In the early 1960’s, MG was looking to make a car that would replace their MGA that would be better than their rival Triumph’s TR. When they came up with the MGB sports car in 1962, they found what they were looking for.
This 4-cylinder roadster had a more modern design using a monocoque structure instead of the traditional body-on-frame that the MGA and Triumph TR still used. The fact that it was lightweight helped keep production cost down, but also provided overall vehicle strength. The MGB was the first vehicle to feature a controlled crumple-zone, as well, which protected the driver and passenger when in an accident where they were traveling at 30mph and hit an immovable barrier. This was good because with its 3-bearing 1298cc B-Series engine that produced 95hp @ 5400rpm, this car could do from 0-60 in around 11 seconds. Handling was also something that was a strong point for the vehicle. Wind up windows, a parcel shelf and lots of leg room were standard on the MGBs, as well as 3 windshield wipers on the American imports because the windscreen was so low and wide. Most of these were exported to the United States.
In 1964, the MGBs engine was upgraded to a 5-bearing engine and in 1965 a 2+2 seating option was added called the MGB GT. This one had a fixed roof and a sporty “hatchback” style. The 2+2 seating was a right-angled bench seat that allowed more luggage space. This was slightly slower than the roadster due to the weight that was added. In 1967, the six-cylinder MGC was produced and it eventually was fitted with the Buick Rover aluminum-block V8 engine (73-76). This engine type was never exported to the US.
MGB/MGC production continued through October of 1980, even though owners changed from British Motor Corporation to British Motor Holdings and finally to British Leyland Motor Company. 523,836 MGB models were made, even though they ceased exports to America in 1974, due to the new emission rules.