New Zealand Classic Car - - Automobilia -

Jonathan Wood and Lionel Bur­rell Pub­lished 2018 by Ve­loce, which sup­plied the re­view copy ISBN 978-1-787113-62-6 Re­view by Mark Hol­man

This book first ap­peared in 1988; this fourth edi­tion has been up­dated, and now runs to 256 large pages with plenty of pho­tos and some lovely colour il­lus­tra­tions.

Messrs Wood and Bur­rell re­ally have given us a very com­pre­hen­sive story of MG’S most suc­cess­ful model, as well as cov­er­ing the de­vel­op­ment of the car it­self. Full credit is paid through­out the book to men such as Syd En­ever and John Thorn­ley, who were cru­cial in bring­ing the B to mar­ket and to fight­ing in MG’S cor­ner dur­ing the fre­quent turf bat­tles within the var­i­ous par­ent com­pa­nies.

As early as 1957, the Ital­ian car­rozziere com­pany Frua pro­vided what I think was an el­e­gant road­ster body on an MGA chas­sis. A num­ber of in-house ver­sions came next, and, by 1960, EX124 was very close to the car that would be in­tro­duced as the MGB in 1962.

More than half a mil­lion MGBS were sold, with far smaller num­bers of the C and V8 vari­ants that also are cov­ered in the book. The BGT came to mar­ket in 1965, and, through­out the model’s long life, there were con­stant up­dates to meet cus­tomer ex­pec­ta­tions and/or reg­u­la­tion changes in key mar­kets — the most ob­vi­ous of these be­ing smog con­trols and the rub­ber bumpers im­posed by US leg­is­la­tion.

The MGB — and, to a lesser ex­tent, the C — proved to be a ver­sa­tile and sur­pris­ingly suc­cess­ful race and rally car, and the 25-page chap­ter on com­pe­ti­tion mod­els cov­ers an­other fas­ci­nat­ing part of the model’s his­tory.

All in all, this in­ter­est­ing and well-writ­ten book should ap­peal to the many MGB own­ers and en­thu­si­asts out there.

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