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Original Dunlop composite wheels on the MGBGTV8

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Posted: 210608


The Dunlop composite wheel, with an alloy centre with 10 trapezoidal holes and a chromed steel rim, is a particularly strong wheel and in the 1970s it was the type of feature you would have more likely seen on exotic sports cars. Dunlop advertised them as their "Formula D4 alloy/steel composite wheel" to "give your car real personality!" In 1973 MG chose these distinctive wheels for their new V8 powered MGBGT model launched in August that year. Above is one of Dunlop's adverts in Motor Sport in March 1970.

Peter Beadle (formerly parts manager with University Motors, then with Sprite & Midget Centre and later Moss Europe) recalls a replica centre alloy casting for the composite wheel for the MGBGTV8 was made by Specialist Car Products back in the 1980s & 90s on which MWS then fitted the chrome rim. Peter adds the tooling and patterns for those wheel castings are now long gone.

Peter adds "a similar looking Dunlop composite wheel was used on the 1972-1977 Reliant Scimitar GTE (SE5/a and SE6), although this version of the wheel was wider at 14 x 5.5 inches and sported different centre caps. Even with these differences, the Scimitar wheels will fit the MGBGTV8. With the wider wheel the offset on the steel rim was greater than on the MGBGTV8 version and the machined profile of the Scimitar GTE wheel differs from the V8 wheel as the raised part of the trapezoidal cut out in the alloy centre comes to a point on the GTE, whereas on the V8 it is radiused."

These Dunlop composite wheels were also used on the 751 special "Jubilee" MGBGTs built between April and June of 1975 for the home market. The "Jubilee" cars were produced to celebrate the 50th anniversary of MG sports car production. They were finished in new Racing Green paint, with gold body side stripes, a numbered dash plaque and Dunlop composite wheels, whose machined silver and chromed surfaces were painted in a gold finish.

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