Hi, the whole story of the beginnings of the MGB V8. In the late 60’s I worked as race mechanic to Mike “Spinner” Loveday in his garage “Mistrale Sports and Racing” in Footscray.
We were at the time assembling Marcos kit cars for customers who did not want to get their hands dirty. At the time we were building a 1600GT for a client who suddenly decided he wanted a V8 version. Measurements were taken and as it seemed a viable project a Buick/Oldsmobile all alloy 3.5 with Holley carb was obtained from John Pearce, him of J.A.P. wheels fame.
Engine fitted in quite well without the headers, looked like we would have to cut the chassis to fit.
After consulting Jem Marsh (owner of Marcos) we realized cutting the plywood chassis around that area would seriously weaken it. Jem mentioned he was in the process of designing a Ford V6 “Essex” version and our customer could have one of the first ones, He agreed.
Getting nearer the main event. At the time Ken was running Cripps Speed in Dartford and I was driving a 64 MGB roadster. I was on my 3rd BMC exchange gearbox in under a year all changed under warranty. I moaned to Ken about the quality of the units and he said he would look into it. Turned out he was disgusted about the clearances so he personally built me a box where he selected the gears from the stores.
Well you can guess what happened MGB up on stands, V8 lying around couldn’t resist trying it in.
Was like that for a couple of days, Ken turned up with my gearbox, had a good look grunted and rubbed his chin a lot. I think Ken brought the V8 from Mike over a cup of coffee in a cafe in Blackfen.
No hard feelings could never have afforded to do it myself, just got happy memories of Ken and that era in Kent.