1974 1/2 MGB
By definition the 74 1/2 MGB’s are the rubber bumpered MGBs produced from September through December 1974 which all received twin S.U HIF carburetors. The creation of the 74 1/2 relates to the stringent conditions laid on car makers in the 1970’s. There are two theories offered as to why the 74 1/2’s exist, both of which are related to the carburetor set up. One school of thought states that the S.U HIF which are on 74 1/2s, would not pass the stringent 1975 Federal regulations. Another theory was that the Stromberg carbs intended for the 1975 MGBs (which is what the 74 1/2s would have been) would also not pass the regulations. So the MG Car Company said in effect “these cars were manufactured in 1974, so we’ll call them 1974 1/2s”!
Anders Clausager the former archivist at Heritage stated there were 7445 1974 1/2 MGBs produced, of which 6521 were exported to North America. These comprised 5273 Roadsters and 1248 MGB/GT’s.
The easiest way to identify a 74-1/2 is by the VIN number. The numbers ran from 360301-367647, then a slight break, then from 367721-367818. The GHN prefix was used for Roadsters, the GHD for GTs. All serial numbers ended in G which denoted they were built at Abingdon.
Another method is by examining the “date plate” inside the shut plate inside the driver’s door The 74 1/2s were built between 9/74 and 12/74.
A further clue is that all 74 1/2s are supposed to have had rubber bumpers and twin S.U. carb set up. However, this is not a reliable method as many owners of 1975-1980 MGBs have taken off the Stromberg carbs to use as doorstops, and have replaced them with twin S.U’s.
Look at the MG octagon badge in the center of the front bumper. Only the 74 1/2s have the RED emblem. All other 75-80 cars had the black emblem.
Finally, any MGB/GT in North America with rubber bumpers is a 1974 1/2. The GT was withdrawn from the American market in January of 1975 so BL/JRT could push the ill-fated TR7! Thus, the 74 1/2 MGB remains a relatively rare vehicle.