Beetle V8 60s Saloons

UK Special Saloon + Modsports Historical Database

MGB - the Modsport years


Ashford TerryOsborne ex-Ashford

Royston Ashford raced this 1963 MGB '222 WAE' for many years for MG dealers Hall + Windmill of Bristol. This was a works spec car but in privateer hands to promote sales. Ashford was a familiar sight at races from 1964 until 1970. The car raced mostly in the company's green with orange stripe livery in production sports car races culminating in the 1970 Modsports season by which time tasteful wheel arches had sprouted as part of the development.

Having come from the BMC works department in Abingdon in 1963 the car already had lightweight aluminium panels and all the engine tweeks afforded the works cars which were then very much part of the world sports car championship. It used the 1840cc 4 cylinder engine with Weber carbs.

Roy's 1970 Modsport season was largley focused on the BARC 'Chevron Oils' championship and other races particulary at Castle Combe being only 20+ miles from Bristol.

In september 1970 Lex bought Hall + Windmill and closed the race programme. Having declined to buy the car Ashford recommended his friend Terry Osbourne. Terry continued in Modsports with her ,see main photo ,now in a blue livery. Results from Autosport show Ashford still racing into 1972 with the car. As other MGs did Terry concentrated more on MG-based events ,becoming part of the first season in the MGB/C V8 Championship winning the modified class in 1979+80.

When Terry retired the car was sold to Colin Pearcey who returned her back to period Hall + Windmill livery and spec. Pearcey has raced her at theGoodwoood revival 2001,2004 + 2009 amongst other historic events.


Bill Nicholson '286 FAC'

Bill Nicholson had one the longest running careers with the same car in club racing history. His beloved red and white-hooded MGB '286 FAC' served him so well from 1964 until a final race in 1990. Bill ( no relation to the old Spurs manager ) ran his tuning business in Northampton from 1966 selling upgrades kits for BMC engines. Being so close it was naturally Silverstone where he was such a familiar sight.

His car was featured in Motor Sport ( March 1967 ) and described as 'an exceptionally nice one to drive with well sorted handling'. Nicholson had won 7 races in 1966 and set the lap record on Silverstone's Grand Prix circuit at 1min 52 seconds for a 2000cc Marque car. 

Both an absolute MG expert and stalwart Bill and '286 FAC' won an incredible 251 events together. Beyond the many races in the 1960's Bill was a regular in the Nottingham Sports Car Club's 'Dick Protheroe Modsport Championship' which came in 1970 with the other newly named and organised Modified sports car championships. Bill won the 2-litre class and placed 2nd overall in a car that was always well prepared and deceptively standard looking. As the MGB in general began to become less competitive in 1970s Modsports Bill began to focus more on races at Silverstone or MG club events which kept him busy racing to 1990.

Sadly Bill passed away in 2004 aged 74 and its believed the family have retained the car.




Terry Carpenter

Terry Carpenter completes the trio of top Modsport men from the early 70's. His very distinctive blue MGB with white mouth and roof , bonnet intake complete with Pearce mag wheels.



Roy Ashford '222 WAE' known results 1970

Roy Ashford '222 WAE' known results 1971

Roy Ashford '222 WAE' known results 1972

Bill Nicholson '286 FAC' known results 1970

* finished 2nd on the road but incured 1 minute penalty

One of the great success stories in British motoring history . From its launch in 1962 as an affordable convertable the B sold a huge 387,259 units with the majority exported to the States over an 18-year production life. On track the B raced at LeMans 1963/64 + 65 plus many other world championship events especially at Sebring. A regular sight at club events in the 1960's coming into the birth of Modsports for the new decade. This page picks up the story in 1970 as Britains best sports car export continued its racing career.

Bill Nicholson '286 FAC' known results 1971

+ Don Bunce drove the car to 3rd overall ( class win ) on september 19th MGCC Modsport race

Bill Nicholson '286 FAC' known results 1972

Terry Carpenter - known results 1970

Terry Carpenter - known results 1971

Terry Carpenter - known results 1972

Anthony Binnington - known results 1970

* with B. Shellard

John Gregson - known results 1972

Bill Nicholson '286 FAC' known results 1974

Robert Craig - known results 1974