As much as I love modern cars, I’ve always been more inclined to contemporary automobiles of the past. I’d like to admit that some of the best cars to me come from the UK and circles around the period of the 1960’s up till the 1980’s. Examples like the AC Cobras and TVR M-Series and the Triumph TR range and the painfully beautiful Jaguar E-types come to mind and oh my, I could go on and on. But amongst the many greats comes also from a manufacturer called Morris Garages, otherwise known as MG.
Todays articles features an MG from the BMC era, a 1965 MG B GT. Developed to meet the demand of consumers who wanted passenger comfort and sensible load-carrying capacity, the Pininfarina designers gave it a beautiful greenhouse hatchback to make it a complete sportscar. This particular example is owned by Victor Cheong’s and his father and was with their family since the 90’s. A racing family, Cheong senior raced them back in the hey day and has owned other variants of MG’s such as a Mark 1 and Mark 2 MG Midget.
During its tenure with the Cheong family, it underwent a refresh to the body and and a few updates was applied as the previous owner prior was a classic car collector so it was always kept in impeccable condition mechanically and physically.
Powered by the 1.8 liter BMC B-Series that carried the 5 bearing crankshaft, it produced 95bhp peaking at 5400rpm redline at 6000rpm carrying as much as 150NM of torque. Not much in today’s standard but a whole lot of fun in a car that weighs 940kg. It breathes thru twin 38mm SU-Carburettors which is a bonus as the US-spec cars were fitted with a more restricting single Stromberg unit. The block underwent a rebuild via blueprinting and balancing accompanied by a mild porting and polish. A group of oversized pistons were also thrown in for good measure. It was then jetted and tuned for response rather than horsepower figures. Victor mentions that its easy to source parts as there are many aftermarket support for these cars and they still make OEM parts till this day.
Stepping in, the interior is standard thru-out with refurbishment done to the seats and door placards. Its also a nice change from the digital readouts we’re so accustomed to with analog meters garnishing the dashboard and toggle switches here and there.
It’s intoxicating being here, the smell of fuel mixed with leather reminds me of race cars of old. Its also a nice place to be in with a long swooping nose in front reminding you that you’re in something special.
The gearbox is the standard 4-speed that comes with a straight-cut gear on the 1st cog. Notice the wooden gear-knob, reminds me of those golf ball gearknobs you find in old VW Golfs. The gearbox has received new synchros, bearings and and gears as part of its refurbishment plan.
Creature comforts include an air-conditioner. I’d totally the support the idea of a radio delete as I’ve done it in a few cars I’ve owned and it doesn’t distract me from the most important aspect of these cars, the driving experience. There’s nothing like the sound of a buzzy 4-cylinder and a winding road to give you driving nirvana.
The body underwent a bare metal respray and was painted in the signature MG red. It was done by the same shop that cared for the cars of Team Meritus and is noted for doing many classic cars in Malaysia.
The only resto-mod is a pair of Halogen lamps fitted to the car as I’m guessing the original sealed units has the candescent power of candles. Not exactly a good idea for fast road driving. As you can see the originality is kept as the rest of the car ie suspension, brakes and chassis is kept standard as it’s also a daily driver for the Cheong family.
Its lovely to see that a family such as Victors share a common love for cars and that its evident in the examples they have and own like this MG. There’s nothing like a vintage sportscar to bring a family closer because as they say, a family that races together, stays together.
Merry Xmas, everybody!
MGB GT specification:
Car: 1965 MGB GT
BMC B Series 5 bearing engine
Fully balanced and blueprinted engine
Mild port and polished cylinder head
0.20″ oversized pistons.
Factory twin SU HS4 carburetor
Engine Bay Accessories
Custom tuned needles and jets for response
Restored wiring loom
Rebuilt gearbox with new bearing, gears and synchronizer
Braided brake line
Braided brake line
Bare metal restoration
A/C system retrofit
H4 headlight with 100W relay
Wheel & Tyre
Front and Rear