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What is the correct colour for a B engine please?

I know it must have been asked before, but cannot remember the answer!!


Colin Parkinson

Depends upon the year.

Red (maroon) up through about 1970, then black.
rick ingram

The change to black came at the 72 year model i.e when the 18v engines were fitted.
Iain MacKintosh

Don't forget the Goldseal genuine BMC exchange engine. I think there was also a short silverseal.
c cummins

Hi. I have just bought a 76 B Roadster with a Gold Seal engine and can confirm it is painted gold
Dave Dunlop

for your cars its damask red
Ste Brown

Iain -

that change to black was made before the 18V - I have had two GK series engine cars 1971s with black engines.

I wish mine were red - I always wondered if the change was made to hide oil leaks!

J Delk

Clausager states black replaced red with the start of the 18V in 1971. Mind you his book also shows two shades of red - one 64 very close to (if not actually) Tartan Red and a 69 closer to the maroon usually given as the name for engine red. One could say that the owner of the Tartan red car chose to paint his engine the same as the body, but I happen to know he paid excrutiating attention to detail on the rebuild so find this unlikely. Damask was a body colour that didn't arrive until 1973.
Paul Hunt 2

I myself have this same question on the color of red. I have looked at many pictures of engines and some definitely look to painted more of a tartan or true red rather than the maroon, that most claim to be correct. I myself would sure like to know. Even knowing that Abingdon may have used what was available on that particular build day, the question still remains--What is the proper color supposed to be??
James Johanski

I think Clausager may be slightly off on this as many GK series engines I have seen in orig condition have been black - that change may have been made a few month prior to the actual change in engine spec.

Just a thought...

J Delk

FWIW it wouldn't have been Abingdon that painted them, they would have come from Longbridge or other factory ready built. In fact Abingdon received a kit of parts including the ready painted and trimmed body shell, and just did the final assembly. I say 'just' but that is arguably the most important part.
Paul Hunt 2

Ste, it is not for any of my cars, it is another engine which I am building for a customer, and is an 18V.
So black it will be!

Colin Parkinson

i know damask was a body colour but it went from 63 to 80 and is the nearest if not perfect colour for the engine
my one owner 63 has its original engine in it and it is def not red and i colour matched it to damask
Ste Brown

There is a VW body colour that is so close it's creepy. (It's in the archives) I picked up a tin of engine maroon at Silverstone back in the 80s but have never seen one again
Stan Best

VW Gambia red - I found it a few years back when I got an untouched MGA engine in and the back of the oil filter body was absolutely perfect and the original colour - I used this to find the closest match and VW Gambia red is spot on.
Chris at Octarine Services

The Austin Green that midgets, Minis and other variants were so many different shades of green. The B series in the A's, B's and others had the same thing. I have saved and thrown more parts of varying shades that I have found that the "correct" Moss purplish red to be wrong in most cases! They were far more red with a purple hue to some. The last one we mixed, we made more red then standard but added blue tint to make it a hair closer. Sorry to say I don't have a formula but start looking over original parts from varying years and models and you may be surprised.

BMC Brian McCullough

According to Clausager Damask Red was available from 73 to 77. At least one web source (Paul Tegler) gives 63 to 80 as the date range, but then he gives that same range to many of the other colours as well (including all nine 'red' colours!) and it is incorrect.
Paul Hunt 2

Has any one tried the Bill Hirsch MG Engine Red. This is a deep (almost maroon) red, very close to Damask Red in tone and color. It would seen from these comments that the red is more of a maroon than say a carnation.
James Johanski

Paul Hanley ordered a can of it for his Twincam....came to him in a rather Salmon colour....when questioned, Hirsch stood by the colour of that batch.

I've used Hirsch's Healey Green on my MGC..with no problems.
rick ingram

Colin - Rick Ingram and others seem correct. Up to year'69 /'70 18GD - Maroon (Damask), then seems late '70s > - Black. My supposed '69 GT is Maroon.
Can anyone give some origation history please?
Engine: 18GD RWE H 6850.
Chassis: 007284.
Car Numb: GHD4-157709G (??'67)
Body: GBD - 024876P
with ?? factory Vinyl sun roof.

Stewart Woodcock

This thread was discussed between 21/06/2007 and 03/07/2007

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