Rapid Rubber Bumper: 1977 MG MGB V8 5-Speed – Sold?
November 6th Update – We just confirmed the Craigslist ad for this car expired and with no replacement listing found, we’re assuming this car sold. This one may have got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330
Lower the ride height one inch, backdate with a chrome bumper conversion, and swap in a V8 5-speed in place of the original inline-four. Those are the three items we would complete wif we decided to purchase a ’75-80 vintage MGB Roadster. This 1977 example recently listed on Craigslist Hatboro, Pennsylvania has two of those already completed. Fitted with a 215 cubic inch V8 already, the current caretaker is now selling their ‘B with an asking price of $10,000. Comparing this ask against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool for a stock example confirms the seller has their MGB priced between the #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $14,700 and the #3 “Good” estimate of $6,300. As a second reference, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool confirms this private seller has their Mk IV Roadster priced between #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $8,850 and the #1 “Excellent” estimate of $14,600.
By 1980, pollution and safety legislation had really taken its toll on the dated MGB. 1975 saw the launch of the “rubber bumper” editions loathed by purists. In order to meet the new U.S. mile 5 mph no damage law, These new bumpers (actually made out of urethane) added five inches to the overall length of the car and seventy pounds. This combined with a one-inch ride height increase to meet U.S. headlight height restrictions had a noticeable detrimental effect on the MGB’s performance. The only thing keeping sales alive by this time was the fact that after 1976 it was one of only a hand full of new cars available as a factory convertible.
The British Car Show Men and Motors has this review of a similar V8-powered MGB that gives you sense of what to expect performance-wise from the example featured here:
This MGB sounds like a hoot to drive and given its driver quality paint and exterior, you can actually enjoy the car without to much fear of causing more damage. The private seller only mentions a 215 cubic inch V8, so we’re assuming the all-aluminum V8 originally developed by Buick is actually sourced from a late model Range Rover. Hopefully, the seller can provide the details on that. Given the custom-build nature of this car, we highly recommend getting a pre-purchase inspection (“PPI”) from a reputable third party to provide an assessment of the workmanship of the swap before committing to taking it over. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“Rust free updated roadster with a 215 V8 and 5 speed. Built-in Texas and bought local from a collector. Quick and fun to drive. Not a show car as paint needs some work and bonnet and boot need to be straightened. Other quirks are assumed with a British car. Transmission has been rebuilt with a new Hydraulic Clutch. Rag top is in great shape. Recent price reduction“
Do you have a V8-powered MGB story you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know!