My original post about how I was chasing history in an attempt to replicate a part of my married life that dated back to 1967 had some downsides before I requested professional help from the Rusty Moose Garage in Grand Haven, Michigan. For some five months I shared a secret with family and friends until almost four dozen people up and down the coast knew about the BRG MGB Roadster that I had purchased during a momentary lapse in martial judgement. Heck, I had not seen an MGB for at least fifteen years, when I suddenly decided my wife just could not live without one just like our first purchased car in 1967!
As previously related I bought a useless rust bucket sight unseen from an Italian car restorer in Illinois that assured me I had bought a strong MGB that just needed some work. When it arrived it had football sized holes in the body, as much rust as paint, no engine, no seats, and offered no hope! I did appreciate the two transmissions that were thrown in along with an assortment of used parts. When that report reached me I knew my MGB buying days were done.
I located the Rusty Moose Garage and they took over. All I had to do was provide a credit card! That was not the easiest thing to do but it is amazing what a besotted husband might do for the a wife that had stood by him for fifty five years. That is one year longer than the car we ended up with.
Again I did not know much about the Rusty Moose but I loved their promise to “make British Cars great again.” Conversations with Mike Blackport, the office manager, Forest the boss of bosses, and Kurt and Nadiya from the technical staff. The web site under the supervision of Mr. Blackport, (still incomplete) clinched the deal! After more money than I thought it might cost the day of reckoning arrived! The entire team conspired to surprise my wife with the car at a decent Mexican Restaurant in Brooklyn, Michigan! When I saw the team come into the restaurant I realized my moment of retribution at my wife’s hands was neigh.
We all went outside to find the finest looking MGB Roadster you can imagine. When my wife turned the corner and saw the car she realized what I had alluded to as her alternate investment actually was. Her first reaction was shock! Her second was to think aloud where did the money come from? I later sent out texts and emails to various friends and relatives afterwards, allowing that she had received her surprise and yet I still lived. The warmup phase to the purchase was of short duration. She drives it and she loves it as I hoped she would. While behind the wheel she appears to me to be the same radiant coed I had married back on April Fool’s Day of 1966.
The car, the money, and the wait, were oh so worth all of it! Forest, Mike, Kurt, and Nadiya have made a friend for life. The deal is that we are to drive the car for a few weeks as the football season wanes on, and they will correct any flaw that we might find and then deliver the car to Austin, Texas in a covered trailer. Forest has to earn a living but his charges were fair and not as high as they should be for the product delivered! Now Blackport keeps referring to a mirror adjustment fee but I have learned his bark is far worse than his bite. I think he could do standup and make a living at it,
I hope that out there in the great American Heartland there are other Mike Donnelly’s that are moved to do their part in making a British Sports Car Great again! Oh what fun and oh what great people at the Rusty Moose!
I am writing a review to express my absolute satisfaction with the Rusty Moose Garage even before I pick up my MGB which is to be restored pretty darn close to the level of the 1967 MGB we purchased new. Our first car, and in many ways, our most exciting to drive! We got married on April Fools Day of 1966 and could not afford a new car until almost a year had passed. The MGB choice was a reflection of my lifelong love of British Sports Cars and my dearth of money in the bank. It was a shiny new BRG MGB Roadster with an electric O/D. Given my choice and enough money, it would have been a Mark III BJ8 Austin Healey but that was beyond my pay grade at the time. We settled for the MGB. We loved that car and bought another before my first overseas deployment with the US Army in late 1968. I have owned many nice and expensive cars since but never forgot that exciting roadster. I saw an advertisement for a nicely described BRG 1967 while perusing the internet and purchased it sight unseen! I live in Austin, Texas but have had season tickets for football seasons at the Big House in Ann Arbor. A light bulb went off and I said to myself, would it not be great to restore it and give it to my wife of some 55 wondrous years as a surprise. I found a place in Grand Haven and after speaking to the owner, Forest, and the manager, Mike, I felt like I had known them for years and that they would do a great job in fixing my sight unseen purchase. Their motto after is all is “making British cars great again.” Well when the car was delivered it was simply unsalvageable! They could have done it but it would have cost me more than it would ever have been worth in this century. I swallowed my pride and asked them, the MGB pros, to help make my somewhat crackpot idea work out. They came through in great style and found me a dream 1967 duplicate of our first car. Yes, the car requires work but this time my homework paid off. Even though it did not come with an O/D transmission. No problem! They are installing a newly rebuilt transmission as we speak. They are repairing the minor faults and tearing the engine down to make sure when I get it back to Texas it will last the 140,000 miles or so that a new one was capable of. I have seen pictures of the car and Forest who drove over 1,000 miles to pick it up for me. Previously I had paid for the first car to be delivered from Illinois to Michigan. Had someone gone to pick it up I would have saved myself some money! Forest wanted to drive our new treasure to make sure it was as advertised it and to find out what kind of shape it was in. On the drive from Virginia to Grand Haven he quickly identified five minor but important deficiencies which have already been corrected. With the new transmission in and the engine reassembled the car will be ready for pickup long before the first game in Ann Arbor. I have tried to express my total admiration and appreciation for the efforts of the people at the Rusty Moose and will write a concluding bit upon taking delivery of our latest family treasure! Mike Donnelly PS I am a retired Field Grade Army Officer and served in Armor Branch for the most of my Army career. I have lived in more states and foreign countries than most folks I have met including seven years in Russia and seven years in what used to be West Germany. I have purchased new cars from the Mercedes Plant in Sindelfingen, Germany and currently drive a new Lincoln Black Label Continental sedan. I have always loved cars and the Gilmore Museum in Michigan is one of my favorite places in all the world. Having said that I have not looked forward so much to acquiring a car in my life than this one. Forest and Mike have had a great deal to do with that anticipation!
Hey we have a customer desperately looking for a 1967 or 1969 MGB. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
Of course we can’t restore British cars every day without some support. Today I thought I’d introduce you to our support staff. The first is Forrest’s schnauzer, aptly named “Lucas.”
And then there is Nadiya’s doggy, “Notch.”
And last, but not least, our Mascot!!
Thank you all for the wonderful work you did on my MGB. As you know I picked the car up on Monday 8/24/20 and then I drove it back to Novi. I could have picked a better day it was 89 – 90 degrees and humid but my MGB ran all the way 3500 RPM temp never went above 190 and oil pressure a steady 70#.
But what really stuns me is the attention to detail.You lined up the pleats on the seats,aligned the piping on the dash pad door tops and cockpit surround. Everywhere I look I see something else. The quality of work is spectacular. But the final word comes from my neighbor Mrs. Do. She asked me “New car?” She can’t believe it’s my old car.
Please accept my thanks for all hard work and patience. You are the best
I want to thank all you at Rusty Moose Garage for the work done on my 1979 MGB.
The car runs great and I have been driving it daily.
You guys dis a fantastic Job Thanks again
British car restoration continues every day, as we see it as quite essential!
So I was playing around with the filters on the shop camera today, and I took a picture of a current restoration, and it looks like it’s from days gone by!