HomeAutoHunterSimon Cowell consigns his customized 1965 MGB to AutoHunter auction

Simon Cowell consigns his customized 1965 MGB to AutoHunter auction

Car owned by the star of ‘America’s Got Talent’ television show is up for bidding


Be the winning bidder on this customized 1965 MGB roadster going up on AutoHunter, the online auction platform driven by ClassicCars.com, and you not only get the one-off British roadster, but a car that was customized under the direction of its owner, recording-industry executive and television star Simon Cowell.

Cowell, a record producer and talent scout, became widely known as a judge on the British television series Pop Idol, and then on subsequent programs in the UK and US. He commissioned the MGB build by MG-specialist Frontline Developments in Oxfordshire, England, but don’t worry, its steering wheel is on the left side of the cockpit. 

Simon Cowell, Simon Cowell consigns his customized 1965 MGB to AutoHunter auction, ClassicCars.com Journal

The car’s design was inspired by one of the two Lotus Esprits featured in the 1981 James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only. That inspiration is responsible for several features of the vehicle, including the “Turbo” wording on the car’s flanks (however, the engine in the MGB is not turbocharged).

The new bodyshell, produced with original factory tooling by British Motor Heritage, is covered in Lotus Copper Bronze paint with dual gold stripes. The coachwork features extended and hand-formed rear panels. 

The car rides on bespoke 15-inch wheels — 6 inches wide in front and 7s at the rear — with gold-colored spokes. Those spokes match the color of the car’s grille.

The car has Arctic White Prima Nappa leather interior with custom-crafted seats, and with golf-faced gauges set into a custom fabricated black leather-topped American burr walnut dashboard. 

The car has power windows — with switchgear cleverly built into the window cranks — as well as Bluetooth connectivity, USB charging, and a JL Audio sound system.

Simon Cowell, Simon Cowell consigns his customized 1965 MGB to AutoHunter auction, ClassicCars.com Journal
Mazda engine rated at 304 horsepower

Under the bonnet is a Mazda 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with forged pistons and solid lifters. The powerplant is rated at 304 horsepower and 241 pound-feet of torque and is linked to a Mazda 6-speed manual gearbox and limited-slip rear differential with 3.70 gearing.

The car has no roof, but it comes with a car cover.

Additional details include the installation of Dynaliner insulation during the build process, aircraft seatbelt buckles, a leather-wrapped Nardi steering wheel, audio system with XD600 amplifier and 8-inch subwoofer, 8,500-rpm tachometer, and an Aston Martin fuel-filler cap.

Suspension is by aluminum front uprights with tubular wishbones and adjustable telescopic shocks, and a custom 6-link rear with adjustable coilovers. There are disc brakes front and rear with Goodridge braided hoses.

The auction runs until 11 a.m. (Pacific Standard Time) on December 15.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Cars are a very individual taste but for me this is wrong on every level. With that said I’m sure it will fetch a good price.

  2. Are we to believe Simon is really responsible for this? I’ve seen Simon (in the past) driving his Eagle Jaguar E-type and there is a world of difference between that car and this. Now he told me he didn’t care for the Eagle, but this is a different ball of was entirely. Don’t get me wrong, I like MGs generally as my first real car was an MGB, but this is just a bit odd all around. Although I do like the dash! All that said, looks well built and curious to see how this plays out. Hopefully Simon will go in for modifying some more interesting cars in the future!


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