Affordable Classic Cars – The 1970s MG MGB
MG Cars was a British car maker who focused their efforts primarily on making sports cars since its inception in the 1920s. The company was founded in 1924 and underwent various changes in ownership over the years before going out of business, most notably by BMW from 1994-200. During their prime in the 1960 and 1970s, MG Cars became very popular. In 1962, MG replaced the MGA model with the MGB and the model is still sought after today for its sleek monocoque construction and ergonomic design. The lightweight sports car offered exceptional legroom compared to other vehicles of its size, and was also one of the earliest cars engineered with “crumple zones” to protectt the passengers in the event of impact with an immovable object.
The MGB featured an engine called the “BMC-B Series” engine. All MGBs featured this engine except for the V8s, which were offered starting in 1974. This engine was based on the predecessor to the MGB, the MGA, but with an increased displacement nearly 200cc. Depending on the crank case design (MG started with three main bearing crankshafts but later experimented with 5 main bearing crankshafts) was roughly 95 bhp. Early MGBs used the famous “banjo” style differential for the rear axle based on the MGA, but with a reduced rear axle ratio to compensate for the MGBs smaller 14 inch OEM wheels.
The MGB Roadster
The original MGB was was produced from 1962-1980 and was called the MGB roadster. This small sports car was a two-seater although there are some rare editions remaining today that did have a tiny seat in the back. The Roadster was approximately three inches longer than its predecessor, which MG used to improve legroom and trunk space. Other differences from its MGA predecessor included a stronger suspension, slightly larger engine and an updated four speed (manual) transmission.
In 1967, the Mark II Roadster was released. Notable changes include:
- Revised ratios in the gears, each with synchromesh
- Optional automatic gearbox (not offered in the US)
- Updated rear axle
- Alternator replaced the dynamo, the vehicle as such was converted to a “negative earth” system
In 1972, additional changes warranted the unveiling of the Mark III. Notable changes include:
- Updates to the interior and a brand new dashboard design
- Chrome bumpers over-riders replaced the previously rubber made ones (Learn about our bumper rechroming services! )
- Updates were made to satisfy updated US headlight height regulations. Instead of redesigning the front end, the suspension was raised one inch.
MGB GT and the V-8 Engine
In 1965 until 1980, MG manufactured the MGB GT. This car basically started the sports car hatchback style that remains fairly popular today. In 1973, however, MG took this car to the next level and released the MGB GT V8. This baby featured an aluminum block 3528 cc V8 engine which had been used for a number of Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac cars. This V8 was the lightest V8 available that was mass produced at the time, and this car could really fly. MG did add a bit of weight to the V8, so it wasn’t quite as light as it was in the GM made cars, still the engine output 180 bhp and was capable of 0-60 in a very respectable 7.7 seconds and could top out at over 125 mph. Average fuel consumption was around 20 miles per gallon.
MG cars are still often seen on the road today, a testament to their timeless style and cult following. These British made classics can be had for some great prices, making them the perfect classic car for beginning collectors or those looking to add a car to their collection without breaking the bank. If you’re looking for the highly sought after MG MGB GT V8 in good condition, you might pay up to $50,000. However, there are tons of MG MGBs of all types available for just a few thousand dollars, many of which are in great condition and run very well.
Whatever classic car you decide to go with, remember that we can help you restore it. We have a great selection of antique hubcaps for sale, and we also offer the best bumper rechroming services in the business. What affordable classic cars would you like to see profiled next? Please contact us and let us know.