Looking back - the MGBGTV8 and the community of V8 enthusiasts
As we approach 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 a series of articles and features reflecting on many of the memorable moments, news items and photos enjoyed by fellow V8 enthusiasts.

You can contribute to the series with photos, copies of magazine articles and notes of your recollections of the personalities and memorable events over the years. V8 Webmaster.

Last updated: 200414
Launched: 161030
MGBGTV8 Press Car featured in Autocar road test in August 1973
John Fry has the rare press car Green Mallard 0124 with the registration plate HOH 920L which featured in the roadtest in the August 1973 issue of Autocar magazine. Later in 2015 the car was driven by Quentin Willson for an episode of a 13 part series of one hour programmes on Channel 5. He is seen flying by on a straight country road saying "Ding Dong!". The video doesn't seem to be available now but see our photo screengrabs of the MGBGTV8 from Episode 6. 200414 Video photos
John Fry recalls his MGBGTV8 in South Africa
John Fry says "it's amazing what one manages to turn up through the lockdown!" He had found a copy of Safety Fast! from July 1981 and had read the V8 Register's section in the Register News part of the magazine. John says "on perusal of the article I see it makes reference to my MGBGTV8 - Mirage 1675 - when I owned it in South Africa. The first owner lived on Mull in Scotland". 200414 More
Thames TV feature on British cars at the motor show in 1973
In the video Tony Bastable and Richard Hudson Evans take a look at the latest British offerings that were being shown at the 1973 motor show at Earls Court. It includes a brief view of the MGBGTV8 launched at that show. Keith Belcher says "I haven't seen this film from 1973 before but it includes an early MGBGTV8 - HOH 902L" It's a Pre-Production car, Bronze Yellow 0113 built in March 1973 and first registered in April that year. 200325 More
Peter Beadle , parts manager with University Motors in Epsom in the mid 1970s, posted on the V8 Bulletin Board that he had found a link to a BL Directory of Approved Distributors & Dealers (AKD8593) - an interesting document for those wanting to know who were the British Leyland dealers (including MG) back in 1973. The copy is Issue 3, November 1973 with 32 pages including front & back cover. 200220 List
MGBGTV8 Driver's Handbook editions
The MGBGTV8 Driver's Handbook AKD8423 was published in four editions from 1973 (launch of the model) until 1974 (with the launch of the rubber bumper model). Copies of the title page and contents page for each of the four editions are in a note. 200219
MGBGTV8 Driver's Handbook editions
Looking back to the 1970s - UNIPART Wax Shampoo
Victor Rodrig ues
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 for the 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
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
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