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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Safety

Is a mgb roadster with a V8 a safe car to drive? It seems to me that an open top car would be more suceptable to severe collision damage. Any thoughts?

Justin Justin

Just as safe as a MGB 4 cylinder or any other convertible, domestic or import.
The safety factor is the driver.


Correct, of course, Bruce but that's not the point of his question is it?


I agree with Bruce. I'm not sure why adding a V8 will change the safety aspect.

If you want added safety a roll cage and full harness can be added.


I just have a plain vanilla 4 cylinder MGB, but I enjoying lurking in this group once in a while just to listen to what is going on.

In some of the books about the history of the MGB, there are pictures of MGB's that were used as crash test victims, as part of the US safety certifications. In every picture that I saw of a car that had been subjected to a head-on collision, the front of the car crumpled, but the windshield and doors were intact. To me, this indicated that the passenger space remained intact, with minimal intrusion that could injure a driver or passenger. That is not bad for a car whose basic design originated in 1959, long before crash testing and crumple zones were ever even heard of.
Paul Noble

If the car is set up correctly, i.e. with brakes and suspension to match the extra power then the car should be safer than an unmodified 4 cylinder in any given situation. As Bruce says, beyond that it is down to the driver.

Surely the orginal question is more about a roll-over situation in which case the answer must be that yes the potential for injury is greater and that one can can take precautionary measures such as fitting a roll-bar or roll cage.

Perfectly safe - MG made the RV8 (OK, Rover did). Depends whether the question relates to V8 power as opposed to 4-cylinder, or roadster as opposed to GT. In the former case the engine configuration and size is pretty immaterial - it is the impact speed that is important. In the latter then I doubt any open car is safer than a closed car although roll-over bars will help. There is a well-documented cas on this site of a racing-speed impact with a concrete wall. The driver was rendered unconcious through sheer decelleration, which should have killed him, but the stretch of the belts and forward movement of his head saved him. There was no deformation of the passenger compartment at all, not even in the footwell. A sound MG is far stronger than any modern car - it just does not have the crumple zones. Crumple zones are OK up to a certain speed, after that a modern car will collapse in on you.

Paul Hunt

Well put Paul,
Modern cars are design to total them selves in a "typical" accident. I would think this to be your normal driving, highway rear endings, intersection collisions etc. the car crumples "slowly" absorbing as much of the impact as possible, they act like a metal pillow between the occupants and the item being struck. This keeps overall injuries down, but in more severe accidents can also lead to more fatalities due the car simply folding up around the occupant.

A MG is much more rigid, in an accident they rtansfer more of decelleration the force to he occupant as mentioned, but in severe accidents they also protect the occupant area from penetration.

Each serves a different purpose and has different uses.
Larry Embrey

It's not the the crash that kills you.
It's the sudden stop at the end.


This thread was discussed between 23/06/2001 and 30/06/2001

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