v  Black IS Beautiful! v

Black was my color of choice when I repainted my 73 MGB roadster. When I purchased the B, it was originally white and had been re-painted white with a brush, except for a right front fender that had been recently replaced and was a royale blue color. It had a "rust" hood. Not rust colored mind you, but rust, as in chemical reaction of unpainted metal with water!

Yes, I DID change the color of my B from its original white color  to black. However, I don't believe that I've reduced my B's value one bit by doing so. Please remember that I only paid under $300.00 for it in the first place!! I think it is worth maybe just a little bit more now. AND, I challenge anyone to point out where this car was ever another color! It was taken down to mostly bare metal and every viewable square inch has been repainted.

The pros of black:

  • A good black lacquer, with clear coats, handed sanded and hand rubbed, paint job, like mine, does NOT show all the imperfections as some people might think. The black color itself is actually pretty "high hiding", especially on a smaller car with not many large flat expanse of panels. The hood and deck lid are the most important areas to keep straight and smooth. Very light colors (such as white) might be better here but there is a trade off in the looks department. Black has that "rich" look that NO other color on a car has.
  • Additionally, I painted my B (twice now) and I can tell you that black is certainly a much easier color to use to paint with, especially when you are changing colors as I did. I re-painted my B in my garage, not a spray booth, some of it, one panel at a time. My goal when starting the restoration  project was to build a daily driver that I could drive and have fun with, not to build a concours show car. That's what I did too. It is not a perfect paint job and the B is not restored to a perfect replica of the year model. I have updated it for comfort, reliability and appearance while still staying within the bounds of the "flavor" of the era. Most of the imperfections don't show up and most of the updates are not too distracting,  unless you really start digging for them. The "overall" came out VERY nice indeed!

  • With black and clear coat painting, you can touch up and blend weak and damaged areas so easily as compare to other colors. The only color better for hiding imperfections and touch up spotting. is white, and I just don't believe that white shows a B off very well. If you have to repaint a panel for some reason, with black, it is absolutely undetectable that it has been painted at a different time than the other panels (of course if the quality of the re-paint job is to the original standards). With most other colors, other than white, repainting a panel or spot is oftentimes pretty easy to pick out, especially if a different type or batch of paint is used, as is most often the case.

  • A black body color does NOT make an open body vehicle such as a B roadster detectibly hotter to drive than any other color. I know that for sure! I drove this exact same B in both white and black colors. A black/dark interior does though. And a lack of insulation in the floor boards and transmission tunnel area does!!! That's one reason why I went with the camel/biscuit color interior in the first place - and used double thick layers of insulation!! Black Beauty was originally (mostly) painted white, with dark navy OEM (almost black) interior. So hot I couldn't sit on the dark blue seats sometimes. That's not so much the case with the camel colored interior. ALL vinyl interior vehicles get hot when sitting in the direct sun with the top down, even light colors. Dark colors just get hotter. That is simply a law of nature. And when you have to come directly in contact with the material by sitting on it, well, it gets hot as Hell, no matter what the color is! (The best of both worlds is leather for an interior. It is the coolest, most durable and you can get it in black. However the high cost was a consideration for me, and why I eventually chose to elect a high grade of cool, camel colored vinyl for my interior instead.  

  • Let me tell you that black (with hand rubbed clear coats) IS strikingly beautiful, especially against a fresh chrome bumpered back-drop!!! I have never seen a B in any other color that I think is any prettier. I get SO many compliments from everybody, everywhere I go. The right shade of Red and BRG are VERY nice colors on a B indeed and also are very traditional colors - but lots of folks have those colors and I wanted something different. MY black, with the multiple coats of paint, with the multiple clear coats, with being hand sanded (1200 grit, hand sanded and hand rubbed finish IS different. I'll take MY black any day. Purple, (Black Tulip), yellow (primrose) - all are way down the list and NOT for me on a B. Maybe the MGB purist might understand the tradition and history of those colors, but I believe that most other people not familiar with the B heritage would not think of those colors as near as good looking as a shiny black lacquer with clear coat paint job. Why ruin a car with such beautiful and classic lines with an "off" color, as I believe the masses of non-MGB people would view those color choices? My right front fender was the Blue Royale color for a few months, and at first I considered that color too. After awhile though, it gets old - and "too bright", especially when the rest of the car was white (and painted with a brush). I'm thrilled with my Black Beauty and its color.

  • I was in the car business for 27 years up until ten years ago and I can tell you that, for sales value, ANY knowledgeable automobile professional, especially those experienced with classics and special interest vehicles, would rather have a black/clear coat lacquer paint job on a car like this than some of the other "bright" colors mentioned here.

The cons of black:

  • Black IS harder to keep buffed to a shine so that minor surface scratches don't show so much. Got to polish it regular. Not really too serious of a problem though - and an acceptable trade-off to the stunning look of my Black Beauty. I would polish ANY color regularly on this car anyhow. Also, I only drive the B a couple of thousand miles a year now. I used to use it as a daily driver, but no more. To be honest, I guess if it was still used as a daily driver I might have to look at it a little differently.
  • Black IS a little harder to keep it clean too. Shows dust more than some lighter colors. NOT dirt mind you, just dust after it has been sitting around for awhile. - BUT,  my B is so small, and driven so infrequently, it doesn't take much to spiffy it up when I want to drive it - and I'd wash any color more regularly anyhow on this car.

  • A black interior with black body WOULD look great too, especially black leather with red piping as some MGB models had as OEM! I wouldn't object to that at all. My conscience just wouldn't let me pay that much for it - for what amounts to really just a toy for me!! I chose the camel vinyl interior color only because of cost limitations and my own personal preference.

Black IS Beautiful!

Jerry Erbesfield

 


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