When I was offered to do a shoot for this truly magnificent British classic I was over the moon, as for a long time now I wanted to discover what all the big fuss with MGs was. People always talk about American classics, JDM classics, dubs, but we rarely talk about British classics even though there is a massive petrolhead community admiring these cars. I must admit I really never had any experience with these cars, so I didn’t know what to expect; however, upon arrival at the shoot I couldn’t believe how stunning this car is and how raw and fun it looks.
This car was built in 1972 as an LHD American export model with factory options like heated rear window and overdrive which is very rare in these. The MGB model was launched by MG Cars in May 1962 in the version of a four cylinder roadster, but a coupe soon followed in 1965. The fixed roof version – MGB GT was launched in October 1965 and was on the production line up to 1980, however export to the States stopped in 1974. Designed by Pininfarina this model was regarded as the sporty hatchback.
An interesting concept of 2+2 seats with right angled rear bench seat provided more space for a lot of luggage than the roadster model. The GT model came with upgraded suspension springs, anti-roll bars and different windscreen from the MGB model.
Robert’s MGB GT has for certain had an interesting history. The first owner took the delivery of the car on November 1972 from the British Leyland distributors in Northern Ireland, W.H. Alexander Ltd. and exported it to the States shortly afterwards. After enjoying the sun and beautiful roads in California, the car arrived back in Northern Ireland in 1986 and soon after was advertised for sale.
Since the Californian sun had taken its toll on the paintwork it received a bare metal repaint and soon after was put in storage until 2003. After all these years in the storage a few rust bubbles had appeared so decision was made to replace both of the two front wings, sills, door skins; interior received some well deserved treatment as well – full seat re-trim in navy colour and new carpets. And again the car got a new coat of paint to bring it back to the former glory.
Other upgrades included five Minator alloys, Moto-Lita steering wheel, Alpine radio cassette, period Lucas driving lamps, Kenlowe electric fan, rear Spax Telescopic conversion, stainless steel exhaust and mudflaps.
I was lucky to do the shoot in one of the last beautiful sunny Northern Irish autumn days where the bronze yellow paintjob just came alive in the afternoon sun. I loved everything about the car – the dials, the switches, the smell of old car interior – it is a proper “in your face” British classic that must be enjoyed with a window rolled down on a sunny day on nice country roads. It is a true gentleman’s car.