First registered as RFU 943G in 1968, this MGC GT is one of the few cars known to have had the 174 BHP ‘Downton 45’ conversion carried out directly by the Downton works, rather than by the supplying dealer, this is supported by with invoices from the supplying dealer and Downton in the history file. It must have been one of the last cars to have been modified by Downton themselves and there were extremely few cars that went to their works, most kits being fitted at dealers – including University Motors who used the upgrade to sell the last few cars.
The MGC GT was supplied new by A H Turner of Retford, Notts and delivered to Downton, near Salisbury, in October 1968 for the work to be carried out (invoice on file). As well as the tuning work, the new car had the additional options fitted; overdrive, wire wheels, heated rear screen Dunlop SP tyres, underseal, seat belts and optional heater.
The ownership is low with four previous owners, all living in Lincolnshire, with the previous owners Derek and Pearl McGlen keeping the car for the last forty years, using it sparingly, although it is mentioned in Chris Harvey’s book “MG A, B and C”
During their ownership they fitted what is believed to be a rare University Motors alloy grill to the car but the original steel grill comes with it. It is not known if the McGlen’s fitted the radio or the Amerex 8-track tape player that are also fitted but they add to the original period feel.
The car has an MOT until February 2020 and has very recently had a new fuel line and two new rear tyres. With genuine Downton Minis now so highly prized, the Downton MGC has been largely overlooked, probably because of its rarity, with a greater appreciation today of the MGC six cylinder engine, it must be as desirable as the fastest road going MG's of the Classic era.
Introduced in late 1967, the MGC had a relatively short life span of only two years, the last models being made in 1969 with only 2034 RHD GT’s being produced. The UK's economic climate and escalating fuel prices eventually killed off the 3 litre MGC, with the last converted cars being sold by University Motor’s in 1970. Following the success of the development of the BMC approved Downton conversions to the A series engines, Downton bought a similar conversion for the MGC, which could be fitted by Downton of more commonly by the supplying dealer.