At first glance, this looks like just another recently restored MG BGT, wearing mid-70s U.S. spec rubber bumpers and a set of Minilite wheels. The car seems to be lowered a bit, and it’s not until you take in the rear 3/4 view that your mind starts screaming, “Danger, Will Robinson. Danger!” Are those dual exhausts poking out from under the GT’s rear bumper? Why would anyone in their right mind do a dual exhaust conversion on a car that left the factory with a smog-equipment-choked, 1.8 liter inline four that made about 94 horsepower in U.S trim? And that’s when it hits you: there’s more to this car than meets the eye.
Pop the hood, and you realize that the 1.8 liter four cylinder has been chucked to the curb, in favor of a 266 cubic inch V8. The seller doesn’t make any horsepower claims, since the car is offered as part of an estate sale and intimate details are lacking. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that horsepower is “more than enough to provide hours of entertainment turning tires into smoke”. The V8 conversion, and indeed the restoration of the car itself, appears to be reasonably fresh, top shelf work. That makes the asking price of $21,995 seem rather reasonable for this Hemmings listing, assuming the car drives as good as it looks.
The previous owner probably got the conversion idea from MG, who built a UK-only MG BGT with a 3.5 liter Rover V8 from 1973 to 1976. The aluminum block V8 motor actually weighed some 40 pounds less than the GT’s cast iron four, making the car less nose heavy with the bigger motor than with the original inline four. I suspect that’s the case with this GT as well, and I sure would like to take it for an extended test drive.