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MGC Published: 14th May 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

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Give a dog a bad name … Because of its poor handling and lazy performance, the MGC was a sales flop – now it’s regarded as one of the best British GT sports cars of the 1960s because those initial drawbacks are now seen to be part of its charms, which includes being as easy and inexpensive to own as any MGB.


It’s best to get this handling issue out of the way right now; yes, the original cars were justly slated for a lumbering nature, (in part due to that heavy six-cylinder up front adding 210lb plus altering the weight distribution significantly) but chiefly because of incorrect tyre pressures at the car’s launch. Modern radial tyres at new, higher, recommended poundage improves matters no end, along with modern radials, although the MGC isn’t as wieldy and predictable as the lighter MGB.

Performance from that 3-litre six is admittedly lazy but can be transformed by normal tuning if you wish although even in a standard state is quite okay and tailored for touring purposes thanks to high gearing. If anything, the MGC is arguably at its best in auto form. Our view is that a good MGC is on par with a Big Healey and demonstrably superior to that icon in some departments.


Not so long ago a general price parity existed between the MGB, C and the GTV8 replacement, but out of trio it’s the C that has appreciated the most and is now double the price of a same aged MGB so expect £30K plus for top examples, particularly the roadster, and £15-£20,000 for average-togood ones. Lack of popularity when new, caused the MGC to be dropped in 1969 after just two years although hung around in main dealer showrooms until as late as 1971 with H/J reg plates.


1967 Launched for the Motor Show, although it looks like any MGB, under that familiar skin were a lot of changes. The front floorpans had to be redesigned, this in turn meant that the front suspension also had to be changed to torsion bars with telescopic shock absorbers – a useful advance while the taller engine necessitated in a nice power bulge. Because of the considerable extra weight over the front axle, the wheels grew to become 15 inchers (for theses reasons it’s almost impossible to convert a B into a C)

1968 This year saw the only significant changes, majoring on revising the gearing to improve acceleration for 1969 models. A closer ratio gearbox was also employed for similar reasons and reclining seats were now fitted but the bonnet was changed from alloy to steel

1969 Final cars in September. University Motors took 200 and uprated them with Downton tuned engines

Top five faults


Parts supply is good if not as proficient as the MGBs although most of what you need (excluding complete shells) is available. If you are a stickler for originality then check well, as it may have MGB parts fitted


Sills are ripe for bodges, as repairing them properly is a convoluted process and, for the best results, the front and rear wing sections (below the trim strip) need to be cut off. The alternative is to unbolt the front wings

Rust (2)

Check back of the front inner wheelarches, by first removing the front wheels allowing you to see if the box section that’s positioned at the top is still there – it collects mud and rots away


Based on the Austin 3-Litre, but they’re not the same, although ok for most sources of general spares. The biggest weak spot is the piston rings and rocker shafts

Running gear

Gearbox is the main weak spot, as it’s not up to the job; first thing to go is the layshaft bearings. The front suspension has few MGB parts but is sturdy; check for worn torsion bars and their telescopic dampers

Best models


The laziest of the lot due to gearing but fine for cruising and handle better once tyre issues are sorted out but steering is low geared

Late ’68

An improvement in pace thanks to altered gear and rear axle ratios even if cruising suffers. Automatic really suits the MGC’s character


Specialist Downton (of Cooper S fame) made 175bhp specials and there’s no shortage of tuning to right the wrongs; a lightened flywheel helps response

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