Looking back - the MGBGTV8 and the community of V8 enthusiasts
For the 45th anniversary of the launch of the MGBGTV8 model in August 1973 and the 40th anniversary of the formation of the V8 Register five years later in 1978, we have had a series of articles and features reflecting on many of the memorable moments, news items and photos enjoyed by fellow V8 enthusiasts.

Looking back
You can contribute to the "Looking back" series with photos, copies of magazine articles and notes of your recollections of the personalities and memorable events over the 40 years since the V8 Register was launched in 1978. V8 Webmaster.

MGBGTV8 archives. More

Launched: 170506 & Updated: 180818 & 181230
MGBGTV8 launch - press release photos
Victor Rodrigues has sent in "four framed original photos were part of the press release during the presentation to the media". More & see MGBGTV8 archives 180818

MGBGTV8 launch - launch posters
Victor Rodrigues has contributed copies of three original MGBGT/V8 posters that were part of a sales promotion made by BL. The MGBGT/V8 jigsaw puzzle (alongside) was a larger reproduction of a powerful photo in the original sales brochure. More 180818

MGBGTV8 launch - jigsaw using a sales brochure photo
Victor Rodrigues has sent in the MGBGT/V8 jigsaw puzzle which was a larger reproduction of a powerful photo in the original sales brochure. More 180818

Costello V8 enthusiast and longstanding V8 Register member - Lothar Taverne
Lothar has had his Costello BGTV8 since the 1970s and Walter reports "he still enjoys owning the Costello V8". 180814 More
Early MGBGTV8 was a product exhibit at Longbridge
Gavin Bailey has owned this MGBGTV8 (Glacier White 0199) for just over 25 years and it was recently rebuilt shortly before he emigrated to the US. It's an early production car and was owned by British Leyland when new, displayed in the exhibition hall as a product exhibit at Longbridge. More. 180803
Review of the MGBGTV8 in the Australia Wheels magazine in October 1973
An Australian enthusiast, Shane Dineen, has sent over a copy of a review of the MGBGTV8 published in Wheels magazine in October 1973 saying it is "a less than flattering" article. 180723 More
MGBGTV8 Home & Export specifications in April 1973 and July 1974
Robert Rose has tracked down copies of two interesting 4 page documents. 180706 More
Personal Export Scheme guides for customers and salesmen - March 1974
Rober Rose has contributed copies of the four page PED Scheme guides for customers and salesmen. 180628 More
1972 Costello V8 Sales Brochure
Peter Beadle, a founder member of the V8 Register in 1978 and former Parts Manager at University Motors in Epsom, has found a copy of the 1972 Costello V8 Sales Brochure which is in his possession, He says "it's printed on both sides on A4 card then folded in half. Thought you would like scanned copies of an original". 170720 More
David Franklin, MGBGTV8 enthusiast and British Hillclimb Champion in 2008
Many V8 enthusiasts attending the Club's annual meeting at Silverstone during the 70s and 80s will remember David passing fully modified BCV8 cars in his standard MGBGTV8 in wet conditions. A remarkably talented race driver who became British Hillclimb Champion in 2008 in a March-BMW. In recent years he's been a regular entrant at Goodwood FOS and Revival meetings in Jaguars and Ferraris. 170707 More
University Motors playing card
Peter Beadle says this pre -1968 item is the "joker in the pack" - a University Motors playing card. 170621 More

British Leyland House Badges and the rare Red MG badges fitted to the MGB wing
The BL "House Badge" fitted to the wing of MGB models changed over time. Alongside is the rare Red MG badge used on cars destined for Arab Countries. 170620 More
University Motors rear window stickers
Peter Beadle has a photo of two sample rear window stickers for the former BL dealership in the characteristic blue colour. He says "I didn't even realise that they are not even the same as each other, or even the one which is on the rear screen of the Mini as shown on a posting on Flicker. I think they must have been locally sourced by each branch of Uiversity Motors. 170619 More
MGBGTV8 at Mann Egerton in High Wycombe in the 1970s
The MGBGTV8 was launched in August 1973 and Robert Rose has sent in a photo taken from the in-house Mann Egerton magazine dated 1974 commenting on the sale of the new MGBGTV8 model in their sales room. In addition to the very short article there is a showroom picture (the registrations on the cars suggest it is 1973) of the High Wycombe Mann Egerton branch. 170506 More
BCV8 Championship – a successful club racing series from 1976
It's been been one of the most successful Club based motor racing series and continues to thrive by providing close racing with full grids. Your first race is always something you
remember – the unfamiliar sensation of pushing a car to its limits and the process of learning track skills. The MGBGTV8 has played a major part in the spectator value of the BCV8 series. 170305 More
Second magazine for V8 enthusiasts in the New Year 1980
The second 36 page joint MGC & V8 Registers magazine was produced for the New Year 1980. It contained a copy of the article by Chris Goffey in Autocar magazine on how Rover found the Buick V8 engine and many of the early V8 Workshop Notes. 170225 More
First magazine for V8 enthusiasts in Spring 1979
Following the launch of the V8 Register in October 1978, the first 20 page magazine was produced and distributed to V8 members in Spring 1979 with articles of interest to both MGC and V8 members. The editor was Victor Smith working with Rob Gill (who took over as the secretary of the BCV8 Championship formed in 1975) and Vic Young who raced an MGC and was their technical guru. 170225 More
The story of the Buick V8 engine which found its way across the Atlantic to power a generation of Rover and Leyland vehicles
This article by Chris Goffey in Autocar (November 1976) was reproduced in the V8 Register Journal New Year 1980 by kind permission of Autocar issued to the V8 Register in 1979. It's a fascinating story of William Martin-Hurst stumbling across an aluminium Buick V8 engine lying on the floor of an experimental shop at Mercury Marine. 170225 More
First meeting of V8 Register members in May 1979
Following the launch of the V8 Register in October 1978, when Victor Smith sent letters to 10 to 15 fellow Club members he knew had an MGBGTV8 proposing a register for V8 enthusiasts, the first meeting of the V8 Register was held at the Crossroads Hotel at Weedon Bec on the Sunday evening of the Club's annual meeting at Silverstone in May 1979. 170224 More & Member list 1979 & MG Plant support letter
Early pre-production MGBGTV8 used for publicity & press reviews
Richard 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. 170124 More
University Motors at Balham
Robert Rose has tracked down this photo of the University Motors branch in the High Road in Balham, London SW17. The Personal Export Delivery (PED) activities were handled by this branch in 1973. Prior to redevelopment in the late 1960s this site was used by Barkers Motors (London) and before that in 1964 had been the Balham Constitutional Club. 170226 More
University Motors at Epsom
University Motors was a leading MG distributor in the 1960s and 70s with branches in Hanwell (west London), Epsom and Kingston in Surrey and Balham (south London). In the late 1960s they also had a showroom in Conduit Street in Central London. Fellow V8 Register member Peter Beadle was working at UM Epsom in the 1970s as Parts Manager and has sent in a photo outside the branch in Epsom. 161220 More & More
Three MGBGTV8 enthusiasts on the Cambridgeshire Tour
David Allen contributes a photo from his files which he feels sure is worth publishing because it includes some of our V8 worthies. It was taken at the Newmarket Stud during the V8 Tour of Cambridgeshire some years ago. 161208 More
Mike Breedon a longstanding V8 member who has contributed a great deal
Mike Breedon has had MGBGTV8s for many years, including his Factory chrome bumper model in Blaze and a recently acquired chrome bumper car for restoration. He was an active BCV8 Championship competitor racing an MGBGTV8. Mike contributed many years of real service to the Club running the BCV8 Championship as its chairman - a demanding role. Sadly he stood down in 2010. 161206 More
MGBGTV8 from Scotland to France
Jean Gros in Eragny sur Oise, about 16 miles northwest of Paris, purchased an MGBGTV8 as the fourth owner in August 2016 and has now succeeded in registering it in France. It was despatched from the MG Plant at Abingdon on 25th February 1974 to Appleyard in Glasgow. It was then owned for many years by Pat Barnet in East Lothian and later owned by Andrew Eddie in Aberdeen. 161128 More
MGBGTV8 nearing the stage when a restoration will be undertaken
Gordon Mallett's attractive rubber bumpered MGBGTV8 is finished in Basillica Blue but was originally in Bracken. Gordon says "I discovered a couple of months ago, after speaking to a previous owner of my car, it was featured in a full page write up in Classic and Sportscar in their August 1992 issue". 161116 More & Update 180529
MGLive! and the earlier annual events at Silverstone
The Club's annual weekend meeting at Silverstone has always been popular with V8 enthusiasts and for many years we have had a V8 Marquee as a place to meet up with fellow members, for refreshments and sometimes to take shelter from the elements! Usually in the week running up to the event there are several events or visits, not least a visit to the Hook Norton Brewery and lunch on the Friday. 161113 More
Looking back to the 1970s - UNIPART Wax Shampoo
Victor Rodrigues
says "in my MGV8 bits and collectables I still have this unused aftermarket car polishing wax dispenser which was offered by UNIPART, the car and spares supplier as part of the British Leyland group by the end of the 1970s. Despite the daring labelling showing a female involved in car polishing works on an MGBGTV8, it was used to advertise the product!" 161108 More
The V8 is the absolute business!
In a short video Robbie Coltrane sums up why the V8 inspires affection amongst motoring enthusiasts who can recognise the subtle qualities and pleasures of the V8 engine - magical comments, wonderful sounds. 070924 More
Pre-development V8 rallied by Brian Field
Brian Field campaigned his MGBGTV8 for well over 20 years in the RAC, Welsh, Scottish, Manx and Irish rallies and had many successes including winning the RAC historic class in 1990. He was still rallying the car in the 1990s at 80 but in 2002 at 86 decided that it was time for the V8 to go as he no longer felt he could exercise the machine in the style it was used to! 021030
Marketing brochures for the MGBGTV8
The marketing brochures for the MGBGTV8 still look as exciting as ever over 30 years later. This collection has been assembled from copies of original brochures loaned by members so we can have a reference set available online. The collection is provided on the basis that any copies made shall be for personal reference only and shall not be used for sale or trading. 161108 More
Memorable MGB adverts from the 1970s
The strap lines ranged from "Your mother wouldn't like it" to "Some day you will settle down with a nice sensible girl, a nice sensible house and a nice family saloon - some day" to "You can do it in an MG" and more. See our selection of memorable MG adverts. 161108 More
MGBGTV8 launch photos from BL
See a set of the BL launch photos (black & white). 161121 More
Press release for the launch of the MGBGTV8 in August 1973
A comprehensive 19 page package of press releases made on Wednesday 15th August 1973 provided details of the new, more powerful MGBGTV8 model. The package has five sets of press release documents on British Leyland headed paper. See the releases here. 161108 More
MGBGTV8 at the 1973 Motor Show at Earls Court
The MGBGTV8 was launched at the 1973 Motor Show at Earls Court in London. A video clip catches the period style of motor show reporting with references to the "window dressing more or less as before!" The V8s featured at the show were Citron 798 on display on a ramp with the logo "the new 124mph MGB GT V8" and Aconite 799 on the stand. 161108 More . Window dressing provides glamour at the show. More
MGBGTV8 road test report in Police Review
As the new MGBGTV8 was launched in August 1973, the specialist journal Police Review did a road test and reported its finding. They were keen on the MGBGTV8 saying "this car combines a businesslike appearance with a reasonable performance, and is capable of carrying a surprising amount of equipment. Now we have a new model which should make this one of the finest enforcement cars available - the MGBGTV8". 080331 More
What were the views of the press of the launch of the MGBGTV8?
Autocar reviewed the new MGBGTV8 on 16th August 1973 and the specialist magazine, Police Review, and Motor Sport gave it a thorough and favourable review in their October issues. 161108
& Motor Sport
Six years too late, comfortable seating, poor ride, excessive wind noise, fast and economical - Motor Sport review in 1973
That was the frank verdict of Motor Sport on their 1,900 mile road test of the new MGBGTV8 model in October 1973. Rather than test the car immediately after its launch in August 1973, they had waited for a lengthy 1,700 mile continental trip to test the car in a demanding Grand Touring role. 101228 More