1969 MGB GT

This 1969 MGB GT is built from the ground up for real-world drivability, while staying true to the MGB aesthetic.

Extensive modifications and alterations made this MGB V8 the comfortable tourer it is today.

Beginning in the summer of 1998, owner John Ulrich and Terry Worick Restorations gave this 1969 MGB GT a naked rotissary restoration. Since then, it's toured countless miles and traveled to numerous shows — never on a trailer — clocking 35 MPG trips.

With a 3.08:1 rear end gear ratio and modern V8 power, this MGB is built to cruise, turning a leisurly 2000 RPM at 76 MPH. It makes for a comfortable, quiet cruiser. What road noise there is at highway speed comes from the drip rails and other 1960s touches not found on newer cars.

Good looks, easy roadability, and careful attention to detail may be why the car is a winner in its class at the Kansas City All British Car and Cycle Show.

Exterior

The 1969 was the last year with all real chrome badges on the back of the car; later years used plastic.

The original front overriders (vertical bumper bars) were removed, but left in place in back.

Terry sprayed the car its original green color.

The fuel tank was centered to allow for installation of dual exhaust. The flip top fuel filler cap is from a Triumph.

Interior

All GTs came with a suitcase back seat. But John took it out and fabricated a back shelf out of marine-grade plywood. A space saver-spare tire found in a Saab took the place of the car's full-size spare.

A 1977 MG dashboard is trimmed with two additional vents from a TR6 to accomodate the custom-fabricated air conditioning. The HVAC controls are stock from 1977.

The steering wheel comes from a 1980 MG Limited Edition. The cruise control stalk is a stationary add-on.

Seats are courtesy a Mazda Miata.

Drivetrain

This clasic car is propelled by an updated drivetrain, starting with a 1996 Range Rover 4.0 litre, 182 hp V8 engine. (The donor SUV suffered a roll-over in 1998.) The car was fitted with a Borg and Warner T5 transmission.

With a slight cam change and high flow exhaust, the engine makes over 200 hp.

Replacing the original inline four cylinder engine did not make the car heavier. The original 4 cylinder engine weighed in at 397 lbs. compared to 350 lbs. for the Buick rover V8

Special Carroll Shelby wheels were sourced from a Saab. Rear brakes are from a Chevy S10, and the front roters come from a Ford Focus. A machine shop customized the rear end.

Air conditioning is all custom, pulling nothing from the Range Rover. It uses a modern high efficency compressor.

Ignition on the donor engine was originally all electronic. It now uses a conventional system with a distributor cap — John wanted something that can be worked on anywhere with minimal fuss.

Winning Collection

John has owned British cars since 1971. Other cars in his collection are a 1954 Triumph "long door" TR2, a "bug eye" Sprite, and a Triumph TR6. John wishes his collection still included his first car: a 1959 Fiat 600 coup sporting suicide doors.