back - rare MGBGTV8 used for BLMC publicity and magazine reviews|
Kelly used to own a pre-production MGBGTV8 - Black Tulip 0120 - one of
the early pre-production V8s used by BLMC Longbridge for publicity and as a press
demonstrator. It was reviewed in Motor Sport in October 1973 shortly after the
V8 was launched in August 1973.
the Motor Sport review
Alongside we have details of this V8
and a link to some photos from Richard Kelly from his time owning this special
Early pre-production MGBGTV8 used for publicity and press reviews
of the pre-production cars which featured in a number of press reviews in the
months after the launch of the model in August 1973 and BL publicity was Black
Tulip 0120. When you read the review in Motor Sport magazine in October 1973,
the car clearly had a very hard time being driven frequently at high speeds. Former
owner Richard Kelly and current owner Joe Bannister, provide information about
the car over the years. Article
Allen was a founder member of the V8 Register and worked at the MG Plant for
27 years until it sadly closed following which he set up his own business in Abingdon
providing specialist servicing and repairs for MGBs and MGBGTV8s.
This note and photos are part of our "Looking back"
series we are running ahead of the 45th Anniversary in 2018 of the launch of the
MGBGTV8 in August 1973 and the 40th Anniversary of the formation of the V8 Register
in October 1978. Looking back
Kelly says "I came across the V8 quite by accident and never realised
its history until after I had bought it. It was then in a sorry state needing
a great deal of work". The car was extensively restored in a series of sessions
with the late Geoff Allen's workshop in Abingdon. That work included an engine
the engine rebuild photos
In a two part article in Safety Fast!
in April and May 1990 Richard Kelly related how he came across the car and
bought it and later the dilemma he and so many V8 owners in the late 1980s and
early 1990s faced with increasing family commitments of how could you afford a
sensible family car whilst keeping the V8? Well as Richard was writing his article
he ended by saying he had bought his "third runabout - a 1978 Allegro 1300,
the Austin Embarrassment - while we postpone yet again the decision on HOH 932L"!
a copy of the Safety Fast! article - "To part or not to part, that is the
However by 1990 Richard had decided to sell the V8
and entered it in the ADT auction held at the National Motorcycle Museum at Beaulieu
in May 1990 when it sold for £7,800. The page featuring the car in the auction
is above - the estimate for the car was shown as £9,000 to £11,000.
The auction invoice (copy alongside) shows the car was sold to John Spencer
in East Anglia. It was later acquired by Joe Bannister who has cared
for it for many years.
See brief report