John Webber
John Webber
4/25/19 10:00 a.m.

Story by John Webber, Photography by the Author

Let’s say you have a perfectly good Tremec T-5 transmission gathering dust in your garage, and you’re wondering what to do with it. For many gearheads, selling the thing on eBay might come to mind, or maybe hauling it to a swap meet for a trade. But if you’re creative and love to fabricate, you might just ask yourself this question: Hey, why not build a car around it?

That’s what father-son team Jack and Brian Collins did. These longtime car builders, who run a British car shop near Orlando called Ceres Motorsports, dusted off that T-5, mated it to a 2003 Ford Focus Zetec engine pulled from a junkyard, and slipped the potent powertrain into a 1979 MGB. Well, slipped may not be exactly the word, since this unusual swap involved months of pondering, measuring, designing, machining, trial-fitting, refitting and testing.

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Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
4/25/19 10:08 a.m.

Looks perfect. 

Both your links take us to a 404 page unfound though.

Also the annoying subscribe pop up is back even on my desktop after the 404 link, it never went away on my phone though.

Bent-Valve Reader
4/25/19 12:59 p.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson :

Link works now. Maybe clear your browser history. Then 

  1. Right Click on the Start Icon.
  2. Click on Command Prompt.
  3. The Windows Command Prompt Window will appear. Type in: ipconfig /flushdns. and press ENTER.
  4. You should receive the following message: Windows IP Configuration. Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.

This will reload where your webpages point and may fix bad links.

nderwater UltimaDork
4/25/19 1:12 p.m.

Cool project.  That's about the prettiest MGB I've ever seen. 

4/25/19 2:44 p.m.

Very well done! Maybe one day we can put your MGZ up against my Ecotec Spitfire! I'm a little behind though...

Indy-Guy UberDork
4/25/19 2:58 p.m.

I really like the look of those steel wheels.  Are they stock wheels from a TR6 or aftermarket something?

jr02518 Reader
4/25/19 8:35 p.m.

2nd on the wheels.  I would like these for my 1960 MGA Coupe.  If someone get's the info on these I'm up for a set.




Robbie UltimaDork
4/25/19 8:57 p.m.

Very likely tr6 wheels. Direct bolt on and 15 inches instead of 14.

I got two sets (8 wheels total) at a swap meet for $80 or something a year or two back. With the intention of using them on my mgbgt.

Indy-Guy UberDork
4/25/19 9:05 p.m.

In reply to Robbie :

If you want to unload a set, they would fit nicely on my TR4.

Steve_Jones New Reader
4/25/19 9:42 p.m.

They are about 14 years late to the game. Same conversion was done in a Datsun 1600 in 2005. 

There are still photos of it on BAT from when it sold in 2008.


BigLou New Reader
4/29/19 11:23 a.m.

Very cool MGB.  A neighbor of mine had one when I was a kid and I always thought it was one of the coolest little cars.

MustangSix HalfDork
5/15/19 11:42 a.m.

Thanks for the comments.  Its a great car to drive.

The engine setback was a coin toss - do we cut the crossmember or cut the heater shelf?  The heater lost because I was feeling lazy that day, it was easier, and this is Florida.  Who needs a heater? It actually helped put the shifter in the stock location.

We put the car on race scales and it came in at 2050 lbs, IIRC, and about 51/49 F/R, but that was without the top installed that day.  Probably would have been very close to 50/50 with that extra 30lbs behind the driver.  Overall we lost over 200lbs by ditching a lot of rubber bumper stuff and that anvil of an engine/transmission.

50/50 is a good target but just getting 100lbs total off the nose and tail did more.  Polar moment of intertia, and all.

Not TR6 wheels - they're Nissan Sentra 15x6.  We cut the welds and relocated the centers to get the proper offset for an MGB.  

Dan, I'd love to see more on the Ecotec Spit!


RossD MegaDork
5/15/19 11:55 a.m.

I'm going to put a Zetec in the back of my Renault, so seeing other Zetec swaps always gets me motivated. Especially when they look that good.

Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
5/15/19 7:57 p.m.

I've posted this before. Awesome, but about $400usd before shipping, but it would look awesome on the B

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