MGBV8 - a powerful package|
Costello brought out his Costello
MGBV8 in 1970.
He started with a standard MGB and shoehorned a 3,528cc Rover V8 into the engine
bay which retained the original opposed twin SU carburettors on top in the centre
of the Vee. To accommodate this equipment, the Costello V8 was fitted with a distinctive
power bulge in the bonnet panel. The V8 engine was considerably more powerful
than the detuned unit subsequently used in the Factory produced MGBGTV8s and had
the 10.5:1 pistons producing 150bhp. This power unit was mated to a standard MGB
Mk II/Mk III all synchromesh gearbox and the performance has been described as
"electrifying" with a 130mph top speed and exceptional acceleration
- it could reach 100mph in 22 seconds. Costello fitted chunky cast alloy wheels
which have a passing resemblance to the very distinctive Dunlop cast alloy and
steel rim wheels fitted to the Factory machine.
The Costello MGBV8 was priced at £2,443 in the early 1970s, almost double the
cost of a Factory produced MGBGT. That price did not include overdrive, radial
tyres or the Costello alloy wheels! Compared with other performance cars of its
time, the Costello V8 was very expensive - the Ford Capri 3000 GT was only £1,570
for example - but the Costello V8 had that magical feature - V8 power. Most
Costello V8s were converted MGBGTs but some Costello V8 Roadsters were produced,
including Ken's own car registered with the V8 Register in 1978.
MGBV8s are seen
as an example of a private venture seeing an ideal combination where a car and
a Rover V8 transplant would transform the performance of an ageing sports car
design and suspension package.
BRG 5004, a good looking
Costello GTV8 in Cornwall. (Photo: Paul Denton)
Tartan Red 5012,
a 1973 Costello GTV8 rebuilt for track racing. (Photo: Philip Jones)
Copyright: V8 Register - MG Car Club More