1969 MGC GT

Background

In 1962, the then-new MGB captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation of motorists. Available in various body styles and configurations - including a red-blooded V8 version - the MGB and its derivatives were a fantastic success for BMC, and sold in their droves.

So, when the time came to update and look at phasing out the ‘B’ the saying “don’t fix what isn’t broken” was clearly being bandied around the design office. After all, the same principle was applied to the excellent Austin-Healey, which started off as a four-cylinder car before the enlarged 100/6 succeeded the earlier model.

Evidently, it seemed like a good enough idea to press on, with BMC creating the ‘MG C’ by shoe-horning a sizeable 2.9-litre inline-six engine into an almost-unchanged MG B coupé body shell. Outwardly, there was very little to differentiate the ‘C’ from the ‘B’ with the only giveaways being the bulge in the bonnet, larger wheels, uprated brakes and, of course, the badge on the rear.

Sadly, a mixture of similar styling and a faux-pas by the BMC press office meant that the MG C never quite caught on in the same manner as its predecessor, despite making a very good GT car. With only two years of production taking place before the model was removed from sale, a total of 8,999 MG C’s were built, making them significantly rarer than the MG B.

The Vehicle

First registered on 23 April 1969, this fastidiously-restored, cherished and cosseted MG C has not always lived the life of luxury that it has enjoyed for the last 11 years…

Supplied new to the Lancashire Police Force as part of a ‘package’ of ten cars supplied by Loxhams Morris Services of Preston, this ‘C’ was finished in Police White, and supplied with the following optional extras, as confirmed by the included Heritage certificate:

- Police White over black trim

- Heater

- Heavy-duty rear springs

- Calibrated speedometer

- Heavy-duty battery

- 11AC Alternator Dim-dip lights

- Overdrive gearbox

In addition to the above information, the certificate also confirms the following numbers for the vehicle:

- Commission number: G52D/3524-P

- Rear axle number: 878

- Chassis number: G-CD1/7079

Following years of dedicated service ‘with the force’ this MG C was taken out of commission between 1971 and 1972. Re-sprayed in red with all traces of its police history removed, the car was sold into the motor trade, eventually ending up with a Mr Holland in West Wickham (then Hastings) in 1978/9. Mr Holland then carried out extensive works to the engine, and drove the car until 1983 when it was taken off the road for a full rebuild.

Sadly, life got in the way, and the aforementioned rebuild was never completed, with the car subsequently being sold to another enthusiast - Mr Wilhelm - also of Hastings, South England.

It was during this ownership period that the bodywork was stripped entirely, with previously-bodged jobs put right, the underside stripped down, and a sealant applied to preserve the condition of the vehicle.

In the end, the planned full restoration once again failed to materialise, and it then passed into the hands of the current owner - our vendor - in 2011, including numerous baskets of parts, spares, a partially-stripped engine, and a service manual.

The vendor then set about putting all previous works right, restoring this ex-Police MG C to its former glory irrespective of cost or time implications, and the results speak for themselves.

Whilst we don’t have the space to detail the exact works that took place in the last 11 years whilst in the care of our vendor, a brief highlights list can be found below, and the full (extensively-documented and photographed) story can be found on the vendors blog: www.wingweigh.co.uk/MGC

Highlights of work carried out in the vendors care:

- Full engine strip, re-bore (oversized 30thou bored) fitment of new rings, bearings, cam followers, valve guides, rings, seals, a new timing chain, refurbishment of the carburettors

- Full tune-up by Maidstone sports cars

- Fitment of a new lightened flywheel and clutch

- Bare-metal bodywork restoration, including new sills, castle rails, quarter panels, trumpets, rear wings with all solid/sheet metal used, with the vendor stating there is no filler on the body whatsoever.

- New engine mounts, gearbox mounts and handbrake cables

- Underside coated in stone chip prior to painting in Old English White as per the rest of the bodywork, then waxoyled and ACF50 treated

- Full interior insulation package fitted, including heat and sound-proofing

- Fitment of upgraded suspension with GAZ adjustable shock absorbers

- Installation of a new radiator, oil cooler, and a new wiring loom

- New exhaust, hangers and bushes

- Replacement of all rubber bushings within the suspension system

- Overhauled ignition system with electronic distributor fitted

- Completely new brake, clutch and fuel lines

- New brake discs and callipers all round

- Fitment of a new fuel tank

- New bumpers fitted during the restoration process, and all trims re-chromed

- Interior overhaul with new seat rubbers, foams and covers, new carpets, new boot board and new boot carpets.

- Dashboard refurbished and crackle-finished by Heathrow services

Since the culmination of the restoration process (during which the odometer was reset to 0, on account of the full rebuild and reconditioning of the entire vehicle) this MG C has proven to be enjoyable, reliable and dependable. Taken out only on ‘fair weather’ days and to shows, this ex-Lancs Police picked up a first-place rosette at an MG Car Club summer event, and has remained the vendor’s pride-and-joy throughout his ownership.

On the Outside

Arrestingly beautiful and still presenting in fantastic condition to this day despite being an ‘older’ restoration, this MG C will certainly attract plenty of attention wherever it goes, and is a true head-turning classic.

Looking along the flanks of the car, there are no signs of any impacts, dents, dings or unsightly panel gaps to speak of, nor any missing trims, details or badges.

The paintwork is in outstanding condition throughout, and has evidently been cherished by the vendor to keep it in tip-top shape.

Being super picky (as we always aim to be) there are some signs of pitting and patina visible on chrome trims such as around the windows and on the windshield wiper arms, but this simply adds some character to the vehicle - we’d leave them exactly as they are.

All of the light lenses, green-tinted windows and glassware are free of damage, scratches or clouding.

We would perhaps suggest that the driver’s door requires some adjustment to sit perfectly flush - see image 22 - but this is subjective, and arguably would be overlooked on any other vehicle that has not been finished to such an incredibly high standard.

Naturally, all four wheels are in virtually pristine condition, wrapped in matching Michelin period-look rubber with plenty of life left.

On the Inside

As per the outside, the cabin of this prize-winning MG C GT is nothing short of awe-inspiring, remaining in what we’d imagine to be near-showroom condition from when the vehicle was new, such is the level of detail and care that has gone in to the restoration.

The front seats, for example, show only the lightest creasing to their covers as any sign of having been sat in, whilst the rear bench seat is in just as fantastic condition, though there is - what appears to be - a small ‘nick’ out of the cover, as seen in image 143, visible on the edge of the base.

Up above, the headliner is taut throughout with no staining or sagging, whilst the carpets are in excellent condition across the board.

We did note some signs of wear beginning to manifest inside the door shuts, but nothing that looks to be of any concern.

Ahead of the driver and occupants, the refinished ‘crackle’ dashboard looks fantastic, whilst the chrome bezels, toggle surrounds and details display a charming light patina which looks right at home on this cherished example of the iconic British sports car.

In the rear, the boot floor looks devoid of any blemishes, whilst the carpets, boards and trims are all in nearly-new condition, with the boot looking to have been barely used since the restoration was completed. The original tool roll and jack also remain in-situ.

Even the original tape player in in-situ… marvellous!

Underneath

Stripped down to its bare components, bored-out and rebuilt to an exacting standard, the 3.0-litre engine at the heart of this ex-Police MG C is in rude mechanical health, with the vendor and our photographer reporting that the car drives fantastically, with no untoward issues.

Looking at the block and ancillaries in the bay, everything looks to be in its right-and-proper place, with no obvious leaks, stains or issues making themselves known.

Underneath, the chassis looks to be in a similarly fantastic condition as the rest of the vehicle, thanks to its fair-weather usage, extensive sealing and full rebuild in recent years.

A new battery was fitted in May 2022.

The vehicle is exempt from mandatory MoT testing on account of its age, but it has been tested a Toal of three times since it was put back on the road - in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and each time a clean pass with no advisory items has been achieved, not that we’d expect anything less having seen the work that has gone in to rebuilding this beauty.

History Highlights

Included with the vehicle is the V5 registered keepers document showing only four former keepers, a handful of MoT certificates and old tax discs, the ‘First Place’ rosette from the aforementioned MG Car Club event, agreed valuation documents, and a veritable treasure trove of invoices and documentation from the rebuild process.

Additionally, the all-important heritage certificate is present, confirming this example to be a numbers-matching, ex-Police example, and a USB stick containing over 400 photographs of the cars history and restoration process is also included.

As ever, all of this documentation is included at the end of the gallery below, for you to browse at your own leisure.

What We Think

Restored to an exceedingly high standard, considerately upgraded without losing its original charm, numbers-matching and with a fantastic heritage, this may well be one of the best MG C GTs to have come to the market in recent years, and it is undoubtedly one of the best we’ve ever seen.

Presented in outstanding condition throughout and benefitting from an older restoration that has stood the test of time, we estimate this charming, beautiful and head-turning MG C GT to fetch in the region of £22,000 to £27,000 when the virtual hammer falls.

Viewing is always encouraged. This particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays between 9am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage options plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

flying john

  • Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 1600
  • Chassis Number: 7079
  • Engine: 2912
  • Gearbox: manual
  • Steering position: RHD
  • Colour: Old English White
  • Interior: Black leather
  • Estimated Price: £22,000 - £27,000

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