See all the articles on the MGBGTV8 in its 50th Anniversary Year
How did MGBGTV8 sales go following the launch in August 1973?
The V8 - an MG with effortless performance
Launched in August 1973, the V8 powered MGBGT 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 8.25 to 1 compression ratio but an increased torque compared with the similar engines then used in the Rover saloons. The result transformed the MGBGT, creating a very nimble car with the luxury of multi-cylinder power which was both flexible and economical, features which continue to have a special appeal for V8 enthusiasts today. Victor Smith reflects on the launch of the MGBGTV8 in 1973 and then how very difficult economic condition soon developed that made it such a tough time to launch the MGBGTV8. Those conditions made the sales of the V8 model so difficult. 230105
See the article

Serious economic difficulties in the UK shortly after the launch of the MGBGTV8 in August 1973 including queues at the pumps hit V8 sales
Stocks of V8s had been delivered from Abingdon to many dealers around the UK in time for the launch of the new MGBGTV8 at the Motor Show at Earls Court in August 1973, but within just a few weeks after the launch serious political problems arose and the consequent economic difficulties hit sales of MGBGTV8s the UK and other countries. Shortages of petrol resulted in long queues and filling stations. So what were those difficult political and economic conditions and what impact did they have on MGBGTV8 sales? We examine the delay between the date of dispatch of MGBGTV8s from the MG Plant and the date when the car was first registered following its sale. The results of that analysis show just how sales struggled in such difficult conditions. 230105
Report and analysis
Comparative BHP per Ton data for MGBGTV8, MGCGT & MGBGT
The MGBGTV8 has 3.5% more BHP/Ton than the MGCGT and a huge 62.6% more than the earlier MGBGT model. Those that have driven an MGBGTV8 all recall the extraordinary sensation the first time they drove an MGBGTV8, particularly if they had driven an ordinary MGB before! This BHP/Ton increase helps to explain it - plus of course the smooth eight cylinder torque. 230127
The Yom Kippur War
Also known as the 1973 Arab–Israeli War, was an armed conflict fought from 6th to 25th October 1973 between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria. The majority of combat between the two sides took place in the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights - both of which were occupied by Israel in 1967—with some fighting in African Egypt and northern Israel. Egypt's initial objective in the war was to seize a foothold on the eastern bank of the Suez Canal and subsequently leverage these gains to negotiate the return of the rest of the Israeli-occupied Sinai Peninsula. Eventually a second ceasefire was imposed cooperatively on 25th October 1973, to officially end the war. The link below takes you to a lengthy and detailed account of the war both before and since. They key consequence for the UK and other western countries was an oil embargo against the United States, later joined by other oil exporters and extended against the Netherlands and other states, causing the 1973 energy crisis. 230127
See details of the Yom Kippur War
1973 oil crisis and oil embargo
The 1973 oil crisis began in October 1973 when the members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), led by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, proclaimed an oil embargo. The embargo was targeted at nations that had supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War. The Arab oil embargo was a temporary cessation of oil shipments from the Middle East to the United States, the Netherlands, Portugal, Rhodesia, and South Africa in retaliation for support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War. The embargo on the United States was lifted in March 1974, though the embargo on the other countries remained in place for some time afterwards. 230127
See: 1973 oil crisis & oil embargo
Market for MGBGTV8s in recent years
Despite the relative rarity of a V8 powered MG, over the years it has generally remained an undiscovered classic sports car because for many people there appears so little to distinguish the MGBGTV8 from a standard four cylinder MGBGT. The reality is quite different - it is not until you first drive a V8 that you realise what a total transformation V8 power provides. Prices of V8s remained fairly steady with modest growth for many years until around 2010 when in the period to 2017 they rose by around 117%. Since then they have generally flatlined with a very modest growth of prices for chrome bumper models and interestingly a growing interest in rubber bumpered V8s which had tended to be less popular for many years. 230127
See our MGBGTV8 price guide

MGBGTV8 list prices - increases from 1973 to 1975
With rising inflation in the UK, the list prices of new MGBGTV8s began rising rapidly - during 1974 a V8 rose by just over 20% to £2,800 and by autumn 1975 another 20% to £3,372. In October 1974 the rubber bumpered V8s began to be dispatched from Abingdon but by July 1976 it was all over. Sadly production at
Abingdon had ended except for a very few vehicles that rolled out over the next few months with the facelift bodyshell and “deckchair” seats. 230127
See MGBGTV8 prices 1973 to 1974
Now 50 years later we can reflect on an MG that went from a new sports car to a much loved classic MG
Rubber bumper facelift seen at the 1974 Motor Show
Two MGBGTV8s were on the MG stand at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1973 - Citron 798 up on a ramp looking as though it was to take off. What a launch at a motor show! Also on the stand was another MGBGTV8, Aconite 799. At the next Motor Show on 16th October 1974 there was a major change - the MGB and MGBGTV8 models on display had the new safety upgrade of rubber bumpers. The two MGBGTV8s on display were both pre-production cars (Bracken 2106 and Citron 2105) finished in bold body colours which suited the similarly bold black bumpers very well. Following the show they were both sold on to Newbury Motors Ltd in Birmingham by BLMC Austin-Morris Publicity at Longbridge and dispatched from the MG Factory on 25th November and 2nd December 1974. 230203
See article on Motor Show MGBGTV8s
MGBGTV8 on the MG Motor Show stand looked as if was about to take off!
The MGBGTV8 was launched in August 1973 and in October was on the MG stand at the 58th Motor Show held at Earl's Court from 17th - 27th October 1973. The display on the MG stand was dramatic with an MGBGTV8 up on a steep ramp which had the logo down the side declaring "the new 124mph MGB GT V8". It was a dramatic sight with Citron 798 up there looking as though it was to take off. What a launch at a motor show! Also on the stand was another MGBGTV8, Aconite 799. You can see a BBC report on the show in a short video recording which is a real period piece in many ways with a clipped BBC voice and in his relaxed style he refers to the "window dressing is more or less as before!" A glamorous scene was normal for motor shows in the sixties and seventies with many ladies freely disporting themselves over car bonnets. A few showed a little more decorum getting into the front seats but the effect was to wrap the cars in a sexy scene which attracted drooling male visitors! Victor Smith looks at the show cars. 230201
See the article
Six years too late, comfortable seating, poor ride, excessive wind noise, fast and economical - Motor Sport
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. So quite a tough exercise for any car and particularly so when you read of the sustained speed the car endured during a trip of barely 141 hours - hardly "grand touring", more like a "pedal to the mettle" thrash!

Motor Sport road test
At last an MG V8 - Motor
New targets for the old firm says Philip Turner who talks to MG's chief, Leslie Lambourne.
Motor review of the MGBGTV8
Look what's gone into the MGBGT V8 - Autocar
See Autocar article
The Police Review was keen on the MGBGTV8
The first paragraph by W.R. Taylor was quite clear: pursuit or enforcement cars of the two-seater variety are slowly gaining in popularity and probably the majority of cars of this type that are in service with Police Forces are MG "B" GTs. This car combines a businesslike appearance with a reasonable performance, and is capable of carrying a surprising amount of equipment. Now, announced this week, we have a new model, which should make this one of the finest enforcement cars available - the MG "B" GT V-8.
See Police Review article
MGBGTV8 launch at the 1973 Motor Show at Earls Court
The MGBGTV8 was launched at the 1973 Motor Show at Earls Court in London. A video clip of a BBC report on the show catches the period style of motor show reporting with references to the "window dressing more or less as before!" The MGBGTV8s featured at the show were Citron 798 on display on a ramp with the logo "the new 124 mph MGB GT V8" and Aconite 799 was also on the stand. 161108
See the video clip

Window dressing provides period glamour at the show. 161108 More
Memorable advert - "if you've just bought . . . . "
This advert set out the case for getting an MGBGTV8. 730801
See the advert
Marketing brochures for the MGBGTV8
The marketing brochures for the MGBGTV8 still look as exciting as ever over 30 years later. This collection has been assembled from copies of original brochures loaned by members so we can have a reference set available online. The collection is provided on the basis that any copies made shall be for personal reference only and shall not be used for sale or trading. 161108
Marketing brochures
MGBGTV8 launch photos from BL
See a set of the BL launch photos (black & white). 161121
BL photos
Press release for the launch of the MGBGTV8 in August 1973
A comprehensive 19 page package of press releases made on Wednesday 15th August 1973 provided details of the new, more powerful MGBGTV8 model. The package has five sets of press release documents on British Leyland headed paper. It also includes an official release photo of the car, which is 220x170 mm, and marked 'Confidential, not for publication until 15th August 1973'. Ian Ailes has tracked down a copy which you can download here. 730815
BL Press release & BL press release with MGBGTV8 spec
Development of the MGBGTV8 at Abingdon - Don Hayter's recollections
For V8 enthusiasts, Don Hayter speaking in 2002 on how the MGBGTV8 was conceived and developed at the Abingdon Factory in the early seventies was fascinating as it revealed how the design genius and engineering skills of a dedicated team combined to create a classic MG sportscar. The V8 was brought into production on a very modest development budget at a time when the dead hand of BL seemed determined to eliminate the initiative, flair and independence of the Abingdon design and development team and its ability to create new models of the MG marque. Well over the years since the launch of the MGBGTV8 in August 1973, many V8 enthusiasts have wondered "how did they get the V8 package into production on such a tight budget and limited enthusiasm from the parent company BL?" Alongside is Don Hayter with the V8 Roadster he built for himself. 020702
See a transcript of the Talk in 2002
The story of the Buick V8 engine which found its way across the Atlantic to power a generation of Rover and Leyland vehicles
This article by Chris Goffey (an MGV8 enthusiast) was a feature in Autocar in November 1976. It’s reproduced in the V8 Register Journal New Year 1980 by kind permission of Autocar issued to the V8 Register in 1979. Autocar is often prophetic. But the author of a technical review of the then new Buick aluminum V8 engine, writing in the issue of 23rd September 1960, could have had little idea just how accurate he was being when he commented “we will wager that the most widely copied engine in the next 10 years will be the superb new aluminum V8 by Buick”. In fact, it was only by a chance encounter with then engine by Rover managing director Bill Martin-Hurst that led to this particular prophesy being fulfilled in the UK. But fulfilled it has been with the highly successful Rover V8 engine powering a wide variety of Leyland vehicles over the years. 761120
See the article by Chris Goffey
An early MGB V8 Conversion - an Australian MGB Buick V8 in 1967
Barely five years after the launch of the model, an MGB with an alloy Buick V8 nestling under the bonnet appeared in Australia in 1967. The conversion was carried out by Mark Keeley, a high performance American car importer in Sydney. It was reported in 1967 in a fascinating article by Al Lauder in an Australian car magazine with the caption "For go-manship, not show-manship, would you believe an MGB Buick?" News of this remarkable MGB V8 Roadster reached MG enthusiasts in the UK and Abingdon and soon the idea of a V8 powered MGB became of real interest. Sadly the corporate politics within the BL Group at the time did not encourage the development of the MGB with the V8 engine that became such a successful upgrade for Rover models. But later, when the BL senior management finally saw how good an MGB V8 could be, they authorised the development and production of the MGBGTV8 model at Abingdon. By that time the entrepreneur Ken Costello had launched his conversions and demonstrated how successful the combination of the MGB and a light alloy V8 engine could be. 130121 See the article
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