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MG RV8 Published: 24th May 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

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Want some extra fun or usability from your classic? Then here’s our top tips

Take an MGB roadster, modernise it, then fit the latest Rover V8 and what do you get? The answer is the RV8 and it’s the Queen B of all these MGs. Although the model is some 75 per cent all new, the RV8 doesn’t demand special skills to keep sweet but does require deeper pockets to do it properly. The car is well supported by MG owner’s clubs and the top specialist is Clive Wheatley ( who also makes his own specially devised upgrades

Rear suspension

Pretty much an MGB stern but with modern telescopic damping and a wider track. If the standard Koni shockers are on the way out, ditch them for better aftermarket types such as Clive Wheatley special ones


Bentley-like cockpit lacks Rolls stamina and woodwork can suffer from veneer separating from its backing. Hide soon gets baggy, and needs looking after, Hood is modified MGB and costs some £800

Wheels & brakes

Brake callipers are same as 18-22 Princess but are hard to source; discs are unique to V8. Lack of use can seize rear slave cylinders (£25 a side). RV8 rims are being made in standard or sportier 17inch sizes


Windscreen surround is a box section; screen rubbers lifting, suggests rot underneath. Repairs are possible but if not, you’ll need a new one. Clive Wheatley has a range of better modern replacements costing under £1200 as does Brown & Gammons


RV8s shouldn’t rust because shells were electrophoretically dipped after the metal has already been zinc-coated. If rusting is becoming evident then it points to poor previous crash repairs

Front suspension

Keep an eye on the wishbone bushes although they are easily replaced (go poly for better feel). Steering is Land Rover Discovery sans PAS; Brown & Gammons has £2000 kit for this

Bottom end

V8 can run to 300,000 miles if cared for. Infrequent oil changes combined with short journeys kills the camshaft/hydraulic lifters (listen for ticking); change lube every 2000 miles to be safe


Pre 641 (production started at 251) LT77 ‘box is strongest; R380 unit suffers from worn synchromesh. Axle is based on Sherpa van, but with special CWP; and is known to whine but LSD is pretty robust


Well proven but can overheat and pop head gaskets or corrode up; ensure anti-freeze mix is up to its full strength. Exhaust manifold gasket fail but engine management is old school and reliable

Want to buy one? then take these first steps

If you’re thinking of owning an MG RV8, become a member of the V8 Register first as it will be of great help. Just 350 cars were sold in the UK but there’s over 480 now thanks to Japanese repats which come with air con although it quite notably restricts passenger leg room. RV8 experts warn that RV8s cost far more to run than an ordinary MGB or MGC and many languish in a pretty sorry state as a result. Green is most common colour, Old English White (only five) being the rarest

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