A Bargain? 1968 MGC-GT With Overdrive

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While the MGC wasn’t tremendously loved during it’s three year production life (1967-’69), it has proved to be a terrific vintage grand tourer. This one is for sale here on eBay and at the moment it’s at a very reasonable $5,980. It will need to be transported from Longmont, Colorado should  you be the one to win the auction.

If you aren’t familiar with the MGC, a summary would be an MGB with an updated Austin-Healey 3000 engine, 15″ wheels and different front suspension to make room for the engine. There’s more to it than that, but the demise of the “Big Healey” is what led to its creation (as well as the Jensen-Healey’s, but that’s a story for another time).

Even though I’m a Triumph guy at heart, the usefulness of the MGB/C GT’s hatchback and loading area has always appealed to me. There’s even a rear seat, so you could tell your financial manager that you are actually buying a practical four-seat hatchback–okay, we’re stretching it on the practical side, but what they don’t know won’t hurt them.

This car gives the impression of being a well-used car that needs a bit of attention (we’re told the clutch has issues). The car also has the very desirable overdrive option that’s great for high-speed cruising. I don’t see a lot of rust and I wouldn’t touch the interior apart from recovering the already recovered non-original steering wheel in black to match the rest of the interior.

Here’s the three-liter six cylinder engine. I don’t know the exact procedure for an MGC, but on an MGB you have to take the engine and transmission out together to get to the clutch. I can tell you from lifting a Healey 3000 engine on a hoist that this engine weighs a lot: 209 pounds more than the MGB four-cylinder to be exact! I’m hoping someone buys this pretty coupe and continues to drive it like a classic of this type should be. Anyone out there agree?

Auctions Ending Soon

Comments

  1. sparkster

    Which year / model came with the V-8 ?

    Like 0
    • The Walrus

      ’74 1/2 and up… GT’s like this only (no convertibles due to frame twist)… the rubber bumper cars. None sold as new in US due to emissions. It’s the Rover 3.5 V-8 which was originally the Buick 215 V-8. Rover bought the molds. The redisgn of all rubber bumper cars accommodates the swap (firewall was main issue). Unlike the MGC where the engine weighed more than the 4 cylinder, the all aluminum V8 actually weighed less.

      Like 7
    • Chinga-Trailer

      The UK only MGBGTV8 came with the V8. You can tell by the V and 8 in the model name!

      Like 2
  2. Ben T. Spanner

    It is not an AH motor. It was a new design. It was used in an Austin 3 L sedan. It weighed 209 lbs more than an MGB 4 cyl, which is probably lighter than a big Healey. Only similarity is displacement and number ofcylinders.

    Like 6
  3. Eric Z

    Muffler upside down. No pictures from underneath.

    Like 2
    • Chinga-Trailer

      Upside down muffler? Must be the rare Australia only model!

      Like 6
  4. Frank

    Gone already!

    If I had not just impulse bought an xjs a couple weeks back I would be seriously upset at missing out on this.

    Like 1
  5. AllenMember

    Well… In fact the factory V8s did come out quite a bit before the ’74-1/2 models – I believe the first ones on the market met with the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973. But yes, the rubber-bumpered Bs from ’74-1/2 through the end of production in 1980 were designed to fit that engine. Funny that the V8 was just presumed to be a guzzler when in fact they delivered comparable if not slightly better mpg. The MG factory version was detuned to 140 hp – less than these MGCs rated at 145 hp.

    That engine was an intimidating monster. I believe the first one shipped by BL to MG shocked the daylights out of the MG guys. Big difference between it and the AH: seven main-bearings rather than four. Mine sat in my shop for more than three years before I screwed up the courage to pull the lump (yup – engine has to come out to get at clutch and tranny) to replace the lay gear. The actual task itself was no problem – just scary.

    Bad press when introduced has since been determined due to rather strange low tyre pressures recommended in late ’60s. With properly inflated tires nowadays, handling is worlds better. Strange – steering is very light. That steering wheel, BTW, is totally wrong for the car – it’s not just the cover.

    Strange looking brake boosters on this car.

    Like 5
  6. UK Paul

    Bargain and gone ..

    Like 1
  7. bachldrsMember

    This is the logical car for folks who want an AH but can’t afford one. And as long as AH prices keep spiraling upward, MGC prices will follow suit – although at a much more reasonable level. They only made about 9000 and they’re not getting easier to find or cheaper to buy. Parts availability is good.

    Like 1
  8. Mountainwoodie

    My roommate in my freshman year in college had one of these. This was 1973 and I cant remember what year he had, but it had twin glass tops! I don’t think they opened. He was from Brazil and I think he brought it with him. Super cool car

    Like 0
  9. Howard A. Howard AMember

    Shows how bakocked this hobby is. Here’s a car that should be worth more than any Z car. The new owner got a pretty amazing deal. Just because it’s from Colorado, doesn’t always mean rust free, but to even find one, anywhere, and not 5 figures( yet), is pretty rare. For years, I never even knew they had a MGC. I read many of these were automatics, because the hardtop catered to women. I don’t care for wires, but at this price for a MGC, I’d put up with them. Hemmings has 8 MGC’s and only 2 GT’s, and not one is under $25g’s. Well bought, I’d say.

    Like 0
  10. 990V8

    I owned a 68 from 78-81.
    Comfortable cabin, everything fell nicely to hand.
    Long legs with the overdrive, would cruise at 90mph all day back then with no cameras.

    Horrible understeer.
    The wire wheels had torque clonk because the splines were worn.
    Engine was gutless below 3000 and thrashy above, an electric fan would have cured the thrashiness.
    At ten years old It was already rusty. Wings, doors, behind the chrome trim. In 81, I came home one evening to find it sagging in the middle where the passenger sill had rusted through.

    I totalled it in a head-on at 50mph. The engine made a good battering ram.

    Like 1
  11. Mike

    Never had one of these though a friend did. He got too cocky with it and missed a turn, rolled it into a river. Thus he steering being squashy on them. The clutch issue on this one could be what I had on the Healey I have yet. I let it set for yrs before restoration and the rear engine seal dried up and oil leaked to he clutch making it sticky to engage. That was temporarily fixed by spaying plenty of Bake Cleaner through the weep hole at top of bell Housing. The seal ( Rope Seal ) never did completely come back leak proof. A kit seal replacement fixed it a couple yrs later. On the Healey the transmission exits up through the interior where the MG can’t. This MGBGT will never measure up to a Big Healey but would be interesting to drive. My son drives my BJ* to shows with us and my wife and other oldest son drive one other classic as I plod along with a 1941 Chevy Coupe moon shiner. At last show the original owner of the BJ8 shared stories with us about his days with it in California and Az. All day at 90 plus mph. This BJ8 has been mine since 1977 and the children all road in it from 6yrs old and on. Great family times with great old classics.

    Like 0
  12. peterpentz

    20+ years ago my girlfriend owned and raced one of these. I spent forever trying unsuccessfully to rid it of its 2 greatest problems – massive understeer, and ridiculously under-rated brakes.
    She sold it and purchased an MGB GT. What a difference – just as fast, fantastic handling, very neutral, and reasonably good brakes – just so much better a car.
    Roll forward 20 odd years ……. I recently purchase John Hubbard’s MGA with a Rover V8. What a beast ! More in the order of 300+ HP on the 3.9 Liter V8, fantastic neutral handling on relatively narrow tires, and good brakes.
    What a lot of people do not take into account is that the original MGB lump was relatively heavy, and actually that little Rover V8 engine is slightly under the weight of an 1800 MGB engine.
    So when you realize that the MGC engine was a lot heavier than the 1800 MGB engine, you begin to realize why these things handled so badly.

    Like 0
  13. Mike

    Peter. Thanks for that info. We earn something each day .

    Like 0

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