The Market

Extremely rare 1981 MGB GT V8 SEC heads to auction

The car is a one-of-one, making it extremely rare.

Photo courtesy of The Market

The Market, an online classic car auctioneer, will offer one of the rarest cars of the 1980s for sale this month. The 1981 MGB GT V8 SEC is one of just five Special Edition Classic MGBs made.

The final run of MGBs to leave the MG Abington factory before it closed in 1980 wore the SEC badge. They were one-off cars built as part of a collaboration between British Leyland, the MG Owner's Club, and The Abingdon Classic Car Company.

The vehicles that were part of that run were engineered nearly exclusively by former MG employees who stripped back standard MBGs and gave them the luxury treatment. They had plush interiors, upgraded performance, and featured classic design elements from MG history.

1981 MGB GT V8 SEC interior The car features a black leather interior with red piping on the seats.Photo courtesy of The Market

"The level of finish and quality of this car is nothing like any other MGB. It's more like an Aston Martin," comments Tristan Judge, director, The Market. "The SEC cars hold a special place in MGB history but few people are aware of them. With such small numbers made even less remain, which means one thing; rarity. This is a case of try to find another! It's simply impossible, this is it."

The GT V8 SEC is the only model of its kind that was made. It is registered "SRT 856W" and wears a black paint job. It is powered by a V8 engine (in updated Rover SD1 form) that is paired with a five-speed gearbox. Its interior is finished in black heater, Bedford cord headlining, Wilton wool carpets, leather and walnut veneer dashboard, and door cards and seats in matching black leather with red piping.

The model has been enhanced by the addition of a chrome bumper in place of rubber, an earlier grill, and lowered suspension to pre-1974 specifications.

The original buyer checked some options boxes. The car came with a period glass "sun hatch" roof, limited edition alloy wheels, map pockets, stainless steel exhaust system, and bespoke Moto-Lita steering wheel. The car also has Protectol corrosion protection and improved sound proofing.

Today, just two of the five models are known to have survived. The original sale invoice from the model shows that its first owner was Kay Shoemakers Ltd of Kendall, Cumbria. Kay Shoemakers has a history at least as rich as MG's, but like the automaker it too fell on hard times in the last half of the 20th Century.

The original invoice for the car totalled just over £13,100, significantly higher than the standard model price at the time of approximately £5,500.

The vehicle is known to have spent a period of time in Sweden before a new owner repatriated it to the U.K. last year after three years of regular use in Europe.

The Market offers that the car's history file includes the original sales invoice (a BL Heritage stamp shows that the company was an approved restorer) and a British Motor Industry Heritage Trust Certificate as well as correspondence with the MG Owners' Club, who prompted the SEC project in the first instance, a selection of invoices, and magazine articles.

Auctioneers expect that the model will go for £28,000 to £40,000 ($34,000- $50,000 USD) when it goes on sale May 21-28, 2020. Buyers from The Market pay only what they bid with no additional auction fees.

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Yamaha Grand National Cross Country University gives drivers the opportunity to hone their skills.

Photo courtesy of Yamaha

Registration for the Yamaha Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) University is now open. The unique school allows off-road racers and riders to hone their skills with some of the best off-road racers of all time. Each master class highlights off-road racing fundamentals including sportsmanship, training, proper nutrition, and race preparation, along with hands-on technical riding instruction.

The event will return to Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia and be followed by a full weekend of racing. Dates for the event are September 23-25, 2020. Reservations are on a first-come, first-serve basis with 80 openings evenly split between ATV and motorcycle disciplines.

Photo courtesy of Yamaha

"Racing is back, Yamaha GNCC University registration is open, and the resilience of the Powersports industry was on display this past weekend as many appreciated the opportunity to get back outdoors and enjoy the sport we love while still respecting the space and wishes of fellow race fans," said Steve Nessl, Yamaha's Motorsports group marketing manager. "We celebrate podiums and championships at the end of a race day, but it is the time spent at the races on the whole that we take away as precious memories. That's why Yamaha GNCC University is such a special event, as it offers the next-generation of racers the opportunity to build not only memories, but also their race skill-set alongside past champions and legends of the sport."

ATV Classes will be led by:

  • Johnny Gallagher, XC1 Pro ATV rider celebrating 26 years racing at a pro-level.
  • Walker Fowler, five-time GNCC XC1 Pro ATV champion, and current undefeated series leader.
  • Traci Pickens, 12-time WXC ATV champion.
  • Mark Notman, retired Pro ATV racer and elite Walker Fowler Racing mechanic.
  • Josh Merritt, XC1 Pro ATV racer.

Motorcycle classes will be led by:

  • Randy Hawkins, seven-time AMA National Enduro champion and AmPro Yamaha Racing team owner.
  • Jason Raines, five-time AMA National Hare Scramble champion.
  • Layne Michael, XC1 Open Pro motorcycle rider.
  • Michael Witkowski, XC2 250 Pro motorcycle rider.
  • Becca Sheets, WXC motorcycle and undefeated class leader.
  • Rachael Archer, WXC motorcycle rider.

Rider can register by calling the resort at 877-441-4386 or find more information online at GNCCRacing.com.

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