MG MGB GT V8 (1973 – 1976) Review

MG MGB GT V8 (1973 – 1976) At A Glance

+Elastic performance, ease of driving, nice soundtrack

-Engine tightly packed in its bay, so servicing can be difficult

MG missed the boat with the 'B GT V8. At the time it was perfecting the MGC and trying to turn it into a successful Austin Healey 3000 replacement, Ken Costello had been making a good living converting MGBs to Rover V8 power. It was a logical car - and one that delivered all of the MGB's potential. So, when the MGC bit the bullet, MG began work on making its own Rover V8 powered 'B.

By the time the MGB GT V8, the world had changed, and it had hit all manner of obstacles, despite having all the ingredients for success. For one, its launch coincided with the 1973 energy crisis - a time when fuel rationing was a very real threat, and the price of fuel was going through the roof. In one fell swoop, the demand for big-engined cars like the 'B GT V8 fell through the floor.

And that's a shame, because the 'B GT V8 was - and is - undoubtedly was a great car. Still, It may have been a commercial failure when new, but that's not stopped it being a classic car hit. Just make sure when you're buying, you don't end up picking up a fake being passed off as the real thing.

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Ask Honest John

Did the MG Metro and MGB GT share interior trim?

"Was the MGB GT ever produced with the 'grey cloth/red piping' interior, similar to the MG Metro?"
As far as we are aware, the MGB GT was not offered with the grey cloth/red piping interior as seen in the MG Metro. Although they both wear the MG badge, the Metro was introduced in the same year that the MGB was discontinued and they share very few if any parts.
Answered by David Ross

How much is my classic MB worth?

"What would be a realistic value to expect for selling my 1971 MGB GT with chrome bumpers? A purist will want to do work on it, an enthusiast will happily drive around and tinker. Any recommendations for selling privately or through a dealership?"
It's going to depend a lot on the vehicle's history and condition (or how much tinkering needs doing). A rough estimate would be £3000-£3500 - but you can add or subtract value depending on the state of the bodywork. If you can, try and find a similar example for sale and price yours accordingly. These cars are still hugely popular so how you sell will depend on how much time you're willing to invest. We've got some advice on the subject here:
Answered by Keith Moody

Is there a two-seater sports car that has room behind for a small dog?

"Many years ago I drove an MGB GT which was basically two seats plus a shelf, but handy for a small dog. I now am looking for a more up to date sporty soft top car with similar features. What do you recommend? I'm keen on the Mazda MX-5, but there is no room and certainly no space behind the seats."
Unfortunately, I think you might have to look at something slightly bigger, like a BMW 2 Series Convertible, to have the space you require. Alternatively, consider a Toyota GT86 - it's more practical yet as fun to drive as an MX-5, but isn't available as a convertible.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Will an MGB retro fitted with a V8 still be classed as historic and tax free?

"I'm looking to buy a 1970s MGB GT V8. An original car will be classed as an historic vehicle affecting the need for tax and MoT. Many of the originally 1800cc cars were later converted to V8 by transplanting a Rover engine as fitted in the as-built V8s. So the converted car has the same(ish) spec as those factory built V8s. Will a converted car still be classed as historic and have free tax and be MoT exempt?"
A vehicle built before 1 January, 1979, will qualify for historic road tax from April 2019 - unless it has been substantially altered. Unfortunately, what constitutes 'substantially altered' is currently a bit of a grey area. The definition currently says that to be considered as a vehicle of historic interest (VHI) the following components need to be of a design of which would have been fitted to that vehicle at the time of its manufacture: • the original unmodified chassis or body shell (including any sub frames) or, • a new chassis or monocoque bodyshell (including any subframes) of the same specification as the original • suspension (front and back) • steering assembly • all axles • transmission • engine An MGB GT that's been converted to a V8, could potentially have had alterations to those components. However, because the factory produced its own V8s it should qualify as a VHI.
Answered by Keith Moody
More Questions

What does a MG MGB GT V8 (1973 – 1976) cost?