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MGC Published: 23rd Feb 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

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Why should i buy one?

If ever a sports car finally came good, it’s got be the MGC. Slated and disowned even before it left the showrooms – thanks to unfavourable road tests that were entirely the fault of BMC – it took decades before MG’s replacement for the old Austin-Healey finally turned the corner. Its ill handling traits were largely corrected by simply using the correct higher tyre pressures that the road test versions didn’t…

This bigger-engined B is still more a tame touring roadster or coupé than sports car but increasingly liked for this fact. It’s also as easy to own and run as any MGB but asking prices can be three times higher.


What can i get?

Unlike the TR6 (which admittedly could be ordered in hardtop guise) there’s a choice of versions. Out of the 9000 made over the two short years of production, the split between soft top and fast-backed GT was evens, but there’s more of the former these days. The engine always remained a 3-litre 145bhp straight six but there was a choice of overdrive and automatic – the former highly useful as it supplies a marvellous cruising gait, the latter as it suits the MGC’s lazy, loping character surprisingly well. It’s the transmission department in where MG revised the gearbox and rear axle gearing to improve its responsiveness.


What are they like to drive?

This is where many so called bar-room pundits would have you believe the MGC falls down upon – big time. Listen to all those self appointed experts and you’d think the big-engined B suffers from shocking understeer, is slow and sleepy and is a nasty classic all round.

The truth is somewhat different – as long as the car has been set up properly. The key thing to check is the tyres as this car needs modern, grippy 185-section rubber at the very least, or the front end runs out of grip too early. Also, thanks to the weight of that six-cylinder, it’s not as agile as an MGB and the steering slower.

The annoying thing is that, with a little bit of engine tuning along with a few steering and suspension tweaks at the factory, the MGC could have been a great car from the outset, with the same Healeystyle chuck-ability but sporting much better steering, thanks to its superior rack and pinion set-up and E-type-like torsion bar front suspension. Then the MGC would then have been a much more practical and refined car than the Healey and better received from the outset as the C’s forte is its relaxed cruising qualities where the vertigo-inducing (up to an amazing 27mph@1000rpm) gearing sees the ton coming up at under 4000rpm.


What are they like to live with?

There’ can’t be many classics that are as easy to own as the MGB and the C is little different. All are easy to drive with no nasty vices so anyone in the family will feel at ease driving this old classic that’s a lot more rigid than a chassis-ed TR. The 2+2 GTs, in particular, excel with their handy practicality thanks to that hatchback.

Alas, British Motor Heritage shells aren’t available for the MGC but you can obtain a lot of the panels though; those who have done one claim that the C is much harder to restore due to its modified floors and bulkhead. Mechanically, they are sturdy apart from the engine’s pistons and the manual gearboxes. The engine is a lot heavier and larger than the B-Series which may pose problems should you need to remove it and the torsion bar suspension can require expert setting up.

In terms of values, the MGC has become the Queen B, eclipsing even the V8s. Capital C can command £30,000+ for a roadster and anything remotely decent is going to hit you for 20 grand – a far cry from when they were MGB-priced…


We reckon

While not a genuine Healey replacement (what is to be fair-ed), the much maligned MGC is no poor substitute either.

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