While the MGB was close in shape to the MGA that it replaced, the principal difference was the construction. Instead of a heavy frame and chassis, the new car, the 1962 MG MGB was an entirely new, sturdy monocoque construction that despite early fears, turned out into a car that drove beautifully and safely. Available in both coupe and convertible configurations, the MGB was regularly updated to current tastes and fashion without losing its soul; it was also updated mechanically to keep up with the times, such as a new syncromesh transmission, or even an automatic in 1967. Their classic appearance was ruined with the introduction, in 1974, of the black bumpers and higher riding height, to keep the cars road-legal in the United States. This also ruined the handling.
The was nothing embarrassing about the MGB’s road demeanor and power, to the contrary. It was powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 95 horsepower, more than enough to push this stylish coupe or convertible to a top speed of 106 miles per hour. Acceleration was a reasonable, if not eye-popping 12 seconds to 60 mph.
The MGB stayed in production until 1980, when it was cancelled in a vast rash of terminations at British Leyland. It survived until then with only minor changes, except for those noted above. The MG MGB was a remarkable car, and for a while, one of the only real options for an open top sports car.