Early Mark II MGB GT in the just-new colour (introduced the previous month) of Snowberry White with black interior with red piping. This is arguably the best era for MGB, with the charm and detail of the Mark I (knock-off wire wheels, leather low-back front seats, slimmer-profile rear lights, early dash and steering wheel, aluminium bonnet, bright-metal escucheon on the A-pillar etc), but with the benefits of the Mark II (all-synchro gearbox, alternator, better overdrive). Chassis number GHD4/141504, engine number 18GDRWE621, placing it in very early 1968.
Ordered through British Motor Corporation's Personal Exports Division in January 1968 (order number L.921628, with production line options of wire wheels, heater and overdrive, and dealer options of 1 fog lamp, 1 spot lamp, Britax Sunway 'ragtop' sunroof, Kangol safety belts, woodrim steering wheel, Walpres exterior mirror and radial-ply tyres. The 'dealership' was the Leicester distributor, H. A. Hamshaw Pty Ltd.
The first owner then flew by Qantas to London, where he recalls he was invited into the Abingdon factory to view the final stages of his car's manufacture, and to personally undertake the test drive on the factory's test circuit.
He took delivery of the vehicle at the Export Sales Division in Longbridge, Birmingham, on February 8, 1968. The car bore the plates LOP102F, and it was registered in England for 12 months, but had to be exported under the terms of its 'export' purchase before February 11, 1969.
The car was used in England and the Scottish Highlands for the next 12 days, during which the owner honeymooned with his new wife in his new car!
On February 20 the car was received again by the Exports Division for export as a 'used' car (for Customs and Excise purposes) to Australia aboard the "S.S. English Star".
On July 31 1968 the car was ready for 'delivery' by The British Motor Corporation (Australia) Pty Ltd, with 'no visible damage' from its journey, and still fitted with extras of "tool kit, spare wheel, heater, 1 fog lamp, 1 spot lamp, 1 wing mirror, windscreen washer", under "Plan 1 Personal Export Vehicle ERSP". The car now bore brand new Victorian numberplates KBF-040, which it was to wear uninterrupted for just over 50 years! (At some point the fog and spot lamps were removed, and the KBF-040 plates were returned to the registration authority by the previous owner when the vehicle was sold to me unregistered, but one of the original English numberplates was kept for posterity by the original owner, and is still with the car.)
On August 1 1968 the car was processed through Australian Customs, with a dutiable value of $1756,24, for which Customs Duty of $614.68 and Sales Tax of $711.28 was payable, a hefty total of $1325.96.
I am the 6th owner of this vehicle.
The car is presently being prepared for a pampered but active life as part of the Kelly St Classics family. It is now on restricted-use Club Permit registration, and to date to following has been done;
Faulty (rapidly leaking) heater tap replaced, and almost-blocked heater core thoroughly flushed to remove large buildup of rust.
Intermittent/sluggish overdrive repaired (bad electrical contacts).
Decades-worth of road grime pressure-washed from underneath, inside all hollow sections, wire wheels and under-bonnet area. There was a substantial buildup!
Front mudguards removed to allow rust repair to front lower sections of the inner sills which had fallen victim to buildup of amazing quantities of moisture-retaining road grime. The lower part of the right hand guard has had rust removed. New original-style splash-guard seals and rivets have been installed.
Perforated and non-functioning vacuum advance diaphragm replaced.
Electronic switching installed in place of points (I do this to all Kelly St Classics - instant reliability and stability of ignition timing and dwell).
Original standard leather front seats were badly dried and torn, and have been retrimmed in vinyl for now. Original covers have been kept for future reproduction.
Floors rust-treated and fishoiled, before being sealed and original rubber mats (well-scrubbed and repaired) reinstated.
Broken sunroof air deflector/visor removed, dismantled and repaired with reinforced center section and centre hinge put back to its original design that allows the unit to 'slide' as the angle changes.
Original cartridge type oil filter re-instated. I find it less messy than the inverted spin-on type when doing filter changes, and also find it provides full oil pressure quicker on start-up.
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Fellow enthusiasts are welcome to drop me an email.