The last genuine MG works rally car is up for auction, 35 years after it was retired from action competitive farewell, and is expected to fetch £90,000-£130,000 (R1-1.5-million) – more than 100 times the price of the road-going MGB in 1964.
BRX 854B was one of two MGB rally cars built by BMC’s competition department in 1964, when the road car was priced at £850 (the equivalent of R1700 at the time).
It made its racing debut in the Spa-Sofia-Liege rally in August 1964 and went on to compete a further five times as a works entry, in the Tulip, Acropolis, Geneva, Danube and RAC rallies, all in 1965.
It was retired in 1975 and has since then had a meticulous restoration, overseen by MG historian John Baggott and legendary MG racer Barry Sidery-Smith with meticulous attention to detail. Existing parts have been painstakingly restored or replaced and some non-standard period competition parts have been sourced with no expense spared.
Its first public appearance after restoration was at the Le Mans Classic in 2008 and it has the historical technical passport, meaning it’s eligible for other such prestigious events, including the Goodwood Revival, Monaco Classic GP and other pre-65 invitation races.
The MGB will be offered up on June 2, complete with documentation – including letters from the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust and the BMC competition department – original handbooks, racing instructions, receipts, restoration archive photographs, magazine articles and newspaper clippings from 1964 and 1965.