With a limited production run of only two years, the MGC was introduced to take over the flagging sales of the Austin Healey. Based on the still highly successful MGB, it introduced a straight six 3.0 litre engine to combine with the monocoque shell. Taking on the Healey, was a big ask, and some believed the additional weight did not really provide much benefit for the additional power, and that the standard 1800cc MGB was much better weighted and handling. The interior was the same as in the MGB and that is maybe one of the problems with the MGC, it’s perhaps too similar to the MGB. That said, looking through the pages of classic car advertisements, although quality and price is variable for MGB’s, due to its relative rarity the MGC holds its value pretty well.
Of course with only 9002 built compared to the over 51,000 MGB’s this could be a contributing factor. So of the 8999 made, 9002 includes the prototypes, only 3437 (roadsters & GT’s) were sold in the UK. This is enough to still have reasonable availability especially when compared to the later introduced MGB V8 of which only 2500 were produced in total. The MGB V8, often described as the optimum MGB, is arguably better car with more power for negligible weight increase.
Although the MGC doesn’t have the looks or rally pedigree of the Austin Healey 3000, you have to compare what you are getting for a half or a third of the price. An interesting comparison now when you think on launch the MGC was only £24 cheaper than the Healey at £1,102, so obviously the Healey was a much better long term investment!
The MGC still has appeal, the similarity to the MGB guarantees that, the subtle characteristic bonnet bulge giving an allure and an indication of something just that bit special whilst still falling into the much loved MG family. Whether vale will continue to rise, or rise and fall as they have done in the past with that other beautifully designed MG offering the MGA, let us hope enough enthusiasts continue to see its value and invest in this charming classic. After all if it was good enough for HRH Prince Charles to have owned one since 1967, it can’t be all bad.