Lot 277 - 1976 12990 B GTS Sebring
|Estimate||£22,000 - £26,000|
|Result||Sold - £21,840|
MG began offering the MGB GT V8 in 1973 utilising the ubiquitous aluminium-block 3528cc Rover V8 engine. This engine had been used in the A-body platform Buick Special and Oldsmobile F-85 and was the lightest mass-production V8 in the world. Some improvements were made by MG-Rover and the engine found a long-lived niche in the British motor industry.
These MG factory V8 cars were similar to those already being produced in significant volume by tuner, Ken Costello. MG even contracted Ken to build them a prototype MGB GT V8. Only GT versions of the V8-powered MGB were produced by the factory with production ending in 1976 and 2591 examples made.
Details held by the MG V8 register show that this 1976 factory car (with V8 register number 2872) was originally delivered in Chartreuse Yellow with black interior and registered as OKE 485P at Maidstone and invoiced to an agent in Dartford. It has been with the current owner for over 10 years and was used as his 'daily driver' in standard form then, during 2009/2010, it underwent a transformation into the Sebring GTS bodied version it is today. OKE 485P is now painted in a combination of a British Racing Green exterior and a red interior; this dual colour theme was inspired by the paintwork of the MGC Sebring race car MBL 546E from the 1960's.
It now sits low to the ground on an unmarked set of 15" Compomotive ML alloy wheels wrapped with Dunlop Formula-R 225x55 tyres. Its front wings, rear arches and rear valence are GRP. The 'C' bonnet is aluminium as is the MG Motorsport 'works' style front valence that incorporates front brake cooling ducts and oil cooler grille.
During the transformation all bodywork was inspected and repaired or replaced where required and, as a matter of course, both sills were replaced. All electrical wiring and fuel lines were replaced and re-routed internally. The fuel tank was also repositioned internally and now fed via the Le Mans style filler on the C-pillar. All rubber window and door seals were renewed, and new suspension bushes, new lower springs all round, new brightwork, new door handles, new door locks, new headlights and new backdated rear lights together with a genuine Lucas reversing lamp and bespoke front grill, go together to give this car its individual look.
Its original 3.5 litre, V8 was disassembled, cleaned, rebuilt (including a new timing chain) and repainted. It now breathes in through K&N performance filters and out via a twin exhaust system giving the car its unique V8 soundtrack. Engine cooling is supplied via the 'twin yellow' electric fans. The original factory fitted four- speed manual gearbox has a fully working overdrive available on fourth gear.
The interior is stripped of all unnecessary carpets, headlining, padding etc, however, the new leather sports reclining seats and headrests make for a comfortable cabin to be in with the occupants secured in four-point Luke harnesses. A working heater and heated rear screen also make this a usable car when the temperature drops. Additional features to the interior include an access panel to the overdrive unit, a voltage meter, separate water temperature and oil pressure gauges, a battery cut off switch and easy access to the battery, fuel pump and fuse box. With the car kept garaged and used minimally, the condition is fabulous. Supplied with an MoT test certificate valid until February 2014, it is certainly ready to get in, drive and enjoyed.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.