Although the press and the public had little love for the MGC, the feelings of BMC’s Competitions Department [sic] were considerably warmer. By this time, the four-cylinder MGB was having some difficulty even qualifying in the under-2-liter racing classes; the addition of the six-cylinder engine offered a basically excellent chassis a new lease on life. In early 1967, months before the MGC made its public debut, the Competitions Department prepared six specially bodied MGC GTS coupes for racing use. One of those cars made its debut in the 1967 Targa Florio, although that car was temporarily fitted with a 2,004 cc (122 cu. in.) B-series four because the six had not yet been homologated.
The race-prepped MGC still had a forward weight bias (which was less severe in the GT than in the roadster), but the competition suspension erased the stock car’s softness and understeer, while ported and polished heads, bigger valves, a hotter cam, and a trio of Weber 45 DCOE carburetors extracted a reliable 200 hp (149 kW) from the big engine. In March 1968, Andrew Hedges and Paddy Hopkirk drove one of the lightweight cars to a class victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring, scoring 10th overall. Later that year, two other MGC GTS coupes ran in the 84-hour Marathon de la Route at the Nürburgring, one of them (driven by Hedges, Tony Fall, and Julian Vernaeve) achieving a respectable sixth place.
For owners dissatisfied with the MGC’s street performance, Abingdon soon offered a Special Tuning kit that included a new cylinder head, valve gear, and intake and exhaust manifolds. Although we haven’t been able to confirm it, it appears that the kit was developed by Daniel and Veronica (“Bunty”) Richmond of Downton Engineering Works, an aftermarket shop that created competition parts for many BMC cars of this era. Downton offered several MGC upgrade kits of its own, all of which carried the full factory warranty. Downton’s Kit 43 was similar (if not identical) to the works Special Tuning set-up, while the pricier Kit 45 added a third carburetor and a completely redesigned intake manifold. (Bruce Ibbotson of the MG Club of Queensland speculates that the Downton modifications may have been intended for the aborted Austin-Healey ADO 51 as a way of further distinguishing it from its cheaper MG cousin.)
The Special Tuning and Downton 43 kits didn’t dramatically improve acceleration times, but either kit transformed the character of the big six. Testers noted much-improved low-end torque along with a newfound willingness to rev. Fuel economy was significantly better as well. Had the factory made similar modifications to the standard MGC, its press reception might have been quite different.
While Abingdon could easily have produced a much better MGC (indeed, engineer Mike Allison told author David Knowles that some work had been done on fuel injection for the C), MG’s parent company had other ideas. BMC’s merger with Jaguar in late 1966, forming British Motor Holdings, had done little to arrest the company’s financial hemorrhaging. In the spring of 1968, the British government pushed for a merger between BMH and the successful Leyland Motor Corporation, which had already absorbed Standard-Triumph and Rover.
The merger ended any possibility of addressing the shortcomings of the MGC. Since the new conglomerate already had two six-cylinder sports cars — the Triumph GT6+ and the new TR6 — British Leyland executives saw little reason to waste time and money on the slow-selling MGC. Even the Competitions Department would now concentrate mainly on Leyland products. The MGC GTS lightweights continued to race for a while, but only in private hands. Two of the coupes took fifth and sixth in their class at Sebring in 1969 while two others ran in the 1970 Targa Florio and Monte Carlo Rally with indifferent results.
The MGC and MGC GT lingered through the 1969 model year with few changes, but production ended in August 1969. University Motors, MG’s London distributor, bought between 150 and 200 of the unsold 1969 cars and continued to sell them into the 1970 and 1971 model years. Many of the University Motors cars were customized with unique grilles, special paint, and aftermarket accessories like Koni shocks and alloy wheels. At least a few also had Downton engine conversions.
We’ve found several conflicting figures for MGC production, but the grand total, including pre-production cars built in 1966, was around 9,000 cars. The Austin 3-litre, which shared the 2.9-liter six (albeit with many minor differences), was also a commercial flop, and British Leyland dropped the C-series engine at the end of the 1971 model year. There would be a V8-powered MGB GT from 1973 to 1976, powered by Rover’s ex-Buick 3,528 cc (215 cu. in.) engine, but there wouldn’t be another six-cylinder MG until Rover launched the ZS 180 and ZT 190 in 2001.
Less than three months after British Leyland abandoned the MGC, Ford of England introduced the Capri 3000, powered by Ford’s 2,994 cc (183 cu. in.) Essex V6. The six-cylinder Capri offered similar performance to the departed MGC GT at a similar price. The V6 Capri proved to be a modest commercial success and eventually became a British motoring icon, surviving through 1987.
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Glad to have you back! Just when I think you might be starting to run out of topics you bust out with an entire marque I had forgotten about.
What where the common pitfalls of the MGC engine that gave the car a poor rating?
The general complaints included (a) that the engine was simply too heavy and throws off the car’s balance (the engine is about 200 pounds heavier than the MGB’s normal B-series four); (b) that the engine was reluctant to rev; and (c) that the six didn’t feel as powerful as its rated output suggested.
There isn’t much to be done about the first point, but owners have tried various things to mitigate the latter two points, including installing a lighter flywheel and tinkering with carburetion and manifolding.
I have one, and it drives like mad, but than I have the overdrive!
The engine is so reliable and strong that you can pull up from stand still in fourth gear without any problems.
There are only two problems the car have:
1. a really heavy machine with gear, making turning corners into heavy duty weight lifting.
2. When your driving over 100 mph (and you can easily make this speed) you tends to loose grip on the steering.
Are the braided hoses in the engine compartment of the blue MGC factory, or aftermarket?
I believe the mounting block is factory, but I think the braided hoses are not — photos I’ve seen of stock engines have rubber hoses.
Excellent article on the MGC. The spin on oil filter and braided hoses are aftermarket item. Originally the MGC was equipped with a cloth filter inside a canister. A small drain plug was provided in the canister base to help prevent oil from running down the side of the block to the floor. No matter what, changing a filter was a messy affair.
The original equipment oil cooler lines are rubber as are the fuel lines and radiator overflow hose.
The carburetor cooling fan and emissions system items have been removed from this engine, a common thing to do, cleaning up the appearance of the stock engine.
Thanks for the clarifications. It looked like the air pump had been removed, but I wasn’t clear enough on the stock items to be certain, and I didn’t think to ask the owner.
Another outstanding, well researched article…you guys are the best.
[quote=Administrator]I think it also depends on what you’re comparing them to. If you compare the MGC’s handling to the Mark II MGB, the C comes out badly. If you compare it to a contemporary Mustang or Camaro (not unreasonable, since their prices were roughly comparable), it would probably fare better. [/quote]
I’d think the MGC and the Mustang/Camaro would appeal to different buyers, even if they were in the same ballpark in price.
For the most part, I would imagine that MG fans and pony car lovers would turn up their noses at one another, but the MGC does make an interesting comparison with the contemporary American sporty cars. Although the magazines (and modern collectors) love the hotter big blocks, Boss 302s, and Z/28s, that’s not what most people bought, and a comparison between the C and a workaday Mustang or Camaro would be instructive. By the numbers, straight-line performance is actually pretty similar (and would be more so if the MGC hadn’t lost the big Healey’s low-end torque), and I suspect the C would handle better, unless the pony car had the heavy-duty suspension (which was generally pretty rare).
The MGC left the building just as the Datsun 240Z was entering it, but you’d need to REALLY have a thing for British cars to choose an MGC-GT over a Z.
At least in the U.S., where the 240Z was around $200 less than an MGC GT. (My understanding is that in Britain, import duties made the Z a lot more expensive than it was here, so that might be a different story.)
I’m pretty sure BMC was unaware of the Z when the MGC was launched, although the Z was definitely on the radar when MG introduced the B GT V8 in 1973; the ads for it make that clear. Alas, the very limited production of the V8 (and BLMC’s decision not to federalize it) made it something of a moot point.
I’ve scoured the site, glad to have fresh material!
Ive owned fully restored standard bgt & cgt. Handling wise theres very little in it. You have to be an experienced classic driver to get the best from the cgt and if you are, then the c is faster all round and better fun. The bgt has nimbler handling and is more forgiving, but lacks the power in the corners to use its potential. The front end set up on the c is what the b should have had in the first place and then it would have been exceptional, especially when tuned. The b needed a better engine but never really got it until the v8 and then the B s front end suspension was inadequate, again losing everything you gained. There all great in there own right, for me the c edges it on rareity smoothness and everyone wants to talk about it.
Good article and good to see a well written description of the MGC.
Having had 2 MGC GTs, 2 Big Healeys (and a 240Z) I think I can add quite a bit to this: The problems with the MGC were mostly BMC problems. Mainly money and control. MG was not given control over the engine and had a minimal development budget. Morris Engines Branch delivered an engine that was at least 100 lbs heavier than the MG engineers were told it was going to be. They just turned up the torsion bars to level the car, but as they were from another BMC model the spring rate was terribly inadequate for the job with no budget or time to develop the right parts. Add to this the fact that the front suspension has all rubber bushings instead of half metal like the MGB or Healeys, the car rolls in turns and the suspension distorts far from ideal alignment for cornering grip. This results in the C turning into a corner and then the wheel needing to be turned some more to stay on a chosen line. Benign understeer to the max.
Off the line the MGB can get to 35 or 40 mph faster, but on the open highway the MGC will pass it and be gone. Cruising at 70, 80 or more is easy in a C. Much taller gearing and more relaxed at modern Interstate speeds. A lighter flywheel (the MGCs is 32 lbs, the Healeys was 28) will help and the 1969 gearing is not as tall as the 1968.
Suspension improvements that will make the C equal to a B include Up-rated torsion bars, polyurethane front suspension bushings, better shocks, better tires (at least 185/70HR15) with proper inflation, and stiffer front and added rear anti-roll bars.
With these the MGC can be made to be a very good car. (My local Club doesn’t like me to lead tours in my GT!) It is the most modern MG we have in the States, the front suspension is fully adjustable and it is great for long trips.
Yes it will not perform like a Z-car, but the MGC was already discontinued by the time the Z came along.
American MGC Register, Tech Editor
The photo of the MGC fitted with 3 by 1/34″ SU’s is an aftermarket kit with cast alloy horizontal inlet manifolds.
The correct Downton inlet manifolds are specially jigged fabricated mild steel units which curve down slightly from the carby then curve up to the inlet ports. The carbies are inclined inward at about 10* or so. I haven’t measured the angle.
It is the specific design of the inlet manifolds that give the much improved gas flow into the head resulting in very good low down torque and much improved economy as well as a substantial power and torque increase from idle up to 6,000 RPM.
There are very few Downton Stage 3 [Kit 45] cars worldwide. I only know of 3 in the UK and my car in Australia. There may be some in Europe and North America. University Motors did sell a few Stage 2 [Kit 43] cars towards the end but as far as I know no Stage 3 cars. Most of the Stage 3 cars were modified by their owners or were taken to Downton Engineering to be converted early in the models life.
The copies of the Downton dual exhaust system ,headers, mufflers and pipes are readily available and follow the design of Downton fairly accurately. Moss I think sell a copy.
The dual exhaust system gives about 20 BHP of the Kit 45 performance, as advised by Downton in 1970.
The MGC was quoted in the UK as exceeding 130 MPH when fitted with stage 2.
My car with stage 3 has been timed at 128 MPH on a circuit with a very long straight. It never got anywhere near the claimed UK figures. The standard car as delivered with 3.307:1 diff reached 120 MPH in both 4th. and Overdrive.
Years ago in the UK 2 MGC’s over 10 years old were tested from 30 to 100 MPH in 4th. gear on a level test road. The early car with 3.307:1 diff. took 40 seconds. The later  car with 3.7:1 diff. took 30 seconds. The early cars were overgeared as we all knew.
On the MGCC Queensland website “Tech Talk” pages is an article on Airconditioning the MGC.
With our Sub Tropical climate this has been great all year round, fitted in 2006.
I’ll bow to your familiarity with the Downton conversions — the owner identified it as a Downton conversion, but he admitted he wasn’t that familiar with the details. I’ve amended the text accordingly.
Another excellent article. In the last few years the C’s value have really started to come up. The average age of the average British car enthusiast climbs I suspect they are more drawn to the C’s GT style assets of the more raw B sports car.
I suspect an equally important factor, as far as collector value goes, is simply rarity. Except for the MGB GT V8, there aren’t many Bs that qualify as rare, and those that are don’t necessarily have greater collector value (the early 1974 North American cars with the chrome bumpers and big rubber overriders, for instance). The C also has value just as a conversation piece. Even at a show full of jaded MGB fans, it stands out, and I’m sure some people find that appealing.
I’ve spent a fair amount of time behind the wheel of both MGBs and MGCs, and at the end of the day I think there’s no question that the B is the better all-around car. By going with the B, you essentially sacrifice higher-speed touring ability and sweet six-cylinder sound for the benefit of a significantly better-handling and probably faster all-around package. That said, I think folks need to be honest with themselves about how they’re planning on using these cars. If you’re a Sunday driver that scarcely exceeds the speed limit–not uncommon when it comes to MG owners–the added smoothness and rarity of the C might outweigh the B’s balance and at-the-limit performance potential. Fortunately, though, they’re both cheap enough that if you’re a nut, you can get one of each.
I think it also depends on what you’re comparing them to. If you compare the MGC’s handling to the Mark II MGB, the C comes out badly. If you compare it to a contemporary Mustang or Camaro (not unreasonable, since their prices were roughly comparable), it would probably fare better.
I have letters from Daniel Richmond of Downton giving all the details of the factory engine [on Abingdon’s Dyno] and his data for Kit 43 [stage 2] and Kit 45 [stage 3] engines.
Factory engine produced 123.7 BHP at the flywheel with open dyno exhaust.
Kit 45 produced 174.6 BHP at the flwwheel with the Downton twin exhaust system. This is what made the difference.
Go to the MGCCQueensland website [Website in contact block] and scroll down to "Tech Talk".
Look for an article on developing the MGC for Modern day use [or whatever I called it] here you will get "Chapter and Verse" development of the car from delivery up to about 2009. I have since added John Hoyle’s IRS to replace the cart springs.
I have to go out now but will send you a lot more info later.
Bruce Ibbotson. [1968 MGC-GT]
I did read your document at length in putting together the article — if you look through the sources (some daunting blocks of text, I admit), you’ll see it there. It was very useful, although inevitably some of its details went a little beyond the scope. (I rounded 174.6 bhp up to 175, as is my customary practice.) Most of all, it illustrated how much better the factory MGC could have been, with just a little more effort.
As a British owner of an MGC roadster, I would concur with most of the comments made on your forum. The handling can be improved by fitting 185 x 15 tyres and replacing the stock shocks with modern adjustable ones (I have fitted Spax ) this certainly will improve the situation and understeer can all but eliminated if the rear side lever shocks are replaced with teles.
I’ve owned and driven an MGCGT for 26 years and as standard, as you say in your comments, the handling is not great. However with some gas shockers and a thicker roll bar, take off the carb air filters,and add some ram tubes you’ll gain up to 10hp and some grunt.
I’ve done the Monte Carlo Ralle Historique twice in the ‘C.’ The power on the mountains was a joy in mainly third gear useing the overdrive as a gear change it creamed most of the other muscle cars on the rally. Every hairpin on the coles were powered around just drifting the rear, no problem with a standard steering wheel and rack.
I love the NGCGT.
I am an original owner of an MGC roadster with 4 speed transmission and overdrive. I purchased it new June 21, 1969 and have loved and enjoyed it since new. Presently. I am restoring it for the first time in 46 years. My restoration is a complete nut, bolt, screw, and rivet task. I hope to have it completed by June 2016 for the MG International meet in Louisville, KY. I have spent 4 years working on it, but not seriously until this year.
Hope to see some of you in Louisville next June.
An intriguing question comes to mind regarding the MGC, was the FB60 engine intended for the Austin-Healey 4000 ever fitted to an MGB / MGC?
Not to my knowledge, although I imagine it would be a tough squeeze. I don’t think I’ve ever seen exterior dimensions for the FB60, but even the redesigned C-series barely fit in the MGB’s engine bay without modifying the firewall, so the F-head engine might just not fit. (The Austin-Healey 4000 used a modified 3000 body, which had more space up front.
Thank you I thought for a minute I was crazy I remember when I was a kid my brother and his friend got out of the Navy and his friend brought home a brand new mgc, my dad was a Machanic, and he had to show it of I remember it had a 6 in it and the hood had a bump on it for that reason I think
While Donald Healey rejected ADO51 on the basis of both its heavy engine and too closely resembling the MGB/MGC, do any counter proposals by Healey exist as to how he wanted ADO51 to progress and differ from the MGC in terms of styling before outright rejecting it?
Would ADO51 have been better off with something along the lines of the front-end from the Coune MGB Berlinette with the “Healey” grille from the ADO51 prototype as a starting point?
On the engine front while the 142-178 hp 2.5 version of the 2660cc 4-cylinder is one route (along a 200 + hp 2.5 Coventry Climax CFA V8), would Healey have quickly dismissed the redesigned 2.9 C-Series engine had it reached its original weight reduction target of 175 lbs / 80kg (instead of 45 lbs / 20kg) that the later motorsport MGC GTS achieved together with the 175 hp Downton upgrade?
Anyway as for the 2.4 B-Series Blue Streak engine it apparently uprated to put out as much as 115 hp in MGB prototypes.
In the Big Healey article, I talked about some of the alternative ideas that were considered, at least one of which was a fixed-head coupe (not related to or particularly resembling the Coune Berlinette, however).
I think the Healeys’ basic concern was not the the styling or the weight of the engine (although their conclusion that the ADO51/52 was a dynamic mess certainly didn’t help), but rather that the ADO51 would have been a difficult sell in any form BMC was willing to consider. The 3000 and Hundred had always been a clear step up from the MGA and MGB in terms of price and performance; in the U.S., the difference between an MGB tourer and a mid-sixties BJ7 was close to $900, which was a lot of money. The ADO51 would probably have been priced similarly, but because it would have looked so much like the MGB, there was a real danger that a potential buyer would assume the ADO51 was a rebadged MGB rather than a 3000 successor. It’s not difficult to imagine a customer walking into a showroom, balking at the $3,500+ price tag, and walking out again without ever raising the bonnet or asking about the specs.
I suspect the Healeys would have had less of a problem with the similarity between the ADO51 and ADO52 had BMC been willing to further differentiate both cars from the MGB. Similarly, had it been possible to continue the BJ7 for a few more years, I doubt the Healeys would have objected overmuch to substituting the redesigned C-series engine (although once BMC asked them to look at the Rolls-Royce FB60, they might have argued for using that instead, since it provided much better performance). The Healeys were realists and they’d worked with BMC for a decade or so at that point, so it’s not like they didn’t understand the economic considerations involved. I think they simply concluded that there was no way to make ADO51 a viable commercial proposition within the parameters BMC had set for it, and they were likely correct.
It seems in Jon Pressenell’s book on Austin-Healey a 2-litre (2011-2012cc?) version was also considered alongside the 142-178 hp 2.5-litre / 2520cc 4-cylinder Twin-Cam version of the 2199-2660cc Austin 4-cylinder engines, with the stroke reduced from 111.10mm to 101.6mm yet how feasible would it have been for the 2-litre’s 79.37-79.4mm bore to have been further reduced to around 79.1-79.13mm to create a 1997-1999cc engine?
Reducing bore size, especially by such a small amount, is usually a trivial matter, and automakers routinely do stuff like that to stay below certain tax-sensitive or racing-pertinent displacement thresholds. (Increasing bore size can be a bigger issue if an engine is already close to its limits.)
Past owner of an MG TC or 25 years, which I sold as I could not decide which of my three sons should have the car.
I have purchased a 1974 MGB GT which I am happy with but I have decided to sell and purchase a MGCGT with a Doug Smith conversion stage 2 with three weber carbs light flywheel and downton exhaust.
I am concern about the handling as my wife will drive the Gee now and then. Any suggestion about improving the handling would be appreciated
I can’t advise you on how to modify your car, although there are various resources available if you were so inclined. I don’t think there’s anything dangerous or treacherous about the MGC’s handling. The complaints about it tended to be that it was comparatively stodgy and understeer-prone, but that’s a question of degree and some would tell you understeer is safer. Of course, any old car requires a certain adjustment for a modern driver accustomed to the higher limits of modern suspensions and tires, but in that regard, the MGC is no worse than any American sedan of its era. If you’re planning to autocross or something, that might be a different story, but for Sunday drives, I don’t know that you need to tinker with it.
Heavy steering has always been a stock criticism of the “C” . As a 2 time owner, my present C has been fitted with kingpin needle roller bearings. These replace the bronze bushes fitted originally to the top of the trunnions and take the weight of the front of the car. The result has been a huge success and other than at very low speeds, a marked improvement is evident and well worth the time and effort.
Hi Michael, I’m glad to hear your assessment of the roller bearings. I’m in the process of restoring my C GT (a long ways to go) but purchased a set. When I get to that stage I’ll get it on the road as stock and convert to the roller bearings to have the comparison to know that was a good choice!
When I was in Vietnam in 1969 I ordered a MGC convertible . When I got home and the car they had for me was an auto! So I did not buy it. Fast forward 20 years and I found a restored one and bought it. A lovely car, the torque and smoothness of the motor was beautiful! A teriffic car.
I since sold it, but looking around again. For a casual driver, long trips on country roads there is none better!
Interesting article and discussion. I own an MGB with the Blue Streak B series six engine, an Australian prototype replica, complete with the triple carbs and headers made for it. A very quick car and the engine being lighter than the C does not seem to affect the handling too much, tho front end has modified shocks. That Blue streak fitted in the car without all the front end redesign, pity it was not used as the engine was regarded as not standard enough for worldwide release. Only other change for mine was the fitting of a Nissan Skyline 5 speed gearbox. This is a very satisfying car to drive and no one can pick the engine from its great noise.
i have a mgb with a weber and extractors and a wolseley 24/80 with hi compression big valve head and twin mgb s u carbs.
both have lumenition and big bore exhausts, uprated handling etc.
i would love to see your engine installation!
I owned a car that was titled as a MGCU. It was a ’69 and a convertible. I know some of the GT’s came with autos, but not the sort top. Never seen one again. I was only 15 at the time and had to get rid of it when I lost storage. Am I crazy, or was this a MGCU? Thanks
I found in the USA an MGC roadster with an engine from Rover V8 3.5cc can be original from factory
British Leyland built a bit less than 3000 MGB-GT models with the Buick/Rover V8 engine between 1973-76. A British entrepenuer named Ken Costello first started fitting this engine in MGB bodies, he may well have done the same with a few MGC’s.
But no MGC left the Abingdon factory with this engine
Also, the MGB GT V8 (covered in the MGB article) was never officially exported to the U.S., although British Leyland took the initial steps to certify it for such. (Indeed, we even lost the MGB GT during the production run of the V8 car due to concerns that it would undermine interest in the Triumph TR7.)
Looking for some insite on a engine that was found,the tag say mgC but can I use it as a AH 3000 engine? What would be involved and benifits As I already own it, and would like to rebuild. I also own a AH 3000 I was hoping to build a Spare engine?
Thanks in advance cheers
I am not qualified to advise you on what would be involved in putting the engine in a Big Healey, but you should be aware that the MGC engine has some significant external differences from the stock Healey engine. It’s related to the Austin-Healey 3000’s earlier C-series six, but it’s sort of a cousin: BMC made many changes to it to try to make it smaller, which might lead to some frustrating issues trying to fit it in the earlier car. The engine you found would probably be of more immediate value to an MGC owner.
Agreed I found that mgC used a Healey not a Healey use in a mgC in the end Healey removed his name…thanks I have listed it as is where is. A great history lesson.
The 2.4 litre 6 cyl Blue Streak engine was a developement of the 1600cc 4 cyl BMC ‘B’ series engine but with 2 additional cylinders and was only manufactured in Australia and fitted to the Austin Freeway and Wolseley 24/80.
This engine definitely only had 4 main bearings and not 7 as stated. When this engine was designed the 5 bearing BMC ‘B’ engine was not in existence and hence was based directly on and extended 3 main bearing 1600cc engine.
Interestingly, and I have done this, the larger capacity oil pump (Holburn Eaton type) from the 6 cyl Blue Streak engine fits directly into the 4 cyl MGB engine. They are almost impossible to find these days though
Thanks for the correction, Greg. I looked back through my notes and found that point attributed to Anders Ditlev Clausager’s Original MGB (With MBC and MGB GT V8): The Restorer’s Guide to all Roadster and GT models 1962-80, which I don’t have at hand (I had checked it out from the library), but I most likely either misread something or garbled it in my notes. I’ve amended the text accordingly.
As a kid in New Zealand, I used to occasionally buy a UK motorsports newspaper, a weekly (as I recall) tabloid, although I can’t remember its title. It had a great classified section and I recall drooling over the specs of an ex-works MGC GT that was offered (around 1970) for something in the region of 3K pounds. It listed alloy block and head, triple Webers, aluminium and composite bodywork, magnesium Minilites, lots of spares. Memorable, even 50-some years later.