1969 MGC GT


I purchased this project about two yeas ago. My thought was to build a "poor man's" DB4 GT with it. The car was in startlingly good condition. Caked in a fine layer of mud and dust, the car had virtually no rust anywhere and very little wear. I was told the transmission was replace in '83 just before the thing was last parked. It was missing the pink slip, but provenance seemed believable. The car was traded for a TR4 back in the late 70's... I was told I'd be the third owner.

After trailering my prize back home, my first chore was to get her running again. The DPO (or Dreaded Previous Owner) had mis-wired the twin 6v batteries, and installed an el cheapo replacement fuel pump. Some new batteries and a fuel pump later she ran, albeit grudgingly.

Once I got through the obligatory harassment at the local DMV for not having a baby photo of the previous owner, and a signed affidavit from Margaret Thatcher, I was finally granted registration and a license plate. At this point a sane person would have driven the car for a while, and enjoyed the fruits of their triumph over the DMV, however.. I have never been know for my rock-like common sense.

Back into my garage for a complete tear-down. My original intent was to do a rolling restoration, fixing this or that on the weekends and generally enjoying tinkering on the thing. But things quickly got out of control....

FIrst up was the suspension. Now the MGC was given front torsion bars, like a 911 in reverse, in order to clear the MASSIVE six cylinder that British Leyland graciously alloted to the MGC project. I carefully pulled apart the suspension in each corner, having all the hydraulics rebuilt at the same time. I was surprised to find that all the bits still had original paint under all the muck, and once cleaned they show very little wear. I replace all the bushings with modern poly versions to get rid of some of the British Leyland Engineering unfortunate handling characteristics that gave the MGC such a bad reputation.

The hydraulic and suspension project was done in a couple weekends, and that left one thing to do... start dealing with the engine. But, if I was to start on the engine, I really should repaint the bay at the same time, and as long as it was out, I should rebuild the bottom end, just to make sure... plus the head needed to be reworked for unleaded gas, and then there was the question of carburation...

Here is the laundry list of what I ended up doing:

It's all back together and running and drivable. What remains now is to repaint the outside, and install the full set of wilton wool carpets, the leather rear seat cover and the new interior panel pieces. I've run out of steam here, and I'm debating if I should cut my losses at this point. Then engine makes a ton of power, and the transmission shifts smoothly and overdrive works great.

At this point it could be repainted it's original Primrose Yellow, or any other color. Keep the body stock, or go the rest of the way with a Sebring body kit. Or, it would be a short path to classic racecar at this point.