Check the authenticity of V8s advertised as "original unrestored"

Keith Belcher is one of our Pricewatch volunteers who monitor MGV8s seen advertised for sale or listed for auction. The data he and fellow Pricewatch volunteer Andy Goves provides is used to generate the updated MGV8 price guides and market reviews released every six months on early May and November. Keith's MGBGTV8 has featured in a couple of classic car magazines and Andy's MGBGTV8 featured on the front cover of Safety Fast! in August 2018.
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Auction of MGBGTV8 (Tundra 1827)
See our NEWS item on an MGBGTV8 tipped to hit a record price at the auction at the NEC in November 2019. Auction listing

MGV8 Price Guide update
Last update to the end of April 2019 released early in May. More

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How do you check the authenticity of claims like "original unrestored" MGBGTV8?
Keith Belcher (one of our Pricewatch volunteers) feels "one of the problems we have in evaluating some of the so called "original unrestored" MGBGTV8s is the validity of those claims. I remember buying a new MGBGT in 1973 and it came with a Yellow Ochre interior. I was quite annoyed as I had ordered Autumn Leaf. I also recall the rubber door sill covers and the floor mats were quite bright Yellow Ochre and liable to scuff and get dirty very quickly. A quick check of the MOSS catalogue lists these sill and floor mats in those colours, but they are now NLA. Victor Smith tells me he has a copy of the Factory records of each car which include the original interior trim colour.

Factory production control records for the MGBGTV8

In the final few months before the MG Plant closed, the late Geoff Allen (then Foreman at the Rectifications Department) became very concerned that the production records for the MGBGTV8 model might simply be thrown in a skip as the premises were cleared following a plant closure. So in his tea and lunch breaks he slaved away making a handwritten copy of those records. Later as V8 Register Archivist, he transcribed that record to a system on his computer and fortunately a copy is still available with the V8 Registrar for checks on individual MGBGTV8s - the build date, engine number, body colour, trim and the dealer to whom a car was dispatched from the MG Plant.

Extract from the Factory records for MGBGTV8 Tundra 1827

The record above shows this MGBGTV8 (Tundra 1827) left the Factory with Autumn Leaf trim.

Peter Beadle (formerly parts manager at University Motors at Epsom at the time the MGBGTV8 was on sale there) says "Yes Geoff Allen's list is a very good guide to what originally came out of the Factory from the assembly line. To my knowledge, all MGBGT V8s, apart from the one Jubilee car, had rubber floor mats with underlay stuck to the underside of the mat plus the Rubberised Sill Mats. The Jubilee car (listed as BRG & Gold) had the later standard black floor carpets According to Anders Clausagers' "Original MGB" book published in 1994, Yellow Ochre trim stopped around July 1973 being replaced by Autumn Leaf. By August 1973 Navy was being run out and black became the replacement colour. In the latter years a very few cars left the Factory with black gearbox tunnel carpets & Autumn Leaf floor mats and this was due to supply shortages to the Assembly Line. Most, If not all, of these cars would have been rectified at the PDI (Pre Delivery Inspection) stage at the MG Dealerships. It was the cheaper option rather than stop the assembly line.

If you look very closely at original Autumn leaf doorboards you will see that the Autumn Leaf colour is actually two colours , a lighter brown with a darker brown overlay. Some replacement trim sets have been made with just one colour due to the higher cost of the correct type of material.

Whatever they had on the assembly line went onto the car as long as it was fitted in pairs!
Peter Beadle commented "I think the interior of the MGBGTV8 in Tundra coming up for auction at the NEC is correct. I have checked Derek Spencer Jones' very late Sandglow rubber bumper MGBGTV8 (with GT flashes on the C posts) and it has Autumn Leaf Interior with Autumn Leaf gearbox tunnel, but Black sill & floor mats.

Thought you would also like a link to Chris Armitage's Flicker pages with a set of photos of his rubber bumper MGBGTV8. You will see (note the photo img 1269) that Tundra MGBGTV8 (VRN: KSM 797P) with Autumn Leaf interior and owned since 1985 with 70,000 miles on the clock has Black gearbox carpet with Black floormats, yet Autumn Leaf interior! I rest my case regarding MGBGTV8 interiors - whatever they had on the assembly line went onto the car as long as it was fitted in pairs!"