REDUCED RESERVE, now almost met
Very rare genuine factory built V8, chrome bumper car
A super-solid, original example
Last owner for over thirty years
Requires further restoration - a wonderful opportunity
“Telling British Leyland what they ought to do has become a national pastime, and one of the most common demands (from Motor among others) as well as one of the most widely forecast events has been the marriage of the popular MGB GT body with Rover’s 3.5 litre V8 engine. The two together seemed natural, especially after Ken Costello had shown the idea to be practical” Motor, August 25th 1973.
The prolonged gestation of the V8 MGB GT is well documented and if you jump across to the other machine of this matched pair we are auctioning you can read all about it there. Suffice it to say, we have more of the same on offer with ‘PRV 21N’ though in this instance there is considerable scope for further improvement – PR speak for ‘restoration’.
Partially restored until ill health bought proceedings to a premature halt, this MG is sold requiring further work and the V8 is as they say ‘fresh to market’ – so fresh it hadn’t even made it off the transporter when we were given the opportunity to photograph it. Though first impressions might elicit a somewhat circumspect reaction to the car’s condition and the task facing a new owner, we respectfully suggest you spend a little time closely examining the library of photographs that accompany this description and pay particular attention to the underside and general bodywork shots. These, we feel, reveal a car that is structurally exceptionally sound underneath and in pretty straight condition ‘up top’. Yes, the body has a few dinks and donks as shown and the urban camouflage-effect paint work is not going to garner many concours rosettes but looking beyond these initial impressions the MG appears to sport very honest panel-work begging for thorough preparation and repainting (in our opinion in its original Teal Blue) and a super-solid sub-structure.
Fitted with a full length period Webasto ‘sunshine’ (as it was referred to back in the day) roof, the cockpit can be transformed into a bright and airy space without the trials, tribulations and damp trousers associated with a full convertible roof – not to mention the slight problem of BL’s refusal to combine the V8 engine with the ‘B’ roadster body – and this is in good condition with no rips or tears (though it does appear to have served as a coaster for numerous cups of tea, with the resultant pattern suggesting 'Olympic Standard' cuppa consumption).
While the chrome-work is presentable with no major dents or pitting, set against fresh paintwork it might prove to need refinishing especially as there are one or two additional holes in the rear bumper, though these could perhaps be utilised for mounting a GB plate or club badge. A couple of the V8 badges and the six chrome side strips are missing but these are easily acquired from the numerous marque specialists for minimal outlay. Offset against these items are a pair of lovely period ‘cast’ number plates which we suspect have been on the car since day one.
The engine is complete, original and quite presentable with just a few areas of oxidation slightly letting the side down. Its bay is also tidy with chassis plate and body tags present, along with the unique to the B GT V8 ‘lobster claw’ carburettor set up, twin cooling fans and remote oil filter.
Inside, as with the ‘sister’ car in our Berlinetta Weekly auction, the original cord and vinyl trim in ‘Autumn Leaf’ is in pretty good shape though the carpets are missing one or two pieces. Charming Kangol ‘Reflex’ inertia reel seat belts are present – a nice period item not often seen.
Though needing refurbishment, the original and now unobtainable Dunlop alloy and steel construction wheels appear to be sound. The tyres have good tread but are quite likely to be time expired though quite capable of surviving ‘pushing around the workshop’ type velocities – unless Mako Vunipola is doing the pushing!
As a non-runner, it is not possible to verify the MG’s mechanical condition though we understand the previous owner had undertaken a considerable amount of restoration work in this area and many suspension and brake components do look new or freshly refurbished.
Virtually complete, this MGB GT is a desirable original factory V8 (confirmed by its GD2D1 chassis number) and chrome bumper specification vehicle and finishing the restoration work already carried out looks to be a relatively straightforward task with as far as we can see, no welding required. With an old style V5 registration document showing just two Southampton based owners since September 1977 (and possibly in total), this highly original MG represents a great opportunity for the ‘hands on’ enthusiast.
If this project is of interest but perhaps a little daunting, please have a look at our alternative V8 that is essentially ready to go; a car for every buyer at Berlinetta!
Registration number: PRV 21N
Chassis Number: GD2D1-1467G
Engine Number: 1403