The big news for the 1965 MGB was a Pininfarina-designed coupe, called the MGB GT. Production started very slowly, with only 524 GTs delivered in the first year. Domestic sales totaled 350 cars, and the U.S. received 164 GTs.
The GT cost $3,095 in the U.S. and is considered one of the most attractive British car designs of the 1960s, even though the rear seat was restricted to small children. A roof rack was offered and a heated rear window could be ordered, while Webasto canvas sunroofs became a popular option. Pull-type door handles were replaced by push-buttons in March this year on all MGB models, and the fuel tank increased from 10 to 12 gallons.
The MGB GT received a sturdier Salisbury rear axle which was fitted to all MGBs from 1967, when a 4-speed synchromesh box finally replaced the MGA’s “crash” first gear. MGB roadster sales held steady with export figures confirming the car’s worldwide reputation. The total for 1965 was 24,179 units, with 13,815 heading for the U.S.
In October 1965 Iris Blue was discontinued, to be replaced by Mineral Blue, with the same black leather seats with blue piping and blue or black soft top option until October 1965, when only the black top was continued. An optional hardtop could be Black, Blue or White until October 1965 when the Blue hardtop was discontinued. Red, Gray and White hardtops were also discontinued in 1966 and only Black was available afterwards.
Early MGBs had one of two convertible tops. The most common was the so-called pack-away top which could be dismantled and put in the trunk, enabling enough room for a child behind the front seats. Early cars had and optional cushion for the rear deck. Some cars had an attached folding convertible top which was finally standardized in the Mk II model in 1970. A top boot was included and matching tonneau cover was optional. Black, Red, Gray, Blue or White fiberglass factory hardtops were optional. All convertible tops were black from 1967 on.