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48-mile MGB GT really is a Limited Edition

by Antony Ingram
3 February 2021 2 min read
48-mile MGB GT really is a Limited Edition
Photos: RJH Cars

Rising values mean the evergreen MGB is not quite the cheap-as-chips starter classic it once was – especially if it turns out to be an as-new 1980 MGB with delivery mileage on the clock.

Specialist classic car dealer RJH Cars has a rather special example in stock right now: a 1980 MGB GT LE with only 48 miles recorded.

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So what’s the fascinating history behind this most familiar of classics, yet also one that has covered barely more than one mile a year since it was built? This LE first left the Abingdon factory on September 11, 1980, bound for dealership Charles Hurst in Belfast.

1980 MGB GT LE

RJH Cars doesn’t elaborate on the first owner, but the car has apparently spent most of its life in storage. When the MGB finally changed hands, the second owner bought it with the intention of giving to his wife – an ultimately fruitless act to introduce her to the delightful world of classic car ownership.

Despite little use in either of its lives, the MGB did enjoy a light restoration in 2019. The car was repainted in the original Pewter Silver, its alloy wheels were refurbished, and some mechanical work was undertaken to keep the 97bhp B-series engine ticking along as it should.

1980 MGB GT LE interior

In terms of specification the LE trim brought with it that silver paint finish and those distinctive cast alloy wheels, plus distinctive striped cloth trim. The black plastic front bumper, never as desirable as the earlier chrome grille cars, also received a lower chin spoiler. BL built 580 GT LEs, in addition to 420 MGB roadsters.

The car comes with a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust certificate confirming the original specification, including a 4-speed overdrive gearbox, and its invoiced price of £5278 when first sold in April 1981.

Such rarity and heritage doesn’t come cheap: the LE is currently for sale at £21,995, though it’s fair to say you’re unlikely to find another original example with such low mileage, and it’s actually only a modest increase over the £17,500 quoted for a concours example in the Hagerty Price Guide. Not quite a bargain then, but a unique model of one of the last MGBs to leave the line.

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Comments

  • Steve says:

    Just to let any followers of the whereabouts of this gem I am now the new owner. I bought the car to enjoy it as I did with my first MGB GT some 45 years ago. Since I purchased it I’ve increased the mileage by 600 making its total now 648. I’m in the process of improving the condition bit by bit but have no intention of changing any of its originality.

  • Alison White says:

    If anyone is interested I have one of these beautiful cars for sale, in nearly original condition.

  • Tony Lay says:

    Hi Alison, I love these cars but cannot buy one before next May/June, so if its still for sale then please get in touch. If you would like to tell me more about your car I would love to hear about it. I have had a B and a V8 and loved them both.

  • Darren Mooney says:

    Hi Alison

    I’m interested in your car.

  • Darren Mooney says:

    Hi Alison

    I’m interested in your car. Let me know how I can reach you to discuss. Cheers

  • Michael Hendrikse says:

    I have the same MGB GT LE built around August 25th 1980. Owned it since 2019. Mine is not quite original as only the driver and passenger seats have been replaced with grey immitation leather seats. The rest is all original. The car has covered just over 100.000 miles and runs just great. Regular maintainance by a classic car specialist. Change the engine, gearbox and dif oil every 3000 miles which comes down to once a year. New cylinderhead and valves and clutch installed in 2020.

  • Martin Godwin says:

    I too have one of these.
    1980 MGB GT LE in pewter silver, first registered in March 1981.
    All original (with some minor repairs done that can all be viewed at buyers discretion).
    I would be willing to accept sensible offers.
    Obviously open to provision of photos, visits, viewings and videos of the car.

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