MGB Limited Edition

Ken Smith

MGB Limited Edition Registrar

PO Box 8645
Goleta CA 93111

MGB Limited Edition

limited

The picture is a very good example of the MGB Limited Edition model. The car is owned by Lou Stocks of Austin, TX. It represents a prime example of a completely equipped car as per the British Leyland parts listing issued from the factory. The roll-over bar is not part of the factory equipment.

The Limited Edition was a marketing endeavor between B-L and the U.S. distributorship in Leonia, NJ to boost slipping sales in the North American Market. The production period of the North American version “LE” was 1979-1980. When I asked Don Hayter how it was that it was assured that the cars were always black, he stated that there was an agreement between “Leonia” and all North American dealers that the “LE kit” would be only installed on black cars and to buy a black car of that time period, it had to be a Limited Edition only. There were 6,668 produced in the two years of production.

The ironic thing about the “LE kit” is that it is partially made up of parts manufactured in the U.S. The front air dam and luggage rack were made in the U.S. and then shipped over to England for packing into a kit that was then shipped back to the U.S. with the cars selected to be “LE”s, which were then installed by the selling dealer. This is why some “LE”s do not have a luggage rack. The dealer no doubt pulled it from the kit to put on another customer’s non-LE car.

As the B-L listing (below) shows, the following items make the Limited Edition unique as compared to the other MGB models of that time period. it must be also noted that the North American model came only in the “Tourer” body style and not the GT.

  • Front air dam
  • L.E. Five spoke alloy wheels, manufactured by GKN, with MG hub center appliqués
  • Silver lower body stripes
  • Luggage rack
  • Leather covered, padded, three spoke steering wheel with a special center hub. This uses the same MG applique as the wheels
  • A Limited Edition dash plaque installed on the glove box

Items NOT part of the kit, as has been stated by some people, is Cocoa floor mats, overdrive, or air conditioning unit.

Finally, there were the UK-market “LE” models. These were not quite the last 1,000 cars built. These cars were made between August and October 1980, but they were stock-piled and only released for sale in January, 1981. There were 580 GTs, all with cast alloy wheels and painted “Pewter Metallic” with silver lower body stripes, and 421 roadsters all painted “Bronze Metallic” with gold lower body stripes, of which 208 had wire wheels and 213 had cast alloy wheels. The last roadster, #523001, and the last GT, #523002, were both completed on 22 October 1980 and went straight into BL’s Heritage collection at Gaydon, England.

Reproduced Memo to Dealers for MG “B” Limited Edition Cars

79PA-35
July, 1979

To: All Jaguar Rover Triumph Zones, Distributors, and Dealers

Subject: MG”B” Limited Edition

The following part numbers are listed for your convenience as a reference listing for you when in need of information concerning the MG”B” Limited Edition.

 PART NUMBER  DESCRIPTION
 BLM 105226  MG”B” Limited Edition Silver Stripe Kit
 BLM 105100  Luggage Rack
 BLM 105110  MG”B” Black Front Spoiler
 JRT 800113  MG”B” Limited Edition Dash Plaque
 BHH 2421  MG”B” Limited Edition Steering Wheel
 CHA 748  Boss – St/Wh
 BHH 1994  Motif – St/Wh
 BHH 2451  Road Wheel
 BHH 2269  Nut – Road/Wh
 88-160053 Spring – Center Trim Retainer
 CHA 747 Motif – Road/Wh
 ICI 122 Black Paint

 

Part and Service Marketing Department/SFH/WDG/AMY

Austin — MG — Jaguar — Triumph