1968 MG MGB Roadster mk II
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The MGB is a two-door sports car manufactured and marketed by the British Motor Corporation (BMC), later British Leyland, as a four-cylinder, soft-top roadster from 1962 until 1980. Its details were first published on 19 September 1962. Variants include the MGB GT three-door 2+2 coupé (1965–1980), the six-cylinder roadster and coupé MGC (1967–1969), and the eight-cylinder 2+2 coupé, the MGB GT V8 (1973–1976).
Replacing the MGA in 1962, production of the MGB and its variants continued until 1980. Sales for the MGB, MGC and MGB GT V8 combined totaled 523,836 cars. The MGB bodyshell was reprised in modified form with a limited run of 2,000 MG RV8 roadsters (1993–1995).
In structure the MGB was an innovative, modern design in 1962, utilizing a monocoque structure instead of the traditional body-on-frame construction used on both the MGA and MG T-types and the MGB's rival, the Triumph TR series. However components such as brakes and suspension were developments of the earlier 1955 MGA with the B-Series engine having its origins in 1947. The lightweight design reduced manufacturing costs while adding to overall vehicle strength. Wind-up windows were standard, and a comfortable driver's compartment offered plenty of legroom. A parcel shelf was fitted behind the seats.
The MGB achieved a 0–60 mph (96 km/h) time of just over 11 seconds. The three-bearing 1,798 cc B-Series engine produced 95 hp (71 kW) at 5,400 rpm — upgraded in October 1964 to a five-bearing crankshaft. The majority of MGBs were exported to the US. In 1975 US-market MGB engines were de-tuned to meet emission standards, ride height was increased by an inch (25 mm), and distinctive rubber bumpers were fitted to meet bumper standards.
The MGB was one of the first cars to feature controlled crumple zones designed to protect the driver and passenger in a 30 mph (48 km/h) impact with an immovable barrier (200 ton). Despite this, the British AA motoring association has described the car, like many other classic models, as much less safe than modern cars. The issue received public attention following a 2013 case in which a driver in a hired 1963 MGB was killed in a collision with a taxi.
A limited production of 2,000 units of the RV8 was produced by Rover in the 1990s. Despite the similarity in appearance to the roadster, the RV8 had less than 5 percent parts interchangeability with the original car.
The roadster was the first of the MGB range to be produced. The body was a pure two-seater; a small rear seat was a rare option at one point. By making better use of space the MGB was able to offer more passenger and luggage accommodation than the earlier MGA while being 3 inches (75 mm) shorter overall. The suspension was also softer, giving a smoother ride, and the larger engine gave a slightly higher top speed. The four-speed gearbox was an uprated version of the one used in the MGA with an optional (electrically activated) overdrive transmission. Wheel diameter dropped from 15 to 14 inches (360 mm).
In late 1967, sufficient changes were introduced for the factory to define a Mark II model for the 1968 model year. Changes included synchromesh on all four gears with revised ratios, an optional Borg-Warner automatic gearbox (except in the US), a new rear axle, and an alternator in place of the dynamo with a change to a negative earth system. To accommodate the new gearboxes there were significant changes to the sheet metal in the floorpan, and a new flat-topped transmission tunnel.
To meet US safety regulations for the 1968 model year, the MGB received a plastic and foam rubber covered "safety" dashboard, dubbed the "Abingdon pillow", and dual circuit brakes. Other markets continued with the steel dashboard. Rubery Owen RoStyle wheels were introduced to replace the previous pressed steel versions in 1969 and reclining seats were standardized.
1969 also saw three windscreen wipers instead of two (to sweep the required percentage of the glass), high back seats with head restraints and side marker lamps. The next year saw a new front grille, recessed, in black aluminium. The more traditional-looking polished grille returned in 1973 with a black "honeycomb" insert. In North America, 1970 saw split rear bumpers with the number-plate in between, 1971-1974 returned to the earlier single-piece full-length style chrome bumper.
Further changes in 1972 were to the interior with a new fascia.
To meet impact regulations, 1974 US models had the chrome bumper over-riders replaced with oversized rubber ones, nicknamed "Sabrinas" after the British actress. In the second half of 1974 the chrome bumpers were replaced altogether. A new, steel-reinforced black rubber bumper at the front incorporated the grille area as well, giving a major restyling to the B's nose, and a matching rear bumper completed the change.
New US headlight height regulations also meant that the headlamps were too low. Rather than redesign the front of the car, British Leyland raised the car's suspension by 1-inch (25 mm). This, in combination with the new, far heavier bumpers, resulted in significantly poorer handling. For the 1975 model year only, the front anti-roll bar was deleted as a cost-saving measure (though still available as an option). The damage done by the British Leyland response to US legislation was partially alleviated by revisions to the suspension geometry in 1977, when a rear anti-roll bar was made standard equipment on all models. US emissions regulations also reduced horsepower.
In March 1979 British Leyland started the production of black painted limited edition MGB roadsters for the US market, meant for a total of 500 examples. Due to a high demand for the limited edition model, production ended with 6,682 examples. The UK received bronze-painted roadsters and a silver GT model limited edition. The production run of homemarket limited edition MGBs was split between 421 roadsters and 579 GTs.
The last MGB roadster produced at Abingdon returned to Abingdon County Hall Museum on 1 December, 2011, with the help of British Motor Heritage. It was lifted up 30 feet through a first floor window of the Grade I listed building with inches to spare and now forms part of the collection on display in the main gallery.
Work on a successor for the MGB had been undertaken as long ago as 1968, but British Leyland had ceased work on that project by the end of 1970. When the Abingdon factory finally closed in late 1980, British Leyland did not replace it.
Every year I enjoy the great Italian hospitality from the organizator of Circuito Di Aezzano mr. Felice Graziani othis is one of his classics,this is an MG MGB Roadster mk II 1968 in excellent condition produced from 1962 to 1980 and that means it's a very successful production car from Great Britain.