22-Years In Storage: 1969 MGC Roadster

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There’s something about a British Racing Green (whether that’s the official name for the color on an MG or not) convertible that gets my heart pounding! This MGC (think MGB with some tweaks and a 6-cylinder engine) has been off the road since 1993 due to a bad fuel pump and some family obligations. Thanks go to Belinda W. for this great find! It’s located in Ashland, Kentucky and is up for sale here on eBay, where bidding has already pushed over $8,000 but the reserve has not yet been met.

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And here it is, the 6-cylinder, 2912 cc inline 6 that changes the character of the MGC relative to the MGB. It’s derived from the C-Series engine that was used in the “big” Austin-Healey 100/6 & 3000 series, but with some changes-the idea was that the MGC would effectively replace the outmoded 3000.

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This MGC has some good points and bad ones in the interior. The floor is largely solid (more on that in a moment), but the original upholstery is long gone and this replacement set is also. I do love that steering wheel, though, and the dash looks pretty decent. The car comes equipped with overdrive, a really nice option to have, although the owner prior to the seller stated that the overdrive was non-functional. Brakes and clutch are also non-functional after the period of storage, and the seller was able to confirm that the fuel pump is indeed bad. The starter broke on the second attempt at building oil pressure (the first was successful, so the engine isn’t seized), so that will have to be repaired as well.

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I really applaud the seller including this picture of where the floor was crudely patched previously. This appears to be the only major piece of rust on the car, and can be patched properly fairly easily. There has been a little bit of a bump in the front at some point, though, and an incorrect grille badge has been fitted as a result.

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The top looks nice in the pictures, although I’m wondering if there is some shrinkage not allowing the curved portions to come all the way out to the fasteners. According to the seller, there were only 1,757 MGC convertibles produced in 1969, and I’m sure there are a lot fewer now, so I feel it’s worth repairing this car correctly. Although the odometer is showing less than 30,000 miles, there’s really no telling how many the car actually has. The seller is also including the possible additional purchase of a set of new wire wheels at a discount. Overall, I think this is a very desirable example of a rare car that I’d love to put back on the road, but I’m not sure of the price. Since the paint is not original, it can never be a true “survivor” car, but certainly could be one of the nicest MGC’s around given some TLC. Are you the one to take care of this MG?

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Comments

  1. Woodie Man

    Always wanted a C…..in college in 1973 my roommate had a ’71 or ’73 maybe ,,a MGC-GT.with glass panels in the roof! He was from Brazil so I wonder if it was an import as I have never seen another with a glass roof I admit to having had an occasional pang of jealousy! I was driving a ’63 Continental.

  2. Mark S Member

    I’m not to knowledgeable about British cars I did work on the odd one early on in My mechanics years, but this one has my attention. With that inline 6 under the hood I’ll bet this car really halled a$$ and I’ll bet it cornered pretty well too, well better than any domestic of the day. All that aside there is really one thing I don’t get and has been bugging me, and that is this preoccupation to original paint, I still say so what every thing wares out at some point. So if the brakes wear out we should say leave them After all they are original? No we would change them out, for me I’d rather look at a nicely done respray then the every popular patina we see all the time. There are a lot of potentially beautiful cars left looking shabby. This little MGC would look cherry all done up.

  3. Dave Wright

    These are very cool but were never as popular as the MGB’s. They were very heavy in the front end, did not handle well and the increased power was at the expense of a lot of extra weight. A slightly tuned MGB was faster and handled better. But I do like them

  4. Howard A Member

    Why is this car still here? MGC’s are so rare, I can’t believe someone hasn’t scooped this up. When I had my ’71 MGB, I never knew about this car. Fact is, when I saw an ad for a “6 cylinder MGB” (MGC), I thought it was a typo. Truth be known, as Dave sez, these were not a very successful venture, as the 6 added even more weight to the already front heavy MGB, but as a novelty, it sure is cool. Floors seem fixable, and I believe that is a later MGB grill badge (’73?) And yes, the tops DO shrink. An hour in the sun, and that will pull right back. Very neat car, 5 figures, all day long.

  5. brakeservo

    A car that wasn’t very good when new usually isn’t any better now that it’s over 45 years old . . . and there’s a reason the MGC didn’t last very long. I wouldn’t touch it myself. As far as the bidding goes – when there’s a flurry of bidding on a new listing like that and all activity is below the reserve, well you can pretty much consider all the underbidders to be friends and neighbors of the seller who’ve been asked to place bids below the reserve. After all, if you really wanted the car, why on earth would you bid when there’s a whole week left to go – all you’ve done is create the opportunity to be out-bid!

    • Richard V

      Speaking of “brakeservo” note there are two of them! Years ago, when I worked on the MGCs, those were impossible to find. Also, I had to adapt an late MGB steering rack to fit the C since those weren’t available either. I had to pay top dollar for a set of almost unobtainium .010 rod bearings. But, that was well before the internet, so I really do hope these issues no longer exist. Cool car but, as mentioned earlier, they were far from perfect. Would I own one today? You bet!

  6. Doug Crawford

    As mentioned in the listing, time and technology have solved the issues that gave them bad reviews. Raising the front tire pressure from the recommended 26 psi ( which the Brits thought would please Americans used to riding marshmallows ), to 34-36 psi, which transforms the handling. the next upgrade is stiffer torsion bars for the front. Then cut the flywheel weight in half , and buy readily available, newer design servos that bolt right in, and you have a wonderful sports car. You can get any engine part you need now, these engines were used in lots of sedans back in England, Just a few keystrokes away now ! The car comes with a Brit mag article on all of this.

    Like 1
  7. Cameron Bater UK

    I can’t abide this, there was NEVER an MGB/C Roadster, Officially they were known as the MGB, GT, GT V8 and MGC, GT (I don’t think there was an MGC GT V8) The Standard cars (MGB/C) were the soft tops and the GT models were the hard tops.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Cameron, I won’t argue with you on the official names, but they were marketed in other places as a roadster. For example, see this ad: http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTEwOFgxNjAw/$(KGrHqQOKj4E+f1-L,RhBP4ZFhR9I!~~60_35.JPG

      Personally, I don’t consider it a roadster unless it has side curtains, but I’m a traditionalist… :-)

      • Kent Covington

        If top comes all the way off, as the stow away MGBs did, it can be considered a roadster. That is what I was told. Did MGCs have the option of a stow away top?

        Someone out there knows…..

        KC

  8. brakeservo

    Uh, did you say stow away or throw away?? Planned obsolescence and all that . . .

  9. Dave D in KC

    Yes, the 1969 MGC I just bought has a stow away top that appears to be original. My car is a barn find as well. Last driven in 1981 and drained of fluid, put up on blocks in a shed until 7 weeks ago.

  10. Brian Fahey

    In 1974 I bought a 1969 “C” roadster with a hole in EVERY piston (car had 14K miles on it). I blueprinted and dynamically balanced a 250 Ford (4.2L) I-6 and put a 289 flywheel (lathe-cut off the counter weight and lightened/balanced it), then I milled the rear off of a 289 bellhousing and welded on an aluminum plate, milled it to accept an M22 aluminum rock-crusher GM transmission (all I had) and hung a Corvair E-flow turbo on it (via a 2″ plumbing elbow) with a giant Skinners Union side draft with an electric enrichment choke. Used a pressure switch to turn on a WS washer motor and pumped water/alcohol to the football inflation needle located at the carb throat. The thin-walled Ford saved me >300# @ the front end- I had to re-set the torsion bars to allow the front to be adjustable to the right ride height. I then had to make a water-cooled adjustable wastegate and even then you had to mind the throttle. Made a roll bar with removable brace and a Parish Plastics hard top and re-painted the whole thing in BRG (it’s original color). Flat towed an MG out to LA, CA from PA and flat towed a VW Wolfsburg back 80 mph up the great divide. Had 72 spoke wires and looked completely stock. Drove her for 9 years then I had to sell her so I could leave for Singapore. LOVED that car, and yes it was VERY fast. Don’t try this at home- the Ford oil pump/pick-up had to be relocated and the oil pan had a Fiat pan welded on to give me a 6 qt capacity. God- I loved that car.. wish I knew where she was now. Oh yea, and a VERY short 8-10 inch? cut-down drive shaft from a p/u truck put the power to the tall-geared factory Dana Spicer rear. Those wires could smoke when the turbo put out. Made the exhaust manifold out of rectangular box steel and the turbo bolted right to it- it was a piece of art, but hey- I’m the Dad.

  11. Brian Fahey

    Ah the memories are flooding back- I used an aluminum cooking pot to house the air cleaner and that was fed from right behind the stock grill. Everything fit under the bonnet. I also took off the 2 metal engine plates and carefully riveted them over the Powered by Ford stamping on top of the valve cover. With anti-pump up lifters running on the camshaft I had Isky himself custom grind for me for the ever-impatient turbo when I lived in LA, the engine purred to the point you could balance a nickel on its end with the engine idling and the coin would just slowly rotate but not fall down. Oh yea, and I had an equalizer hitch that I used to tow my airplane, my camper and my Abarth 1000 race car (hill climber & road racer) with. My Glory coals are cold, but the memories keep me warm.

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