Incredible Body: 1968 MGC GTS Tribute

1968 MGC GTS

Before the Miata came along, the MGB was the world’s most popular roadster. Most people still know what one is today, but few remember the MGC. That’s because the C was only built for two years. It was intended to be a suitable replacement for the mighty Austin-Healey 3000 (which it wasn’t, but that’s another story). To help promote their new car, MG built two special race cars for the 12 Hours of Sebring. Those cars are still around, but are understandably worth huge money.

Original Race Cars

The original race cars may have used the inner steel structure from the MGC, but the rest of the panels were stamped out of aluminum to save weight. The engine even went on a diet with an alloy head and block. These were serious machines, but unfortunately they didn’t do too well at Sebring in 1969 so the factory sold the cars and all the spares. Four more cars were built by privateers from the left overs and there’s a rumor that a seventh car was found in a junkyard in California. You can read more about that here on British Race Car.

Lots Of Body Work

Anyway, for those of us who want to actually experience something like the MGC GTS, the only realistic option may be a replica. There are some out there, but most are built out of fiberglass. This car on the other hand was formed out of steel using an English wheel! The builder knows the owner of one of the original race cars and he was kind enough to give his friend enough access to the car to put together an accurate replica. After ten years of hard work and over $30k invested, the body speaks for itself.

MG Straight Six

The straight-six has been built too, but is claimed to be mild enough to use daily. The current owner has put over 4,000 miles on the car since it was finished, so that’s a testament to its drivability. The C’s big six was already powerful, but I bet it’s a real blast here! Power wasn’t the problem when these were new. It was the extra weight from the engine that threw off the handling. Luckily, this car has been fitted with adjustable front shocks and should be quite a bit lighter than a stock car would be.

Metal Dash

Would you believe that this car once had the “pillow” dash? That’s right, the owner even did reconstructive surgery inside too! There are some safety features here which would not have been found on the original race cars, but the modern bucket seats and “easy to get in” roll cage should be welcome upgrades for those who actually want to participate in events.

Flared Fenders

For some people the challenge of building something like this is where the fun lies and it would seem that the seller is ready for something new. They have decided to sell their dream car and would like to get $65,000 out of it. That may seem like a lot, but I doubt you could replicate this replica for less – let alone the original. Any interested parties can view the seller’s website or contact them via email here.

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Comments

  1. Bill

    This looks like all kinds of fun!

  2. Howard A Member

    Whoa-ho, mama, here’s a bad boy for ya’! When I had my ’71 MGB, I never knew about the MGC. Matter of fact, when I 1st saw one, I thought the car looked odd. What’s that bulge in the hood for, I thought. Never made a lot of sense tome, as my brother had an A-H 100-6, so I knew how front heavy these must have been. Even the 4 cylinder was front heavy. This one is over the top. I like the interior much better on these. ( although, the GT could have used some dash vents) I think the no bumpers could be an issue, as I believe, in Wis. bumpers are required. Just a wild car here.I love it.

    • Wm Lawrence

      Gotta disagree. The Healeys had a nearly perfect 50/50 front to rear weight distribution. The reason the MGC was so front heavy and one of the reasons Donald Healey refused to have his name associated with it was that BMC moved the engine, which was a 7 main 6 cylinder, ahead 7 inches in anticipation of wedging in an automatic transmission. It had lots of power, smooth running and a bullet proof lower end, but the car tended to rotate about the front wheels at inappropriate times.

  3. Tirefriar

    Let’s see, for that scratch I can buy 2 nice examples of the Alfa Romeo Guila GT cars or better yet, a Giulia GT Scalino AND a Series 1 Spider Veloce 1750. No, I’m not trying to compare this MG to my beloved Alfas. This car is a great example and is very cool in its own right, but not at that price. Seems like the seller wants to recoup most of his investment.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Tirefriar, not to take anything away from the Alfa’s, such cool cars, but this is so dog gone rare, they could ask just about any price for it, and probably get it. I’ve seen shows, where there were 19 MGB’s and one MGC, if any. Like I say, I never even knew about a MGC until long after I hauled my MGB to the boneyard ( after over 200K miles) Not to sound redundant, but these are extremely rare, in the states anyway.

  4. Dolphin Dolphin Member

    From the seller’s photos on his website the metalwork looks really good—very solid and carefully done. But it’s very hard to value a car like this.

    The seller has a lot of time, effort & money in it and wants to get most of it back. A buyer wants a special MGC, but this one is special only because somebody has put work and materials into it to make it look like a special car. It didn’t come out of the BMC Competition Dept and it doesn’t have a race history, so it’s not worth what one of the real Sebring cars is worth.

    A buyer needs to be concerned what the relatively few other potential buyers will think it’s worth if he decides to sell it in the future, so he can’t pay too much for it now. It’s a tough call, and pretty much ends up being worth what the seller and a buyer think it’s worth on a given day. My guess is that it will be tough to get $65K for it.

    • L.M.K. Member

      x 2 !!

    • tirefriar

      Dolphin, my point exactly. Great execution but its an ersatz, without the factory history behind it. Its the actual history that makes the originals so much valuable. I can see this being around $30k but not much more…

  5. Van

    Anybody run an MGC against a GT6?

  6. Henry Camisasca

    I wanted to add that MBL 546E first of the two works MGC GTS lightweights finished 10th OA at Sebring in 1968. It was also the highest British car to finish that year. In addition MBL, better know as Mabel when on to finish 6th OA in the same year at the 84 hours of Nurburgring. All and all MBL raced in four major long distance events from 1967- Sebring 1969 and had no DNFs. Not a bad record for a race car based on a production platform and a limited budget.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Thanks for sharing that information Henry!

  7. sir mike

    Nice start for a replica but missing some important items..like headlamp covers and triple webers.

    • MGC GTS

      Hi Mike – valid observations, but the omissions were intentional. My friend has a fiberglass GTS replica with triple Webers, and gets eight (8) miles to the gallon. So I decided on dual 2″ SU’s to allow the car to be driven daily if desired. The Webers are an easy bolt-on option. Similarly, the headlamp covers can be added…, I didn’t use them because I didn’t like the exposed tabs to hold them on, as per the original race cars. I considered making covers that fit internally like the early XKE, but that would have been improper (but would have looked cool!) 🙂 Cheers!

  8. steve

    I have had a fantasy doing a car like this but with a Ford V8 and a 4 or 5 speed.

  9. John

    This car is simply beautiful. I can’t afford it, but I would rather pay $65K for this car than any of the rusted Porsches that we have seen here.

    I am old enough to remember seeing these in a showroom. I had a 68 B/GT at time and my interest was high. I can remember my shop foreman telling me that the torsion bar front suspension worried him a lot. They didn’t look like they were bolted to a very strong cross member. That was always my excuse for not buying one — that and my having to scrape by on Vienna sausages in order to meet this month’s installment on my 68. But my 68 had Abarth exhaust. It sounded like it might have won Sebring on the sound alone.

  10. Eli

    Not sure that the price justifies this MGC. They were certainly not popular when new as I was a young man at the time and no one wanted them because of the price while MGBs still sold. It’s no big deal…. the MGC was front heavy and understeered badly, and to this day has no big value. This exclusive race version of the same car can not realistically be worth that much more. A fun car yes, but not worth 65,000 big ones, unless you are on something.

    • MGC GTS

      The two cars listed below were made with aluminum panels. The Sotheby’s Monaco car just sold for $158,000.00. The Ascott Collection is asking $395,000.00. But neither has been authenticated as being made with the spare aluminum panels pressed at the factory. If you could purchase one of the original two race cars, you would have to add a zero to the price of this steel replica, and then subtract a bit. This car may not have any race history, but it’s 90+% of the “real thing” for a fraction of the price. To build this car today would require substantially more than the posted price. Trust me on that…, it may not pleasant, but it’s true!

      Monaco Auction: http://rmsothebys.com/mc16/monaco/lots/1969-mg-mgc-gts-sebring/1079915

      Ascott Collection: http://www.ascottcollection.com/#!mgc-gb/clmy

  11. rangeroger

    I want I want, I want.
    I would rather pay $ 65,000 for this than almost anything else at that price. I would crush my Midget if someone paid me so I could buy this.
    OK, it’s Fri evening, I’ve had a shot of scotch, and am going tomorrow and Sunday to Spokane Raceway for the vintage road races.
    But I really covet this car.

    • John

      Scotch or not, I’ve had to forward your comments to the authorities. NO ONE can threaten to crush an MG Midget without serious consequences.

      Turn yourself in, it’ll go easier n you.

      And besides, I’m buying this car. I’ve offered my vote to whichever candidate offers me $65 K first.

      What kind of Scotch?

  12. Tim

    If I recall correctly a stock MGC sold at Scottsdale 3+- years ago for $38,000 in number 1 or 2 condition. The asking price might be in the ballpark to start. But I might be biased since I own one.

  13. rangeroger

    John, Dewars.
    With a clearer mind this morning, I drove the Midget to the races, got to drive in the parade laps, and chased 3 new Boss 302’s the entire way. The lead Mustang was the slow one, blocking the other 2, but I’m sure the one in front of me got tired of seeing the front of my midget in every corner on his inside. 4 laps wasn’t enough. The guy behind me in his immaculate TR-7 told his wife that I was really “flogging” my MG. Made me smile.
    And tomorrow if they are there again, I’ll ask to go in front this time and maybe walk away from them.
    PS. Just poured a glass.

  14. John

    Try hard to get around them. It’s always best to unlap yourself if you can.

  15. MGC GTS

    Please note: Some people have been Emailing about the car not realizing that there is a dedicated website with highly detailed photo’s, text and video for the build process of this car. Please visit http://www.MGC-GTS.com for more info. Many thanks for your interest! 🙂 (P.S. The car is a lifelong Southern California car and is still located there.)

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