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Lot '42: MG B Roadster

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (23 June 2010)

Launched in 1962 to replace the MGA, the MGB was initially only available as a roadster and used a new monocoque structure that reduced both weight and manufacturing costs as well as adding chassis strength. Restrained and elegant, the design was also a considerable improvement in comparison to that of the traditional body-on-frame construction used on the MGA and T-Type models as well as the MGB's rival, the Triumph TR series. It included independent front suspension, wind-up windows and a comfortable driver's compartment, with plenty of legroom and a parcel shelf behind the seats.

The MGB's performance was brisk for the period, with a 060 mph time of just over 11 seconds and a top speed of over 100mph, aided by the relatively light weight of the car. Handling was one of the MGB's strong points. The 3-bearing 1798cc B-Series engine produced 95bhp at 5,400 rpm. The engine was upgraded in October 1964 to a 5-bearing crankshaft in an effort to improve reliability. The vast majority of MGBs were exported to United States. The MGB would go on to be the best-selling MG of all time, with more than 500,000 such cars built before assembly finally ended in 1980.

Dating from February 1967, this particular Roadster was exported new to America and spent most of its life in the dry state of Arizona before returning to these shores in 1991. Still in remarkably original and rust-free condition it was then acquired by the current vendor, a professional car restorer, who treated it to a full rebuild that was to take over two years to complete. Apart from new front floor pans, the bodywork and structure of the car is said to be totally original throughout and has had a bare metal repaint to a very high standard  the underside being virtually as clean and shiny as the topside.

The car was converted to right-hand drive and the interior was completely retrimmed with black leather upholstery, new carpets and a new hood and hood frame. All mechanical and electrical parts were renewed or rebuilt as necessary including a fully rebuilt engine with new pistons etc. Chrome wire wheels, a wood-rim steering wheel and a stainless steel exhaust system were also fitted. Since the restoration was completed the car has covered less than 1,000 miles and has always been kept garaged during the intervening 17 years.

Regularly started and run, it was last on the road in 2008 but is due to be freshly MOTd and taxed before the sale. It fired up readily and ran very smoothly on the occasion of our visit to take these pictures. It comes with a large file of bills to substantiate the works carried out plus the original import documents and the American registration document from 1991 when it was owned by a Mary Kenrick of Wickenburg, Arizona.

Such sound, original and unwelded cars are hard to find, and this one is worthy of close inspection  you certainly could not replicate the restoration at the guide price suggested today.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Leominster, Herefordshire
Lot Number'42
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£8200
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating0
Registration numberPWP 129E
Chassis numberGHN3L134042G
Engine number18GB-U-69639
Engine capacity (cc)1798
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors