Back then . . . ’79 MGB roadster

The 1979 MGB, a fun vehicle.   Car-from-UK.com Photo

The 1979 MGB, a fun vehicle. Car-from-UK.com Photo

Thirty-five years ago, I reviewed in Denver a British-built 1979 MGB roadster, borrowed from Victor Witanski of Foreign & Sports Cars, 1147 Broadway. Excerpts:

Is British Leyland really about to stop production of the MG sports car, one of the most readily recognized and generally liked names in the British and American auto markets? Production is expected to conclude at the end of the 1980 model run. MGs have been sold in the U.S. since 1948, when the TC model with its cut-down doors was popular. An MG makes you want to forget computers and deadlines and just drive the countryside all day. Good steering response and an easy-shifting 4-speed transmission add to the fun of driving the ’79 MGB convertible. Added to a price of $6,795 for the MGB were an AM/FM 8-track for $275, polyglycoat and undercoat $239, trim rings $48, luggage rack $98, pinstriping $85, preparation and transportation $275 and delivery and handling $95, bringing the total to $7,910. Putting the top up and taking it down, with necessary snapping and unsnapping, will take a few minutes. The low-slung runner is powered by a 110-cubic-inch, 4-cylinder engine with a compression ratio of 8-to-1. On a wheelbase of only 91 inches, the car weighs 2,410 pounds, and has a turning circle of 32 feet. The MG TC’s introduction into the U.S. was followed in late 1949 by the TD; then came the TF (1953-55) and the MGA, which was succeeded by the MGB in 1962.