Our video this week is humbly titled “MGB Movie” and traces the development of the MGB from its replacement of the venerable MGA in 1962 all the way through MGs decline and the resurgence with the MG RV8 in 1993.
It is easy to forget today how important the MGB was during its time. If you go to a British car show this weekend, who can blame you for getting a bit tired of the rows on rows of Bs? Hey, don’t blame the messenger. I have a 1977 B roadster now, have had numerous models and vintages of convertibles and GTs, and absolutely love them. But, even I can get a bit tired of the umpteenth over “restored” B with a Weber carb, headers, electronic fuel pump, alloy valve cover, stone-guard headlight covers, and modern digital radio. We are justified in forgetting that when these cars came out they were affordable, fun, relatively quick with good handling, and stayed in production for nearly two decades.
There were more MGBs sold than any other British sports car. Even now the Bs help to keep numerous concerns in business and probably are only out-numbered in the European collector car market by the Volkswagon Beetle. To this day, the MGB is a solid car that is relatively affordable to both purchase and purchase parts for, easily repaired, and a heck of a lot of fun to drive. And when someone stops you in a parking lot to talk to you about the “one they used to have”, as inevitably and regularly happens, you begin to understand how significant the lowly B is.
The much beloved MGB was, of course, a two-door sports car manufactured and marketed by the British Motor Corporation (BMC), later British Leyland, as a four-cylinder, soft-top roadster from 1962 until 1980. Variants include the GT three-door 2+2 coupé (1965–80), the six-cylinder roadster and coupé MGC (1967–69), and the eight-cylinder 2+2 coupé, the GT V8 (1973–76).
Replacing the MGA in 1962, production of the MGB and its variants continued until 1980, achieving sales for the MGB, MGC and MGB GT V8 combined of 523,836 cars. The MGB bodyshell was reprised in modified form with a limited run of 2,000 MG RV8 roadsters (1993–95).
The MGB has been out of production for over 35 years, not counting the RV8. It has been gone twice as long as it was alive, and it is still missed. It is still sought after, still modified, still flogged on tracks, mountain curves, and autocross courses, and still loved. As I said, I have had a B in my possession in some condition or another almost constantly since 1982. The few years scatted throughout that 34 year period when I didn’t have an MGB around alway seemed a bit empty. Bs get under your skin and into your hearts.
Anyway, enjoy our video of the week – the MGB Movie.