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Junkyard Jewel: 1969 MGC GT


We have discussed the dangers of buying a car through Copart before. They deal in salvage vehicles and they don’t provide much information, so it can be very risky. Still, every once in a while we run across something that deserves a mention. This may look like a 1969 MGB GT, but upon further investigation, it appears to be a MGC! The hood bulge is the most obvious giveaway, but a peek under that damaged hood reveals what looks like the C’s inline-six. It may not have handled as well as the more balanced B, but only 9k were built so the relative rarity and uniqueness make it worth a look. Find it here on Copart where they are accepting sealed bids. Just be sure to have it inspected and then to expect the worse.


  1. julian

    Looks like a simple rebuild.
    Wings are bolt-on – in steel or glass.
    Its sitting a bit high because the lift is taking the weight off the sudpension,
    Just need to see if there’s anything bent underneath

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    • tom999p

      A simple rebuild at $23k like the website says…

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  2. tom999p

    I never trusted that website… Over 120,000 cars for sale? I doubt it.

    Kind of like cars.com that has over “400,000” cars for sale…..Then you do a search for “Chevrolet Cavalier” and three cars pop up…

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    • sir mike

      probably true…this is where all the cars we and the insurance companies total at our dealership collision centre end up.

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    • achman

      1. Why would anyone search for a Chevy Cavalier?
      2. The other 1281 Cavaliers still existing in the USA are on cement blocks in yards in Florida.

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  3. Vincent Habel

    does not sound like a very good deal when you see what they say the repairs could cost.

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  4. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Only concern to me would be if the broken windshield is indicative of a whole shell tweak. IF the front fender/door relationship is OK then it’s unbolting/bolting, because the cross member in front can be replaced if necessary (although the C-specific subframe might be fun to source…).

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  5. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    Yeah, lots of red flags here. But it could be a good source for parts if you already own a C. The listing mentions that the car runs, but that the frame is bent. The sealed bid method of selling makes me think that someone is having a hard time letting it go…

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  6. Amicus

    Best guess at this location might be as an insurance write off which might be where the 23k figure comes from which seems like big time chassis twist as suggested by the broken windshield.

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    • james g

      those figures they always to high they mean nothing they’re useless

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  7. jim s

    before bidding a PI would need to be done and a lot of photos taken. a copy of the photos would need to be sent in with your bid so everyone was/is on the same page as to what is being bid on. if bidding on this with just the few photos that their website has you could end up with a lot less car then you though you were getting. it looks like a manual transmission ” CGT ” but is it! the car might be a good sourse of part if it can not be repaired. the website has other MGs for same also. nice find

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  8. That Guy

    I’ll go out on a limb and say that windshield damage looks more like an impact just above the lower edge, not a torsion crack from being twisted in the frame. I’m no expert though, and that opinion is worth exactly what you just paid for it. :-)

    It looks like this was a really beautifully-restored car before the crash. At the right price, this could be a straightforward project. Bent frames can be straightened. But are there a lot of suspension and other bits which are unique to the MGC? That could be troublesome if so.

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  9. james g

    biggest problem is it says it has frame damage major red flag

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  10. james g

    it also says under highlights that it will most likely drive but also VIX which means. In the United States, 600,000+ vehicles declared total losses each year by the insurance industry are retained by the vehicle owner without going through a process that allows the salvage professionals an opportunity to purchase these vehicles. The vast majority of these vehicles are drivable and can be repaired, but not economically by an insurance company.

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  11. Charles

    I would want to see this in person before making any sort of decision. There could be some major hidden damage.

    This reminded me of a car exactly like this, same model, color, year that a customer had towed into a European car repair company I worked for while in high school. The engine had been run out of oil and was seized. The owner abandoned the car at the shop. After a year or so the shop owner applied for a title claiming a storage lien. When the paperwork was completed, the shop owner sold the car for a small amount to one of the mechanics. The mechanic managed to wedge a small block Chevy V-8 into the car, and I don’t remember all of the details, but it did look good and ran well when they finished it. It seems like they converted the engine to a dry sump because of space issues, but I am not sure some 40+ years later. I got to ride in the car a few times and it was a rocket.

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  12. cliffyc

    MG fitted the Rover 3.5 V8 (Buick 215 cu in) engine into MGBs back in the day, see a fair few still here in the UK. Must have been rapid wirh the Chevy small block!…….

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  13. Charles

    Was the Rover 3.5 V8 an option for that car, or were these aftermarket installs?

    I was only 15 when they swapped a V8 into that little MGC, and did not know much about cars in those days. I think that the car had an inline 6 in it originally, and it had the bulges in the hood like the subject of this post. Those cars had great lines and a beautiful leather interior. If memory is correct it was a 327 ci. I remember something about them using a Muncie four speed trans. The rest of it was cut, hack and wedge, and yes it was fast. It seems like the car would not have good balance with that cast iron V8 up front?

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  14. GlenK

    Having worked in the salvage business, and bought a few dubious cars, I always look at the value in the some of their parts. In the case of this MGC the motor should be OK, transmission etc. So if you know your car which you should if you are bidding on something like this then figure the price of the engine, wheels, transmission etc as the price of the car. This way if you get the car and it can’t be fixed, you sell the parts, that simple. I have always done that and never lost over the years.

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  15. John

    If my memory is correct, MGC’s had a completely revised front suspension and used torsion bars instead of the springs on other “Bs”. They were problematic. I suspect that if the front suspension is damaged, a pretty complex repair job might lie underneath that crumpled fender.

    I hope I’m remembering the “C” correctly. But it could sure be a beauty when it is restored.

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  16. Tirefriar

    If time, or lack thereof was not an issue, I’d go up to inspect this car. The repairs are not as simple as they appear. Looking at the passenger front side of the car it appears that the whole front end may have swayed to the right. Also, the older euro hard tops tend to dissipate the force of the impact through the windshield pillars and up into the windshield opening thus deforming (usually opening up) windshield opening. If such is the case, special trusses would be needed to align the windshield openings as well as placing the car on dedicated jigs ( frame bench such as Chief may work, but for euro cars jigs will give you true alignment) for frame pull.

    Still a very worthy car to bring back to life, which I’m sure will happen. With older cars, salvage titles don’t seem to impact the value as much as with newer cars – as long as repairs are done right.

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  17. Monsieur Le Baton

    Charles – the v8 was an option, exact years i forget, but 72-75 i think, interestingly all the rubber bumper models post 75 had the lower engine mounts to allow the rover / buick v8 to drop straight in without mount modifications – and it ran the same 4 speed plus O/D box as the standard mgb gt.

    The interesting thing about this car, is that even in the UK this MGC 6 pot is a rare motor, they dont appear second hand, so the engine itself is worth a fair chunk of money. The v8’s are 10 a penny – since it was the same motor fitted to the rover models, from the p5 in about 1965 all the way to the range rover in 2002 (different engine sizes and compressions of course), but the same block nonetheless – in fact i have 2 in my garage for my own mgb, one from a p6 for rebuild and one from an sd1 for parts – same motor 10 years apart

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  18. Howie B

    I talked to a manager for Copart today and they are NOT selling the car tomorrow. He said it was sealed bid because the insurance company is trying to figure out how much to pay the insured. So I was told even if you bid on it, no one will get the car and the owner will probably buy it back from the insurance company….. What a joke.

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  19. julian

    Once apon a time……….. When all MGBs were 4 cylinder……
    There was a mini racer and engineer called Ken Costello.
    Ken decided to fit a rover V8 (buick) engine in a ‘B’ and it was a success. He bought his engine and further engines from British Leyland and had quite a good business converting MGBs.
    Even British Leyland bought one from him………..
    Suddenly the supply of V8s to Ken dried up.
    Shortly after that, Leyland marketed their own V8 MGB.
    I’m sure someone can fill in the dates sequence.
    The Buick V* is much lighter than the MGC 6 cylinder engine and therefore a V8 car handles much better than a ‘C’

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