For $10,000, Could This 1977 MGB V8 Conversion Convert You Into A British Believer?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe MGB rocks a soft top and a saucy Rover V8. Let’s see if its price tag is low enough that you’d let that Rover take over.

You know, back when Saturn—the GM car division, not the planet—was a thing, one of their key differentiators from other auto makers was the offer of no-haggle fixed pricing. Market research had indicated that women were the prime decision makers in the auto purchase process, and also that those women didn’t like haggling over the price.


A later market survey conducted by Saturn found that, while buyers generally liked the no-haggle pricing tactic, they didn’t feel like they got the best deal buying a Saturn since, well, they didn’t get to haggle. Geez Louise, people!

Evidently the seller of yesterday’s sweet 1988 Lincoln Mk VII LSC didn’t see that Saturn report as he offered his one-owner ride for a fixed; no haggle; get out of here with that haggle; I said no haggling; don’t make me hurt your haggle-happy ass $1,995 price tag. And you know what? It worked. Fully 93-percent of you gave that Lincoln a Nice Price win, proving Saturn’s pricing gambit to be a victor, and the current trend away from generously proportioned coupes to be dead wrong.

I’ll tell you something that’s not wrong, and that is small English sports cars with big American or English V8 power. These original hybrids gave us such wonderful and iconic rides as the Shelby Cobra, Sunbeam Tiger, TVR Griffith, Marcos Mantula, Triumph TR8, and for a blink of an eye the MGB GT V8.


Here we have an MGB V8, but it’s not one of those factory GTs. Those were all fixed head coupes, and they ended production in 1976. This 1977 MGB roadster does appropriately sport the Rover V8. That, if you’re up to the penny on your V8 history, was originally a Buick design which was sold to Rover in the mid-sixties, and which found its way into damn near everything in Great Britain save for the Queen’s tea set.

Now, before you get all pearl clutchy over the weight implications of switching out a four banger for a V8, understand that the Rover nee Buick V8 is all aluminium and tips the scales at almost 40 pounds lighter than the MGB’s original cast iron 1.8 litre four.


The lighter engine puts out gobs more power and torque too, although it’s hard to say just how much this one is cranking as it comes with an aftermarket Edelbrock manifold and what is described in the ad as a 1964 4BBL Olds carburetor. Huh? What, was the Holley store closed that day?


Backing up the Rover 3.5 is a T5 five speed out of a Ford product and the in between is a new clutch and throwout bearing. The engine bay looks tidy with proper hose and wire management, and a remote oil filter. A big aluminium radiator with electric fan helps to keep this MGB cool. It’s not something you’d show off at SEMA, but then who the hell wants to go to SEMA? There’s apparently been “[e]xtensive welding on the floor to reinforce it for the large amount of torque” the engine produces.

The only external indication of the V8’s presence is a scoop which seems nicely glassed into the bonnet. The ad claims that “Two large louvers have been installed in the hood to let some of the hot air out.” but honestly, I don’t see them.


What I do see is a respray in a close approximation of British Racing Green and black paint on all the things that should be bright. It is a rubber bumper car which means it rides too high and likely goes around corners like a bar stool. At least it has what looks like Minilites underneath to dress up the open expanses of the wheel wells.

There have been some modifications done to the interior too. The dash shows some Radio Shack toggles where Lucas rockers used to reside. Everything else looks as you would expect it, although the shifter is remarkably short and nubby.


The car is said to have been garaged since 2012. Now whether that means it hasn’t run regularly since then or just that it’s been protected from the weather these past six years is hard to tell. The ad says that the engine rocks 78K but doesn’t say what kind of mileage the car over all carries. Somewhat ominously, the ad lists the car’s condition as “fair.”


It’s now time for you all to decide if this MGB V8’s $10,000 price tag is also fair. What do you think, should someone pony up that much cash for this MGB as it sits? Or, is this a conversion that won’t be converting to sold any time soon at that price?

You decide!


Myrtle Beach, SC Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.