Backdate Beg: 1979 MGB V8 Swap – Sold?

by | Jul 2021 | Classifinds, Sports Car Saturday

August 6, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this V8 powered MGB “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

When we came across this 4.0L Rover V8 powered 1979 MGB originally listed in July 2021 on Craigslist in Levittown, Pennsylvania, the first thought that immediately entered our mind was how even more appealing this car would be if the seller “backdated” the car.  If you’re not familiar with the term, backdating refers to taking a newer example of a specific marque and retrofitting certain body components to make the car look like an earlier model.  In the case of late 1970s MGs like this car, the “rubber” (they’re actually made of black urethane) get swapped out with a cleaner-looking chrome bumper kit.

We digress as that’s a great winter project to undertake. For now, the next caretaker can enjoy winding out the aluminum V8 original designed and used by Buick in the early 1960s before that GM division sold the tooling to Rover, who then used the engine in just about every V8-powered vehicle the company produced over the next thirty years.

Currently offered at $14,000, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their MGB priced eight hundred dollars less than guide’s #2 “Excellent” estimate of $14,800 for a stock example.  Similarly, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the asking price is six hundred dollars less than this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $14,600.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“4.0 Aluminium Rover V8
500 Edelbrock Carb
5 speed Borg Warner transmission
Chevy S10 rearend
electronic ignition
oversize aluminum radiator
new battery

body in nice condition, no rot or rust. good top, good tires, I do not know the milage as speedo & tact where replaced with 160 speedo & V8 tact (Smiths gauges)”

Keep as-is or back date: Would you also install a chrome bumper back date?  Comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. Backdate Beg: 1979 MGB V8 Swap – Sold?

    I think it would be a great idea to back date the car but there’s a lot more to it than bumpers and grill. To do it right you would also need to do the suspension. The cost of the suspension kit via moss motors alone is over $3000.00 not including the labor.


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