Widely admired for its uncomplicated nature, timeless good looks, and brisk performance, the MGB caused a sensation back in 1962. The now famous advertising slogan “Your mother wouldn’t like it” was quite wrong. She would have wholeheartedly approved of the MGB’s reliability, practicality, and good sense. In 1965 came the even more practical tin-top MGB GT.
These were the halcyon days of the MGB—chrome bumpers, leather seats, and wire wheels. In 1974, in pursuit of modernity and American safety regulations (the MGB’s main market), the factory burdened the B with ungainly rubber bumpers, a higher ride height, and garish striped nylon seats, making the car slow, ugly, and unpredictable at the limit. Yet the B went on to become the best-selling single model sports car ever, finding 512,000 grateful owners throughout the world.
All MGBs had the simple 1798cc B-series four-cylinder engine with origins going back to 1947. This Tourer’s period charm is enhanced by the rare Iris Blue paintwork and rare pressed-steel wheels—most examples were equipped with optional spoked wire wheels.
The MGB’s shape was a miracle of compact packaging. The one-piece steel monocoque bodyshell was strong and roomy.
The line down the center of the windshield was a mirror support rod.
Early cars had a “packaway” top made from ICI Everflex.
Hood was made out of lightweight aluminum.
Front suspension was coil spring with wishbones, and dated back to the MG TF of the 1950s.
INSIDE THE MG
The interior was vintage traditionalism at its best. Leather seats, crackle black metal dash, nautical-sized steering wheel, and minor controls were strewn about the dash like boulders with scant thought for ergonomics.
S P E C I F I C A T I O N S
MODEL MGB Tourer (1962–1980)
BODY STYLE Steel front-engined two-seater with aluminum hood.
CONSTRUCTION One-piece monocoque bodyshell.
ENGINE Four-cylinder 1798cc.
POWER OUTPUT 92 bhp at 5400 rpm.
TRANSMISSION Four-speed with overdrive.
SUSPENSION Front: independent coil; Rear: half-elliptic leaf springs.
BRAKES Lockheed discs front, drums rear.
MAXIMUM SPEED 106 mph (171 km/h)
0–60 MPH (0–96 KM/H) 12.2 sec
0–100 MPH (0–161 KM/H) 37 sec
A.F.C. 25 mpg (8.8 km/l)