By the late 1960s the MGB, now with a 1.8-liter engine, had been in production for five years and was firmly established in the hearts of enthusiasts around the world. Its performance, however, was outpaced by sports models and-on occasion-tuned sedans from other factories. The engineers at MG’s Abingdon works knew there was plenty of development in the B’s compact unitary bodyshell and running gear, and in 1967 the 3-liter MGC-GT and roadster were unveiled at the Earls Court Motor Show.
BMC had shoehorned into the B’s bodyshell a seven-main-bearing, 2912-cc straight-six engine with pushrod valves and twin SU carburetors, evolved from that used in the big Austin-Healey.
The new engine yielded 150 horsepower, significantly better than the four-cylinder’s 95 horsepower, and endowed the C with a top speed in excess of 125 miles per hour. However, the long engine dictated that a front cross-member be removed and torsion bar independent front suspension had to be introduced. Rear suspension was the same as the MGB.
Other worthwhile improvements included a new four-speed all-synchromesh gearbox (with optional overdrive) shared with the MGB Mk II and larger, servo-assisted disc brakes at the front.
Wheel diameter was increased to 15 inches to allow Dunlop SP41 tires to be fitted. Apart from a broad bulge across the bonnet to clear the engine and an identifying badge in the rear panel, there was little to distinguish the C from its smaller-engined brethren, but the character of the car was radically changed. It was now a high-geared, very fast grand tourer.
Well-made by a factory workforce who took much pride in their jobs, the car still received a cool response from the motoring press. But during its three-year production life, MG enthusiasts took the type to their hearts, and it has long had what can only be described as a cult following.
The certificate supplied by the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust confirms that this MGC was originally a right-hand-drive UK model produced on May 17, 1968. It was sold new through Manchester agent Joseph Cockshoot & Co. The document also notes that its present mineral blue with black interior livery is the same as when it was originally sold, and that at some stage it has had an engine change, although the correct MG replacement unit’s number correlates with the series of the original.
In more recent times the car has been the subject of a $30,000 restoration by marque specialists Autech of Bromsgrove. This work is detailed through a comprehensive file offered with the car, and supported by photographs. It was subsequently acquired by the current owner in 1995 from MG specialists Former Glory of Middlesex.
This MGC remains in excellent condition and, although it appears to have seen limited use in recent years, it has been regularly maintained and performed well on a recent test drive. It is presented complete with convertible top and full-length tonneau cover.