Classic Car MGB GT Roadster Restoration
MBG GT Roadster Restoration
The story of the MGB GT begins with its predecessor the MGB, an affordable replacement to the stylish and successful roadster, the MGA, launched in May 1962. The MGB went on to become the embodiment of the modern British sports car and was continuously produced until October 1980, when the famous Abingdon factory finally closed its doors. During the 18 years of production, the overall styling and body shape remained largely consistent. 1965 saw the release of a coupe version of the MGB, the MBG GT, which showcased an attractive and functional closed body version of the standard body.
The front end still maintained the appearance of the roadster with nearly identical doors, wings and rear quarters. However, built into the design was a slightly higher windscreen and, in turn, a higher roofline, allowing a gentle curve over the doors and rear glass work, finishing in a sloping rear panel.
Where the roadster had a boot lid, the GT was fitted with a larger rear tailgate, through which one could access a larger load space than found in previous models. A small folding rear seat allowed expansion of the load space, making the MGB GT a popular choice as a two-seater touring vehicle. Arguably, this also made this model an early example of what is now known as a hatchback.
The larger bodywork and new shape made the MGB GT a heavier vehicle. Somewhat counter-intuitively, this model possessed increased performance due to the aerodynamic design of the roof. This had a secondary effect of better handling, as there was now more weight over the rear end. However, this reduced the acceleration.
All this being said, the most notable change to the design is seen in the 1975 models, which were fitted with impact resistant bumpers, as to abide by U.S. safety legislation of the time. Allowing the MGB GT to be exported and driven in the USA.
Now here’s ours. This one came to us in excellent condition other than the colour, ‘Transit White. Originally these would have been painted in ‘Old English white’ so we removed the doors bonnet, boot and lights along with the all the chromes and trims. Repairs were then made and we then re-sprayed the car back to its original colours, in keeping with the vehicle’s heritage.
The interior our old lady came with was more than a little worse for wear. So we purchased yet another MBG GT, with rotten body work to use as a donor vehicle for the interior. This was fitted with much love and care, giving the vehicle a smart grey and black interior, matching the classic outside paint work. It’s a great pairing and you can really retro styling of the day, giving the car a great look and feel inside and out.
Once the bodywork was complete we started to look under the bonnet. The twin carbs were balanced by Andy Blackett from Black Art Performance. At the same time, Andy reset the timing belt ensuring a smoothly running engine. Installing new fuel pipes, fuel pump and sender unit along with replacing the old voltage stabiliser with a new one ensured the gauges accurately represented the engine’s performance.
The final touch was a to completely refurbish and install the starter motor, – now she starts runs and sounds great every time we turn the key.