The MGC and MGC GT were produced by MG in the late 60s in answer to the demand from customers for a ‘faster’ MGB. They responded by shoe-horning a developed version of the 3 litre ‘C’ series straight 6 enginefrom the Austin Healey 3000 into the car. The end result looked just like an MGB except for the power bulge on the bonnet. It was not a great success in its day, being criticised for nose heavy handling and performance that wasn’t that much faster than the standard 1,800cc MGB. However, much of this negativity has been solved by fitting modern radial tyres that transform its handling and it is now appreciated as a very fine Grand Tourer. This photo shows the body shell part way through the stripping out process. The car is an automatic, a gearbox that particularly suits the lazy low revving characteristics of the big engine.

1 (12).jpgThis particular MGC GT turned out to be heavily rusted throughout its body shell and so serious repairs are being undertaken here to the rear of the shell. The rust damage was so severe that we considered recommending a Heritage MGB GT shell as the best way of achieving a good body shell. However, under the skin of the MGC there are numerous differences from the MGB.These were so extensive that, in the end, we repaired the original shell. The owner was actually very pleased because it meant that a lot more of the original car survived.

2 (9).jpgOne main area of difference is the front suspension. The MGC uses torsion bar springing and this results in major modifications to the floor pans to accommodate and locate the torsion bars themselves. The engine bay inner wings are very different too, because the MGC needed a wider engine bay and because MG wished to use telescopic front shock absorbers instead of the MGB’s lever arm units. This photo shows major repairs to the floor pan and off side sill structure under way. Where the body panels are the same as the MGB, availability of new panels is very good. Other panels have to be fabricated to pattern.

3 (6).jpgHere the rear wings and rear wheel arches are also being extensively renewed.

4 (6).jpgThis view shows the repaired body shell with the front wings and doors ready to be trial fitted. The rear wings are welded in place and it’s starting to look a lot more like an MGC GT again!

5 (5).jpgThe owner chose to have the underside of the car finished in a black wax finish so the car was able to be sprayed with its wheels on. The colour chosen is still a metallic blue but a much deeper richer colour than the original that you can see in photo 1. The owner saw this colour on a new car in his local Peugeot showroom, enquired about the name of it and our sprayer was then able to match it. The general view is that it suits the car very well indeed.

6 (4).jpgThe whole car was stripped back and sprayed. The engine bay looks terrific.

7 (2).jpgThe interior is now ready for reassembly. The steering column was just loosely installed to make moving the car in and out of the spray booth somewhat easier.

8 (3).jpgHere’s the 6 cylinder 3 litre engine when it was just about ready to be removed from the body prior to the welding work. The twin SU carburettors and other ancillary items have already been removed.

9 (1).jpgThe engine is removed (and installed) in unit with the gear box. The main change that was made from the original Austin Healey 3000 engine was to increase the number of main bearings from 4 to 7, eradicating a known weakness. The shape of the crankcase side shows this to be a correct 7 bearing unit. It is all cast iron and so is very heavy...10 (1).jpg

After being fully rebuilt the engine and gearbox are reinstalled into the car. It’s a tight fit but it does go in OK!

11 (1).jpgAfter a lot more reassembly work, here’s the finished car. It looks quite superb, doesn’t it. The owner agreed to renew or restore many of the chrome and other fittings and the attention to detail shows.

12.jpgThe engine bay now looks like it did when the car was new. Here you can see how the length of the engine required the radiator and oil cooler to be moved forward and this in turn made the bulge in the bonnet a necessity.

13.jpgThe interior was extensively retrimmed in the original black leather colour. The blue piping complements the external colour very well. You can also see the automatic gearbox selector. The rev counter was different from the MGB’s in that the red line was set somewhat lower.