Description

  • Third in class and 17th overall at the 1964 Sebring 12 Hours

  • Race-prepared by Joe Huffaker for Kjell Qvale at BMC Works

  • Exceptional provenance with known history from new

  • Eligible for the world’s finest historic meetings

VEHICLE DESCRIPTION

The 1964 Sebring 12 Hours was the second round of that year’s World Sportscar Championship and attracted a stellar entry of GT cars and sports-prototypes. While overall victory went to the Ferrari 275 P of Mike Parkes and Umberto Maglioli, this MGB crossed the line third in class after a faultless performance in the famous race. 

It was one of three MGBs – one red, one white and one blue – that had been entered for the endurance classic by Kjell Qvale, a West Coast BMC distributor based in San Francisco. His competition department was run by Joe Huffaker, who prepared the three cars with upgraded parts that had been sent over by the MG Competition Department in Abingdon.

The red car was based on a very early MGB – body number 000114. Originally shipped to the US in July 1962, it had incurred salt-water damage in transit and couldn’t be sold, so Qvale decided that it would make the ideal basis for a race car.  

MG sent lightweight aluminium body panels – wings, doors, bonnet and boot lid – as well as four Special Tuning engines. These were stripped by Huffaker when they arrived in San Francisco and rebuilt with new camshafts and pistons, while the cylinder heads were ported and bigger valves installed. 

Other competition-spec parts included a glassfibre hardtop, close-ratio gearbox, and dual fuel tanks with a quick-release filler, while the red car was the only one of the three to get magnesium wheels rather than steel wires which are still with the car today. 

Driven at Sebring by Ed Leslie and Jack Dalton, it raced as number 47 and was fastest of the three Qvale-entered MGBs during practice. It had stiff opposition from Porsche in its class, but ran like clockwork around the punishing airfield circuit. Leslie/Dalton finished a superb 17th overall and third in class. 

Following the race, ‘number 47’ was sold to BMC dealer Ernie Rodrigues, whose son Gary wanted to start racing. He did so extensively over the next few years, even though the aluminium body panels had to be removed in order to for it to run in SCCA events. Fortunately, these were put into storage at Hollywood Sports Cars – a decision that would pay dividends decades later. 

During Rodrigues’ ownership, the MGB appeared on The Tonight Show with James Garner while he was promoting his film Grand Prix, and it was eventually sold in 1968 to Buzz Moore of Lafayette, California. Moore continued to race the car with the SCCA, and it competed until the end of the 1970s in the hands of subsequent owners Randy Sharp and John McEwen. Most of its later appearances were at Laguna Seca and Sears Point, before McEwen sold it in 1979 to former racer and MG specialist Butch Gilbert.

During the 1990s, Gilbert embarked on a full rebuild of the MGB and contacted Hollywood Sports Cars to see if they had any photographs of the car, since they used to look after it. They said they could do better than that, and retrieved from storage the factory-supplied aluminium body panels that they’d kept since the mid-1960s. 

Only the front-left wing was missing, but Gilbert painstakingly restored the MGB to its 1964 Sebring specification. Even though the original engine had been removed, he sourced and rebuilt a correct, early, three-bearing MGB engine. He fitted it with a 1962 cylinder head and all of the period competition modifications were replicated. 

The freshly restored car appeared at the 2003 Monterey Historics meeting, and the following year it returned to Sebring, where it was reunited with Qvale and Ed Leslie – both of whom signed the car’s dashboard.

After being sold to a UK-based enthusiast and crossing the Atlantic, the MGB was treated to an engine and gearbox rebuild, and the car has subsequently competed at the Goodwood Revival and the Le Mans Classic.

Now being offered for sale, this well-known MGB boasts race history at the very highest level and is eligible for some of the world’s finest historic events. It has a valid HTP and a huge file that includes period photographs from Sebring, the official published records from that race, its old SCCA logbook, and magazine articles that tell the full story of this historic and significant car. 

Vehicle details

Vehicle data

Make
MG
Model name
MGB
Manufacturer code
B Serie I
First registration date
Not provided
Year of manufacture
1962
Mileage (read)
0 mls
Chassis number
Not provided
Engine number
Not provided
Gearbox number
Not provided
Matching numbers
No
Number of owners
Not provided

Technical details

Body style
Convertible (Roadster)
Power (kW/hp)
71/96
Cubic capacity (cm³)
1798
Cylinders
4
Doors
Not provided
Steering
Left (LHD)
Gearbox
Manual
Gears
4
Transmission
Rear
Front brakes
Not provided
Rear brakes
Not provided
Fuel type
Petrol

Individual configuration

Exterior color
Red
Interior color
Black
Interior material
Imitation leather

Condition, registration & documentation

Has Report
Registered
Ready to drive

Location

Logo of The Classic Motor Hub

The Classic Motor Hub

Sales Team

Appointment Only

GL7 5NX Bibury

🇬🇧 United Kingdom

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