This is a platform for User Generated Content. G/O Media assumes no liability for content posted by Kinja users to this platform.

The MGB was the Star of the British Sports Car Squadron

MGC GT at Beaujolais Rally 2015
MGC GT at Beaujolais Rally 2015
Photo: Robert Grounds, Flickr

Back in the Sixties, the British were the leaders in affordable, two-seat, open-top sports cars. The Triumph Spitfire, the Austin-Healey Sprite and the MG MGA were not only great cars, but an excellent export product as well. These small but high-quality roadsters were well-balanced and relatively powerful, and all of Europe was happy to buy them, as were Americans.


The small Morris Garage (MG) factory in Abingdon – not far from Oxford – managed to export 81,000 MGAs to the United States in seven years (1955–1962), which accounted for 80% of total production. However, this was not enough for the British Motor Corporation (which MG already belonged to then), and they released an even better two-seater in 1962 – the MGB.

At that time, practically every domestic car in the States was more powerful than the MGB, with its 1.8-litre, four-cylinder, 92 hp engine. However, the important thing was where this engine was mounted. With a curb weight of 920 kg, the MGB was quite a bit lighter than the average American sports car; it handled superbly and was impeccably made. Yes, at that time MG was known as a manufacturer of very reliable cars. Not to mention the one-piece monocoque body, with its fantastic modern design. Even 50 years later, it looks just as good.


MG also gave thought to those who wanted a sports car with a closed body instead of a roadster. Starting in 1965, you could already get one of the best looking shooting-brakes ever – the MGB GT, which was styled by Pininfarina. Americans liked both versions of the MGB just as much as the MGA. More than 60% of the first version – the Mark I that was produced until 1967 (with 115,790 made in all) – ended up in the US. At that time, MG basically sold as many MGBs as it was able to produce.

In 1967, another option came out – the MGB-based MGC. This car looked almost exactly the same as the MGB, but instead of a 1.8-litre engine, it had a 2.9-litre, inline 6-cylinder, 145 hp motor under the hood. Unfortunately, that engine was almost 100 kg heavier than the 1.8-litre, and this fundamentally changed the balance of the lightweight MG MGB. So the MGC had noticeably worse handling than the MGB, although it could accelerate to 100 km/h slightly faster. The automotive press tore the MG MGC to pieces, so sales were disappointing; the MGC was discontinued in barely two years, after producing just 9,000 cars.



Explore MG MGB for sale

Explore MG for sale

Explore Classic Cars for sale

Share This Story

Get our newsletter