BUYING GUIDE MGC
For years the six-cylinder MGC was the black sheep of the MG family with a reputation for stodgy handling. But it’s now on the up as buyers realise what a classy cruiser it can be
Previously a black sheep of the MG family, here’s why now's the time to buy one.
The six-cylinder development of the MGB, the MGC, was built for only two years with just 9002 examples produced. One of the most frequently forgotten and under-rated classics around, this could be the MG for you if you like six cylinders under your bonnet – especially as you can buy it in GT or roadster forms.
Substituting the MGB’s B-series engine for the 2912cc straight-six of the C meant more than merely removing one and fitting the other. The taller engine meant a revised bonnet line was needed. The floorpans forward of the car’s centre also had to be redesigned because the B’s beefy crossmember had to be swapped for a smaller item to provide clearance. As a result the front suspension had to be changed too.
As the floorpans were being redesigned the opportunity was taken to widen them so an automatic transmission could be accommodated. At the same time the radiator was moved forward 8in and made bigger. Because of the extra weight over the front wheels, a less direct steering rack was fitted offering 3.5 turns between locks instead of the B’s 2.9. To finish things off dynamically, the wheels grew an inch in diameter (to become 15in) and half an inch wider.
The C was launched in both roadster and GT forms in October 1967 but it was greeted with little enthusiasm by the motoring press. It was dynamically disappointing, with stodgy handling, lifeless steering and strong understeer, largely down to an error in tyre choice and tyre pressures. Despite the roadster’s competitive price of £1102 in 1967, buyers stayed away. They preferred to spend an extra £24 on an Austin Healey 3000 so it was no surprise that after two years of trying to find buyers, MG gave up with the C; the final cars were produced in August 1969. With large stocks of unsold cars to shift, it made more sense to admit defeat – some cars hung around in showrooms until early 1971.