Words & photos - Daniel Bevis
'Britain's favourite sports car'. That's a label you'll often find pinned to the MGB - it's a car that's been weaving its charms into family memories for generations. Little wonder that the market for big-money restomod MGs is booming these days.
On the front line of this movement is the appropriately-named Frontline, whose latest creation is the Abingdon Edition. They start with a solid donor MG and spend months painstakingly rebuilding it with Heritage panels to make it better than new, with meticulous attention paid to panel gaps and paint finish. Then they shoehorn in a brand new motor from Mazda, a 2.5-litre four-pot into which they slide forged pistons and a billet crank, strapping on 50mm throttle bodies and Omex management to deliver over 300bhp, along with a Mazda six-speed 'box and an LSD. There's a six-linked rear, adjustable coilovers, and whacking great four-pot brakes.
Inside, you'll find something quite unlike the traditional creaky vinyl of MGBs of yore. The Abingdon Edition is fully Dynamatted and heat insulated, with Wilton carpets, seats trimmed in Connolly hide, and French-stitched Alcantara covering everything else. The dash features custom retro-style Smiths dials with digital innards. You also get things you might expect of a modern car - remote central locking, aircon, electric windows, heated seats, premium stereo, power-steering, sat-nav... and all this in a package that can get you from 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds and top 160mph. Imagine how this sort of spec would have been received back when the MGB was still in production, it would have blown people's minds. That's supercar performance (well, for the seventies at least) in such an unassuming package.
The price of this all-things-to-all-men masterpiece? Well, it begins at £84,475. Yeah, that's arguably a lot for an MGB - but for a brand new, well appointed, precision-engineered sports roadster? You get what you pay for. For the well-heeled, this is the perfect MG.
Spotted at the London Classic Car Show - more pics here.