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Car Review, Figures and Specs for the MG B GT V8 - [1973]

MGB GT V8


The MGB GT



In 1965 came a coupe version of the MGB - the MGB GT, which had an attractive tin top version of the standard body. The GT shared the unitary construction of the roadster which had a welded panel bodyshell with a reinforced floorpan. Some of the advantages of this was that it allowed for a much lighter and stiffer construction than previous and also absorbed all the loads from the suspension. In appearance, the GT was essentially the same as the roadster, whilst the coupe bodywork made the MGB much heavier, its different shape actually helped the top speed due to the improved aerodynamics. There was also an improvement in handling since the roof put more weight over the rear end.

MG



GT + V8 = MGB GT V8


To make the most of the lightweight MGB GT what was needed was a more powerful engine. In 1973, the GT made use of the 3532cc aluminium Rover V8 engine as was being used in the Range Rover. The V8 engine was not only much more powerful it was also a lot lighter than the original B-series MGB engine. Offering 137bhp, it fitted snugly into the MGB's engine bay after only slight modification to the bulkhead, The engine was mated to the MGC gearbox and rear-end transmission, although the ratios were modified slightly. The introduction of the V8 was a perfect match, combining performance and a smooth V8 soundtrack to create the GT experience the MGB was always destined for.

Rear wheel excitement.


The Rover V8 shoves the GT to 60mph in under 8 seconds and the streamlined shape ensured a top speed of around 125mph. The MGB GT V8 is still a popular track weapon due to a combination of the tunable Rover block and rear wheel drive. Rear wheel excitement is experienced when the 193 lb-ft of torque is transferred to the tarmac via the 4 speed manual box.


Timeless Looks


The GT whilst popular with racers was known better as an excellent touring car with high performance and good handling. The tunability and performance of the V8 also maintained an industry of aftermarket tuning parts which are still available today. The press received it well and it found a loyal market, although strangely it was never exported to the USA. In 1976, the MGB GT V8 stopped production, partly due to the oil crisis and partly supposedly because of the limited supply of engines, which were being built under licence and were now required for the new Rover SD1 saloon.


Summary


Positive  The Classic Rover V8 married to a lightweight GT Shell, Still plenty of parts for it.

Negatives  Beware of the dreaded tin worm.


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