This C’s Worth Seeing: A Look at a Rare GT Automatic

One of the many outstanding cars on display at the Moss 2005 Buttonwillow British Extravaganza was the 1969 MGC-GT owned by Bob and Sandie Swain of Manteca, California. We asked Bob—a professional turf specialist who actually gets paid to spend time on golf courses—to give us a few details on this beautiful Abingdon product.


The engine is stock and meticulously detailed. “It runs very strong, and the mileage is low,” Bob says. “Why mess with a good thing?”

In 1996, my wife, Sandie, and I looked at the 1969 MGC-GT automatic being offered for sale by the original owner. We drove the car and liked it very much, but I decided to hold out for an MGC Roadster.

I told a friend of mine about the “C”, and he bought it for his son, who was living in Texas at the time. Some seven years later I spotted the car for sale on eBay and, thinking it was an omen and that we were meant to have this car, we bought it.

Rare GT Automatic

The Swains are justifiably proud of their MGC.

When it arrived from Texas it had 59,179 original miles on the odometer. We completely stripped the car, including the glass, and had her painted in original Primrose Yellow. We also replaced most of the chrome bits, and the original wire wheels just needed a good cleaning. We also had the seats renovated and new carpeting installed.

The front suspension was rebuilt using poly bushings from Mark Miller up in Oregon, and I also used his specs for the alignment. Shortly after, we had the kingpins rebuilt and we replaced the front and rear shocks with gas units.

I have owned quite a few other MGs, including three other GTs. We also own a 1958 MGA, which is great for spring and fall driving, when it’s not too hot outside. But, we both agree that of all the MGs we have owned, we like driving the MGC-GT the best. If you want a great car to the get in and drive all day, then this is the one to have. It is very comfortable, and I like knowing that there is extra power under the bonnet, if I need to use it. In the two years we have owned her, we have put just short of 10,000 miles on the clock and have enjoyed every mile.

Rare MGC-GT Automatic

Bob and Sandie added the air dam to help direct air to the engine bay for better cooling. Plus, they like the way it looks.

By Ken Smith
Photos by Andrew Schear

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