1968 MGC GT TWO SEATER COUPE
Registration No. LBL 412D
Chassis No. G-CD1/111-G
Engine No. T.B.A.
Metallic Riviera Silver Blue with black interior
Engine: straight six overhead valves, pushrod overhead valves, 2912 cc, twin SU carburettors; Gearbox: four-speed manual with overdrive; Suspension: independent front by wishbones and torsion bars, rear live axle with half elliptic leaf springs; Steering: rack and pinion; Brakes: hydraucally operated servo assisted front disc, rear drum.
In the late 1960s the MGB, now with 1.8 litre engine, had been in production for five years and was firmly established in the hearts of enthusiasts around the world, but in performance terms was outpaced by sports models and - on occasion - tuned saloons from other factories. The engineers at MG's Abingdon knew there was plenty of development in the B's compact unitary bodyshell and running gear and in 1968 the three-litre MGC was announced. They had shoehorned into the B's bodyshell a seven main bearing straight six engine evolved from that used in the big Austin Healey. The new engine gave 150bhp, compared with the old B series engine's 95 bhp and endowed the C with a top speed in excess of 125 mph. It was not easily done. The long engine dictated that a front cross-member be removed and torsion bar independent front suspension had to be introduced. Other worthwhile improvements included a new four-speed all synchromesh gearbox (overdrive was an option) and larger disc brakes at the front. Wheel size went up an inch to 14 in. diameter to allow Dunlop SP41 tyres to be fitted. Apart from a broad bulge across the bonnet to clear the engine and an identifying badge in the rear panel, there was little to distinguish the C from its smaller engined brethren, but the character of the car was radically changed. It was now a high-geared, very fast grand tourer, well made by a factory workforce who took much pride in their work. Initially, the motoring press were cool, possibly because they did not realise what the C was meant to be. But during its two years' production life, MG enthusiats quickly took the type to their hearts, and it has long had what can only be described as a cult following. As with all MG models, it is supported strongly by the marque clubs, which maintain excellent technical support and a very full calendar of competitions of every variety though the year and around the world.
This well-presented very early MGC GT Coupe is an important car with an interesting history during the period when it was retained for development work by the factory. The vendor's enquiries have unearthed verbal and photographic evidence to support the contention that it was one of the earliest built from production press-tools, and was in fact the first MGC GT. Fitted with a towing hitch and registered for the road with the number it bears today, it was used by BMC's Competition Department for brake dynameter testing at the Motor Industry Research Association's track facility in the Midlands. The car also carries a unique front grille, and further research may reveal more of the history of this attractive GT coupe.
Since being acquired by the current owner he has carried out much work on the car that has included restoration of the bodywork and repaint to the present, and original, livery of metallic silver blue, complete refurbishment of the interior - now black leather piped in light blue with black carpets and trim, renewal of chrome and external brightwork and fittings, as well as mechanical preparation and detailing.
Offered with invoices for the parts supplied for restoration, copies of old log books, BMIHT certificate, and V5 document.