Dunlop composite wheels on the MGBGTV8
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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.