A modified MGB GT, known as the ‘MG B-EAST’ is one step closer to becoming a real Hot Wheels diecast after winning the UK leg of the Legends Tour.
The Hot Wheels Legends Tour is the stuff of childhood dreams. If you aren’t aware of what it involves, the concept is pretty darn cool. Around the world, creators of the most imaginative modified builds place their cars before a set of renowned judges, who are then tasked with crowning a regional champion. Eventually, each regional champion gets whittled down to a select few who then go up against each other in the Grand Finale. Whoever wins that final vote gets their car immortalized as a genuine Hot Wheels diecast!
Recently, the British leg of the Hot Wheels Legends Tour was contested at Bicester Heritage as part of the RADwood UK show, and although 274 cars were entered for the UK Legends Tour, just a handful were selected for the British regional final. As you can imagine, the quality of the builds on show was next-level, ranging from a slammed Super Touring-style Skoda Octavia estate, to a rat rod-esque Hillman Husky. There can only be one winner though, and in this case it was Michael Wallhead’s MG B-EAST…
Before we delve into the details surrounding this modified MGB GT, it’s worth getting to know its owner and creator first, just to set the scene a bit. Up until now, Michael’s biggest claim to fame was probably the fact that he’s a Guinness World Record holder. “For what?”, you might ask. Well, for clocking the fastest ever speed in a wheelie bin. That’s what.
Yep, earlier this year, Michael kitted out a humble wheelie bin with the two-stroke engine from a Suzuki GP125, hooked that up to a five-speed gearbox, and fitted some go-kart wheels at each corner. The result? A scary 55mph! That should be enough to make him an instant hero in anyone’s book, but another string to his bow is the fact that recycled parts are something he takes pride in using.
“For all my builds, I always look to find ways to reuse parts,” he said. “On this MGB GT I’ve even used registration plates to build the glove box. Everything has a second or third life and I try not to throw things away that can be reused.”
That’s a stance we can get behind. And speaking of that MG, let’s see what exactly he’s done to it…
The first thing to take note of s the car’s looks. This is one of the coolest MGB GTs we’ve seen in a long time, featuring a dramatic side-exit exhaust, bolted-on wide arches, and a rear end that wouldn’t look out of place in Mad Max. It’s almost like a gruffer, rowdier cousin version of those elegantly wide Sebring-kitted MGB GTs from back in the day. And for that, we love it.
Inside, there are all sorts of little visual highlights. As well as the license-plate glovebox, Michael’s recycling tendencies are apparent in the jeans-upholstered seats, while temporary transfer tattoos of flowers serve as decoration around the cabin. When one of the judges, Richard Porter, asked him why this was, Michael responded with the simple explanation, “I just like flowers” (as revealed on Porter’s Smith & Sniff podcast). Can’t argue with that.
Under its impressive skin, this MGB is a real Frankenstein’s monster of parts… in the best way possible. For example, under the hood you’ll find a 3.0-liter Jaguar AJV6 engine, which can apparently propel the MG B-EAST to 60mph in just 4.2 seconds. If Michael keeps his foot planted, the car will climb all the way to 148mph. Elsewhere, the little coupe is packing a Range Rover propshaft, throttle bodies from a Triumph motorcycle, an axle from a Reliant Scimitar, and brakes from an S14 Silvia. All of which was done in the name of recycling and reusing old parts which otherwise might have been binned. In total, it’s taken around eight years to put together.
“I’m so humbled to have been chosen as the UK winner – from a stellar line-up with no two cars the same,” Michael beamed. “Growing up, I played with Hot Wheels, and you always had your favorites – the one that went fastest or the one that looked the coolest, and those memories inspired me when it came to designing the B-EAST.”