On this day in auto history - October 23rd

Sat 23rd Oct 2021

It was on this day in 1980 that production ceased on the iconic MGB - the most commercially successful British-built sports car ever.

Introduced in 1962 by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) under the MG banner to replace the hugely popular but outdated MGA, the soft-top roadster made its debut at the Earls Court Motor Show to considerable praise and quickly became the sports car of choice for the quintessential Englishman.

Different variants were added throughout the 1960’s and 70’s - not all of them universally well-received - but the MGB brand remained a highly desirable car due to its handsome styling, effortless cruising speed and relative affordability.

The MGB’s decline was precipitated by British Leyland politics in the early 70’s. As an Austin-Morris offshoot, it was largely neglected in favour of developing more upmarket Triumph and Jaguar models and essentially withered on the vine during the late 1970’s until the plug was finally pulled in 1980 in line with the closure of BL’s Abingdon plant.

In all, combined sales of MGB variants totalled just shy of 600,000 units and restored models remain in high demand amongst classic car enthusiasts today.