1973 MGB GT

Highlights


• Comprehensively restored
• New panels from British Motor Heritage
• Rebuilt engine and gearbox

The Background


Surely there is no classic sports car more popular and more loved than the MGB? In its 18 years of production from 1962 to 1980, buyers from across Britain, Europe and America lapped it up, and its appeal has proven to be timeless. Thousands of MGBs are still enjoyed around the world today, with a lively club following and readily accessible specialist support.

Work on the MGB’s development began in 1958, and it marked a significant step forward for MG as it used unitary construction, placing it ahead of its rivals in the Triumph TR range which still used body-on-frame construction. It boasted the ultimate development of the BMC B-series four-cylinder engine, which had proven its sporting credentials in 1500 and 1600 guises in the 1950s MGA, but it was bored out to 1800cc for the MGB and gave 95bhp in twin-carburettor format.

Initially offered only as a roadster, the 2+2 MGB GT joined the line in 1965. As per its name, the GT truly belonged to the grand-tourer idiom, although it was significantly more affordable than other grand tourers from marques like Jaguar, Aston Martin and Jensen. Later, shorter-lived variants included the six-cylinder MGC and the MGB GT V8. By the time production ended, an impressive run of 523,836 MGBs, B GTs and Cs had been built, many of which survive today in the hands of enthusiastic owners.

The History


Unfortunately, little is known of the history of this car as the vendor recovered it from a front garden near Uxbridge where it had been languishing for year after year, by which time it had fallen into complete disrepair, but it does retain its original London registration. Thanks to the availability of new panels from British Motor Heritage, even the worst MGBs tend to be restorable these days, and the vendor treated this car to a full rotisserie restoration, stripping the car back to the bare-metal, fitting new B.M.H. panels and rebuilding the engine and gearbox.

The vendor acquired the car on 6th October, 2020, and the excellent parts availability meant that what had looked like a rather daunting project was able to be completed quite quickly. Now that the car is finished, the vendor is offering it for sale as he looks to downsize his collection of classics.

The Paperwork


Of course, the vendor has obtained a V5 for the car but, having rescued it from obscurity, paperwork is unfortunately thin on the ground. 

The car received an MoT certificate in April of this year and is also offered with a guide to MGB suspension settings by Grays Tyres of Hanwell. The restoration was photographically documented, and all the photographs exist in a digital format.


The Interior


As you’d expect from a very recent restoration, the MGB’s interior is in fantastic condition. The cloth seats are a real step back into the 1970s, and there are no signs of wear anywhere that we could see. The same is true of the door cards, the fascia and centre console, which are refreshingly uncluttered when viewed next to modern cars with their proliferation of switches and dials everywhere.

The steering wheel is an aftermarket item, which longer-legged drivers may find helpful as it is of a smaller diameter than the original. The centre console contains a modern digital radio which has been sensitively chosen for its historical appearance. The rear seats are in very good condition, too, and the boot space is exceedingly clean.

The Exterior


The photographs ought to speak for themselves, but this MGB is presented in the very best condition. With fresh paint and new chrome, there is nothing with which we can find fault. There is just some light patina on the badges and grille surround, which are not brand-new items. The very ’70s colour of Flamenco Red was well chosen, and as well as being eye-catching for the right reasons, it has a particularly summery look about it.

Underneath, the extent of the restoration work is apparent as the whole underside is clean and visibly solid – this car is not hiding anything. The sills and floors are evidently entirely sound, so you can enjoy this car safe in the knowledge that there shouldn’t be any expensive bills looming on the horizon.

The Mechanicals


After a full engine and gearbox rebuild, this car should be good for many thousands of miles of enthusiastic motoring. It runs and drives well, and sounds thoroughly sporting. Eagle-eyed bidders will spot that the car is fitted with a desirable Gold Seal replacement engine, which was a reconditioned engine built by Unipart and installed by the B.M.C. factory. Having been MoTed in April, we are confident that this car is safe in every respect, too, although the test centre did advise that the brakes needed adjustment.

As the car has only covered 130 miles since April, we would suggest that it is still in the running-in stages and would advise that the winning bidders treats it with appropriate care for a few hundred miles.

Appeal


That the MGB is a very appealing car should be obvious from the fact that thousands of people are still driving around in them today. They are good-looking, fun to drive and easy to maintain, and the GT is possibly the best purchase as there’s room for children and luggage and it can be enjoyed in all weather. 

Of course, you won’t have any trouble finding other MGBs for sale, but chances are they won’t be fresh from a rotisserie restoration and sport virtually spotless paint, chrome and interior trim. After so much work, this car promises a lot of happy motoring, so we think it’s the one to have.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1973
  • Make MG
  • Model B GT
  • Colour Flamenco Red
  • Odometer 23,192 Miles
  • Engine size 1798
  • Location Middlesex
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
14 bids from 10 bidders
  • 4superf•••• £10,000 15/10/21
  • dnaffic•••• £9,500 15/10/21
  • cox.jon•••• £8,500 15/10/21
  • 4superf•••• £8,000 15/10/21
  • jack-pe•••• £7,500 11/10/21
  • jack-pe•••• £7,000 11/10/21
  • dnaffic•••• £5,400 11/10/21
  • Alan203•••• £5,100 10/10/21
  • deanhil•••• £4,300 09/10/21
  • kelvin-•••• £4,200 09/10/21

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