1963 MGB Mk1 Series 1 Roadster
|Engine||In-line 4-cylinder, 1798cc|
To many enthusiasts, the MGB was the last real sports car to wear the famous Octagon badge and the model continues to enjoy a loyal following around the world today. Replacing the popular MGA was never going to be an easy task, but BMC's designers managed to improve almost every aspect of the car and the 'B' was almost entirely new - only modified versions of the engine, transmission and front suspension were carried over. The pressed-steel monocoque structure was both lighter and stronger than the MGA's separate chassis frame/body construction, offering a much stiffer shell that resulted in a more comfortable ride and better handling, plus the added benefit of a roomier cockpit. Powered by the ever-reliable B-series 1.8-litre engine with a three-bearing crankshaft, fed by twin SUs and developing 95 bhp at 5400 rpm, with 110 lbs/ft of torque at 3000 rpm. The MGB's recipe for sports car success included a decent four-speed transmission (with overdrive optional), Lockheed disc brakes up front and proper rack and pinion steering. BMC placed particular emphasis on quality control for crucial export markets like America and as a result the new model was well put together. Epitomising all that was good about the British roadster, MG's 'B' offered genuinely sporting performance at a price many could afford and unsurprisingly sold in large numbers, with over half a million made during the 18-year production life. Early MGBs, including the example offered here, are now sought after for the purity of the original design, with later cars diluted by emissions controls, additional weight and ungainly rubber bumpers. With a thriving club scene and backed by numerous specialists around Australia, MGB ownership is both affordable and very rewarding.