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Sunday, May 8, 2016

1969 MG Race Car is a Glorious Piece of History Headed to Auction


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

No bumpers, big flared fenders, the black/gold color combo, the white dots; damn this car has got it going on. I’d very much like to meet the current owner of this 1969 MG MGC GTS, and give them a big high five for executing such an impeccable restoration.
Breathing new life into a rare vehicle is always a risky undertaking, but to do so with chassis that is not only one of six, but also has a considerable amount of racing pedigree, that’ll result in lots of hand wringing. Fortunately for everyone involved with this project, and MG fans around the world, it appears that no expense was spared in this restoration.
The beautiful machine started life as a lightweight shell constructed by BMC’s Competition Department, and was intended for use at the 1970 Targa Florio. Motorsports legend and Austin-Healey whisperer John Chatham was the intended driver, but with the cancellation of the BMC racing program, that didn’t come to pass. Instead Chatham was offered the opportunity to buy the remaining shells and components needed to complete the four remaining cars, and lucky for us, he did.

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Being the intelligent bloke that he was, Chatham took advantage of the latest BMC parts available, which included the aluminum engine found in this example. When combined with 10″ Minilite magnesium alloy wheels, this created a “super-lightweight” variant that had a dry weight of around 1,984 pounds.
 It’s not like the car was heavy to begin with either, only the chassis was steel, and everything else that could be crafted from aluminum was. Just imagine rounding corners in this thing, I’d wager that “Precise“, wouldn’t even begin to describe the driving experience.

Chatham raced chassis 500757 time and again at Silverstone, Castle-Combe, and in club, and mod-sport events throughout the early 1970s. Trophies and headlines don’t come with this car, but what it lacks in barstool bragging rights, it makes up for in character, something any MG has in spades.

But this is not just any MG, and when you share the story behind this machine, anyone, automotive enthusiast or not, would surely be impressed. Of course ubiquitous appeal, and pedigree don’t come cheap. RM Sothebys estimates the MG MGC GTS will fetch between $217,000 and $360,000 when it goes to auction on Saturday, May 14th.

Potential buyers should take note that aside from being a rare pice of automotive history, the car is also comes competition ready with complete FIA paperwork, and eligibility for a variety of classic endurance and sport prototype events. Hopefully whomever becomes the custodian of this piece of art knows better than to lock it away, because the triple Weber carbs and the straight six deserve fresh air on the regular.