A Classic / The 1980 MGB Roadster

MG got it's name from "Morris Garages Limited which was established in 1910 by William Richard Morris. This Oxford England operation began producing the popular MG automobiles in 1920. In 1935 Morris folded the MG brand into his holding company and then decades later in 2005 the Nanjing Automobile Group purchased the rights to the MG brand and the assets of the MG Rover Group.

mgb roadster

The MGB Roadster

The Successful MG MGB

The MGB was one of the longest lasting MG  models being produced from 1962 through 1980. Some refer to the MGB's as the last real MG's produced.

The engine employed was a 110 cubic inch Inline four cylinder engine delivering as high as 95 horsepower. The engine was essentially an MGA engine bored out to 1.8 liters.

The MG MGB series were known as solid engineered automobiles that were quite sturdy and simple to maintain. In addition to this, the MGB's were relatively inexpensive to buy and operate.

The MGB was introduced in September of 1962 and was the successor to the MG MGA. British Motor Corporation, which also built Austin-Healeys as well as MGs, saw  no reason  to make more than minor modifications to the MGB for many years. Most of the changes had to do with the car's engine which for example utilized a five-main-bearing engine in 1965 that replaced the three-main-bearing design that had come from the earlier MGA.

1980 mgb roadster

1980 MGB Roadster

The MGB was truly a success for Mg. If anything the series stayed around a bit too long since competitors were updating their models since the late 1960's.

The 1980 MGB Roadster

The 1980 MGB Roadster was the last model year for this series. Eighteen years was a long and successful run. MG sold a total of 500,000 of the MGB's over it's very long run. For today's MG enthusiast this means there's plenty of spare parts floating around.

1980 MG MGB Roaster Specifications

As mentioned above, not a lot of changes to the MGB over it's 18 year production period other than with the engine and transmission. The MGB engine continued to be a BMC 100 cubic inch Inline four. The 1962-64 models had three main bearing engines with five main bearing engines coming out in 1965.

A Mark II version of the MGB starting in 1968 had an all synchronized four speed gearbox. The previous MGB had a non-synchronized first gear. The MK II body style was introduced in 1967 and ran through the end of the MGB series in 1980.

Brakes were disc in the front and drums in the rear.

MGB interior and dashboard

MGB Roadster interior and dashboard

MGB specifications were altered much more to meet U.S. safety regulations in the early 1970's. This included a dashboard overlay which hid the glovebox and wasn't really stylish. The engines were detuned which dropped horsepower and torque just about every year thereafter. The U.S. models also got rubber bumpers which didn't help with styling and suspensions were lifted to have the headlights conform to U.S. height standards.

MGB's dimensions include a wheelbase of 91.0 inches, a length of 153.3 inches and a weight of about 2,300 lbs.

See the AutoMuseumOnline articles on the links below...

The 1952 MG TD Roadster

 The 1974 MG BGT V-8

Two good reads regarding the MGB includes...MGB: The Racing Story by author John Baggott and MGB: The Complete Story by Brian Laban.

mgb roadster 1980

MGB Roadster

MGB Collector Cars

Formed in 1973, the MG Owners Club is the World's largest single marque car club and is located in the U.K. There are several MG car clubs all around the United States and in Australia. There are a total of about fifteen MG car clubs in Australia alone.

Out of all the MG's produced, one of the very rarest collector MG is the MG K3 Magnette, which can claim to be the most successful of all the MG automobiles. The already popular Magna series was complimented by the addition of what was to be known as the K series Magnettes. There was a K1 and a K2 model but neither appeared at the same time as the MG K3. The K3 was designed at MG's racing department and prototypes were put together there. When production began two of the K3's were entered in European competition. The K3 was produced from 1933 through 1934 and only 33 were built. Obviously a very rare car.

The MGB is a great car for starter collections in as much as they are relatively inexpensive. The values are said to be creeping up as more collectors enter the market. As years go by less expertly restored models are for sale thereby pushing prices up. 1980 MGB's will likely be priced in the $6,000 to $12,000 range depending of course on condition, degree of restoration, exact model and whether rust is a factor.

(Articles and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)




1986 Rolls Royce Corniche Convertible

It all started with an engineer named Frederick Henry Royce, and Charles Stewart Rolls also an engineer. In Rolls case he was also an automobile dealer. As they say, the rest is history and the car brand is one of the most recognizable in the world.

1986 Rolls Royce Corniche II

1986 Rolls Royce Corniche II

The Rolls Royce automobiles might be some of the top collector's car's you'll come across. This is not only because of the high prices asked and received for classic and vintage Rolls on car auction sites but also because of the superior workmanship put into the cars. Where else could you possibly find the distinctive Rolls Royce grille? Everything about the Rolls Royce automobiles meant power, wealth and superior craftsmanship. In short, it stood for status. Probably still does. A 2013 Rolls-Royce Phanton Drophead Coupe V-12 with an eight speed automatic transmission has a sticker price of $475,000.

The Spirit of Ecstasy

What other automobile has such a distinctive hood ornament as the "Spirit of Ecstasy"? This is the hood ornament that is synonymous with Rolls Royce. In the U.S. the ornament is often referred to as the "Flying Lady". The ornaments began appearing on top of Rolls radiators after 1910 as an option (almost every car had it) and in the early 1920's it became standard equipment.

Rolls-Royce grille and "Spirit of Ecstasy" ornament

Rolls-Royce grille and "Spirit of Ecstasy" ornament

Rolls Royce and BMW

The 1986 Rolls Royce Corniche Convertible features in this article is one of those cars. Rolls Royce Limited, which began operations in 1904 and also then known as the C.S. Rolls & Company, was absorbed by BMW in 1999 and now goes by the name of Rolls Royce Motor Company. The effect of this meant that the older Rolls vehicles, the ones manufactured prior to the BMW takeover, have risen in value. The feeling is, right or wrong but probably right, is that the older Rolls Royce automobiles were more skillfully built. While Rolls Royce cars are still being built and sold, the era of the company, at the time the 1986 Rolls Royce Corniche was manufactured, is now part of history.

Rolls Royce and Bentley

Bentley Motors Limited, started in 1919, was acquired by Rolls Royce in 1931. This acquisition no doubt was a result of the consolidation taking place due to the onset of the worldwide Great Depression. because of this merger many of the vehicles going forward, especially after the end of World War Two, had both Rolls Royce and Bentley characteristics.

1986 Rolls-Royce

1986 Rolls-Royce

Bentley eventually was acquired by the German Volkswagen Group in 1998, one year prior to Rolls being taken over by BMW.

The 1986 Rolls Royce Corniche

The Rolls Corniche began production in 1971 and continued until 1995. The Corniche replaced the popular Rolls Royce Silver Shadow. The two door version of the Silver Shadow became the Corniche. From 1992 forward the Corniche model was built only as a convertible.

The Rolls Royce Corniche II was sold in the American market beginning with the 1986 model. The Rolls Corniche II was and is a very impressive looking automobile. In fact, what older Rolls Royce cars were not?

1986 Rolls Royce Corniche II Specifications

The power plant for the 1986 Rolls Corniche was a standard 6.8 litre Rolls Royce V-8 engine with 16 valves, two per cylinder. The engine used aluminum alloy cylinder heads and delivered 256 horsepower. As a side note, the first Rolls Royce engine was a four cylinder delivering 20 horsepower.

Transmission was a three speed automatic.

Suspension was independent with front and rear coil springs.

1986 Rolls Corniche Convertible

1986 Rolls Corniche Convertible

The 1986 Rolls Royce Corniche II had a wheelbase of 120.5 inches, a length of 204.6 inches, a width of 72.3 inches and a height of 58.5 inches. The car's weight was about 5,200 lbs.

Below are links to our photo articles on the 1927 Rolls Royce Phantom One and the luxurious 1933 Duesenberg Model J...

1927 Rolls Royce Phantom One

1933 Duesenberg Model J


Classic Rolls Royce Auction Prices

In short, you'll find classic Rolls Royce automobiles at a variety of prices, all high. As of this writing asking prices for the 1986 Rolls Royce Corniche  II range from about $60,000 to $90,000. Another 1986 Corniche is listed for just under $60,000. Both of these vehicles are listed at under 45,000 miles on the odometer. Mileage and overall condition inside and out will obviously influence the auction asking price. A 1984 Corniche I has been listed at $45,000 and a 1985 model at just under $40,000.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)




1989 Lamborghini Countach


If you're looking for luxury sports cars you might look for a sleek Lamborghini. Lamborghini is an Italian automaker which operates as a subsidiary of Audi which itself is owned by Volkswagen.  Audi took over Lamborghini in 1998 from a group of Malaysian investors who themselves had taken over the company from Chrysler.

1989 Lamborghini Countach

1989 Lamborghini Countach

The 1989 Lamborghini Countach featured in this article is a rare classic car indeed. It's an extremely recognizable luxury high power car. It's a car you've no doubt seen in a few motion pictures.


Lamborghini started production in 1963. Ferruccio Lamborghini desired to produce what people would characterize as the ultimate driving machine. There are quite a few that would agree that he achieved his goal. In a lot of ways everything about the Lamborghini is about power and speed.

Ferruccio  Lamborghini was wealthy even prior to building his factory for the production of luxury sports cars. After World War One he founded a successful tractor factory. His auto factory Sant’Agata Bolognese was built to essentially to compete against Ferrari. Many at the time thought that the decision was unwise and that he stood a chance of losing his fortune. Obviously Ferruccio  Lamborghini made a huge success of his company. Over the years the company changed ownership three times but still to this very day the Lamborghini brand today is at the forefront of luxury super sports car production.

1989 Lamborghini

1989 Lamborghini

Lamborghini Styling

The unique and sleek styling for the Lamborghini Countach can be credited to stylist Marcello Gandini. One of the popular stories about the Lamborghini Countach is that, when designing the car, Gandini was considered relatively new to the field of auto design.

Gandini gave the Countach it's distinctive scissor doors and it's Formula One style wing. This rear spoiler was optional but certainly provided better handling a higher speeds. The first series of Countach's were the LP400 followed by the LP400S in 1978. The LP-400 is thought to have the least drag of any of the Countach's. In 1982 the models were called the LP500's with increased engine power. After that were the LP500S.

Lamborghini Countach door

Lamborghini Countach door

The electric fans and the air ducts on the rear portion of the car help keep the engine cool and they obviously look good. These add a lot to the race car look.

The cars built for the U.S. market had to have some modifications. One such modification were larger front and rear bumpers. This of course took a bit out of the sleek front design but nevertheless Marcello Gandini ended up designing one of the most popular super sports cars, and in many ways race cars, in the history of auto design.

1989 Lamborghini Countach Specifications

The 1989 Lamborghini Countach was built with a V-12 315.8 cui displacement engine delivering  420 horsepower.This was the car built for the American market which also included a fuel injection system as opposed to it's original six carburetors. This is what brought down the U.S. version to the 420 HP. The European model with the six carburetors reportedly could produce 455 HP.

Lamborghini Countach

Lamborghini Countach

Transmission is a five speed manual.

The cars length comes in at 176.4 inches and the wheelbase is 96.5 inches.

Links below are to three additional AutoMuseumOnline photo articles you'll find interesting.

Shelby GT500 Super Snake

Auburn Boattail Speedster

2004 Lamborghini Gallardo


According to factory information the top speed for the 1989 Lamborghini Countance is about 183 MPH and the car can go from zero to sixty MPH in 4.7 seconds. Average MPG comes in at about 12.5. This MPG of course will vary widely depending on how you drive it. The zero to sixty time and the top speed is a bit better with the European models.

Lamborghini Logo

Lamborghini Logo

Front suspension is comprised of unequal-length Independent double wishbones, coil springs over double gas dampers and anti-roll bar. The rear suspension is put together withuUpper lateral links, lower A-arms, upper/lower trailing arms, dual coil springs over double gas dampers and anti-roll bar

Total production for the years the car was produced, 1974 to 1990 was 2,042. When 1991 came along the Countach was replaced by the Lamborghini Diablo.

(Photos from author's collection)