After the success of the Mazda MX5/Miata/Eunos launched in 1989 that all the models sited by Mazda as having been influential on it’s design instantly experienced an increase in demand on the classic market, those cited influences included the Triumph Spitfire, Austin Healey Sprite, MG MGB and Lotus Elan.
Such was the demand for all things British in Japan in the early 1990’s that several specialists including Central England Sports Cars and the Frogeye Company on the Isle of White ran thriving businesses exporting renovated Spridgets by the half dozen to Japan. MG also saw the interest in British sports cars created by the MX5 as a opportunity and built a limited edition of 2000 MG RV8’s loosely based around the MG B Roadster.
At the heart of the RV8 roadster was a 3,946 cc / 240 cui V8 based on the aluminium Buick Rover V8 that had become the motor of choice amongst British sports car builders, slightly ironically the original MG B Roadster had never been available the the V8 that was an option for the B GT Coupé bodyshell.
BBS wheels a good dose of Connolly leather and a splash of veneered Burr Elm completed the look of the reincarnation of the worlds most numerous sports car.The boot / trunk lid and doors are the only panels to carry over from the original MG B all though beneath the skin the rear drum brakes and some suspension components were also carried over from the MG B that was phased out in 1980.
The RV8 is built for those who travel light the floor of the boot trunk is so high that there is little space for anything beside the full size spare wheel. Between 1993 and 1995 1579 MG RV8’s were exported to Japan leaving just 421 to be distributed through the rest of the world.
Thanks for joining me on this ‘Japanese Edition’ of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !