MGB GT V8
1972 MGB GT converted to 3.5 V8. Finished in Aston Martin California Sage with original black interior. The car has travelled 300km since it’s bare shell restoration and engine rebuild, at the time the gearbox was also inspected before being fitted.
This car started life as a 1.8, Swedish sold and first registered 1972. The current owner acquired the car 8 years ago and embarked on an ambitious restoration project, with some help from some very experienced friends in the industry. In 2014 the car was moved to the Aston Hill workshop, a highly regarded Aston Martin specialist in Stockholm, and the project began under the watchful eye of one of their master mechanics and body specialists, who has since moved on from the company to set up his own business rebuilding Jaguar E-type bodies.
After reading an article stating the MGB GT is ‘the poor mans Aston Martin’ the owner took this idea and ran with it, building a rather unique interpretation of a GT which certainly did not look out of place in the company it found itself in at the time. As you can see from the photos the car went back to bare shell to ensure no rust remained, before replacement panels were fitted and its new shade of Aston Martin California sage was applied. Further additions to the bodywork continued the theme; a DB4 GT inspired bonnet scoop and the classic Aston Martin side vents were added, here integrated cohesively with the chrome side strip in a way that looks factory to the unknowing eye.
The underpowered 1.8 was never going to do a build like this justice so it was doubled in size to 3.5 L courtesy of a Rover V8 powerplant. As mentioned this engine was rebuilt prior to being fitted, and also the camshaft was swapped out for an uprated version. A Holley carb sits on top, and custom made headers channel the exhaust gasses out back via a full custom stainless exhaust that sound fantastic and is a huge part of the charm of this car. With a big increase of power handling needed to be kept in check, and is done so via upgraded Spax suspension all around, improved braking, wider wheels and tyres.
The car does have its imperfections and it is important to note these – we have tried to photograph these as best as possible. The paint isn’t perfect in a couple of small areas. Alignment isn’t perfect on the front chrome bumper, the front grill fit is poor and not the correct, and at some point the rear chrome bumper has been pushed inwards into the main bumper creating a small dent and rust. Inside the interior is very worn in places, and on turning the wheel full lock the tyres catch the headers. These are all small fixes that can be left and the car enjoyed as is – or rectified to make the car look as wonderful on close inspection as it does from several feet.
Please note the follow on the overall condition:
Poor standard of respray in some areas, the alignment is not correct on the front bumper, the fitment of the front grille is poor, and the rear bumper has been pushed inwards creating a dent and rust. There is also an area of imperfection on the nearside rear quarter panel with cracking behind the bumper, minor pitting on the rear bumper, imperfections on the offside lower sill, pitting on the front scuttle vent, poor trim alignment on the nearside, a small area of blistering on the nearside front wing, rust spots on the nearside lower sill, and a small crack on the edge of the nearside front wing just before the passenger door.
Inside, the cabin is presented in generally poor condition, the headlining is sagging, there is heavy wear on the seats, the carpet and trim are coming away in places, and the gear knob is not original and comes off in the hand. There is also an honest ‘patina’ on the instrument cluster and switches, a crack and damage on the centre upper dashboard, a missing rear speaker cover, wear and discolouration on the back of the passenger seat, scratches on the front windows, scratches on the passenger door card with pressure marks around the window winder, and patches of wear and scratches on the driver’s door card.
Rust is coming through in places on the underside, there is an oil leak, the wiring is poorly done throughout, when on full-lock the wheels catch the headers, and the rev-counter and fuel gauge do not work.
This is a truly boisterous build covered up by a classy looking exterior, a budget Bond car indeed. Mechanically sound with attention paid to all the critical areas, it is a joy to both look, listen to and drive and will bring the new owner many years of enjoyable motoring.