Former MG staff member with an RV8 today looks back
Cedric Talbot (RV8 - Oxford Blue 1716) recalls "my days in MG Development were well before either of the V8 models, being 1966-68. We were working on mostly the MGC, but also the Midget and MGB for the US market. The new safety and emission standards came in for 1968 model year and were so demanding that we (and much of the motor industry) wondered if we could ever meet them without ruining the cars’ appeal.

Cameras were strictly not allowed in the works or, of course, at MIRA where much of the testing was done. Sadly I have no photos at all of that time.

I recall we did get a Costello V8 in for evaluation and I saw the brief report that was produced. Naturally ‘not invented here’ but the criticisms were quite minor - steering column UJ too close to the exhaust and that sort of thing. No doubt it spurred us on to develop the ‘in house’ model. British Leyland only started in

May 1968 so there was no access to Rover engines until then. BMC merged with Jaguar in 1966 and Syd Enever did get a Daimler 2.5 V8 to try in the MGB but it just didn’t fit. It was too tall and the sump was too deep, so without massive retooling it was a non-starter.

At the time I felt the RV8 was a bit of a marketing exercise and didn’t pay much attention to it, but now I appreciate its finer points and regard it as a genuine MG. Personally I am not a fan of Chinese cars with MG badges on the front, but then I am one of those crusty old Austin ex-Apprentices who still regards the efforts of BMC with pride and nostalgia!"

Cedric lives abroad for much of the year but when home enjoys "those long drives over the Yorkshire Dales and across the Scottish borders". He looks forward to meeting up with fellow MGV8 enthusiasts in 2020.