1981 MGB Limited Edition Roadster

Highlights


• Just 77 documented miles from new
• Limited Edition, one of just 480 produced
• Manual with Overdrive
• Always carefully stored
• Barely driven and totally original

Background


Introduced in 1979 to celebrate 50 years of MG production at Abingdon, the Limited Edition models were the last built there before the factory's closure in September 1980. The Roadsters were all finished in Bronze metallic whereas the GTs were all in Pewter metallic.  

They sported chin spoilers and Triumph Stag-type alloy wheels, with wires an option on the Roadster.  Most importantly they had overdrive gearboxes.  A total of 1,000 cars were completed, the split being 480 Roadsters and 520 GTs.

History


This amazing MG was purchased in 1981 by the owner of a tyre business in Hereford. It was ordered as one of a pair from The Automobile Palace in Llandrindod Wells.  An enthusiastic classic car owner, he bought them to add to a small collection, and stored both in a dehumidified and heated garage.   

In 1983 they were sold to a new owner, also from the Hereford area, and at that time this MG had covered less than 30 miles.  It had 3 further owners prior to the most recent, who purchased the MG in 2016.  All have recognised that this is no ordinary car; it is an untouched and virtually brand new MG Roadster, from the end of an 18 year production run of half a million MGBs to be manufactured.

The Paperwork


There are very few invoices with the MG as it has never required more than occasional fluid changes.  There is the original Owners pack, complete with the Service book, but there are no stamps as it hasn’t done enough miles to need its first service yet!  There is a Supercover registration card and a handbook, along with spare keys, and an unopened envelope containing radio mounting kit.  

In the file there is the Limited Edition certificate for  the MG, listing its chassis and engine number. There is a list of all the owners, with dates of ownership, and two old MoT certificates from 1999 and 2000, when the mileage climbed from 35 to 42.

The Interior


The curtain was just falling on the 1970s when the Limited Editions were conceived and the Metallic Bronze roadsters were all delivered with eye-blasting, but so period, orange and brown seat material. Bright even on the overcast day when the photos were taken, they are in as new condition, and have probably only be sat on for a couple of hours!  The rest of the interior is equally untouched and original.  

The car has obviously been well cared for over the years, and there are no smells or signs of damp anywhere. Nothing has been altered, added, or used.  

A quick glance in the boot reveals the matching spare wheel, jack and tools still in their original packaging, and a full tonneau cover that we think has never been out of its bag.  A close inspection of the boot floor reveals an over generous application of paint during manufacture, where it has run before drying. 

The Exterior


We subjected the MG to close inspection, trying to find fault with the paint or body but it’s all exactly as the day it was made.  We found one piece of the gold tape striping on the passenger side, just ahead of the rear wheel arch, were a small section was missing.  

This can be seen in the photographs and may well have been a fault during manufacture. None of the plastic, even the black bumpers, show any fading as the MG has spent so little time in daylight.  

The glass is all unmarked, and the light lenses are all perfect.  When we arrived at the photo venue the hood was up, and we carefully stowed it for the photographs.  It was quite likely that it hadn’t been folded before, but it went away perfectly.  The Uniroyal tyres, thought to be the originals, still look like new, although we did drive very carefully for obvious reasons!

The Mechanics


The MG has benefitted from fluid changes over the years, but it is quite obvious that upon lifting the bonnet you are looking at an untouched and original engine without a drop or stain to be seen.  

The wires and harness appear to be all original. Underneath, apart from some oxidisation on the centre section of the exhaust there is no sign of age at all.  The original overspray is still evident and there is still a chalk mark on the differential. 

The Appeal


The phrase “like new” is often overused in the car business.  We aren’t saying this MG is like new because apart from being 40 years old, it is new!

The big question is would you want to drive it?  We were honoured to drive it the short distance to the photo venue and added one mile, taking it from 76 to 77!  We can report it drove like it should, with no rattles or sloppiness in the controls.  The brakes were a little spongy, probably down to the age of the fluid, but this will be addressed prior to the sale.

So, here it is.  Concours winner, museum piece, collectors dream – call it what you will but one thing is certain.  This is no ordinary MGB, as it must be the most original in existence.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1981
  • Make MG
  • Model B Roadster Limited Edition
  • Colour Metallic Bronze
  • Odometer 77 Miles
  • Engine size 1798
  • Location Sussex
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
40 bids
  • nr•••• £33,000 27/10/21
  • st•••• £32,750 27/10/21
  • nr•••• £32,500 27/10/21
  • st•••• £32,250 27/10/21
  • nr•••• £32,000 27/10/21
  • st•••• £31,750 27/10/21
  • nr•••• £31,500 27/10/21
  • st•••• £31,250 27/10/21
  • nr•••• £31,000 27/10/21
  • st•••• £30,750 27/10/21

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