V8 Roadster Conversion project - from dream to reality!

V8 Roadster Conversions are very popular with V8 enthusiasts and come in a variety of specifications. Here Geoff King from Kincardinshire provides a fascinating tale of how his project was conceived and carried out over a three year period to produce an award winning V8 Roadster with a wonderful specification and performance. Geoff converted his rusty 1972 MGBGT 1800 to a V8 Roadster over a three year period and completed the project in August 2002. It has a 3.5 litre injected engine with a five speed gearbox, independent rear suspension, unequal length double wishbones, and coilover dampers front and rear. The brakes have been upgraded with disc brakes front and rear, with four pot calipers on the front. It looks standard but it isn't! (May 04)

How did the project come about?
While in the local library one day, I noticed Roger Williams' book 'How to give your MGB V8 power'. The sound of a V8 in a Rover SD1 that I had some years ago and its smooth effortless power came back into my mind and I thought how I had missed my MGB during the time our family were growing up, but now the seed was sown and I knew what I was going to do. I would build a Tartan Red V8 Roadster with alloy wheels, like the one that I had in my carefree youth but with enough power to keep up with the traffic of today. I knew that new MGB shells were being manufactured and my plan was to buy a cheap roadster as a donor and build a car using a new body. The car would look original but it would be modern under the skin with electronic ignition and fuel injection, up to date suspension and brakes and the "toys" that we expect in many cars today. a complete Rover SD1 was purchased for its V8 engine and 5 speed LT77 manual gearbox.

Result is a wonderful V8 Roadster
The engine runs at around 90oC with occasional excursions to 95 or so and the modern suspension is excellent, driving the car around the Highland roads is a real joy; no more front wheel patter on rough surfaces, there is very little roll and the back end stays firmly planted to the road. Axle tramp has been eliminated and on hard acceleration the car just squats a little. The brake balance seems perfect with the four pot Rover SD1 callipers at the front and single pot Sierra callipers at the rear.

Externally my car looks almost standard, although the RV8 bonnet does have a bulge and the single exhaust pipe is a little larger than an 1800, there are also a couple of V8 badges and the wheels are a little larger, however, under the skin it is thoroughly modern and well able to keep up with everyday traffic. It is fast and safe and I'm still driving everywhere with a big grin on my face.
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