Welcome to our Site for MG, Triumph and Austin-Healey Car Information.


MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Z Magnette V8 !?

Now here's a strange question for you all:

Does anyone know of a a Z Magnette Rover V8 success story? I am proceeding with a ground up restoration of a very soild 1958 ZB Magnette saloon - and although the cars are very rare over here, and I do have some internal angst over messing with the originality of the car, I can't help but wonder what a head-turning little road-burner the Magnette would be with a Rover V8 and proper braking upgrades.

Any replys? Please ?

Octagonal Cheers,

Tom Webb

I have heard rumors of a V-8 powered Magnette ZB in the Seattle area that was converted by an ex-Aerospace engineer who worked on the Saturn program. An MG guy supposedly saw this car and heard the very un-Magnette like exhaust, followed the car and talked to the driver.

I think this would be a great project, but would probably anger the MG purists even more than conversions on Bs!

Paul Kile
Paul Kile

My dad and I also have a 1958 Magnette Varitone. While upgrading the car would no doubt make it more interesting to drive, I kind of cringe at the thought of doing a conversion on it. Just because they are so very rare over here and it is a charming car the way it is. On the other hand, I am still in the research phase of converting my 1973 BGT. The car is going to commence body repair hopefully this winter, and it's not by any means a prime collector's example. Our friend Dave (who also reads this bbs...Hi Dave!) is going to work on converting our MGA basketcase (and I do mean's about as disassembled and rusty as it can get). Neither of these cars do I feel particularly guilty about having a conversion done because a) they're worth nothing to anyone right now in their current condition b) the GT isn't an extremely rare car anyhow c) the MGA is practically junkyard bound.

From what I understand, putting a B engine in a Magnette isn't too big of a deal, and it would probably be reversible as well. Have you considered this? There's lots of orphaned B engines out there!


Joe Pitassi
Joe Pitassi

Angering purists is reason enough to do it.
Bob Cline

Yeah, if you're posting on this forum, you probably won't find too many people who get squeamish about modifying their MGs! Sounds like the ultimate sleeper -- I say go for it.

Well, there certainly seems to be a lot more room top to bottom in the Magnette, so engine placement is probably not as critical. It's probably easier to do than an MGB!

Joe Pitassi
Joe Pitassi

I have a friend that put a Buick 231 c.i. V-6 and auto matic transmission into a later Magnette. He was featured in the first edition of the MGB V8 Newletter for his Bucik 215 into an MGA. He actually used 215 exhaust manifolds on one side with the last cylinder branch cut off. Lots o room under that bonnet. He also fashoned a Spitfire style double arm hinge for the bonnet that would swing forward and away from the firewall. Can be done, has been done, do it.

The engine position is even farther forward in relation to the front wheels than on a B so the handling with the weight of a V8 might be a bit heavy. Like the previous comment, a V6 or large 4 might make a better package. There was an article on Magnettes in one of the British classic car magazines a few months back. One with wire wheels from a MGA looked great, kind of like a small Jag MK2. Go for it!
Bill Young

If you do elect to use an MGB engine rather than going forward with a V8 project, try to get the earlier 3 main bearing engine as it is more of a bolt together proposition than using the later 5 main bearing engine which will require a lot more skilled (and expensive)machine-shop time. If you go this route, you can keep your stock transmission, although you will need to convert over to the early MGB banjo rear axle to handle the extra power.
Steve S.

I forget his name, but the guy up in Durham (England) who sold the dual exhaust systems for V8s, and who used to advertise on the Enthusiast web site, was talking about doing it.
I have put a Rover M16 Twincam and 5 speed gearbox into my ZB. I am using a MK4 Magnette rear axle with a 3.9 cwp, twin HIF6 SUs and a custom made 4 branch header and system. I have a lot more work to do but an article about the start of this project was published in Safety Fast last January and the next article will be in Safety Fast Jan 2001.The biggest problem for an engine swap, is the location of the front suspension cross member, which is further back than the B so you have to get the sump(oil pan) in front of it. I reckon It'll take me at least another year or 18 months to finish the car.It already has disc brakes, negative earth, alternator and a servo.
Bob Hemingway

This thread was discussed between 30/11/2000 and 03/12/2000

MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical index

This thread is from the archives. Join the live MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical BBS now