A Study in British Sports Car Grilles

At Sports Car Craftsmen, our dedication to authenticity and our attention to detail often result in weeks of research and surprising discoveries. Between our vast collection of original parts, our library of original shop and parts manuals, dozens of reference texts, and our years of experience, we can reconstruct the evolution of these cars over their lifespan.

Information on Grilles for a British Sports Car

In August 2012, we were on a quest to replace the grille on an exceptional 1964 MGB. This MGB has a very special place in our hearts. It was crashed 15 months after it came off the line, and then was stored for the next 40 years. Paul bought this car in 2000, with the hope of restoring it to its former glory. As it had only 15,000 original miles, along with special details, such as inspection paint markings, factory original sound deadening material, and grease pencil markings, it was important that this car was restored to its original character, not modern standards. As such, the use of original parts was a must. This car suffered significant front end damage and required an entirely new grill. Paul scoured his extensive stock of original grilles for the perfect replacement. We’re hoping to make this MGB the perfect MGB, so a reproduction grille was out of the question.

We’ve always known that reproduction grilles are substandard to originals. Reproductions—of all parts—tend to be inconsistent throughout the part, or fail to mimic the exact shape of the originals. This leads to an inadequate fit, and occasionally they’re so poorly made that they don’t fit at all. But as we searched for our best early grill, we noticed several differences between versions. Once we started actively started looking for these differences, we realized that there were many seemingly insignificant details that could differentiate not only originals from reproductions, but also originals from originals.
Thus, we present for you, a study of MGB grilles, 1962-1969 (1970-1974 forthcoming).

A Study in Grilles

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When a similar MGB came to us in August, the victim of a Hummer with a reversing problem, we saw our chance to study the differences between original and reproduction grilles. The car had an original grille, and we hoped to replicate it as closely as possible with a reproduction. Our summer of research gave us a detailed understanding of the differences between grilles, but also a new appreciation of how the different parts of the grille worked together to produce a very specific look once installed. Using this new-found knowledge, we were able to modify a reproduction grille for this damaged B.