Errr... maybe it’s just a hatchback. But no matter how you look at it, when MG commissioned famed Italian auto designer Pininfarina to sculpt a solid roof for their venerable MGB roadster, the result was quite stunning and timeless.

Now, my wife is a fantastic driver but she isn’t exactly what you’ll call a car person. So when she gave me a decade warning that for her 40th birthday she desired not fancy jewelry or an expensive vacation but I neat vintage sports car, my jaw hit the floor. While simultaneously fitting my mouth back together I ran to the computer and started brainstorming ideas. I floated several pictures her way to determine her fancy and quickly learned she did not want a convertible. “Even better” I said to myself. Personally, I shy away from the styling of many soft tops, not to mention the other issues that come along with owning a convertible. I needn’t worry about leaks, mechanical malfunctions or just plain cold weather to hinder the driving experience.

We quickly decided that the MGB GT would really check all the boxes. It even has a quirky backseat to stuff the little ones for a family ride. Turns out an MGB GT, that isn’t a rusted turd, is somewhat tricky to come by. But I was patient. She’s only 29ish which gave me years to find the perfect car. As luck would have it, a few months of casual searches on the local craigslist returned a pristine semi-restored example. A superb vintage from the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and seventy-three.

The 1973 MGB GT came equipped with the same 1.8 liter straight and sturdy four-cylinder from the rag-top roadster. The motor sends power all 95 bhp to the rear wheels through a four-speed synchro-mesh transmission. This tranny is from the more powerful 3.5 liter V8 built for the MGC. All MGB’s were available with an option overdrive but only 20% were ever fitted with the electrically engaged gearbox. Fortunately I happened to buy one that was just so equipped and this thing will happy buzz down the highway at 70 mph without a fuss.

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1973 also happens to be the last year that MG decided ship the hard-top GT to sell to the wagon-hating citizens of North America. Its also the last year before the Great Nanny State, also known as the U.S of A., installed sweeping safety regulations protecting the precious populous from the dangers of chrome bumpers. To be sold in the U.S. for the year 1974 the MG was required to be fitted with the most god-awful ugly black rubber bumpers and the ride height would need to rise two whopping inches. Essentially destroying everything great about this car.

Since I love my wife so much, I quickly decided I couldn’t pass up this deal. Plus my personal daily driver has recently clicked over 235,000 miles and another four wheels in the stable would give the old S4 a much needed rest. Now my wife only has a to wait a few more years till she gets your 40th birthday present. It’s just too bad I couldn’t find an MBG GT in British racing green.