2012 is the 50th anniversary of the ubiquitous MGB, a staggering 514,834 examples of which were made between 1962 and when the Abingdon factory was sadly closed for good in October 1980. That a high percentage of the cars produced still exist today is testament to:
The original build quality
The depth of the model’s global popularity
The ready supply of replacement parts
British Motor Heritage (BMH) began producing replacement panels for the model in 1987 and has been offering complete new bodyshells since 1988. Unlike the replacement items for many makes of classic car, the BMH ones are created by skilled craftsmen on the very same moulds by which the MGs were created originally, so the fit and finish is to exactly the same standard. To date the company has manufactured some 2,130 MGB Roadster shells and 347 for the GT – not to mention all 2,009 produced for the RV8 and thousands of individual panels for all variants of the model.
Said BMH’s Managing Director John Yea: “The B was MG’s first monocoque sports car and, with its substantial box section sills and chassis legs integral to the main structure, could be regarded as somewhat over-engineered – a fact for which many an MGB racer has been mighty grateful over the years! The point was further underlined by the programme for the 190bhp RV8 (the original MGB had 95bhp), for which the only bodyshell change required was the provision of reinforced mounting brackets for the rear anti-tramp bars.
“We are proud of the role we play in helping to keep these great British sports cars alive for the enjoyment of current and future generations. Far from being outmoded, their levels of performance, economy, handling and braking are perfectly suited to today’s traffic conditions, and their timeless looks outshine those of most modern cars. Though I won’t be around to celebrate the MGB’s centenary in 2062, I’m pretty sure many of the cars will be!”
For further details of BMH’s replacement parts for the MGB and many other popular British classics – plus a worldwide list of stockists – log onto www.bmh-ltd.com. A host of 50th anniversary celebrations are planned for the MGB throughout 2012, from a series of races that will include some of the original ‘works’ cars, to a multi-club extravaganza at Blenheim Palace on September 23. Further details of these and other activities can be found at www.mgcc.co.uk;www.mgownersclub.co.ukand www.hrdc.eu etc.