The MGB was the top-selling sports car in the world with over 500 000 examples sold. It remains a popular classic car today because it is easy to run and is supported by a worldwide industry of service providers.
The GT version was introduced in 1965 with the hardtop/greenhouse design by Pininfarina. Most parts were shared with the roadster including the four-cylinder 1798cc B series engine and monocoque chassis. The MGB GT was extremely popular as it combined the practicality of a station wagon with the style of a coupé with 2+2 seating.
MGBs from the 1968 model year are part of the MK2 series which saw the following upgrades:
- Synchromesh on all four gears
- Revised gear ratios
- Alternator fitted
- New rear axle
Arguably, the highlight of the MGB lifecycle was the official introduction of the MGB GT V8 in 1973 following successful V8 conversions by Ken Costello. The engine used was the Rover aluminium block V8 3500cc sourced from Buick. At the time, this engine was the lightest production V8 in the world and weighed 40 pounds less than the four-cylinder B series motor with no adverse effects on the handling of the MGB. The conversion to Rover V8 power is still a popular practice with late model rubber bumper MGB GTs being the best donor cars.
In the second half of 1974, the chrome bumpers were replaced by the rubber bumpers which were required to meet US safety standards. Production ended in 1980 after 18 years, drawing to a close one of the most successful sports car lifecycles ever.