1963 MG MGB Roadster 'Pull Handle'


  • Fully restored and immaculate
  • Bills back to the 1980s
  • Interesting history
  • Original specification
  • Fitted with overdrive


It’s amazing to think that the MGB turns 60 later this year, such is the timelessness of its delicate, Italian-influenced styling.

Introduced in 1962, initially as an open-top Roadster only, the MGB went on to become the UK’s most popular sports car and today is the most prevalent classic car in the world with over 20,000 known survivors, multiple owners’ clubs and an entrie industry bult up around the car’s ongoing survival. 

This one is as collectable as an MGB gets. A really early car with ‘pull-handle’ doors and a detachable roof frame, plus the earlier three-bearing engine, its in full launch specification and has been restored with attention to detail to ensure it has the correct details, such as the large three-spoke steering wheel. It’s an amazing opportunity for someone to get their hands on a genuine early Roadster that has been well-loved.

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  • 40 years of bills and invoices
  • Original RHD car but spent early years in the USA
  • Heritage certificate
  • Maintained at cost-no-object
  • Magazine featured

A British Motor Heritage Certificate detailing the B’s build records shows it was assembled in April 1963 at the MG factory in Abingdon as a right-hand-drive export model in red, with a red roof and matching interior – exactly as it is presented today, in fact. 

There are no despatch or dealer records, so it’s a fair bet that the car was ordered for delivery in the UK but as an export sale to an American serviceman, who then took it home with him. The car spent a lot of time in the USA until the late 1980s when it was shipped back to the UK, and there are records in the extensive service folder of a previous keeper trying to track down its early history.

From the late 1980s onward, it’s a story of gradual improvement. It’s fair to say that the car has been fully restored, but never in one hit – it has had extensive and substantial repairs when needed, and they’re all documented in the history file, with over £20,000 spent in parts from 1991 to 2020.

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  • Crackle-finish dash
  • Red leather seats
  • Retrimmed doors and carpets
  • Full tonneau cover

Inside, the attention to detail is a delight – the dash has been refinished I the correct black crackle-finish and the seats, dials and switchgear are all exactly as they should be for a pre-1965 car. 

It has been retrimmed and recarpeted at some point in the non-too-distant past, but with an eye for correct detail. It’s beautifully presented.

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  • Repainted in original Tartan Red
  • Steel wheels
  • Fully restored
  • Early-style detachable roof frame

Finished in period-correct Tartan Red with disc steel wheels, the MGB looks exactly as a launch specification car should and it sits right, too – higher than later cars thanks to its longer spring travel. 

It presents beautifully with no obvious flaws and has been kept in a dry, heated garage by its past two owners. The chrome is excellent as are the rubbers and the rest of the exterior trim, while it also has the correct early headlamps and smaller taillights.

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  • Original three-bearing B-Series engine
  • Early-spec gearbox with overdrive
  • Recent service, oil cooler and rear brakes
  • Reported to drive brilliantly

The MGB has been looked after by Hall’s Garage in Morton, Lincs, during the vendor’s ownership. They’re regarded as one of the UK’s most highly regarded MG specialists and they’ve done a splendid job, making sure that the car is in tip-top running order. A service has recently been completed, along with a new oil cooler and rear brake overhaul. 

The car retains its original three-bearing engine and early spec overdrive gearbox, which doesn’t have syncromesh on first, so is completely authentic for an early model. The vendor reports that it drives brilliantly and without fault.

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With the MGB celebrating a big birthday this year, this car represents a great opportunity to join the celebrations. It’s a really rare and completely authentic launch-spec model that’s as close to the original MGB concept as it could possibly be – a proper collectors’ example. As MGBs go, it’s the original and best.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1963
  • Make MG
  • Model MGB Roadster 'Pull Handle' (Chrome Bumper)
  • Colour Tartan Red
  • Odometer 5,056 Miles
  • Engine size 1798
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Lincolnshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
21 bids
  • ap•••• £16,750 14/08/22
  • JT•••• £16,749 14/08/22
  • JT•••• £16,500 14/08/22
  • ap•••• £16,250 14/08/22
  • ap•••• £16,000 14/08/22
  • mi•••• £15,750 14/08/22
  • ap•••• £15,500 14/08/22
  • mi•••• £15,250 14/08/22
  • mi•••• £15,000 09/08/22
  • mi•••• £14,000 08/08/22

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