|The MGA With An Attitude
MG Series 'MGB V8' -- HS-105-MGB V8
MG Series 'MGB V8' -- 1973-1976 - (RHD GT Style only)
A few years after demise of the MGC, the factory stuffed the small Rover V8 into the MGB to create the MGB GT V8 (after Ken Costello showed them how it was done). Originally a modest 137 bhp with somewhat restricted Range Rover cylinder heads it was nonetheless quite a quick machine in a light car, as the alloy engine weighs slightly less than the 4-cylinder iron engine. Think 0 to 60 mph in 8 seconds, and 125 mph top speed.
It was a technical success as a great little sports car, but it arrived along with a world oil crises and rising fuel prices, so it didn't sell very well in Europe (even though it was surprisingly frugal with fuel). Not certified for the North American market, these cars were all right hand drive hardtop cars. In the end only 2591 cars were produced.
Meanwhile, folks in North America are intimate with V8 engines, and they know the Rover engine was derived for the North American engine designed for Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac in the early 1960's. There are quite a few of those engine lying around in America, and with a little tinkering they can be used to convert a 4-cylinder MGB to a BGT-V8. Furthermore with the right bolt-on cylinder heads and 4-bbl carburetor it is easy to get another 40 or 50 hp. With just a little more tweaking, like a fast street cam and tubular exhaust headers, it is possible to get well over 200 bhp. Think 1-hp per cubic inch from 235 cid. So what does that do in a 2400 pound car? You figure it out. As a result there are by now hundreds of MGB V8 conversions in North America, more in touring cars than in GTs.