By: Jag Dhatt
Growing up in a small town, there weren’t many cars that really attracted my attention. My uncle had a ‘67 Mustang Fastback, that he was supposed to pass on to me; unfortunately, the car ended up wrapped around a telephone pole. Then there was the 1987 Grand National, my all-time favourite and one car I’m still looking to purchase. But then, there was this little car that really put “fun” to another level – the MGB Roadster.
First produced in 1960, the MG lineup was the child of the British Motor Corporation, later British Leyland. A neighbour of ours had the 1973 MGB model, which replaced the outgoing MGA, and it was such a cool-looking car, one I wished I had when I got my driver’s license. But alas, my dream was not to be as we bought a Chevy Citation – not a cool car that makes any statement when it’s driver, aka me, is in grade 11.
Anyhow, going back to the MGB, the car was powered by a 1798 cc BMC B-Series engine that produced only 95 horsepower, but it was all fun power, easily capable of moving the car to 100 mph. The MGB was a pure two-seater, compete with reclining option to, you know, gaze up at the stars at night. The steel dashboard encompassed the necessary gauges. The ’73 model year carried the same new fascia introduced the year before and also the single piece full length chrome bumper. The chrome bumper only lasted until 1974, when it was replaced with rubber to meet impact regulations. Regardless, you could always change it back to the chrome as it was a simple bolt-on replacement.
Variations of the MGB came in the form of the Roadster and GT versions. Unlike it’s siblings, the GT featured a 2+2 configuration, in which you could now take the entire family and some luggage. However, the GT didn’t have the same “cool” factor as it’s drop top roadster.
Another offering that put smiles on drivers’ faces was the introduction of the V8 in 1973, thus labeling the car as the MGB GT V8. Under the hood was the aluminum block 3528cc Rover V8 engine that was able to push out 180bhp, but only after Ken Costello made his modifications.
The MGB was a memorable and fun car that made buyers out of many enthusiasts. Production lasted until 1980. While in grade 11 and packing my new driver’s licence, I had visions of driving an MGB because it was a fun, cheap car. Unfortunately, the Citation was even cheaper.