Race Retro Classic Car Sale 2019

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1993 MG RV8 - UK supplied

Lot No.: 328

Registration: L308 BKN
Chassis Number: SARRAWBMBMG000334
Engine Number: UEA48A0000152
Number of cylinders: 8
CC: 3946
Year of Manufacture: 1993
RHD/LHD: Right Hand Drive
Sold for (£): 19,688
  • 1 of only 307 UK-supplied cars, 139 in British Racing Green Metallic
  • 3946cc aluminium-alloy V8 engine with 188bhp and a lusty 318NM of torque
  • 30,036 miles with two former keepers and an impressive history file
  • Fully resprayed 5 years ago. Fitted with power steering. Wheels refurbed. New hood
  • Drives and handles beautifully. Still quick - 135 mph and 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds

The MG RV8 was a hugely important step in the 1990s rebirth of MG Cars after more than a decade of only producing saloons and hatchbacks. Since Abingdon's closure in 1980, the illustrious MG badge had been reserved for the Metro, Maestro and Montego and, although these cars were worthy, what enthusiasts really wanted was a new MG roadster. In 1992, 12 years after the last MG sports car had rolled off the Abingdon production lines, Austin-Rover made the inspired decision to revive this most charismatic of British marques by introducing an entirely new model - the MG RV8.

In creating the RV8, Rover very cleverly used a combination of off-the-shelf parts, such as the Range Rover's V8 engine and British Motor Heritage's MGB bodyshell.  So, in this reincarnation of the MGB, the rubber bumper specification body was utilised and modified to accept a new set of beautifully curvaceous outer panels.  The 3.9-litre Range Rover EFi V8 engine developed 188bhp and gave the RV8 enough power to crack 0-60 mph in just under six seconds which, even now, is pretty impressive. A five-speed LT77 gearbox, derived from the Rover SD1 was used along with a new Salisbury axle. Very significant modifications were made to the suspension and brakes to bring the car up to date.  The interior featured soft leather in Stone Beige and a Burr Elm facia and door cappings.

The RV8 was shown at the 1993 Tokyo Motor Show creating a huge demand which resulted in around 1,500 examples (of the 1,983 total) being exported to Japan.  Despite (or maybe because of) the RV8 being based on a 30-year old model, its classic status was assured from the day it was unveiled, and with less than 2,000 examples built between 1992 and 1995, the cars are now much sought after.

Although 1,583 RV8s went to Japan (1258 in Woodcote Green), many of those examples have now come back to the UK, joining the 307 originally sold here.  No RV8s were ever sold in the US, and consequently, all examples are right-hand drive.

The car presented here is a UK-supplied, 1993 MG RV8, first registered on the 27th August 1993 and is finished in British Racing Green metallic paintwork with a Stone Beige leather interior. This modern-classic has covered just over 30,000 miles with only two previous keepers and comes with a large history file showing much evidence of regular maintenance and servicing.  Our diligent vendor bought the car 7 years ago and has mainly used it on high-days and holidays.  Liking the car so much, five years ago he invested in it further by having some panels attended to and the MG fully repainted (engine and seats out etc.) in its original colour by the local firm 'Ledbury Accident Repair Centre' who have over 45 years' experience in bodywork repair and classic car restoration. More recently it was fitted with power steering (installed 2,000 miles ago by marque specialists 'Clive Wheatley MG V8 Parts' of Bridgnorth - who also supplied many new parts for the car over the years), the wheels and chrome-work reconditioned, and the little roadster was treated to a brand new fabric hood.

The MG RV8 is a special British sports car with lots of traditional character and 'sense-of-occasion', and although the market 'plateaued' for a while, there has been a recent resurgence of interest, particularly in UK cars in rare colours, so in addition to being lots of fun with Spring just around the corner, this sparkling little roadster may turn out to be a sensible investment.

(Promotional images courtesy of Austin-Rover)