Friday, September 19, 2014

10k: Small Bumper Convert: 1979 MG MGB V8

MGBs exuded a jaunty personality ever since their introduction (at the Earls Court motor show in September 1962, priced at £690 plus £259 tax), yet they were always lacking in some soup. They carried on with the same basic shape, design until '74 when the US DOT safety Nazis ruined a really good looking car. MG's solution was to fashion ugly chunks of black rubber that should have been a warning to all Hollywood starlets considering collagen/botox lip injections. There's been a run of MGBs with mod's on this site lately...but when someone takes the time to convert/revert a black bumpered '79 into a pre-'74 small bumper, chrome grille car, and presents it with quality pictures and a V8, it would be like poking his mom in the eye if we did not feature it.  Find this 1979 MG MGB V8 currently bidding for $8,600 reserve-not-met with 2 days to go on eBay, located in Adrian, MI.

The color combo in this B is great, the top boot looks taut and all appears to be in proper nick.  It's sporting genuine Mini-lites (according to the picture) and the seller has a good trail of eBay feedback related to the car.  He (or she?) apparently been dealing a lot of his parts online. Only two negatives, the rest look like he's been putting this car together for quite some time.  Good feedback on a seller and the ability see when/how he fixed up his car is always a plus for buying something sight unseen, especially in farm country where getting a good PPI would be more difficult.

Best of all, it's been properly converted with a Buick 215 (a/k/a Rover 3.5) V8 which just looks totally at home in the engine bay.  They've updated the trans to a T5 with a 3.23:1 posi rear end and the 200+ horsepower from the V8 should be a welcome addition to the drive.

The steering wheel is about the only element that hasn't been changed to a pre '74 configuration; and that could easily be changed out for either an early MGB Banjo steering wheel or a Motolita.  Someone has deleted the headrests when they recovered the seats to maintain that '60s look.

See a cooler back-dated classic?


  1. The '79 VIN could make this problematic smog-wise for California, no?

    1. Yup, they go by zee VIN not by zee looks. This one is definitely for states with a more relaxed approach to measuring the emissions from a 35 yr old car.

  2. I just recently picked up a 72 MGB-GT V8 conversion (with 215 stroked so 4.2L) mated to a 5 speed from a TR8.and have to say it rocks. The 100lb off the nose with the lighter engine as compared to stock iron lump and a 4 point rear suspension modification really transforms the car. This looks quite good and well done. Taking time to get gauges sorted and the lightened flywheel indicate some good thought and effort on the conversion and car in general. If it stays guess is it will go for 13k, this will make someone happy.


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