Two Years With An MG-B GT V8
Having owned one of the much-maligned MG-C GTs for 54,000 miles, the handling of which was transformed by the fitting of Michelin XAS tyres, and which gave minimal trouble, I concluded that there were two schools of thought about them. On the one hand there were those who had read the scathing motor press reports and wouldn’t touch them with the proverbial pole, and on the other there were the people who had actually owned one!
After a period with a rather troublesome 4.2 XJ6, 1 bought a new MG-B GT V8 in October 1973, which has now covered 35,000 almost trouble-free miles.
I paid £2,350 for it, at which figure some motoring correspondents declared that it was expensive, because they compared it with the normal MG-B, instead of with other sports cars in the 130 m.p.h. class.
Surely this • was phenomenal value when one considers the economy of 24 m.p.g. on 3-star fuel, to match the 0-60 in 7.5 seconds performance of which the car is capable?
And yet there are so few of these cars on the road! Can it be that the rather luke-warm press reports have stifled another potential world-beater? True, the body shape has been around a
long time, but it still looks attractive, and mine doesn’t suffer from the oft-reported wind roar we’ve all read about.
Even the 24 m.p.g. figure is pretty conservative, because on long Motorway journeys at a steady 70 or so, the car does very nearly 30 m.p.g. whilst the motor is purring along at little more than tick-over revs. The main black marks it scores are for an awful overdrive switch, which is all mixed up with the wipers on a left-hand stalk (I like the switch on the gear-knob as on the XJ6 and Stag); some clumsy heater knobs which can’t be seen in the dark, because the dash lights don’t shine in the right places; and the original G800 tyres were rather poor, being scrubbed out in 14,000 miles, whereas the replacement XAS Michelins have already done over 20,000, and still have some meat loft on them. There also seems to he a dearth of distributor contact points for the model, which could be a nuisance. All trifling
criticisms when balanced against the model’s virtues, and it’s cheaper than its Jail equivalent, the Dotson 260Z! Despite some pretty hefty use, the original discs pads are still serviceable after 35,000
miles, and the engine uses so little oil, that I have become bored with pulling out the dipstick, and have got into the dangerous habit of ignoring it for about 5,000 miles at a time!
I should be interested to read of other V8 owners’ experiences, and pleased to read some really enthusiastic press reports, before the model suffers the fate of the MG-C.
Thanking you for a fine magazine. (No BL or Michelin connections!) Rowberrow, Somerset STEPHEN DEAR