1977 MGB GT V8
Converted from a standard 1.8 GT; unfinished project
Great car though it was in many respects, you could never really call the MGB fast and it never had the hooligan side that say, an Austin-Healey 3000 did, or indeed an Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV.
The stiff chassis could easily handle more power though, a fact demonstrated by tuner Ken Costello who put a Rover 3.5-litre V8 in his own MGB in 1970, with results that so impressed British Leyland they contracted him to develop a factory-made version which entered production in 1973. Modestly tuned to produce 137bhp and 193lb/ft of torque, it gave the car a 0-60 time of around 8 seconds and a top speed of 125mph.
Because the all-alloy V8 actually weighed 40lbs less than the standard 1.8-litre cast iron engine, the handling was not detrimentally affected and no significant chassis changes were required. However, BL were concerned that it would overshadow other models in their range, most notably the more expensive and less powerful Stag, so it was quietly dropped from the range after just three years by which time 2,591 examples had been sold.
This particular car started out in life as a standard rubber bumper 1.8 GT that was first registered in January 1977. At some point in the past it has been fitted with a Rover 3.5 V8 engine and gearbox, a Sebring-style front end, a steel bonnet with two air scoops and a set of period alloy wheels.
Our vendor acquired the car as an unfinished project in June 2019, his intention being to keep himself busy in his retirement by getting it up and running and back on the road. Sadly, ill health has meant that he has never got round to the task and he has now reluctantly decided that the time has come to pass it on to someone with more time and energy to see it through.
Currently on SORN, there is no documentation with the car other than a V5C that records it as a Historic Vehicle and lists the engine capacity as 3,500cc. Biders are advised that this car was subject to a Cat D insurance claim (damaged; repairable) in 1993.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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