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MGB Roadster (last of line), 1980

Image copyright © BMIHT
British Leyland
Location Made
Accession Number
BMIHT Vehicle Collection
Permanent collection
4 cyl, 1798 cc, 84 bhp
Top Speed
99 mph (159 km/h)
Body Style
Price When New
not quoted
metal, rubber, plastics, textiles
3886mm (l), 1524mm (w), 1270mm (h)
Not on Display

From the moment the MGB was introduced in 1962, it was extremely successful, especially in the important North American export market. It enjoyed an 18-year production run, with over 512,880 MGBs built in total of which 125,621 were GT models. Thus it was the best selling British sports car ever.

Power came from the venerable 1.8 litre B-series engine, coupled to a four speed gearbox with overdrive. It is also fitted with the rubber bumpers which replaced the original chrome bumpers in 1974 to satisfy US federal laws.

This particular car, in common with the other 999 cars in the final batch, is a Limited Edition model with special paint work, coachlining and wheels. This example is finished in metallic bronze with cast alloy wheels. The car came off the Abingdon assembly line on 22nd October 1980 and is the very last MGB Roadster to be built.

With Abingdon forever considered to be the home of MG, this car is now on display at the Abingdon County Hall Museum. It wasn't just a simple matter of putting the vehicle on show however. The display area at the museum is on the second floor of a historic building with winding stairs and no good way to get a full-sized car, even a small one like an MGB, into place.

The MGB had to have its wheels and windscreen removed to reduce the profile, and the engine and gearbox removed to reduce weight. Then it had to be strapped on its side and hoisted, rolled, and otherwise manhandled through a second story window. Oh, then it had to be reassembled in place...

On Loan to Abingdon Museum