Retro Wednesday - Hiding in Plain Sight - Part 2 - Corvette's to the left of me, Porsche's to the right...


As you can see in the picture, people were ignoring it, but I instantly realized it was not just another MGB. I am always amazed at the creativity involved in a swap like this, but this one goes far beyond "common".
As with the MG at last month's Caffeine and Octane show, the level of detail is stunning. Considering they are both MG's I wondered if they were owned by the same person, but like last month, whomever owned this one was also nowhere to be found.
To fully appreciate everything under the hood, you need to take some time. Items like the bare aluminum heater housing, remote filter, and stainless fasteners are accompanied other details too numerous to list.

99% of the world would probably have started by choosing a Chevy or Ford small block to "shoehorn" into the engine compartment. This one was equipped with an Oldsmobile F-85 V8. Based on some research regarding this type of swap, it's likely equipped with an all aluminum 215 CI V8.

215 V8 - More Mighty Than the "Mouse"
You might wonder why someone would consider using a 215 CI motor vs. a small block Chevy or Ford. To start, it's one of the lightest weight stock V8 ever produced. It is also one amazing little motor.

In a base stock configuration, the '61, 4bbl equipped version pumped out 195 HP at 4800 rpm and 235 lb·ft at 3200 rpm in 1961. That's double the HP and TQ of the standard 1700 CC MGB 4 cylinder, with peak HP and TQ arriving within a very "normal" RPM range. 

In 1962 Dan Gurney drove a Mickey Thompson Indy car with a similar 215 V8. It was the only non-Offenhauser equipped entry in the field of 33 cars and qualified 9th before transmission issues sidelined the entry.

In the '80's, hot rodders realized they could punch out the displacement to over 300 CI using fairly common parts and bolt on the high compression heads from a Morgan +8. Morgan and Rover both used the same 215 to power their cars for many years.
I think this car would be a real joy to drive. Double the HP and TQ of the original 4 cyl., connected to a Tremec 5-speed with overdrive, a 3:90 rear axle ratio, and nearly the same F to R weight distribution.
Photos done, you can see no one is paying an ounce of attention to this gem...hiding in plain sight.