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Lot 059: MG B V8 Roadster

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (16 May 2012)

Despite its sporting appearance, throughout its entire 18 year production life the MGB Roadster was always powered by the same, somewhat pedestrian, 1.8-litre 94bhp BMC B-Series engine. It took the efforts of tuners like Ken Costello to prove that the car was easily capable of handling the power of a much larger engine, but it wasn't until 1973 that MG decided to fit the ubiquitous Rover 3.5-litre V8 into the fixed head version of the car, the MGB GT. Even then they de-tuned it from the Costello version's 180bhp to a more modest 130bhp. This was really something of a missed opportunity for MG because the larger V8 engine was an all-alloy unit that actually weighed some 40lbs less than the cast iron 1.8-litre unit four-cylinder unit and the car's handling was in no way adversely affected. No surprise then that many enterprising individuals have since decided to shoehorn the Rover V8 into their own MGB Roadsters in the search for extra performance. This superb 1972 MGB V8 Roadster amply demonstrates just what MG could have achieved if only they had been a little more ambitious. It was professionally built between 1996 and 2000 by a previous owner who spared no expense in getting the car just right for the increased performance. The exact specification is far too detailed to list in full but is amply explained in the huge history file that accompanies the vehicle (both invoices and photographs). Modifications include the fitment of a Rover 3.5-litre V8 with Stage 2 cylinder heads and custom-made tubular stainless steel exhaust manifolds mated to a five-speed manual Rover SD1 gearbox. A four-barrel Holley carburettor and uprated fuel pump have also been fitted along with an uprated cooling system, an additional oil cooler and a louvred bonnet. The braking and suspension systems have also been considerably uprated to cope with the extra performance as has the steering rack and the chassis which features a modified bulkhead and strengthened rear chassis rails. Additional dash instruments have also been fitted and recalibrated, along with a taller 3.07:1 differential for sustained high speed cruising. The interior has been fully retrimmed in black leather and a walnut dash fitted. The car rides on knock-on Minilite-style alloy wheels shod with good Yokohama directional tyres all round, including the spare. A full set of weather gear is also present including a new Mohair hood and both full and half tonneau covers. A quick scan through the history file reveals that over 25,000 has been spent on the car since the conversion began in 1996. The fully restored Blaze Orange bodywork is in outstanding condition throughout with excellent panel gaps all round while the underside is also in superb condition. Since the restoration was completed in 2000, the car has only covered some 15,000 miles with all old MOTs to prove. On the occasion of our visit to take these photos we were treated to a lengthy test drive and can confirm that the car drives beautifully with exhilarating performance, sharp brakes and remarkably light and communicative steering that almost feels power-assisted although we are assured that it isn't. With that tuned V8 and a big stainless steel exhaust it also sounds fantastic, especially when you rev it, although we won't tell you what speed we got up to in 3rd gear because you never know who might be reading this... It comes with the aforementioned history file, a tailored car cover and a spare bootlid with a stainless steel luggage carrier fitted should you wish to go touring. There is also a Heritage Certificate confirming that the car was Blaze Orange from new and was built in October 1972 and despatched to Appleyard of Huddersfield. Taxed until November and MOTd until May 2013, this brawny British sportscar is evidence of what MG could have made if they had really put their minds to it. It is being offered here at a fraction of the costs lavished on it to date and is guaranteed to put a great big smile on someone's face this coming summer.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Easters Court, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0DE
TypeCar
Lot Number059
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)£14200
Year1972
Condition rating
Registration numberFVH 37L
Mileage-
Chassis numberGHNS296706G
Engine numberDBBB10264F
Engine capacity (cc)3528
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors