This MGB GT V8 SEC Is A Forgotten Piece Of British Motoring
Built between 1965 and 1980, the MGB GT is a cheap and cheerful classic coupe, albeit one that’s often overshadowed by its soft-top MGB sibling. They’re not exactly rare either, and finding one in decent shape for a relative pittance is hardly the biggest challenge for classic car enthusiasts.
And then there’s this 1981 MG MGB GT V8 SEC.
When British Leyland ended production of the MGB in 1980, the MG Owners’ Club had other ideas. It asked Mallalieu Cars and its successor Abingdon Classic Cars to take five of the remaining unsold MGBs, and make them ‘a little more special’. Mallalieu, which employed many former MG workers, thus set about upgrading the interior with high-spec leather, walnut and extra sound insulation, adding corrosion protection and upmarket paint to the body, restoring the rubber bumpers to chrome and a host of other improvements. But it was under the hoods of these cars that was really special.
Of the five built, three had a 1.8-litre turbocharged four cylinder, while one Roadster and one GT – the one you see here – were fitted with a Rover 3.5-litre V8 engine and five-speed gearbox. Today, only two of these five cars survive, the other being a turbo Roadster located in Belgium.
This particular SEC – as in ‘Special Edition Classic’ – reads 56,846 miles on the odometer (around 91,500km) and is in amazingly unrestored, original condition, with just a few small blemishes in its black paint. The interior also shows little sign of wear, while the brake system was completely rebuilt when the vendor bought it three years ago. It also comes with a sheaf of historic paperwork, including a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate.
The problem with the SEC vehicles at the time was their prohibitive cost: the added work more than doubled the original price of the donor cars, so today, this SEC is estimated between £28,000 and £40,000 ($35,000 to $50,000 USD).
*Images courtesy of The Market