MGBGTV8 profile
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!
On 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 years 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.
The 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.
A surprising feature of the MGBGTV8 is the fuel economy. Even driven on the open road with a sense of fun the
enthusiast 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.
At 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!
See our MGBGTV8 photo profile.

MGBGTV8 facts
Produced: 1973 to 1976 with pre-development cars produced from late 1972.
Bodywork: Two door fixed coupe GT with rear hatch.
Engine: 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 mph.
Fuel consumption: 25-30 mpg - yes original heads are OK for unleaded.
Production: 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.
Number of cars still existing: Estimated at around 2,100 with many exported to Australia and New Zealand over the years. So the estimated UK stock is around 1,825 cars.
Spares and servicing availability: Very good, particularly from the specialist V8 spares and servicing providers.
Garage fit? L 13ft 3" (4.02m) x W 5ft (1.523m) x H 4ft 3" (1.292m).
Prices: see our price guide. Price guide
MGBGTV8 - chrome bumper
Launched in August 1973, the V8 powered MGB produced by the Abingdon Factory was a remarkable, low budget project which combined the popular fixed head coupe body style with a powerful three and half litre light alloy V8 engine. It is now an established classic sports car.
MGBGTV8 - rubber bumper
The rubber bumpered MGBGTV8 appeared from late 1974 - a modification that was necessary across the MG sports car range to meet front impact requirements. The V8 in both chrome or rubber bumpers has an effortless performance with a modest but purposeful exhaust note.
MGBGTV8 information and support
See our popular workshop notes series packed with service and maintenance tips, our information gateways to key topics, spares and services specialists and spares for sale and wanted.
V8 Workshop Notes
Information Gateways
Top tips for new V8 enthusiasts
Technical topics
Spares & services specialists
V8 spares for sale and wanted
Buying or selling an MGBGTV8 - useful links
Our online buying guide helps you research the MGBGTV8 model, check the vehicle history of a car, check and test drive a car, negotiate a deal and buy safely. Selling advice too.
Six page guide to the MGBGTV8
MGV8 buying guide as a book
MGV8 buying guide online
Checklists and useful references
MGBGTV8s for sale or wanted
Price guide