The MGB was introduced in 1962 as an answer to the growing knowledge and desire of economically minded enthusiasts for a more powerful and also more comfortable sports car. Although stronger and larger than the MGA, from which it is derived, the MGB actually weighed 40 pounds less and its performance was substantially improved over previous models.

Three years later, MG introduced the MGB-GT coupe. In appearance, the MGB-GT had the same basic body as the MGB. The windshield was a bit raised to allow for a higher roofline. As such, the roof ran back in a slight curve over the doors and rear side windows, and then down into the rear quarter panels. A small hatch provided access to the rear luggage compartment while a tiny rear seat folded down to give more luggage capacity.

Although the coupe bodywork added some 270 pounds, its aerodynamics actually improved the car's handling and top speed, while the large rear side windows and glass hatch heightened visibility. In short, the MGB-GT offered enclosed comfort with sports-car handling.

The 1967 MGB-GT coupe offered here has received a restoration conducted to the highest standards, with 25 miles driven since. The engine has been rebuilt to factory specifications using new pistons, valves, guides, springs and hardware. The fuel tank has been hot tanked, cleaned and epoxy sealed.

It has a new radiator and a completely new brake system. The suspension was completely refinished and rebuilt using new bushings, hardware and components.

The body has been stripped and repaired with new sheet metal, resealed with epoxy and then painted and color sanded. The bright trim has been restored, while the interior and headliner have been replaced with Connolly reproductions. Chrome wire wheels accent the graceful chromed bumpers.

Built before US emissions regulations began to sap the power of MG's 1798-cc, inline four-cylinder engine, this great example provides a taste of classic British sports car tradition, while offering a worthwhile investment to the car collector.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1967 MGB GT
Years Produced:1965-74
Number Produced:125,597
Original List Price:$3,195
SCM Valuation:$6,000-$9,000 1965-67; $5,000-$7,000, 1968-74
Tune Up Cost:$400
Distributor Caps:$30
Chassis Number Location:Left inner fender, just behind radiator
Engine Number Location:On block, under middle spark plugs
Club Info:North American MGB Register, PO Box 3203, Kent, OH 44240
Investment Grade:B

This car, offered without reserve, sold for $17,600, including buyer’s premium, at RM’s Amelia Island auction March 8, 2003.

The early MGBs and MGB-GTs represent all that was right with the British car industry in the ’60s. Their final versions represent all that went wrong.

The B-GT was the first mass-produced hatchback sports coupe, a body design that continues today with the Mercedes C230 and BMW 318ti. Although MG had fiddled with the coupe concept when it grafted a permanent hardtop onto the MGA, it wasn’t until the B-GT that it got it right.

The B-GT offered the same types of interior plusses long enjoyed by Porsche 356 and 911 owners: enormous amounts of interior space for a sporting car, along with accommodations, in a pinch, for friends.

The 1967 B and B-GT were the best of their breed. With twin-SU carburetors, a handsome non-padded dash and wire wheels with knock-off spinners, they looked and drove like a sports car should.

Unfortunately, British Leyland had neither the willpower nor the financial resources to deal with the 1968 and later US safety and emission regulations in anything but the most perfunctory manner. Over the years, the engines grew less powerful, the dashes lost their visual purity to padding and, with the final B convertible, huge rubber bumpers and a raised ride height (to meet US headlight regulations) made them into a parody of themselves. The 1975-80 Bs wheezed down the road-reduced to drag-racing VW Beetles for excitement-and leaned mightily into turns on their tippy suspensions.

B-GTs were spared these indignities, as production ceased in 1974. Nonetheless, the car sold here, a 1967 model, is absolutely the one to have.

With B-GTs offered in the local Auto Trader for $5,000 and less, why pay more than three times that for this car? Simply because the cheapies you see will be, without exception, clapped-out cars that need everything from front wheel bearings to exhaust tips.

The planned duty cycle for sports cars of the ’60s, in my estimation, was somewhere around five years or 75,000 miles. If you had asked the folks who were building MGBs, in 1967, how their cars would be holding up 36 years later, no doubt they would have injured themselves as they fell to the ground, laughing.

Further, cheap sports cars are generally bought by those who run them hard and don’t take very good care of them. And, as with each successive owner, the value of the cars diminishes further and further, the amount of maintenance they get goes from “is it broken, let’s fix it,” to “can we still drive it broken like that?”.

Even at nearly $18,000, this MGB-GT should be considered well bought. Assuming it is properly fettled, the new owner can enjoy it right away. The car will be properly garaged and taken out for a few thousand fun miles every year. With this use pattern, it should be “like new” for a decade.

And using that math, paying $1,800 a year, or $150 a month, to drive a true classic sports car doesn’t seem like very much, does it?-Keith Martin

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