The MGB GT LE was built at Abingdon in 1979 and was sadly the last of the MGs to be built at the famous factory before its closure in October 1980.
The big advantage of the GT was that it had most of the attributes of the open top car but could accommodate a family if necessary (i.e. small children – getting an adult in is a bit of challenge but not impossible but that is another story and certainly don’t try a teenager its just too much aggro). The basic shape of the MGB GT remained virtually the same throughout its production life apart from the post 1975 cars sporting impact resistant black bumpers front and rear and it was regarded by many as the best looking sports car of the sixties and seventies.
It was anticipated that the MGB would only have a production life of seven years however the car survived three major corporate reorganisations through from the the then British Motor Corporation, several strikes and numerous senior management ultimately becoming BL Cars in 1978.
Over 70% of Abingdon production went to the United States and when this market went into decline and with no suitable replacement model in the wings MGB production sadly stopped in 1980
When launched the MGB was an all-new car in many respects and was distinguished by its unitary body and chassis structure.
The GT version, designated EX 227, a very stylish 3 door hatchback and often referred to as ‘the poor man’s Aston Martin’ did not appear until the Autumn of 1965 and went on sale at £998 which was £143 more than the Roadster. The GT gave considerably more accommodation than the Roadster with an occasional rear seat that would carry pre-teenage children and fold down to give a very usable load/luggage platform. With the additional weight of 251 lbs, the GT was not such a good performer as the Roadster in terms of acceleration, but its aerodynamics gave it a slippy higher top speed of over 1OO mph. Overall it was an is a more practical sports car.
You might be surprised to know The Italian design studio of Pininfarina were responsible for the GTs elegant lines and it was one of the first mass production cars to benefit from the newly developed computer aided design techniques… what technology and not a ECU in sight.
The GT carried on in volume production right up until 1980 and the Limited Edition GT featured was mainly produced to celebrate 50 years of production
The ‘end of the line’ MGBs were fitted with the choice of distinctive alloy wheels or wire spoke wheels. (212 cars were fitted with alloy wheels and 208 cars had wire wheels). The GT LE was finished in pewter metallic with silver side stripes and sported a silver grey interior. A total of 1,000 Limited Edition MGBs were produced, 420 in Roadster form, 580 in GT s with the very last of each model going to the Heritage Trust Museum at Gaydon so you will be in good company
No of cylinders: 4
Power output: 97 bhp @ 5,500rpm.
Maximum Torque: 105 Ib/ft @ 2,500 rpm.
Carburation: Twin SU HIF4.
Transmission: 4 forward speed, 1 reverse all synchromesh.
Clutch: Single dry plate, hydraulically operated.
Suspension: front; coil and wishbone, rear; live axle with leaf springs.
Dampers: Armstrong lever arm front & rear.
Steering: Rack and pinion.
Brakes: Hydraulic with servo assistance, front; 10.75″ dia disc, rear; 10″ dia drum.
Acceleration: 0-60 mph; 14 secs.
Max. speed: 104 mph.