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Richard Day's  - MGB GT RV8

******Discuss February's featured car here!******


I first saw this car when it was delivered, by its builder John Hills of Alcester, to Abingdon Car Restorations as a part exchange for an unfinished project. When it was fired up it sounded absolutely awesome. Although it was only a 1.8 litre 4 cylinder it had no centre silencer and only a big rear pipe as is still fitted.


The next time it was brought to light was when it was on display at Abingdon Works Centre (MGCC) Abingdon Car Show in August 2002. My daughter saw this and said “Wow that it different” and both my wife and I said what a nice replacement for the existing BGT this would be.


Later this year I was having a discussion with the owner and he was a little disillusioned with this car. (His friends in the MGCC had said they were going to put it in a tent and display it with a big poster saying. “This is what can happen to your B if you do not look after it”) I must have caught him at a really low time as he agreed to do a swap with my existing 1979 rubber bumper GT and a small sum.


So in September 2002 I became the proud owner of FAC 91T

Original 1800cc 4cyl installation

It soon became apparent that the standard B series unit under the bonnet did not really do this car justice so the V8 plans developed.


Fortunately the car had originally been assembled with a modification to V8 in mind and already had V8 discs and callipers fitted so no upgrades to the brakes were necessary.

I purchased a 3500cc V8 from a Rover of approx 1976 vintage and started the preparation for installation. Engine cleaned, heads removed for inspection and re-assembled after painting of the pretty bits.

V8 assembled and ready for installation.

Decided route for this was to mate to a standard MGB overdrive gearbox with adaptor plate as per the conversions completed by Costello in the early seventies. This necessitated manufacturing an adaptor plate, removing the starter mounting bracket from the engine casting, (No going back now) cutting a hole in the side of the gearbox to suit the new position for the starter motor, ensuring fit-up of gearbox, adaptor plate and engine.

After some discussion with the “experts” I opted for modifying a standard MGB flywheel and fitting the larger MGC clutch. This meant manufacture of an adaptor from the V8 crankshaft to MGB flywheel. The next purchase was the tubular steel exhaust manifolds. As can be seen from the early installation photo, castings to move the carbs from the original SD1 manifold positions were bought and machined to ensure an easy fit up when completed. Air box manufactured to suit piper cross filter and first fits made out of the car.

By this time it was May 2003 and a week off work was booked for the installation. I had built up a good relationship with the lads at Abingdon Car Restorations by then so booked this at a suitable time slot to enable access to engine and car hoist to ease the assembly process. After a days preparation for removal of the 1800 time on the hoists was booked and away we went.

The results can be seen in the above photo.

Early V8 installation with SU carbs

After running this successfully for about ten months the opportunity to buy a Weber Carb, formally on a V6 Ford, cam along with a standard V8 manifold ready for adaptation. The machining work and welding on the manifold was completed and this assembly stood in my garage for some time before I made a decision to fit this one week in October 2004. The Weber installation benefits from automatic choke, faster throttle response and an even better induction noise.

Latest view with Weber Carb

What next?


Well the next thing I could really do with is a proper V8 rear axle to drop the revs from the current situation.


Or maybe it is time to move to another project. This car really deserves an owner that is not going to use it every day and can spend the time and money really getting the maximum potential from it.


Would you like it?  Try making an offer you never know.