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1979 MGB Features Mopar Surprise in the Trunk and No Common Sense, That's Why We Love It
Historically, if you drove an MG MGB British drop-top sports car, it's because you prefer it over the rear-engined Porsche 912 you cold have had instead. Just how profoundly different the two cars from each other were ultimately helped become a selling point for both cars.

1979 MGB Features Mopar Surprise in the Trunk and No Common Sense, That's Why We Love It

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So why on Earth would anyone in their right mind take an MGB body and shove an engine into where its trunk used to be? Well, it almost definitely isn't for better weight distribution like Porsche fans insist they do in modern 911s. If we had to guess, it was likely just for a laugh. In order to understand how this bizarre rear-engined Frankenstein's monster came to exist, we need to understand the mind behind its creator, Devon West.

Those who know the method behind the madness know Devon West for his certifiably bonkers Jeep mail truck he fitted with a seven-liter V12 engine out of an old Jaguar. So, in short, he's a man who takes typical custom car conventions and throws them in the incinerator. So, in short, the kind of person we love to see go crazy with their ideas. 

With this in mind, it's all the more understandable to see how this bonkers creation took shape. It all starts with the chassis and bodyshell of a clapped-out 1979 MGB that most people would be too lazy to even haul to a scrap yard. From there, the 1.8-liter B-series Austin engine and accompanying four-speed manual gearbox were promptly removed and presumably thrown away.

It's a pity if you're worried about carbon footprints but an absolute joy if you're into bizarre restomods. Sitting under the engine bay in this car nowadays is, well, a whole lot of nothing, plus the front portion of the new, larger Mopar 727 three-speed automatic transmission. But of course, it's in the trunk where the real magic of this build lies.

It's a 318-cubic inch (5.2-liter) V8 Mopar engine out of a 1966 Charger coupe. And yes, that is the radiator you see jutting into the passenger compartment of this MGB. Why? Because more stringent California safety laws are just a suggestion if you've got an ECU for a brain and Royal Purple running through your veins. The Texas number plate also helps in this regard.  

Power is fed rearward through a modified MGB axle and forward to an NGP 242 transfer case from, of all things, an old Humvee.That might go a long way in explaining the somewhat aloof ride height of this car. Although, the Jeep CJ5 rear suspension could also be the culprit for all of that business.

If we move our attention close up to the rear of the vehicle, there's almost the impression the engine isn't even connected to the drivetrain. It's as if someone used a forklift to pull the motor right out from under the hood of a Dodge Charger and flung it into the trunk of an MGB. At which point, they called it a day.

If anything, this engine is likely running even better than it did under the hood of a 60s American Muscle car. The aftermarket Edelbrock carburetor and shiny new radiator assure that's the case. But because this MGB has
about as much to do with an American truck underneath as it does a British sports car, there's a fair amount of 4x4 regalia on display here as well.

This comes in the form of two General Grabber all-terrain tires in the rear to match up with that previously mentioned Jeep CJ5 rear suspension. Throw in a side-mounted metal cantine we can't tell whether it's carrying fuel, water, or some bizzare mix of the two, and you have a look that's ready for a role in a Mad Max movie. But it's more likely to astonish car show patrons with its in your face and unapologetic weirdness. It doesn't need to exist, but we're so unbelievably happy that it does.

Check back soon for more custom car profiles here on autoevolution.


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