When it comes to dream jobs, there’s a lot to choose from. Whether it’s becoming a musician or even a comedian everyone has their dream job. One of those dream jobs for a lot of people is to become a pilot, I mean what exactly is cooler than flying a plane and seeing the world from a completely different perspective? Well, for my good friend Keiran, he is lucky enough to be in a position to be a pilot. Because of this, he needs something a little extra special to drive around in when he’s not in the air. Thankfully for him, he has such a car, a 1971 MGB GT.
Now personally, I love the MGB GT and I always have since the day I first clocked eyes on them but for some reason, I’ve never had the notion to own one. Keiran, on the other hand, had to have one. See like a lot of people, the MGB GT was one of his dream cars. With an E-Type Jaguar out of reach, Keiran settled on his affordable dream car instead, this 1971 MGB GT.
Lovingly named ‘Molly, Keiran has owned this MGB for exactly a year now and as mentioned above it has been a car that he has cherished pretty much all his life. Being around classic cars and immersing yourself in that community is an amazing thing and Keiran has done exactly that, he lives & breaths classic cars. No surprise really when his Dad started up a company manufacturing knock-off spinners & hubs.
Now originally the MGB was a two-door roadster to compete in the ever populated ‘British Sports Car’ craze of the late ’50s & ’60s. rivals included the Triumph TR-series as well as the Sunbeam Alpine. originally powered by an enlarged 1.8l tuned variant of the MGA’s 4-cylinder B-series engine, output was measured at 95bhp & 110 ib-ft torque. By 1965 MG released the MGB GT which was a two-door coupé based on the roadster. With the rear hatch designed by Pininfarina, it certainly looked fantastic and due to it being a coupé it was both weathertight & also benefitted from a large boot area. With later models being both powered from the C-series 3.0 i6 and then the 3.5 Rover V8 unit, there was an engine for everyone.
With this in mind, the MGB GT soon got the title of “Poor Mans Aston Martin” and I can see as to why. See unlike a DB5 or even an E-Type the MG was by far cheaper to buy and run. In fact, in some cases, you could have two MGB’s for the price of one DB5 or E-Type. It wasn’t as if you were even lacking in anything really as even the interior & build quality on the early models were on par with anything considerably more expensive.
Getting back to Keirans car again, his MGB GT is a 1971 MK2 model, you can tell this by the toned-down chrome around the grille and lack of wire wheels. Originally built at the renowned MG Abingdon factory in Oxfordshire, Keiran’s model is a very late MK2 model with the older styled dashboard and center console carried over from the MK1. When the MK3’s were released, the interior, along with some exterior features were changed.
Being an MK2, Keirans car has what is known by MGB people as the “Fish Mouth” grille, named aptly due to its recessed nature. Add in the chrome bonnet trim and it is a very rare feature to see these days. In fact, this grille was the first attempt by MG to break into the American market before regulations changed. by 1974, every MGB was given new black bumpers known as “Rubber Bumpers” due to the material used.
Along with the rubber bumpers, the US cars got their ride height increased by 1.5 inches and also a detuned engine producing a lowly 60bhp. This made the MGB a bit of a flop in the US market when launched which is rather unfortunate.
With every classic car & owner story, Keiran absolutely loves his MGB. Even though he’s only owned the car for 1 year, he says that he feels as if it’s been about 10 years. It evokes a feeling you just don’t get in a modern car, whether that be the smells or even the view you get from behind the steering wheel, owning an MGB is a magical experience to behold. With the long bonnet and the Mota Lita steering wheel that is fitted to Keirans car, it feels special before you even start it up and take it for a drive.
Repair wise, Keiran has done a fair amount to his MGB GT to make it outstanding. These include a new stainless steel exhaust system fitted, re-chromed bumpers as well as numerous mechanical parts fitted. Mechanically speaking he has replaced the condenser, fuel pump, fuel sender & rocker cover to make sure that the 1.8 B-Series purrs along nicely and doesn’t give him any untoward aggro.
In the year of ownership, Keiran hasn’t been afraid of using his car to its full potential, trips have included a convoy around the Peak District with his mate and their S1 Jaguar E-Type. It’s recently been on show at this year’s NEC Classic Car Motor Show down in Birmingham which is a massive car show here in the UK. On top of that, it has also been driven around the BBC’s ‘Peaky Blinders’ set which is undeniably cool. It has also spent some time driving around the Black Country Museum as well.
Next year, Keiran wants to take it on even more adventures, these include the Beaulieu National Motor Museum as well as the small village of Goathland on the Yorkshire moors. Goathland for people who don’t know was the home of the TV Drama Heartbeat which also happens to be one of Keiran’s favorite TV programs.
Even though Keiran is only 21, he is already a committee member of the MG MG Car Club Young Members Branch where owners and young enthusiasts of both classic & modern MGs under the age of 25 can come together to enjoy these cars. With a lot of young people not getting into classic cars, Keiran and his branch try their utmost to keep the classic car scene alive by getting members to sign up. Simply put, if no one does anything, these cars and the scene that comes with them will simply disappear into the history books if nothing is done about it. Keiran is so passionate about classics that he will take 5 or so minutes out of his day simply to let people come up and chat about his car to passers-by.
For anyone wanting to look into buying a classic car and are considering an MGB, go and take a look at the ‘MG Car Club Young Members Branch’ as you’ll find a lot of like-minded people who’ll take you under their wing so to speak and help you out with anything you may need.
Hope you Enjoy!
By Alex Jebson