Looking back - rare MGBGTV8 used for BLMC publicity and magazine 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.
See the Motor Sport review

Alongside we have details of this V8 and a link to some photos from Richard Kelly from his time owning this special car.

Early pre-production MGBGTV8 used for publicity and press reviews
One of the pre-production cars which featured in a number of press reviews in the months after the launch of the model in August 1973 and BL publicity was Black Tulip 0120. When you read the review in Motor Sport magazine in October 1973, the car clearly had a very hard time being driven frequently at high speeds. Former owner Richard Kelly and current owner Joe Bannister, provide information about the car over the years. Article

Geoff Allen was a founder member of the V8 Register and worked at the MG Plant for 27 years until it sadly closed following which he set up his own business in Abingdon providing specialist servicing and repairs for MGBs and MGBGTV8s.

Looking back series
This note and photos are part of our "Looking back" series we are running ahead of the 45th Anniversary in 2018 of the launch of the MGBGTV8 in August 1973 and the 40th Anniversary of the formation of the V8 Register in October 1978. Looking back

Posted: 170124
Richard Kelly says "I came across the V8 quite by accident and never realised its history until after I had bought it. It was then in a sorry state needing a great deal of work". The car was extensively restored in a series of sessions with the late Geoff Allen's workshop in Abingdon. That work included an engine rebuild.
See the engine rebuild photos

In a two part article in Safety Fast! in April and May 1990 Richard Kelly related how he came across the car and bought it and later the dilemma he and so many V8 owners in the late 1980s and early 1990s faced with increasing family commitments of how could you afford a sensible family car whilst keeping the V8? Well as Richard was writing his article he ended by saying he had bought his "third runabout - a 1978 Allegro 1300, the Austin Embarrassment - while we postpone yet again the decision on HOH 932L"!
See a copy of the Safety Fast! article - "To part or not to part, that is the question"

However by 1990 Richard had decided to sell the V8 and entered it in the ADT auction held at the National Motorcycle Museum at Beaulieu in May 1990 when it sold for £7,800. The page featuring the car in the auction listing listing is above - the estimate for the car was shown as £9,000 to £11,000. The auction invoice (copy alongside) shows the car was sold to John Spencer in East Anglia. It was later acquired by Joe Bannister who has cared for it for many years.
See brief report in 2006