This fine example makes a good case for why MG’s ‘Big Healey’ successor should be more widely loved, reckons Richard Gunn
While the MGC may not have been that applauded as a new car, it’s become much more desirable as a classic. This Old English White roadster is comparatively rare, and an interesting alternative to the V8 MGB GTs of the Seventies. It comes with a large stack of history, stainless steel exhaust, Spax damper conversion and a photographic record of its restoration during the Nineties – although the exact date isn’t clear.
An older restoration it may be, but this MG has obviously been looked after well since its renovation. The white bodywork is close to immaculate – even the front valance, usually the first area to show any flaws, is free from any marks. The panel gaps are tight and uniform all around, save for some slight unevenness in bonnet fit. The chrome is good throughout, but up close there is some very minor tarnishing evident on the bumpers. The car has been comprehensively undersealed. Painted wire wheels are fitted – all are sound, as are the 165 R15 tyres, although they are a mixture of Gislaved, Michelin and Uniroyal items, with the Gislaved ones up front.
The interior is just as nice as the exterior, if not more so. Neither the seats – black leather with white piping – nor the carpets show any significant wear. The only issues we could find are some spots of the dash where the finish has gone a little glossy and a few marks on the inside of the hood (in excellent condition externally) caused by the frame. A modern JVC CD/radio is fitted, which does clash somewhat with the rest of the standard interior. All the gauges and controls function as they should.
White engine bays aren’t easy to keep looking clean, but great effort has clearly been put into making this one smart. Even the underbonnet insulation is damage-free. There are a few issues, such as paint bubbling from fluid spillages under the brake/clutch master cylinder, and rust marks under the coolant filler cap, but overall the bay is very tidy. The engine block, cylinder head and some ancillaries are correctly painted in light metallic green. There are no obvious leaks, and the fluid levels and colours are as they should be.
The engine starts instantly from cold and runs well with the choke out. It doesn’t take long before this can be pushed fully home, resulting in a smooth and steady idle. The car is very lively in a straight line, but anybody used to MGBs will notice the comparatively heavy clutch and steering. Brakes are effective and bite quickly. The gearbox is slightly notchy and reverse is a little hit-and-miss until you get the hang of it. Overdrive is fitted, and it engages and disengages quickly. Oil pressure when cruising is a healthy 70psi.
The MGC has been under-appreciated for a long time. With this example though, there is so much to appreciate – it’s in lovely condition inside and out, and delivers the goods on the road. Boasting an extensive history, this is an MGC you can enjoy straight away.
Price £25,995 Engine 2912cc straight-six, ohv, SU HS6 carburettors Power 145bhp @ 5250rpm Torque 170lb ft @ 3400rpm 0-60mph 10sec Top speed 120mph Fuel consumption 17-24mpg Length 3891mm Width 1516mm