MGB GT. Production years: 1965–1980. Engine – 1.8 L B-Series I4
The MGB is a two-door sports car manufactured and marketed from 1962 until 1980 by the British Motor Corporation (BMC), later the Austin-Morris division of British Leyland, as a four-cylinder, soft-top sports car. It was announced and its details first published on 19 September 1962. Variants include the MGB GT three-door 2+2 coupé (1965–1980), the six-cylinder sports car and coupé MGC (1967–69), and the eight-cylinder 2+2 coupé, the MGB GT V8 (1973–76).
Replacing the MGA in 1962, production of the MGB and its variants continued until 1980. Sales for the MGB, MGC and MGB GT V8 combined totaled 523,836 cars. After a 12-year hiatus, the MGB re-entered production as the heavily modified MG RV8 with a limited run of 2,000 cars before finally being replaced in 1995 by the MG F.
The fixed-roof MGB GT was introduced in October 1965. Production continued until 1980, although export to the US ceased in 1974. The MGB GT sported a ground-breaking greenhouse designed by Pininfarina and launched the sporty “hatchback” style. By combining the sloping rear window with the rear deck lid, the B GT offered the utility of a station wagon while retaining the style and shape of a coupe.
This new configuration was a 2+2 design with a right-angled rear bench seat and far more luggage space than in the roadster. Relatively few components differed, although the MGB GT did receive different suspension springs and anti-roll bars and a different windscreen which was more easily and inexpensively serviceable. In 2019, Road & Track named the GT one of the “16 of Pininfarina’s Most Beautiful Designs That Aren’t Ferraris.”
Although acceleration of the GT was slightly slower than that of the roadster, owing to its increased weight, top speed improved by 5 mph (8.0 km/h) to 105 mph (169 km/h) because of better aerodynamics.
A special edition of the GT was produced in 1975 for the 50th Anniversary of the MG Car Company. It was in pre-war British Racing Green, had tinted glass, gold body stripes, V8 alloy wheels painted in gold and black and other gold trim. 751 Jubilees were made, one was destroyed in an advertising stunt that went wrong. There are thought to be about half of them left as of 2021.