And finally all the news items from the dawn of our Costello Community! From 2008 to 2009.
5 December: The new grilles are in!
Five more reproduction, laser-cut, black eggbox grilles are available for despatch. Get in touch with Lawrence if you fancy one. Don't forget - you will need the MGB MkII black recessed grille and chrome surrounds to complete the installation. Note: These grilles are only available to proven Costello V8 owners.
01 December: Brake Upgrade Update.
The SD1 front caliper for solid discs, as used in an upgrade devised by Ken in the 70s (and covered in some detail in the TechTalk With Ken section) is now available new from Rimmer Bros, who have re-imported a consignment of SD1 parts originally shipped to India. They're a real find and very keenly priced too! Click on the link above and navigate to the Rover SDI India Bargains section. You will be looking for part numbers BAU 5125/5126.
Note: You will also require suitable brake pads and four, late Triumph GT6 shouldered mounting bolts - Rimmer Bros part number 158713. Please note that you will need V8 specification discs and that clearance problems may preclude the use of this calliper with some 14" wheels.
20 November: Bad News/Good News from France.
Thierry Denant, whose car suffered a failed fuel pump which ended his attempt to attend the inaugural gathering had yet more bad luck. After five enjoyable years of totally reliable running, he had a catastrophic engine failure. Without sufficient funds (he thought) to replace the engine, he was considering selling his car as a non-runner. Now, via this website, he has acquired a new SD1 engine at an affordable price - and he'll be keeping his beloved blue GT.
19 November: Costello Roadster For Sale!
It doesn't happen often, but a genuine Costello has just come on the market at Sussex Sportscars. This bright red, 1971 registered roadster is now owned by Gerry Wadman (See Roadsters) who acquired it when the previous owner decided on a change to an open four-seater classic. The car was produced as a one-off shortly after the original 1971-72 production run and comes with a signed sales invoice from 1987, when it was re-sold by Ken, who particularly remembers it. Email the dealer via their website for details, or 'phone them on 01273 477778.
16 November: Yet another Costello discovered.
This one is a 1976 LHD roadster in race trim, owned by Guy Verhofstadt - the former Belgian Prime Minister! More details in the Racers section.
12 November: Another Costello discovered.
Another Costello has been unearthed in Germany. The car belongs to Heinz Arndt in Berlin, and the detective work was done by fellow Costello owner Peter Brodt. More details in the Roadsters section.
05 November: 5 more new grilles to be made - and 10 more badges.
Get in touch with Lawrence if you would like to have one of these top quality, laser-cut, eggbox grille recreations, or one of the new Costello (Mk III) V8 badges in engraved stainless steel.
29 October: Inaugural Gathering in the Press.
Our Inaugural Gathering is highlighted in two publications - this month's Octane and MG Enthusiastmagazines.
20 October: New Costello article.
Thanks to Richard Fairclough from Harrogate for sending in this article from Sporting News (November 1983). You can download it from the Articles section.
19 October: New section 'TechTalk with Ken'.
During the Inaugural Gathering of Costello cars in September, Ken was politely quizzed by enthusiastic owners seeking his advice on various technical aspects of their cars. The questions were noted and the answers have since been further augmented by Ken. All the additional detail given has meant that they have now been transferred to a new webpage of their own: TechTalk with Ken. The earlier questions posed to Ken via email have been moved from the Technical Section to this new page. The TechTalk page also includes details on the two MGC Ken re-worked in the early 1970s. Take a look at Andrew Johnson's example in the Restorationssection, and at further pictures in the Gallery. Mgcostello.com has received outline details on the second Australian Costello (this one a Roadster), from Richard Read and eagerly await pictures.
18 September: More new recruits to mgcostello.com
One of only two MGCs to become a Costello has surfaced, and its owner Andrew Johnson has been in touch with details of his car - read more in the Restorations section. Chris Ward from Cornwall has made contact and identified his car as the ex-Paul Denton, Mk1 Racing Green GT, as previously seen in the Where Are They Now section. Richard Read from Adelaide, South Australia has submitted outline details of his Costello roadster, thereby doubling the total number of known Costellos in Australia...to two! Have a look on theRestorations page.
14 September: New recruit to mgcostello.com
Patsy Turl has been in touch with additional details of her car. It is already registered on the Roadsters page, but will now be accompanied by some more recent history for us to enjoy reading.
05 September: Inaugural Gathering a Success!
The first ever gathering of Ken Costello's ground breaking version of the MGBV8 took place today on the green at the well known petrolheads' pub, The Barley Mow at Tilford in Surrey.
More than a quarter of those Costellos already traced via this website turned up on Saturday and, with Ken himself present, the day was voted an outstanding success and one to be repeated next year, with yet more Costellos pledged to attend.
Enjoy the Inaugural Gathering page, celebrating the first get-together of as many Costellos as possible. Please feel free to submit your own pictures of the event.
04 September: Costellos in Classic & Sportscar, October edition.
Grab a copy and turn to page 42 and read about Lawrence's story of how this website began and is fast becoming the definitive source on all things Costello.
03 September: Great news!
To celebrate Ken's achievements (and Saturday's event) Frontline Costello, who currently make and distribute all Costello products, will now give a 10% discount to all those registered on this website.
01 September: Last call for the Costello get-together.
A final reminder for our inaugural gathering of Costello cars. The meeting will take place from 10am onwards on Saturday, 5th September at the Barley Mow pub, Tilford, Surrey. All details of the location can be found at the pub's website. Owner Charlie is looking forward to hosting us and will be opening the kitchens early to feed the hungry gathering. Following a pub lunch, those who have time can join in a drive of about 60 miles across the beautiful rolling South Downs of West Sussex, ending at another quintessentially English pub inLurgashall. More details for the route are available from Lawrence. Looking forward to meeting you there!
30 August: All badges and grilles are now sold out!
Many thanks to those of you who took the opportunity to purchase these items. Hopefully, they are adding that authentic Costello-look to your own car.
11 August: New badges Available.
The V8 Costello badges will be available for purchase from the 14th August. Please note that these are the MkII badges designed by Ken in the early 1980s but never put into production. This is logo you see at the top of each page on this website. As with the reproduction grilles, a limited number have been made in order to maintain authenticity and rarity. If you wish to purchase one, please contact Lawrence.
10 August: New recruits to mgcostello.com and more lost Costellos.
Richard White has introduced himself as the owner of the car in the black and white photo from the 1971Sunday Times article 'A Tiger in MGs Clothing'. It now sports a more standard MGB bonnet; we await to hear more on his restoration project. Michel Loreille's heavily modified, Sebring-bodied road racer is shown on the Racers page. We hope to get more information on this car soon. Seen in the Where Are They Now? section, can you help identify or locate the three new cars here? Chris Harris' --C 310J, Bob Farquarson's old 66 UFCand lastly SGN 763L, which is pictured patiently awaiting its V8 transplant outside the original Costello Engineering workshop.
5 July: First ever Costello Gathering announced.
The first ever Costello gathering is set for Saturday 5th September. We will meet outside The Barley Mow pub in the picturesque and quintessentially English village of Tilford, near Farnham in Surrey. It is known for its links with ex-Formula One drivers, period-drama TV series and for its lovely setting. We will park as many Costellos as possible opposite the pub, next to the cricket pitch. Octane magazine will be present to cover the event for us, so we hope you can make it.
3 July: The grilles are in!
At long last, after a few iterations, much tweaking, fettling, and several trips across the UK to the workshop, the 10 reproduction Costello eggbox grilles are now ready for despatch. They look fabulous - finished in matt black, perfectly square and with two bolt holes drilled on the top panel which line up perfectly with the holes on the black recessed Leyland grille - which you will also need and into which the eggbox fits. The eggbox unit comes with two brackets, but no bolts or washers are included. Get in touch with Lawrence if you wish to purchase one.
The fabulous looking GT in the Where are they Now? section, taken from the book "Les Belles Anglaises", turns out to be Stefan Wagner's car! Stefan was pleased to see his vehicle in its original state and this has spurred him into hurrying along his restoration project. The pictures are now in the Gallery.
5th June: New recruits.
Andrew Tasker's LTD 828K has resurfaced following a successful advert for this website in Enjoying MG. The new owner, Laurie Way has completely transformed the car, now clothed in a Sebring kit with many new additions. Read about it in the GT section. Judith Goertz was successful in purchasing Dave Fitzpatrick'sHarvest Gold GT, once advertised on this site. Judith has therefore become the 5th Costello owner in France. In the Where are they Now? section, Thierry Denant has sent us pictures taken from a book 'Les Belles Anglaises' - has anyone seen this fabulous looking Costello GT?
24 April: Ken's car registered to the site; New Forum and Gallery pages added.
The genius behind all of our cars here has now signified his approval by registering his own black GT. Take a look at the GT page for more details. A Forum section has now been added. This is obviously in its infancy - so register, login and start adding some discussion threads about anything you like that is Costello-related. Let's see how it progresses. The Gallery section has now been updated to use the Google Picasa facility - so there are now many more pictures for you to browse and enjoy.
10th January 2009: Yet More Costellos join mgcostello.com
Helen Massey has been in touch with details of her recently reviewed Jasper Blue Roadster. It has been featured in Classic Cars magazine (October 2008) and in January's edition of MG Enthusiast. Michael Morris'son Johnathan has submitted details of his father's planned restoration project on an old GT Costello racer. The mystery of whatever happened to Dave Michel's lovely black Roadster from Indianapolis has been solved. It is now owned by Sven Neilsen in Denmark. Finally, read Stefan Wagner's story of how it took 10 years before his dream of owning a Costello finally bore fruit. A restoration is underway and his pictures show the challenge ahead!
— — 2008 News ——
6th October 2008: Upgraded website goes on line.
Tim Fenna from Frontline Costello has been in touch and we will organise reciprocal links to each other's sites very soon. Several articles have been recently published regarding Costello V8s - including one in a recent UK-based motoring magazine. Once we have permission from the publishers, this and other articles may be posted on this site.
In the meantime, we do already have an excellent selection of honest and accurate articles on the Costello. Take a look in the Articles section. Peter Hollis from South Africa and Roger Cook from the UK have been in touch with details for their Costello GTs. See more details in the GT section.
22nd August 2008: Costellos in the Public Eye
Gary Watson of Roadster Productions, Houston, Texas has successfully finished compiling and editing his suite of short films on the British car industry, choosing to include still images from this website in the section on Leyland and the introduction of the V8 engine. Ron Macauley and Harry Irvine sent mgcostello.comphotographs of their cars and permission to use them.
Paula Summers explains how she came to acquire what could be the best surviving, lowest mileage Costello GT in existence. Alan Worth from London, UK has some photographs of his Costello GT at a drag race, and a story about how he nearly bought an E-Type Jaguar instead!
9th March: New Costello Discoveries!
Harry Irvine has submitted great photos of his stunning red Costello. Based in Leicestershire, Harry has lovingly cared for his 1970 roadster, and you can read more about it in the Roadsters section. Ron McAulaycontacted us all the way from Wanaka in New Zealand. His roadster carries some later modifications but is still very much an original Costello. Stefan Wagner, in Bavaria, tells us of his fascinating story of how he came to own a right-hand-drive Costello GT in Germany.
Garry Heath has been in touch with details of his MKII GT, which he raced in 2003 and 2004. From Adelaide, South Australia, John Kemp has sent pictures of his GT being pushed hard at Sandown Raceway. The firstmgcostello.com website is launched - with an appeal for all owners of surviving Costello V8s to get in touch. Early responses are promising.
10 May: The Lost Costellos
Having interrogated the email addresses of every MG Owner's Club site in the world, mgcostello.com’s search for the remaining few Costello conversions now extends to those spotted on Internet searches, in magazine articles, and those seen at Rallies, Runs and Meetings around the world. Listed in the new Where are They Now? section, with copyright attributed where possible, are cars we are trying to trace. Have you seen any of them? Perhaps you could help in finding their whereabouts and their owners? It would be great to bring these cars to the mgcostello.com site, as there cannot be many more out there to find now.
Meanwhile, we welcome Brian Perry's fabulous and very late MkII Roadster to the site. It is a popular car around the Harrogate area and clearly a competition winner, as the photographs testify. James Ostler has now sent some additional details on his late MkII and Stephane Vanoverschelde has provided more details of his almost finished restoration project. Finally, Peter Brodt has sent in pictures of his fabulous uprated engine bay. All can be seen in their relevant profiles and in the Gallery.
01 May: More Costellos join mgcostello.com.
Several new cars have been added today following an afternoon of emailing every MG club in the UK and Europe in an attempt to find more Costellos. So enjoy reading about Alun Evan's concours-winning GT (also featured in the "Hidden Talent" article), and browse pictures in the Gallery and on the Roadster and GT pages of the cars belonging to James Ostler (R), Patsy Turle (R), Mike Holman (GT), John Hurst (GT), Mark Vine(GT), and Michael Pearce (GT).