Stop dreaming and start driving! C&SC tests the classics you can buy. Click here for the full listing – and see below for our expert’s conclusion.
This V8 has covered an incredible 4000 miles from new, having been put away early in its life – showing 1078 miles – after the wheels were stolen. It was sold and re-registered in 1987 with a new number because the DVLA had no records before ’83. Old MoTs show 3619 miles in 1995 and 3876 in ’99.
It’s a timewarp car and still in its original Tundra paint, which is mostly good – with just a couple of tiny bubbles at the scuttle joints – over a typically flawed BL body of the period: door fit isn’t great and there are spotwelds evident in the rear bumper recess… But they were all like that, sir. It was Ziebarted from new, with plenty of ‘Z’ bungs in evidence, and more of the stuff in the engine bay.
The chrome is decent, though some of the steel rims on the Dunlop Safety Wheels are starting to rust. These wear old but unworn Avon Turbosteels, with an older Goodyear on the spare. The exhaust is so new that it still has its paper stickers, and the car retains its original V8 mudflaps.
Inside, the Autumn Leaf seat velour is a little baggy but not worn, the carpets are good, and the door cards and headlining are excellent, though the steering-wheel spokes are just becoming rust-speckled. There are inertia-reel rear belts, and the rear carpet is good. It even still smells newish.
The engine bay is a bit grubby (probably due to that Ziebart), with a new coil and condenser in evidence, dating from 2014. It will be serviced at sale.
Even after some time standing and with a half-dead battery, it starts after a couple of churns and sounds strangely muted through the new exhaust.
It is super-tight to drive, with no clunks or rattles from the suspension, play-free steering and a very positive gearchange. Even the overdrive (on top only from 1974) has come into play by the time you’ve done a mile or two. Warm oil pressure is 40psi, which is fine for a Rover V8, with temperature at ‘N’.
The MG will be sold with two sets of keys, plus a new set of tyres – fitted or, for concours fans, thrown in loose. Yes, it is twice the price of an average V8, but you won’t find another example like this.
OUR EXPERT’S SUMMARY
EXTERIOR Almost as good as new – even has its original mudflaps
INTERIOR Unworn, although the seat coverings are a bit baggy
MECHANICALS Not even loosened up yet
SHOULD I BUY IT?
Yes, for the rare joy of driving a classic just as its maker intended. Surely the only near-new V8 left
For Amazing ‘reference car’ condition
Against The few bits of cosmetic rust need catching
MGB GT V8 factfile
- Year 1974
- Recorded mileage 4,187
- Asking price POA according to the listing, but we’re told £35,000
- Vendor The Hairpin Company, Compton Bassett, Wiltshire; tel: 01249 760686
When it was new
- Price £2293
- Max power 137bhp
- Max torque 193lb ft
- 0-60mph 7.7 secs
- Top speed 125mph
- Mpg 26