NZ Classic Driver



New from The Crowood Press, David Knowles has written a truly comprehens­ive history of the MGB. Knowles is no newcomer to the MGB – over the years I’ve reviewed two other books on the same subject from him – but in this new and incredibly detailed book, Knowles gathers up all this previous knowledge of the MGB and manages to pack in even more detail, a lot of which will be new even for outand-out MGB enthusiast­s. For instance, in 1962 Renault filed a complaint to the effect that the MGB’s iconic headlamp nacelle design had been stolen from the French automaker’s Caravelle/Floride coupé and roadster. At the time, MG pooh-poohed the very idea. However, Knowles has since unearthed a photo of a Floride taken at the Geneva Motor Show by John O’Neill – a member of the MGB developmen­t team – on which Syd Enever had penciled in his idea of a future MGB grille!

The book covers a huge history - from the design team’s initial thoughts on a successor to the MGA, the Pininfarin­a-designed GT, the V8 models including the limited production RV8, through to the failed interlude with Aston Martin, the political shenanigan­s brought by MG’s later involvemen­t with BMC and British Leyland and, sadly, the final auction of the MG factory contents in March 1981. All the highs – and all the lows – everything’s included. Even if you own Knowles’ previous books on the MGB, you’ll want to add this definitive new volume to your collection.

[Many thanks to Ian Grant of the MG Car Club for the loan of his copy of MGB: The Superlativ­e MG (ISBN 978 1 78500 941 9 RRP $99.95]

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