGBR 2018 in Gettysburg and that was only a couple weeks away from my Sniper decision. I went online to buy a sniper and found one on EBay being sold by F/A Products and it had a $100 discount. I noticed they were located in Ontario, NY just about 30 minutes from me. I sent them an email and they said that I could pick it up at their place. Great – get in the same day I ordered it – that meant if everything went OK I could have it in for the Gettisburg trip.

The people at F/A/ Products were very nice and knowledgeable. While I was there we went looking in their catalog for which adapter I would need – I drove the car out there for the pickup and we looked at my manifold to make sure. I ended up needing a Mr Gasket 1933 Carburetor Adapter Kit 2BBL to 4BBL. They didn’t have one in stock.

When I got home I went online and the only one available in this area showed up as available at the downtown Rochester Advanced Auto on Monroe Avenue. If you know Rochester you’d understand why this isn’t really your “Speed Shop” kind of place. I went to get it and the guy comes out brushing the dust off it and says “This must have been there since when we first stocked the store!”. Even he thought it odd that they stocked it. I called my lucky day.

I’ve had Holley Throttle body fuel injection as well as a Megasquirt system. Also had a 2 barrel setup and a 550 Carter setup on it. The Megasquirt performed the best and that’s the setup I’m headed back to this summer.

The Holley pro-jection is an analog system. It worked much better than any of the carburetor setups. I put an Innovate O2 sensor in and could see a much smoother mixture flow.

We were going to a car show in Hamburg, NY and filled up just before we left. When we got there, about 80 miles, we filled up again. I got 26.5 MPG. The couple we went with drove an MG Midget and got 24. That put an end to all the gas sucking jokes.

About 1989 my wife Barbara and I finished rebuilding a TR7, sold it and were looking for a new sports car. We bought the TR7 with a blown head gasket. I had the head checked and shaved, put the engine back together, fixing a bunch of little things along the way. Then Barbara completely stripped the car down to the metal and we had it painted. Drove it for about 2 months and decided there were too many things we did not like about the car – low power, no ventilation – it was like riding in a box. So we sold it.

While looking through our local Swap Sheet I saw an ad for a 1975 MGB Project car – Basket case, for $3200.00. It sounded interesting so I called and went over to take a look. The person selling it, Mike, said he didn’t have ‘all the car’ there. I since have learned the importance of the statement – ‘all the car’ and the true meaning of ‘Basket’ case. It wasn’t quite a basket case like he said – some of it was in boxes, and crates, and loose, and the parts were spread over at least 4 different locations, and in 2 counties. The ONLY things on the body of the car were the 4 door hinges, EVERYTHING else was dismantled. (I’ll have to ask him why he left the hinges on.) But – one very important piece – Mike knew where everything was and it was organized very well. When we were looking for a part, I knew it was there somewhere, he hadn’t lost a thing, we just had to figure out which container it was in.

Mike had purchased the car in 1980 and last had the car on the road somewhere in the early 80’s. He told me he started to do some engine work, saw some articles by Phil Baker and I believe he saw Glenn Towery with a V8 MGB and decided to do the V8 conversion. He started collecting the information.

Mike completely dismantled the car, and more importantly, did extensive research on the project (remember it’s early-mid 80’s and there is no internet, no e-mail, so it was far more labor intensive than it would be today), and he did  an excellent job, he collected about 4 inches of documentation, in addition to all the right sources and most of the parts. One of the things Mike did that played a big part in getting this car going again was to keep very good records on were, when, how and the costs of the what he put into the car – at the time I purchased it, had $8500 invested, including $3000 for the base car. By the time I purchased the project, Mike was up to child #3 (I think he was single when he started the project), and found himself in a position may of us have been – time and money had gotten a little scarce. He decided to sell it rather than have it rust away.

It hit me a bit nostalgic, when I was about his age I had a Sunbeam Alpine that I loved. Took it pretty much all apart, painted it myself and learned a lot about old English Lucas electrical parts (like replace it with something else). Once I had that and learned more about the Sunbeam line, I realize what I really wanted was a Sunbeam Tiger. The one with the Ford V8 in it. The Alpine was great until I had 2 children to put in it. It didn’t take long for it to get real, real small. It had to go. I traded it for a Ford Econoline.

Actually wasn’t a bad deal. I put over 100K on the van, I played in rock bands and it was loaded up with a Hammond B3, a Leslie, the PA System, the Guitar amps and more, by the time I traded it for 4 kitchen chairs both rear springs had many cracks in them, but not the main spring, so it kinda still stayed on the axle. The person I traded the van to kept it for over a year and put at least one trip to Florida on it. So, it really wasn’t a bad deal for either of us.

The first iteration - 1961 Buick 215 V8, Carter 400.

The first iteration – 1961 Buick 215 V8, Carter 400.

 

The view most people see -- bye...

The view most people see — bye…

Home for the first time.

Home for the first time.


My Son In Law Chris & I putting the trim back on after the first paint job.
First car show - at the MG Car Club Sports Car Festival in Victor - 2nd place.

First car show – at the MG Car Club Sports Car Festival in Victor – 2nd place.

First TBI Setup - Holley Pro-Jection

First TBI Setup – Holley Pro-Jection

2018 - Holley Snipper EFI

2018 – Holley Snipper EFI

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