MG Rover's famous V8 petrol engine, over 40 years in production, lives on even though its original maker is history and it has been all but superseded in the Range Rover and Land Rover model lines.

UK West Country-based MCT, an engineering and manufacturing specialist, has won a contract from Ford-owned Land Rover to continue production of original equipment aftermarket engines and manufacture has relocated from Land Rover's Solihull home, near Birmingham, to MCT's plant in seaside Weston Super Mare, Somerset.

Besides engine production, MCT also sources components and sub-assemblies and tests and ships completed engines.

In displacements from 3.5 to 4.6 litres, the engine, originally designed by General Motors in the US, has powered the Land Rover Defender, Discovery and Range Rover, Rover P5B, P6 and SD1, the MGB GT, Triumph's TR8 and various Morgans and TVRs. A variant was also used in the short-lived Australian-made Leyland P76 large car in the mid-70s.

MCT claims the simple, 16-valve, OHV V8 is the standard British engine for all hot rod use and special versions have powered the Formula 1 winning Brabham team. Just-auto has also seen it in speedboats.

The contract is worth GBP25m over the next five years and over 70% of engines made will be exported.

Originally established as a powertrain remanufacturer, MCT has now expanded into what it calls "life cycle management" - new build low volume development and introduction, medium volume series production, low volume model run-out, and aftermarket.

Current customers include Ford, Land Rover, General Motors, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Subaru, Caterham Cars and van maker LDV.