1968 MGC TWO SEATER ROADSTER
Registration No. PHA 127F
Chassis No. GCN1 1078-G
Engine No. 29 GRU-H 2193 (see text)
Mineral Blue, with black interior.
Engine: straight six, push-rod 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: hydraulically operated servo assisted front disc, rear drum. Right hand drive.
By 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 works knew there was plenty of development in the B's compact unitary bodyshell and running gear and in 1967 the three-litre MGC GT and Roadster were unveiled at the Earls Court Motor Show.
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, it received a cool response from the motoring press, possibly because they did not realise what the C was meant to be. But during its two years' production life, MG enthusiasts 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, the 'C' 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.
The certificate supplied by the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, confirms this MGC Roadster to have originally been supplied on 17th May 1968, being sold new through Manchester agent Joseph Cockshoot & Co. The document also notes that its present livery is the same as it was originally sold, and that at some stage it has had an engine change, although the replacement number correlates with the series of the original, and is a correct MG unit.
In more recent times the car has been the subject of a £21,000 restoration by marque specialists Autech of Bromsgrove. This work is detailed through a comprehensive file offered with the car, and supported by photographs. It was subsequently acquired by the current owner in 1995 from MG Specialists Former Glory, of Middlesex.
The MGC remains in excellent condition, and although it appears to have seen limited use in current ownership, it has been regularly maintained and on a recent test drive performed well. It is presented complete with hood, and full length tonneau cover and has a current MoT and road tax.