2022 Shannons Winter Timed Online Auction

1978 MG B 'Rubbernose' Roadster (RHD)





Engine 1.8-litre four
Gearbox Manual
Body Work Roadster
Colour Yellow
Trim Black
Wheels Steel
Brakes Discs/Drums


This lot is no longer available

Launched at the 1962 London Motor Show, the MGB went on to become one of the most successful sports cars ever made. Under development since the late 1950s, Abingdon’s long-awaited replacement for the MGA saw a shift away from the traditional construction technique of a separate chassis/body to an all-new pressed steel monocoque structure, with the chief advantages of strength, lightness and more cockpit space. Although in many respects the MGB represented a development of the MGA with the more volume-efficient unitary construction, it did meet virtually every criticism that had been made of its predecessor. There was much more room for passengers and a bigger boot. Visibility was greatly improved. The gauges were placed in front of the driver in an elegant display. There was an attractive crackle-black metal fascia. The seats were adjustable for rake and much more comfortable. For a while, the engineers believed they were going have to make do with the outgoing MGA 1600 Mark II’s 1622cc engine for the heavier MGB, but the Austin 1800 – still years from release – was to receive a larger 1798cc version of the B-Series unit and this was used in the MGB first. Maximum power was 95 horsepower, just two more than the last of the MGAs, but there was far more torque. Zero to 60 miles per hour took 12.2 seconds, which was a few tenths quicker than its predecessor. The MGB’s attractive lines cleverly reinterpreted the traditional British roadster for the 1960s, with refinements like door handles and wind-up windows added for the first time, although a heater was still optional and the soft-top somewhat rudimentary. The MGB employed BMC’s three-bearing B-series four-cylinder engine, running twin SUs and developing 95 horsepower at 5400rpm, combined with a rugged four-speed gearbox and the option of Laycock overdrive on third and top gears. The rest of the running gear, including the steering, suspension and back axle, was sourced from BMC’s parts bin, albeit to good effect. The MGB was received with delight by the world’s motoring journalists. It sold very well in the US and even the advent of the Mustang did not bring a reversal in the Bee’s fortunes. With its crisp handling and rorty engine, the MGB was to the American motoring enthusiast pretty much what the TC had been in the immediate aftermath of World War Two when many GIs shipped these little sports cars home with them from Europe. In September 1964, MG updated the original B-series motor with a five-bearing crankshaft  and added a coupe variant, badged the GT, the following year. The ‘Bee’ was subject to steady evolution. One of the biggest changes came in 1974 with the fitment of rubber bumpers front and rear mandated by US safety legislation. The ride height was raised for the same reason. Following criticism of compromised handling – a legacy of the raised ride height – British Leyland made revisions in 1976. At the same time the interior was improved with an updated facia, pedals relocated to allow proper ‘heel and toeing’ and seats trimmed in cloth. The MGB is one of the standout classic cars that makes a great daily driver with pace aplenty to keep up with modern traffic.