Classic MG Cars: The MGC Car


The MGC car was supposed to be an extension to the MGB range, but it only lasted for two years, from 1967-1969. It was fitted with the Austin-Healey straight-6 of 2912cc capacity which needed a distinct bonnet bulge to clear the extra height of the engine. The other visible external difference to the MGB was the 15" wheels instead of 14".

Unfortunately the extra 200lb of weight the engine added caused the MGC car to be nose heavy and affected the handling. Add in the fact that the length of the engine had made it difficult to squeeze in an adequate size of radiator and overheating was common, along with a complaint about a general lack of torque from the unit making it unpleasant to drive and you can see why the model only lasted a couple of years.

Having said all of that as there were less than 10,000 of the MGC car produced in that time so they have a value, again because they are quite scarce. And these days, almost forty years on, all the problems have been overcome and it can be quite a pleasant car to drive if you are looking for a two-seater tourer rather than a pure sports car. Production numbers were split almost equally between convertibles and coupés.

Pic by S400Hybrid on Wikimedia Commons
Pic by S400Hybrid on Wikimedia Commons

Modifying Your MGC Car

The same engine as the MGC car had was used in the factory team Austin-Healey 3000 rally cars, all be it with an aluminium head and fuel injection fitted, and they put out well over 200 bhp, some say as high as 240 bhp. And after market aluminium head conversions are still available - at a price (about £3,000/$4,000 last time I looked).

The MGB GT V8 was a better all round car but made in even smaller numbers and never exported to America, the main market for MGs of all descriptions. It would probably be easier and cheaper to find a 1798cc engined MGB and slap a supercharger on it, although personally I prefer the V8 burbble to a whiney little four-pot. But:

In 1967, an MGB with just 1000 miles was performance tested and recorded a time of 18 seconds to go from zero to 70mph. With the Derrington head and specific SU inlet manifold, but the rest of the spec being standard, the car now achieved this in 14 seconds. With a pair of 40 DCOEs the time dropped to 12 seconds and with a 714 cam and free flow exhaust it came down to 11 seconds. (Source: 'BMC B Series Tuning and Modification' by J.D. Hansen and published by Haynes in the 1960s).

Source:The MG Owners' Club website

Allowing for the fact those parts, modifications and engineering are forty years old I would expect to be able to see better figures with modern parts and facilities.

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