The market has woken up to how much value the big ’Healey’s successor offers – so how much should you pay to put an MGC in your garage?
It may look like an MGB, but it makes more sense to compare the MGC against its lustier predecessors from Austin-Healey in terms of value for money. When you bear in mind that a concours big ’Healey could cost £80k or more, the £35k you might pay for a comparable MGC suddenly looks like a lot of sports car for the money.
But does the MGC really hold its own against such motoring royalty? Absolutely, says MG specialist, Nigel Guild (classicmg.co.uk): ‘The MGC is a totally different model to the MGB. Many people are put off them because of reports of poor handling, but I’ve driven the ’Healeys and the ’C is far superior in terms of ride and handling.’
After all, BMC timed the car to arrive as the Austin-Healey 3000 bowed out in 1967, and this very nearly became, in badge-engineered form, an ‘Austin-Healey 3000 MkIV’. Handling controversies aside, the 2912cc sixpot’s 145bhp and relatively tall gearing come into their own on sweeping A-roads, and the MGC excels at long distance races and rallying.
DVLA figures indicate a small but significant spike in the number of taxed examples over the last 12 months, mirrored by a reduction of those on SORN. This would appear to suggest a slight uplift in interest and restorations.
Only 9000 MGCs were built, compared nearly 450,000 MGBs, and howmanyleft.co.uk lists fewer than 1000 survivors. It’s that extra rarity that is now ensuring buoyant values. If the impetus behind the classic movement ever flags in the years to come, expect rarer models such as the MGC to lose their value less readily than their more common siblings.
‘They’re a far better investment than an MGB and just as easy to live with,’ says Nigel.
Sounds like a no-brainer to us. ‘After years in the classic doldrums, it seems that the ‘C is finally getting the attention and kudos it so rightly deserves. It’s way, way more than a ‘B with a big engine, and in some ways a more than viable Sunbeam Tiger alternative, at a much lower price. They crop up often enough in classic sales that would-be owners needn’t jump on the first one offered. The GT is more affordable and way more desirable, thanks to its practicality.’