1976 MGB GTV8

Highlights


  • Original MGB GTV8 Coupe
  • Comprehensive photographic restoration
  • Immaculate condition inside and out
  • New Heritage Certificate

The Appeal


The MGB V8s were only built for a three year period, 1973 to 1976 with a mere 2,591 made, about 2/3rds of which were the earlier chrome bumper cars.  What is surprising is that despite the weight of the Buick derived 3.5 litre V8 it handled better than the nose heavy six cylinder MGC.  The V8 block was cast from aluminium which meant it was approximately the same weight as the 1,800cc cast iron B Series engine.  Add to that, due to the torque the V8 produced, if driven moderately the fuel consumption was equivalent to that of the B Series too!

There was very little in the way of exterior badging that differentiated the might V8s model from the lesser Bs and Cs.  Add to that the fuel crisis that occurred in 1973, the year the V8 was introduced, and we can then understand why it was not quite the sales success it could have been and thus why original V8s are so rare. 

This original BGT V8 has recently been the subject of a full-on, no page left unturned, bare metal restoration!  There is photographic evidence of the work in progress, and the result is what you see in the photographs; probably better than new condition with some nicely incorporated mechanical upgrades.  Rest assured, this V8 has been nicely restored, perhaps not for the purist, but definitely for the driver!



History and Paperwork


  • Built July 1975
  • Supplied to Diss & Co, Carlisle
  • First Registered 9th January 1976
  • Retains original registration issued in Kendal
  • Originally Tundra Green with Autumn Leaf interior
  • An original V8 MGB, 1 of just 2,591 produced
  • Just 3 owners from new
  • Current owner purchased in 2016
  • Recently completed bare metal restoration 
  • Complete engine and drivetrain rebuilt
  • New black and red interior
  • Repainted in Old English White
  • New Heritage Certificate
  • CD of images of strip down and restoration
  • Driven just 237 miles since restoration completed



The Interior


  • All new Black leather interior with red carpets
  • Original Black dashboard and instruments
  • Black leather Moto Lita steering wheel

During the restoration the original green Autumn Leaf was replaced with an all new black and red interior.  The seats are in “as new” condition with just a little light wear.  The red carpets are well fitted, clean and unworn.  

The black crinkle finish dash is mostly standard MGB with the addition of a later Sony Bluetooth entertainment unit, with speakers mounted on the doors and on the rear shelf. The gauges are all standard and appear to function correctly, with the rev counter being the correct V8 version. The door cards are in matching red, and have no scuff marks.  

The light grey headlining is well fitted but there are a couple of marks worth noting.  One next to the rear view mirror, and some mottling above the driver’s seat; both may clean off. 

The boot area is immaculate and looks likely to be unused since the resto was completed.  There is a matching Minilite style spare wheel with unused tyre, and a new boxed scissor jack and brace with sockets.  The boot floor is clean and fresh and covered by the parcel panel that has matching new red carpet with a pair of Pioneer speakers mounted behind the rear seat.

Generally the interior is fresh and tidy; there is little that could be improved, and nothing that needs attention. 



The Exterior 


  • New Old English White paint
  • New Minilite wheels with unused Toyo Proxes tyres
  • Immaculate chrome and trim

A good look at the exterior of the MG reveals that everything has been installed and completed to a high standard.  The white paint has been well applied with a good mirror finish, with no orange peel areas or runs.  Then the car has been well reassembled with excellent panel fit and shutlines.  

It’s not known if he MG was originally a chrome bumper car, or converted from rubber bumpers.  Both were being installed at the Abingdon factory at the time of build.  One addition is a Sebring style chin spoiler with brake ducts which is painted to match and looks right.  The chrome trim, lights and grille have been well installed and overall the fit and finish is exemplary. 

There are five new Minilite style wheels that are immaculate; all fitted with barely used Toyo Proxes tyres.
The MG sits just right, looks lovely and nothing needs doing; just stand and admire!



The Mechanics 


  • High spec V8 rebuild with some upgrades
  • All new suspension
  • As clean underneath as it is on top!

Looking through the photographs of the restoration on the accompanying CD reveals the quality of the work. The V8 had already been converted to run a single US style carburettor as opposed to the original twin SU system. The first major upgrade was to the exhaust system. 

A four into one tuned, low restriction dual exhaust system was installed which required cut-outs to the inner wings using templates supplied. Once cut the holes were reinforced with welded trims to maintain rigidity.  The exhaust is made of stainless steel from front to back, passing through a single silencer on each side before exiting either side of the new fuel tank. 

The engine is topped by a large pie pan air cleaner mounted on single large Holley carburettor that feed into an Offenhasuer intake manifold. The engine was stripped completely before rebuilding and there are images of all stages of the process.

Cooling, a known issue on V8s, has been addressed with a new radiator with twin thermostatic electric fans. The ignition system was also upgraded with a Mallory s/s Competition Breakerless electronic distributor with matching HT leads. The V8 power is delivered through a five speed gearbox and new driveshaft.

Looking underneath the MG reveals a tidy underside, with a complete new suspension system with adjustable shock absorbers front and rear, new anti-roll bars, and lots of underseal. There is little evidence of dirt or grime, unsurprising as the MG hasn’t been driven further than 250 miles since the restoration was completed. In fact the stickers on the exhaust have yet to burn off...



Summary


Having spent an enjoyable 15 minutes behind the wheel of the V8 we can report that it drives as nicely as it looks.  There are no rattles or clonks, and the gearbox is easy to use. 

The V8 engine has a smooth burble at tick over, but it doesn’t become too loud under acceleration, and it certainly provides plenty of that! The towering torque available means that gear changing is unnecessary most of the time, but drop it into 3rd and squeeze for a real V8 shove in the back!  The power feels much like that of a Cobra, but in a much more civilised package.

If you want the proper grunt of an American V8 in more of a British Tweed suit then look no further; this one’s for you! 

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1975
  • Make MG
  • Model MGB GT V8
  • Colour White
  • Odometer 94,289 Miles
  • Engine size 3528
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Location Sussex
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
13 bids from 11 bidders
  • ke•••• £24,000 05/08/22
  • an•••• £22,000 05/08/22
  • ke•••• £20,000 03/08/22
  • ro•••• £13,000 02/08/22
  • jo•••• £12,500 02/08/22
  • Fi•••• £12,000 02/08/22
  • No•••• £7,000 02/08/22
  • rw•••• £6,600 02/08/22
  • gi•••• £6,500 02/08/22
  • ne•••• £6,300 02/08/22

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