DRIVE MGB

JOHN BOWE

“I REMEMBER when I was a kid, my father used to reckon these weren’t a real MG. He came from the old-school square-rigged MG days – MGTDs and the like – and they’d only just gotten used to the MGA!

So when the MGB came along it was like: ‘Oh! Well, we can’t have this!’

“But they’re a great car to drive. They’re very simple with a pushrod engine, an iron head, twin SUs. It has a great little gearshift; it has all the elements, all the recipe is there for a great 1960s sports car.

The exhaust has a terrific note. Really, one of the greatest achievements of the British Motor Industry is the MGB’s exhaust note!

There’s just something about it; it has a lovely timbre to it.

“On the road, this one has a tight and tidy feel without a squeak or rattle in it. It has something of a vintage feel to it, especially after you’ve just jumped out of the MX-5; even though they’re both open roadsters, and one inspired the other, there’s no confusing the two! The steering gives good feel because it’s a rack and pinion system when most cars still had recirculating ball systems.

“Some cars of this era are quite difficult to drive; they have compromises that diminish the enjoyment.

Plus, they’re difficult to look after. This one is neither, it’s a terrific way to enjoy wind-in-the hair motoring for not-stupid money.”