years too late, comfortable seating, poor ride, excessive wind noise, fast and
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.
So quite a tough exercise for any car and particularly so when you read of the
sustained speed the car endured during a trip of barely 141 hours - hardly "grand
touring", more like a "pedal to the mettle" thrash!
test report mentions "this remarkable alloy V8 had succeeded in propelling
the 110mph body design at cruising speeds of 120 to 130mph for miles on end, on
one occasion at 121mph average being maintained for almost 100 miles at night"!
Then the report adds "in spite of this hard usage the overall fuel consumption
worked out at exactly 18mpg . . . more representative of what the normal driving
customer can expect!" going on to suggest that might be "17 to 26mpg."
Of course today most V8 enthusiasts would see at least 27mpg even driven
in a moderately spirited way rather than at the very high speeds above, and often
30mpg at normal cruising and touring speeds.
this very hard test, the author says "it has some excellent attributes, but
most of them are marred by some of its more dated features . . . wrapped in the
same familiar [MGB] package." Their conclusion was "a likeable car,
but has too many criticisms to make it covetable" and the referring to the
price " you get many 11-year old features which could have been designed
out." Later in the paragraph the author reveals all - "after this experience
I am finding it hard to decide whether I really like this latest Abingdon product,
or more to the point whether I would choose one as a replacement for my TR6"!|
Despite the hard driving used for this unusually long road test, it is a
most readable article and, more to the point, it expresses the contemporary impressions
of the then new MGBGTV8 shortly after the launch of the model in 1973.
a copy of the two and a half page Motor Sport MGBGTV8 road test from their October
Reproduced with the kind written permission of Motor Sport,
the original motor racing magazine. 100128
Register - MG Car Club - the leading group for MG
V8 enthusiasts at www.v8register.net