I was out for a walk in the East End and came across this car on Versailles street (note: Alamedans pronounce this street's name "Ver-SAILS" and will jump down your throat if you call it "Ver-SIGH"). From a couple blocks away, I thought it might be a Jaguar E-Type, given the shiny black paint and wire wheels. Then I thought it was an MGB-GT, and it was only when I saw the strange hood bulges that I realized I was dealing with the much rarer MGC-GT.
Hey, that photograph sure looks familiar!
The MGC was basically an MGB with a 7-main-bearing version of the 3-liter inline-six engine used in the Austin-Healey 3000 (and a bunch of other British cars we've never heard of over here). To go with the new engine, the MGC got bigger brakes and some other goodies.
That sounds great, only the car got a rep for funky handling with the heavy new engine and the MGC never sold very well. Only about 9,000 were made, of which roughly half were the GT type.
This car is pretty much in showroom condition, only no MG ever came off the line with black paint this perfect. This car doesn't normally live on the street; I assume it spends its time garaged nearby. There's a 60s Mini on the same block (stay tuned for photos), so it's possible the same
masochist connoisseur of fine British automobiles owns them both.
I drove a '73 MGB-GT as a daily driver for a couple years, and I loved and hated it in roughly equal measure. All I'm going to say is: everything they say about the Prince of Darkness is true.
So what? Just look at this thing! All is forgiven, MG!
Sadly, my B didn't have the wire wheels; I think most cars look lame with them, but 60s British designs really do well with the spokes.
Hmmm... does this car have true dual exhaust? I suppose I should have stuck the camera underneath to find out, but that might have triggered an unpleasant owner/photographer confrontation.
The six-banger fit in the engine compartment all right, but the radiator and carburetor failed to clear the hood. Rather than redesign the radiator and/or intake manifold, BMC's engineers took a very 60s-British (i.e., totally cheap) approach and put a couple of bulges in the hood. Sure, it looks funny, but it works!
That Pininfarina-designed hatchback body looks great, especially in black. This town really is Car Geek Heaven.