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Timewarp 1981 MGB with 77 MILES could be yours for £30k

A time-capsule 1981 MGB Roadster that’s been driven a mere 77 miles in four decades is being offered in a live auction taking place now, with a guide price of £30,000.

The British classic car is an LE version – standing for Limited Edition – of which just 420 were produced as a celebration of the British marque’s past.

It was the last example of the famed MGB, which had a successful 18-year-long production run, with half a million of the drop-top motors built in that time. 

Car & Classic, the online motor auction specialist selling the vehicle to the highest bidder, says it cannot have been driven for more than a few hours since it was bought 40 years ago and has ‘clearly been stored in a way that has preserved it perfectly’.

The 40 year old virgin: This 1981 MGB Roadster LE has covered a mere 77 miles in its entire existence, surely making it one of the best preserved examples of the popular convertible available today

The online-only auction is running presently and finishes on Wednesday next week (27 October). 

Bidding is currently at £10,000 (at the time of publishing), though the reserve has not been met. 

A successful winning bid will need to be in the region of the guide price, which is three times higher than the current top offer. 

The MG was originally ordered as one of a pair for tyre business, Becon Tyre Group, in Hereford and was delivered in 1981 – likely a year or two after it came off the production line.

Every subsequent owner (though Car & Classic fail to say how many) has meticulously stored it and barely driven the MGB on the road, with the car averaging just 3.85 miles for every year since it left the factory. 

The bronze metallic roadster is the LE version, produced from 1979 to celebrate 50 years of MG at Abingdon before the plant closed in 1980.

It is being sold via an online-only auction hosted by Car & Classic. It is running presently and finishes on Wednesday next week (27 October). The guide price is £30,000

It is being sold via an online-only auction hosted by Car & Classic. It is running presently and finishes on Wednesday next week (27 October). The guide price is £30,000

The LE - standing for Limited Edition - version of the MGB Roadster stood out for having Bronze Metallic paint, a chin spoiler, Triumph Stag-type alloy wheels and a unique livery

The LE – standing for Limited Edition – version of the MGB Roadster stood out for having Bronze Metallic paint, a chin spoiler, Triumph Stag-type alloy wheels and a unique livery

Every subsequent owner has meticulously stored it and barely driven the MGB on the road, with the odometer showing just 77 miles in total. It means the car has averaged just 3.85 miles for every year since it left the factory

Every subsequent owner has meticulously stored it and barely driven the MGB on the road, with the odometer showing just 77 miles in total. It means the car has averaged just 3.85 miles for every year since it left the factory

These cars stood out with its Bronze Metallic paint, chin spoiler, Triumph Stag-type alloy wheels and a unique livery only used for the small run of LE models. 

‘Recognising its historic importance, every effort has been made to keep the Roadster intact as the ultimate example of the last-of-breed,’ says Car & Classic. 

It comes with very limited paperwork, though in this instance this is not due to carelessness but because of the extremely low number of miles the car has been driven. 

Very few invoices and no stamps on the original service book are explained by the Roadster not needing a service (yet) and just the occasional fluid change carried out by its keepers.

The period orange and brown cloth seats looks as good as new, as does the rest of the cabin with no signs of fade or wear anywhere inside

The period orange and brown cloth seats looks as good as new, as does the rest of the cabin with no signs of fade or wear anywhere inside

The he 1.8-litre four-cylinder powerplant produced a respectable 97bhp when new

The he 1.8-litre four-cylinder powerplant produced a respectable 97bhp when new

The engine should be in perfect running order, with the 1.8-litre four-cylinder powerplant producing a respectable 97bhp when new.

In terms of performance, MG quoted at the time of production a 0-to-60mph acceleration time of 14 seconds and a top speed of 105mph for the LE. 

The documents accompanying this piece of untouched history are almost as unique as the car itself: the original owners’ pack, a supercover registration card and handbook, the limited edition certificate listing chassis and engine numbers, and two MOT certificates (1999 and 2000) have been kept alongside the spare keys and even an unopened envelope with radio-mounting kit. 

Original equipment includes matching spare wheel, still-packaged jack and tools, and a full tonneau cover – which has probably never seen the light of day given the car’s little use outside.

MG quoted at the time a 0-to-60mph of 14 seconds and a top speed of 105mph.

MG quoted at the time a 0-to-60mph of 14 seconds and a top speed of 105mph.

Just 420 LE versions of the MGB Roadster were made. It was produced from 1979 to celebrate 50 years of MG at Abingdon before the plant closed in 1980

Just 420 LE versions of the MGB Roadster were made. It was produced from 1979 to celebrate 50 years of MG at Abingdon before the plant closed in 1980

Car & Classic head of editorial, Chris Pollitt, said this particular version stands out for its characteristic 1970s looks and Metallic Bronze paint that’s without blemish.

The period orange and brown cloth seats looks as good as new, as do the unfaded black bumpers. 

Its Uniroyal tyres are likely those that the MG left the factory with.

‘A car with 77 miles on the clock cannot have been driven for more than a few hours since it was bought in 1981, but it is also clear that it has been stored in a way that has preserved it perfectly,’ Pollitt said. 

‘Mechanically, nothing has been altered as you can see when you lift the bonnet, and the immaculate engine bay looks untouched. We think that this is a great collector car, especially with few Limited Edition Roadsters still in circulation.’ 

If you want to get your hands on this preserved piece of British motoring history, you might need to act fast – and be prepared to face some competition. 

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