Launched in August 1973, the V8 powered MGB combined the
popular fixed head coupe body style with a powerful three and half litre light
alloy V8 engine. The Rover powerplant ran with a reduced compression ratio but
an increased torque compared with the similar engines then used in the Rover saloons.
The result transformed the MGB, creating a very nimble car with the luxury of
multi-cylinder power which is both flexible and economical - features which continue
to have a special appeal for V8 enthusiasts today!
the road the MGBGTV8 has an effortless performance, accelerating rapidly in the
higher gears with 125 mph available in both direct and overdrive top. Hills just
melt away and the torque gives the car an unfussy manner. The 0 to 60 time of
7.7 seconds is still decades later, a time many of today's sports saloons cannot
touch. Even when asked to work hard, the exhaust note retains its very pleasingly
modest but purposeful burble in keeping with its understated manner.
V8 engine, although from an old Buick design from the early fifties, contains
hydraulic cam followers which give the MGBGTV8 a quietness that compliments the
smooth power. Under the bonnet, the lightweight aluminium V8 engine seems much
bigger than the original four cylinder steel engine but is only just a little
heavier when the engine ancillaries are included. The lightweight benefits are
good front to rear weight distribution and an appreciable increase in the power
to weight ratio, even from the detuned 137 bhp V8 power unit.
surprising feature of the MGBGTV8 is the fuel economy. Even driven on the open
road with a sense of fun the
can enjoy with V8 power, it is quite easy to achieve between 27 and 31 miles to
the gallon. The overdrive unit gives the MGBGTV8 long legs with around 29 mph
per 1,000 rpm or 3,000 rpm at 90 mph. The convenient overdrive facility is available
on top gear at the flick of a stalk switch on the steering column and on many
of the earlier chrome bumpered examples of the model, it is available on third
gear as well.|
The MGBGTV8 is however not without its poor features - excessive
wind noise at speed and a choppy ride at slow speeds from the stiffer rear springs
which are needed to cope with the higher power output. The gearbox has to be treated
with consideration when punching the additional power through to the road wheels.
its launch in 1973, the MGBGTV8 was welcomed as a powerful example of the MG marque
but generally regarded as arriving several years late in a popular but ageing
bodyshell and suspension package, then over ten years old. The MGBGTV8 is very
much an MG combining the famous marque's Safety Fast! features - speed and performance
with predictable and forgiving handling characteristics. At the time of the launch,
the specification of servo assisted brakes, tinted glass, distinctive light alloy
wheels, fine cord covered adjustable seats, two speed wipers and an overdrive
as standard made it a refined sports car for 1973 and good value at its launch
price of £2,294. In so many ways the MGBGTV8 has been an undiscovered classic
sportscar but since 2010 prices have risen substantially.
It remains a sports
car that a small band of enthusiasts enjoy and see as very good value today in
every sense. It is much liked by MG enthusiasts!
our MGBGTV8 photo profile.
Produced: 1973 to 1976 with pre-development cars produced
from late 1972.
Bodywork: Two door fixed coupe GT with rear hatch.
Rover aluminium alloy normally aspirated V8 3,528cc with 137bhp. Twin SU type
HIF 6 carburettors.
Performance: 0-60 mph: 7.7 secs and top speed: 125
Fuel consumption: 25-30 mpg - yes original heads are OK for unleaded.
Original Factory production figure is 2,591 with only a few early LHD cars and
none exported to the USA, although total V8 production is believed to be 2,600.
Just over two thirds of the production had chrome bumpers with the remainder fitted
with rubber bumpers.
Specification: Servo assisted brakes (discs at
the front and drums at the back), distinctive Dunlop composite wheels (light alloy
centres and steel rims), tinted glass, reclining seats covered in fine cord, two
speed wipers and a heater as standard, with a four speed gearbox with overdrive
fitted to all cars on fourth gear and on over 60% of the chrome bumpered cars
overdrive was also available on third gear - change point around VIN 1200.
of cars still existing: Estimated at around 2,100 with many exported years
to Australia and New Zealand over the years. So the estimated UK stock is around
Spares and servicing availability: Very good, particularly
from the specialist V8 spares and servicing providers.
fit? L 13ft 3" (4.02m) x W 5ft (1.523m) x H 4ft 3" (1.292m).
See our price guide. Price guide