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MGB Costello roadster for sale £37,500

In British Racing Green with a black interior and a black mohair hood.

Believed one of 4 remaining, and the third roadster produced, genuine Mk1 Costello converted Roadsters, this very special MGB  was supplied new by University Motors and was then converted by Costello in 1971, who fitted a 3.5 litre Rover P6 engine. Both the original Sales invoice and the invoice from Ken Costello, for £975.00, almost doubling the price of the car, are in the extensive history file.

The Costello received a bare metal, nut and bolt restoration in the mid '90s and was featured on BBC 2's 'The Car's the Star' programme. The file shows ongoing care and maintenance until in 2007 when, unfortunately, the original 3.5 engine suffered head gasket failure and the block was warped from the subsequent overheating.

Enginuity, apparently overseen by Ken Costello according to the file, fitted a Cosworth built, cross-bolted 4.6 litre Rover V8, running a Weber 500cfm carburettor on an Edlebrock manifold. This set up produces just over 220 bhp and 300 lbft of torque. The car was improved to cope with the performance  with uprated brakes with Rover SD1 four pot calipers (now fitted with Mintex pads), lowered rear springs and a Panhard rod. It does drive superbly with very good handling, steering and braking and can certainly handle the wonderful engine.

A very enthusiastic customer of ours acquired the Costello in 2014 and enjoyed using it. In 2016/17 he had the engine refreshed by Vitesse Global of Hinckley, including a new camshaft and the body was restored again with new inner and outer wings and panels as needed, and a full respray. The gearbox finally gave up the ghost so Vitesse Global converted the transmission to a lovely 5 speed Mazda unit, and the suspension and brakes were rebuilt. A Quaife LSD differential and hardened half-shafts went in at the same time. Around £15,000 went in to the car.

Along with the above, the Costello has black leather seats, a CD player (not needed with the noise of the engine!), centre-lock Minilite alloy wheels with the centres painted Graphite, a deep front spoiler, a the Costello grille, and distinctive Costello bonnet with the bulge. Seat belt harnesses are currently fitted but the original standard seat belts come with the car.

The history file dates right back to original supply of this awesome car. There are two A4 files and they detail all the restoration, maintenance and upgrade work carried out over the years. Most importantly, along with the original sales invoices there is a Heritage Certificate and a Costello MG Certificate of Authenticity.

This car is the Real Deal.

Over all the provenance, the condition, the history and the specification, the B is fabulous to drive. Unsurprisingly, it's very fast with oodles of power but it also stops and steers and feels all of a piece. It's hilarious.