Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mighty Green Car: 1969 MG MGC

The MGC was two year experiment by the British Motor Corporation to inject some additional sportiness into their MGB chassis and replace the retiring Austin-Healey 3000.  For whatever reason it didn't sell well, making it one of the rarer variants from the 18 years of MGB production (1962-1980).  Find this 1969 MGC here on eBay bidding for $8,988 reserve-not-met with 6 days to go located in Ashland, KY.  Tip from Ian.

Criticism of the MGC is typically piled on the heavy inline-6 up front for messing up the weight distribution and tossability of the classic chassis, but lackluster sales may have been as much about perception as anything.  If you picked up a big Healey you got something that looked the part of a speedy inline-6 powered sportscar, but with the MGC it just looked like a 4-banger powered MGB to most buyers.

Under the MGC-specific hood bulge (this was only real clue aside from trunk badges) is a 2.9 liter 7-bearing crank equipped version of the C-series inline-6 originally used in Austin-Healey 100-6, 3000s, and various Wolseley, Riley and Morrises.  The C-series engine added 209 lbs of mass to the front of the vehicle (requiring different suspension) but was good for 145 horsepower (50 hp more than the 2 liter MGB engine).

This MGC has spent the past few decades off the street, which is good when you consider it won't have the wear/tear and dings/dents of everyday use, but bad when you consider that seals and fluids will need replacement and rust doesn't sleep when you put a car in storage.

See another inline-6 powered classic BMC for cheap? tips@dailyturismo.com


  1. Has anyone here ever driven both an MG-B and and MG-C? I would like to hear about the differences.

    1. I think I have but who can remember it was so long ago? Other than the obvious elements (engine, handling and top), I don't recall there being an enormous difference. But the truth is, I don't really recall. That's not real helpful, I know. I always was more of a Spitfire and Midget fan over these cars but there's no arguing their charms.

  2. Replies
    1. @ K2 - these are Harbor freight specials. I have a set. They work quite well but those caps on the nuts that secure the wheels to the dollies like to come off. No big deal, won't puncture a tire, but will cut the crap out of your hand if you're not paying attention.

    2. Thanks RyanM. I know that G was considering buying these (he might have already) and I'm sure he'd like to hear what you thought of them.

    3. In the FWIW category, they make shuffling my 4Runner and 240Z around in the garage really easy. Only thing easier would be those foot-actuated hydraulic dollies that cost an arm and a leg but don't require you to jack the car up to use them.

      The caps I mentioned above are cast into the metal of the nutand will come off if you look at them funny / overtighten and you can't re-attach unless you feel like gluing.

    4. Any time - and welcome back.

    5. I haven't bought any yet. I have 8 - 12 weeks to decide, so I have been putting off a trip to Harbor Fart to take a look at what they have on offer.

  3. Still wish I had bought the MGC-GT I took a look at a few years ago. Plowed like a pig but I found the "big" 6 to be smoother on the ears and the posterior than the 4 cyl.

  4. A classic example of head-up-the-backside-era British Leyland.

    The MGBGT V8 fits into the 'even a blind nut occasionally finds a squirrel' category.


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