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MGB with a Mk1 Supra Powertrain

MGB with a Mk1 Supra Drivetrain

Lorne Fritz is an accomplished mechanic, business owner, and racer. He has owned and operated a British sports car restoration shop called Sports Car Haven in Danville, Pennsylvania for over 40 years. He also races and maintains various British race cars having competed in SCCA since 1972. Even though his love for these small cars runs deep, it doesn’t mean he is opposed to creating something different.

MGB with a Mk1 Supra Drivetrain

MGB with a Mk1 Supra Drivetrain

It all started when a customer approached Lorne to turn a 1979 A40 Toyota Supra into a race car. Lorne informed him the Supra had too much damage and wasn’t worth it. After learning it was too far gone the customer gave the Supra to him. Knowing the powertrain was still good, the car sat for several years until Lorne found the perfect recipient.

MGB with a Mk1 Supra Drivetrain

MGB with a Mk1 Supra Drivetrain

That opportunity appeared when Lorne found a MGB that was going to be scrapped because it was not feasible to restore. After the body was stripped and sand blasted Lorne installed new body panels and fabricated new floors. He also installed extra bracing, a roll bar, reinforced the sills, and flared the rear fenders for the Supra’s wider rear end.

MGB with a Mk1 Supra Drivetrain

MGB with a Mk1 Supra Drivetrain

To get the inline-six engine to fit, the air conditioning pulley was removed from the front of the engine. Then the firewall was cut out so the engine could be pushed back until it cleared the steering rack and was installed using a pair of custom mounts made by Lorne. When the firewall was replaced it had been moved backwards almost 12 inches. An extra benefit of moving the engine back was a very close 50/50 weight distribution.

MGB with a Mk1 Supra Drivetrain

MGB with a Mk1 Supra Drivetrain

The 2563 cc 4M-E inline-six is stock and includes the factory fuel injection and wiring harness. The engine produces 110 horsepower (82 kW) and 136 lb-ft (184 Nm) of torque from the factory. Behind the engine sits a five-speed W50 manual transmission and Mk1 Supra rear end.

MGB with a Mk1 Supra Drivetrain

MGB with a Mk1 Supra Drivetrain

Inside the MGB sits a pair of Summit racing seats with G-Force racing harnesses. The factory Toyota gauges were installed inside an earlier MGB model dash while the battery and fuel cell were relocated inside the trunk. Even the Supra wheels were able to be used because they conveniently matched the MG bolt pattern.

MGB with a Mk1 Supra Drivetrain

MGB with a Mk1 Supra Drivetrain

MGB with a Mk1 Supra Drivetrain

Lorne has completed similar projects with V8s and T5 transmissions but says this one works better for him and enjoys driving it as often as he can.

MGB with a Mk1 Supra Drivetrain

3 thoughts on “MGB with a Mk1 Supra Powertrain”

  1. Fantastic project and made my day! In 1992, I was in high school and worked at a Toyota dealership, where I bought a second gen Supra with a 7MGE and 5 speed for $100. It was abandoned with no title after $2K of repair. I had a non-restorable ’65 MGB I also bought for $100 and wanted to swap in the L6/5speed. I tore that Supra down, but that was where the work stopped. Friend’s farm to store cars/parts, 16 year old attention span, big dreams, little knowledge…I sold off everything for what I paid. What a lost opportunity, but seeing this project happen gives me a little joy knowing someone else who can do had similar aspirations!

  2. I have a 1977 mgb with 70 thousand miles. I would like to upgrade to a fuel injected v6. Which car can I buy that will offer me the correct parts? How much is the labor normally once the parts are bought? Thank you.

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