Ex­pert Buyer

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?

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - THIS WEEK - Theo Ford-Sagers RICHARD BAR­NETT MAR­KETS ED­I­TOR

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.’

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