Rare Special Edition: 1967 MGB GT

The GT was a fixed-roof variant of the MGB roadster built between 1965-80. It not only had a back seat but also was a hatchback, something new at the time. We understand that BMC (British Motor Corp.) wanted to celebrate the car’s first anniversary of being sold in the U.S., so kits were provided to dealers to create 1,000 Special Editions based on 1967 models. This GT Special is one of those cars and appears to be a restoration that was never completed. It’s being offered without an installed drivetrain from Livermore, California, and here on eBay. The no reserve auction currently stands at $3,850.

Replacing the MGA in 1962, the MGB (including the MGB GT) would see more than a half-million copies made over the next 18 years. The GT joined the line-up three years later and would be a popular export to the U.S. until 1974 (changing U.S. safety standards made them increasingly difficult to bring in). The GT’s greenhouse was designed by Pininfarina and – by combining the sloping rear window with the rear deck lid – the GT offered the utility of a station wagon while keeping the style and shape of a coupe. This provided for a 2+2 seating configuration and more luggage space than in the roadster. In 2019, Road & Track named the GT one of “16 of Pininfarina’s Most Beautiful Designs That Aren’t Ferraris.”

According to the seller and online sources, the GT Special was a promotional car sold by U.S. retailers in 1967. These were not separate factory models but presented by dealers with several no-cost options that were built into the “sticker” price. That included wire wheels, leather upholstery, racing mirrors, special steering wheel and gearshift knob, and fender badging. This package could be added to any stock MGB GT, which is said to have included the seller’s car.

As the story goes, this MGB GT was stored in a climate-controlled area for several years by its previous owner. At some point, the 4-cylinder engine and 4-speed manual transmission were removed by said owner in anticipation of a rebuild, but their whereabouts are uncertain. The mileage is said to be under 23,000, but that cannot be verified although the seller thinks it’s correct. Supporting that assumption is that the car still wears some old bias-ply tires which are bound to be as hard as rocks by now.

An appeal this car has is its apparent lack of corrosion, something common to 1960s British sports cars. There is some surface rust on the undercarriage, but the photos show nothing alarming. Although the car was repainted at some point (original British Racing Green), we’re told there are some slight indentations in the “bonnet” that are hard to see. The chrome pieces look good, although some side trim has a few little dings. The interior looks good for the most part, though the carpeting may be faded and loose in spots. The headliner has been replaced.

The car comes with boxes of parts to help finish the project. This includes two engines and one transmission, but we don’t know if any of them or original to the car. But this could solve the missing drivetrain problem. California buyers will be interested to know the car has a clear California title on “Non-Op” status with no back fees.

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Comments

  1. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    WOW what a great start to an electrified future!

    Like 5
  2. RayZ

    If only it was on the East coast

    Like 4
    • Gordo

      But then it would probably be a rust bucket!

      Like 4
    • Roman

      can always roll it back!

    • Laurence Ford

      I’m a US/UK dual national and share the pain. Looks it could be a British Racing Green paint job.

  3. sir_mike

    First car I wanted when I was 15.School bus stop was the local BMC dealer and they let us wait in the showroom.They had one in silver on the floor.But being 15 my parents said no.Even said dad could drive it to work till I turned 16 but still no deal.Oh well…

    Like 7
  4. Derek

    The last B GT that I bought was £300. 1972 with wire wheels and beige – sorry, Harvest Gold – paint.

    Like 2
  5. angliagt angliagt Member

    These “Special Edition” GTs were just random cars on the lot.
    The dealers received the kits (badges,steering wheel,mirrors & shift-
    knob) to be installed on them.
    My ’67 GT is “Special” in that it still has one badge on it ( & a
    place where there was one on the other fender),but is missing the
    other parts.

    Like 7
    • Bill McCoskey

      Angliagt,

      I’ve been involved with MG cars for over 40 years, and once ran a shop that specialized in them as well as TR-series Triumphs, but until now I’ve never heard of, nor seen a MGBGT “Special”, not even in photos. Would it be too much trouble to ask for a photo of the one remaining “Special” emblem on your car? Being able to identify a car as being a true BMC “Special” might aid others who may not realize what they have.

      I also find it interesting that the “Special” package was intended only to be used on the GT, yet all the special “Special” bits could just as easily be installed on a roadster, so that begets the question of whether anyone knows of a “Special” MGB roadster?

      I could imagine a scenario where a MG dealer up in a colder location like the UP of Michigan or Canada, where it would be easier to sell a fully-enclosed GT, Vs a drafty MG roadster, and finding their roadsters are a hard sell during colder months, would be likely to tell BMC “Thank you for the generous Special Package” for the GT I’ve already taken a deposit on, then turn around and install all of the pieces onto a MGB roadster!

      Like 1
      • Gordo

        There is one or two views on ebay where the badge on the drivers side is visable, but not readable. There is no badge on the passenger side.

        The MGB GT has sold for $7,800.

  6. Howard A Member

    Having a MGB for many years, and many, MANY miles, I thought I knew of every MGB offered. Never heard of a “Special” MG anything. “Special” clearly is a Yank term. Doesn’t look all that “Special” to me. I can hear the execs now, “oh these Americans and their Specials,,,give ’em some mirrors and doo-dads for cryin’ out loud”. I think the car itself is a smokin’ deal, shows interest in projects like this is clearly waning. Never thought buying a project that has boxes of stuff. Never a good idea as there is always something missing. Still, if I was looking for a GT, and had the place, this car would be mine!
    Maybe I’ve been a bit too harsh on our California friends,,,,nah, they’re mostly self centered spoiled cry babies that will take down America as we know it,,,oops, I mean,,,nice find.

    Like 13
    • John

      …or perhaps Italian as in the Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale?

      • Garry

        Or perhaps Holden Special in Australia.
        I seem to recall that there was a Buick Special as well, not sure, though.

        Like 1
    • Michael S

      First I have ever heard of a “Special” BGT. They all had leather at that time.

      Like 2
    • CJinSD

      Ok. Now tell me what the difference is between a special edition and the limited edition models that English subjects find so irresistible? There have been more ‘limited edition’ Minis through the years than there have been Honda automobile models.

      Like 3
    • Laurence Ford

      UK?US Dual National here. “Special” is an routinely used hype word in the US ad business. It’s almost akin to “awesome.”

      Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey

      Howard,
      As usual, your wit and wisdom are showing again! It’s one of the many reasons I read Barn Finds before other similar emails I get bombarded with on a daily basis. Most of your comments are [as they say in the UK] spot-on, and usually match my thoughts exactly.

      Like 1
  7. bobhess bobhess Member

    Bids up to $5,600. It is a nice car but I don’t think I’d put much more than the present bid into it considering it’s running gear is in kit form.

    Like 3
  8. Gordo

    This looks like a perfect project car to put in a modern, more powerful, Japanese 4 banger and automatic transmission.
    Make a real GT out of it.

    Like 2
    • John

      One of these with the little Mazda Miata twin-cam and five speed (or 6) transmission would make this into a wonderful little GT car. Perhaps the Mazda A/C could also be adapted.

      I had a yellow one – I loved it and I drove it till the rear suspension mounts rusted away. Please, someone with enough skill and money needs to grab this one. Unless the beauty is truly only skin deep. I’d like to see its underside.

  9. Bill

    The reason for the “Special” was because the BGT was not selling here in the states. Nobody wanted them. Everybody wanted a convertible. So in an effort to drive up sales the “Special” was created. It helped to some extent.

    And there’s no documentation listing which cars got the treatment so proving it is difficult.

    Like 5
    • Gordo

      Roadster, please!
      The MGB GT certainly is a handsome vehicle, compare it to an early BMW Z3 coupe and you will see what I mean.

      Like 1
  10. Martin Horrocks

    Car looks very nice place for a handy guy to start. If it is complete or not shouldn´t be a big worry as everything on this can be sourced. Interior looks exceptionally original and unused, which can´t be faked or reproduced.

    I have a factory MGBGTV8. Typical BMC/BLMC/BL they only built 2500, all RHD and sold in UK only in 72-73. The suits refused to build a V8 MG for years, saying it couldn´t be done, although an independent tuning company (Costello) had been doing it successfully for years. The result is the best post war MG, with 140 lazy bhp. The engine is the Olds/Buick/Rover all alloy V8, actually bweighs less than the B series…uses stock gearbox even.

    And that´s what I´d do with this!.

    Like 11
    • Bill McCoskey

      Martin H,

      I’ve delved deep into a lot of BMC, Vanden Plas and Austin History, and have enjoyed many conversations with the former archivist at the MBIHT museum. I was also fortunate to have physical access to their archives back in the 1980s.

      One of our conversations centered around the MGB and the 215 alloy V8 that GM sold to Rover. His explanation as to why BMC never offered the MGC or the MGBV8 in north America was they felt the cars would be too expensive, as well as take away from sales of other BMC makes & models.

      By the time they did decide to produce both models [the 6 and the V8], the impending DOT and EPA regulations, along with diminishing sales, meant BMC would just continue making the MGB 4 cylinder for N. America until a replacement came along.

      We now know a replacement was never forthcoming.

      Like 1
  11. DRV

    My favorite all time MG.
    It’s worth it least 10k in some MG circles.

    Like 1
  12. Chris Londish Member

    The British Motor Company made MGs and they couldn’t have done worse a full nut and bolt resto would benefit this car and with today’s new technology this could be a very nice motor car

    Like 1
  13. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Sure is a lot of weight being placed on that tiny special badging. Otherwise everything else that makes this dealer created “special” is off-the-shelf stuff that every Brit aficionado already possess in their parts bin. Have to admit, the steering wheel is veddy nice though.

    Like 1
  14. lou esposito Member

    Howard,,, correct about the Californias!!!!!

  15. Ward William

    The seller is not that bright if he thinks turning the rego plates around will stop you from reading them.

    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Rego plates?

  16. Jim

    Is this an overdrive car?

    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      It’s a no-drive car!…. :) There is no drivetrain that comes with it, and according to the seller the “4 spd manual transmission” is MIA. I would guess that would be the place in the listing where the seller would write “4 spd with overdrive” if they had any sense.

  17. RandysSpit

    Sold mine a year ago. Same as this one for the most part but with a nice working engine. The original transmission was a non-synchro first, 4 speed and a tad older technology. A replacement with a overdrive one is always a good plan. Here it’s essential.
    This car is already too much and will cost too much to get on the road and drive.

  18. Bill McCoskey

    Sold for $7800

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