1976 MGB GT Sebring

Highlights


  • Individual, road-oriented evocation of MG’s beefy Sebring
  • Thorough renovation 
  • Luxuriously appointed cabin

The Appeal


With an engine now sitting nearer to 1950cc, this more road-oriented evocation of MG’s Sixties/Seventies endurance racer makes an interesting alternative to your de rigueur ‘B’ coupe. While the breathed-on four-cylinder offers you greater poke for B-road blasting, the reupholstered (in leather) interior will perhaps slow you down so as to enjoy the journey more.

Like any MGB coupe, this example is both practical and easy to live with, but its sultry lines make it stand out from the crowd (at the club meet). May be up until now you weren’t an MG person, but having had a look at this one, you might be.




The History and Paperwork


  • Subject of thorough rebuild
  • Comprehensive photographic record of work done
  • Regular servicing under present owner

The MG came to its present owner in 2001 as an unfinished conversion to a Sebring replica, whereupon he undertook a complete overhaul and restoration of the car. Virtually every aspect of the Sebring has been refined, upgraded or rebuilt.

Work undertaken includes correctly refitting the body panels (including the fitting of a more authentic front valance), respraying the whole of the car and undertaking a full mechanical rebuild. The brakes have been upgraded and the engine rebored and rebuilt (with Piper reprofiled camshaft) to ‘ultimate’ road spec. The car was also rewired and fitted with a stainless steel exhaust.

The interior has been renovated, the seats repadded and re-covered and the interior given the added luxury of wood trim.

All the work (completed in 2012) is documented in a comprehensive photographic record.




The Exterior 


  • Flared arch Sebring body panels
  • Fully resprayed in period British Racing Green
  • ‘Jaguar’ mesh hand-made grill

The MG presents well in its shade of tradition (solid, not metallic) British Racing Green. It boasts a good gloss and a consistent finish around the car. The flared wheel arches and bonnet dome of the Sebring modifications are worked nicely into the bodywork, with no inconsistencies in either smoothness or colour. Shut lines remain narrow and consistent, and doors and bonnet/tailgate open and close smoothly, the latter remaining supported by its struts. (There are a few inconsistencies in the paint around the tailgate.) A la standard MG, there is still plenty of chrome on the car, and this remains a nice feature, showing no signs of pitting or discolouration. The ‘bullet style mirrors are quite new and add nicely to the Sebring flavour. 

Window frames and decorative strips remain in good shape with neat joins and straight edges. Their supporting rubber seals are, in the main, supple and strong. A couple towards to the rear have cracked.
The hand-made front grill (using Jaguar mesh and stainless steel edging) is nicely finished and, like the reworked body, sets the car apart from more standard versions.




The Interior


  • Extensively renovated cabin
  • Nicely figured wood veneer added
  • Piping adds definition and detail

The Sebring’s interior offers a richer and more luxurious combination of colours and textures than you might expect of a standard MG, the seats being recovered in leather with piped green edges, rather than the standard vinyl. The hides are clean with only the lightest creasing, and the cushions are firm, supportive and well-defined. The door cards are equally well executed and mirror the seats in their fit and finish.
The walnut burr dash trim (added at the restoration) is a lovely feature of the interior. Its lacquer retains a good gloss. While the grain beneath shows a warm, nicely-figured tone. 

Carpets retain a good pile and neat borders – the green-trimmed edges are a nice touch – and both they and the headlining (equally tidy) – are clean and free of stains or fading. The same is true of the luggage area, which also sports a pair of good-looking chromed sprung struts.

In its more luxurious appointment, the cabin has the feel of the later (and quite up-market) RV8.




The Mechanics 


  • High performance engine spec with Piper Cam and upgraded SU carburettor
  • Thoroughly detailed engine bay
  • Spax and Koni telescopic damper conversion
  • New petrol tank and boot floor

Lifting the MG’s bonnet reveals a very business-like engine bay. If you didn’t already know that the engine had been rebuilt using a Piper high-performance cam, larger inlet valves and 1 3/4in SU carburettor; the new oil cooler, radiator, and braded hoses (as well as copper brake and clutch pipes) would alert you to a degree of detail not usually seen. 

The motor itself, its components and ancillaries are free of dirt or accumulated grease, and there are no signs of leaks or corrosion. The Carburettor assemblies look very neat (and run very smoothly) as do those tasty K&N filter housings. Hoses and wiring appear especially good, with hoses, cables and their fastenings looking pretty new. The metal around the engine bay – inner wings and fire wall –  look to be very solid and nicely painted – joins are clean and straight and bolts rust-free. You won’t see them, but the front wings are held in place with stainless steel fastenings.

In quality of finish, the same can be said of the under-boot area, where the whole floor (and the fuel tank) were replaced and the whole area repainted.

The underside of the MG appears equally solid, with Inner wheel arches, sills and floors looking very sound, clean and rust free. Suspension components appear sturdy and serviceable, with the new telescopic dampers -Koni up front, Spax at the rear – looking in excellent health. The rear suspension sits on new chassis legs. The stainless steel exhaust looks conspicuously shiny and the Minilite-type wheels are in good shape. The tyres were new as of 2021 and have seen little use.




Summary


An MG B is by no means rare, but this one’s upgrades and subtly reshaped body lift it out of the ordinary. Both in layout;  a three-door hatchback, and model – you can buy everything for it – this is an easy car to live with, while the level of execution in its refit and restoration will give you confidence in its longevity and reliability. An attractive and well sorted car.


Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only. Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1976
  • Make MG
  • Model BGT Sebring Replica
  • Colour Green
  • Odometer 7,762 Miles
  • Engine size 1798
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Over Kellet
  • Location Lancashire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
24 bids
  • bi•••• £14,000 25/11/22
  • ba•••• £12,000 22/11/22
  • bi•••• £11,500 22/11/22
  • ke•••• £11,250 22/11/22
  • bi•••• £11,000 22/11/22
  • ba•••• £10,750 22/11/22
  • bi•••• £10,500 22/11/22
  • ke•••• £10,000 22/11/22
  • ne•••• £9,500 22/11/22
  • ke•••• £9,000 22/11/22

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