Unveiled in September of 1962, the all-new MGB picked up where the MGA left off, offering buyers an inexpensive, fun-to-drive roadster that was light on frills and heavy on charm. The B’s crisp, slab-sided styling was simple yet sophisticated, with a more upscale and modern appearance compared to its predecessors. Engineers employed unitary construction for the first time, with a live rear axle supported by leaf springs bolted to the shell and independent front suspension connected via a separate subframe. The proven setup gave the MGB predictable handling that was more than a match for its 95 horsepower, 1.8-liter inline-four. While the B wasn’t notably faster than the A, it was a superior all-rounder and years ahead in terms of refinement. In the first full year of production, MG sold more than 30,000 Bs, representing a whopping 75% increase in output over the MGA. Sales were strong for most of the MGB’s impressive eighteen-year production run, and it was the best-selling roadster in the world until the Miata took over the crown. Over the years and through numerous variants, the MGB earned a place as one of the most iconic, widely cherished British sports cars of all time, with over a half-million produced and generations of passionate enthusiasts.
This 1963 MGB is a rare and desirable early “pull-handle” model from the first full year of production. From May 1962 through April 1965, the MGB had pull-style exterior door handles, which changed to the more conventional pushbutton type for the remainder of the B’s life. Beyond just the door handles, enthusiasts consider pull-handle cars to be the purest form of the MGB roadster and count among the most desirable of the whole range. This example has been treated to a comprehensive, ground-up restoration and is fitted with choice upgrades to improve its all-around performance.
Per records on file, the restoration began in 2017 and comprised a complete teardown and repaint in its current shade of Porsche Guards Red. The body and 2-stage paintwork are beautifully finished, with pleasingly crisp body lines and consistent panel fit. Exterior brightwork has been mostly restored or replaced and is in excellent order all around. Rounding out the sharp cosmetic presentation is a set of knock-off wire wheels, finished in the proper shade of silver and fitted with new Blockley radial tires. The interior has also been fully restored, with black leatherette trim and period-correct details, including the early-style banjo steering wheel and wrinkle-finish dash. The cabin is tidy and well-restored, with well-fitted upholstery and carpets.
Mechanically, this MGB has been much-improved for increased performance and worry-free enjoyment. Updates include the fitment of a five main-bearing block which is more robust than the earlier 3-main type, particularly at higher sustained RPM. The engine is backed by a four-speed all-synchro gearbox fitted with a Laycock LH-type overdrive unit, allowing effortless changes and superior highway cruising ability. During its restoration, the previous owner had all new springs and dampers fitted, along with new front brake discs, calipers, and a ‘big-bore’ stainless exhaust system. The engine and chassis components are well detailed, and the car retains the classic, authentic aesthetic.
This desirable early B balances the purity of the ‘pull-handle’ models with some well-considered upgrades to enhance the driving experience. It is a wonderful example of the quintessential British roadster and is prime for enjoyment on tours and rallies or in the company of like-minded enthusiasts in casual shows and club gatherings.
Offers welcome and trades considered