Original MGB Book Review

The “Original” series, now numbering 15 volumes, has become one of the outstanding references for restorers, archivists, and enthusiasts. “Original MGB,” the most recent addition to the series, is Anders’ fourth contribution.

He writes from a unique position as Archivist for the Heritage Motor Center. Since 1979, he has had access to the records and the people most involved in the British automotive industry and he has used this accessibility to good effect. An automotive stylist with Austin-Rover earlier in his career, he also brings the eye of an artist to his books.

Probably no other single sports car ever had the popular acceptance accorded to the MGB during its 18 years of production. As the author points out in his introduction, there are more pages and pictures in this book than in any other in the “Original” series, and this is not hard to understand, with over half-a-million MGBs produced. The list of production changes alone takes up some 12 pages!

Every major assembly in the MGB has a chapter of its own and all are illustrated with an extensive collection of beautifully detailed color photographs. John Colley, who started his career in automotive photography with Rolls Royce, is responsible for the majority of the color work, supplemented by contributions from MGB owners throughout the world.

A great deal of effort was put into finding the best possible example of the car or part that would illustrate a particular model or accessory. Where model or part changes were of a more subtle nature, side-by-side examples have been meticulously photographed and explained.

With so many MGBs in restoration, a question will usually arise concerning paint color and interior trim. Nine pages of charts and text cover all the various color permutations, both paint and upholstery, for the entire MGB production range. One of the most comprehensive paint charts we’ve ever seen also lists original colors and paint manufacturers with part numbers for both British and American companies. For those who are curious about the origins of their cars, the arcane system of numbers and letters that can tell you, with the help of the Heritage files, the exact date your MGB was manufactured, are fully explained.

This is not a dull technical encyclopedia of facts and boring charts. To be certain, there are charts. However, the author uses them in a well-designed book and crisp prose to cleverly involve you in the history of the B and its larger-engined variations. I would wager that there is something new here for even the most avid followers of MGB lore.


Hardbound, 152 pgs. 9 X 12″. 265 color photos. Moss #211-355. “Original MGB with MGC and MGB GT VS.” $34.95.

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