Small, Rare Power: The MGB GT V8

For years, people have lusted over the idea of a small British car with V8 power. You have the obvious Shelby Cobra, but also cars like the Sunbeam Alpine and various TVRs. But have you ever heard of a V8-powered MG? 

It may sound like a wild custom project (and you can bet plenty of people have shoehorned V8s into MGs on their own), but this special version of the MG was a creation right from the factory. The standard MGB roadster that everyone knows and loves had been around since 1962, but in 1965, the British automaker created a fixed roof model called the MGB GT. 

Small, Rare Power: The MGB GT V8

PHOTOS: See More of the 1965 MGB GT V8

The MGB GT was meant to be a grand touring car, and even though it had rear seats, the rear space was better suited for luggage. Few parts differed, save for the obvious body work. A roll-bar was installed as well as a revised suspension. With the added weight, the acceleration was a little slower, so more potent versions were created.

Small, Rare Power: The MGB GT V8

PHOTOS: See More of the 1976 MGB GT V8

The first was the MGC, which featured a 2.9-liter inline-6, but the far cooler and rarer one is the MGB GT V8. The car was built from 1973 to 1976 and featured a 3.5-liter Rover V8 engine. This was the same engine that was used in cars like the Buick Special and Oldsmobile F-85. The engine was modestly tuned to produce 137 horsepower and 193 pound feet of torque. 

PHOTOS: See More of the 1969 MGC

Just under 400,000 MGB roasters were created, and only 9,000 MGCs were built. But only 2,591 MGB GT V8s were built making them truly rare birds. This is made even more rare by the fact that the MGB GT V8 was never exported to the United States. Seven left-hand drive versions were made, in order to test certification and potential viability in the States. These cars were then sent back to Europe and were sold to owners.

If you have the cash and are quite the automotive gumshoe, you too can track down one of these seven super-rare V8-powered MGs.