The Costello MGBV8 - a powerful package
Ken Costello brought out his Costello MGBV8 in 1971. He started with a standard MGB and shoehorned a 3,528cc Rover V8 into the engine bay which retained the original opposed semi-downdraught twin SU carburettors on top in the centre of the Vee. To accommodate this equipment, the Costello V8 was fitted with a distinctive power bulge in the bonnet panel. The V8 engine was considerably more powerful than the detuned unit subsequently used in the Factory produced MGBGTV8s and had the 10.5:1 pistons producing 150bhp. This power unit was mated to a standard MGB Mk II/Mk III all synchromesh gearbox and the performance has been described as "electrifying" with a 130mph top speed and exceptional acceleration - it could reach 100mph in 22 seconds. But it was not as relaxed as the long legged V8 produced by the Factory MGBGTV8 which followed shortly after. Costello fitted chunky cast alloy wheels which have a passing resemblance to the very distinctive Dunlop cast alloy and steel rim wheels fitted to the Factory machine.

Tartan Red 5012, a 1973 Costello V8 rebuilt for track racing in action at Thruxton. (Photo: Philip Jones)

Garry Heath (Tartan Red 5012) says "our Costello V8 started life as an Abingdon built 1800cc MGBGT in April 1971. It was sold by the dealer John C Beadle in Dartford to the first of two owners based in Sittingbourne. Sometime between then and 1974, it received the Costello treatment. We believe it was converted in 1973 as we received it with a Buick rather than a Rover engine, but it certainly had undergone the full Costello make over with the power bulge bonnet, the "egg box grille" and the uprated suspension. We have found that details on how many cars were converted by Costello and when are not available and tracking down Ken Costello today is as difficult as finding Lord Lucan!". More

BRG 5004, a good looking Costello GTV8 in Cornwall. (Photo: Paul Denton)

Light Blue 5005, the only Costello V8 automatic that Ken Costello ever made. This is confirmed in a signed letter from Ken which the owner holds with the identification numbers for the V8. More

BRG 5008 is a good looking Costello V8 Roadster. The car was advertised for sale on the V8 website and sold within a matter of days to a V8 enthusiast, Lawrence Wood. It has now had just five proud and fastidious owners since 1976 and has clearly been well maintained throughout its life regardless of cost. (Photo: Lawrence Wood) More

Teal Blue 5013 is a late Costello MGBGT without the characteristic bonnet bulge. (Photo: John Hurst) More

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