This is the custom built 1969 MGC GT that was made for John Cena by Ekstensive Metal Works of Houston, Texas for the Motor Trend TV show Texas Metal. It’s powered by a 6.2 liter LS3 V8 and it’s being offered for sale out of Naples, Florida.
The MGC was a short-lived version of the MGB with a straight-six in place of the inline-four. It was developed as a direct replacement for the long-in-the-tooth Austin-Healey 3000, and it would later be succeeded by the Rover V8-powered MGB GT V8.
Fast Facts – The John Cena MG MGC GT
- The MG MGC was introduced in 1967 as a successor to the big Healeys and as a higher-powered alternative to the MGB. The goal was to create a more powerful sporting grand tourer, filling the void left by the discontinuation of the Austin-Healey 3000, while also making use of the existing MGB unibody shell.
- Unlike the four-cylinder MGB, the MGC was equipped with a 2.9 liter straight-six derived from the BMC C-Series producing 145 bhp and 170 lb ft of torque – vastly more than the 95 bhp and 110 lb ft of the MGB. In order to fit the larger engine a unique hood was created with a distinctive bulge.
- The MGC was available in two main body styles: the MGC Roadster and the MGC GT. The GT was a fixed-head coupe with a hatchback design, while the Roadster was a traditional convertible.
- The car you see here was rebuilt by Ekstensive Metal Works for John Cena, a celebrated American professional wrestler and actor. It’s now powered by a 6.2 liter LS3 V8, it also has a new gearbox, uprated brakes and suspension, and a slew of other performance modifications.
The MGC was introduced in 1967 as a replacement for the much-loved Austin-Healey 3000, it was a tough act to follow as the last of the Big Healeys had developed a well-earned reputation on both sides of the Atlantic as a solid sports car. Rather than developing an all new vehicle, it was decided to take the unibody shell of the MGB and modify it to accept the much larger 2.9 liter BMC C-Series straight-six.
The engine bay in the MGB had originally been designed to accommodate a V4 engine, though by the the time it reached production it was powered by the reliable, but not at all exotic, 1.8 liter B-Series inline-four.
Development of the MGC required major modifications to the MGB engine bay and floor pan to fit the C-Series six, though externally the car looked essentially identical to its lower-powered sibling – the key differentiator being the power bulge on the hood that was required to clear the engine.
The MGC was given upgraded brakes, larger 15″ wheels with Pirelli Cinturato tires, lower geared rack and pinion steering, and modified torsion bar suspension up front with telescopic dampers in place of the lever arm dampers used on the MGB.
The MGC produced 145 bhp and 170 lb ft of torque, significantly more than the 95 bhp and 110 lb ft of the MGB. It was said to be capable of 120 mph (193 km/h) and it had a 0-60 mph time of 10 seconds.
From the very beginning, the MGC was the subject of controversy. A part of this is because the tire pressures of the cars in the initial launch fleet had been set incorrectly, at the lower pressure of the standard MGB. This contributed to the poor reviews the car received, though with an engine that added over 200 lbs of weight up front the car was always likely to be a little nose heavy.
The MGC would remain in production from 1967 until 1969 before being cancelled, it would later be replaced by the MGB GT V8 in 1973. The most famous MGC owner is almost certainly Prince Charles who took delivery of a 1967 MGC GT, he kept it for decades and only recently passed it to his son, Prince William.
The Ex-John Cena MGC GT Shown Here
The MGC GT you see here has little in common with the original vehicle that left the factory in England back in 1969. It’s been the subject of a bare-shell rebuild by the team at Ekstensive Metal Works, and you may have seen it featured on the Motor Trend TV show Texas Metal.
During the rebuild a Sebring wide body kit was added, the car was then finished in metallic gray paint. The MGC-specific power-bulge hood remains in place, this is a common addition to MGB-based cars that have had V8s swaps as it offers some much-needed additional clearance.
A 430 bhp 6.2 liter LS3 V8 has now been fitted, it’s mated to a Tremec T-56 six-speed manual transmission which sends power back to a 10-bolt rear axle with 3.73:1 gearing. This vast increase in power necessitated the addition of new much more capable brakes, so vented, slotted, and drilled Wilwood disc brakes with orange calipers have been installed front and rear.
These new brakes would never have fit under the original factory-fitted 15″ wheels, so US Mags Rambler 18” wheels are now fitted and shod with 225/40 front and 255/35 rear Sailun Atrezzo SVA1 tires. A number of other modern upgrades have also been installed including power steering, air conditioning, and a Bluetooth audio system with a 1,000 watt amplifier and a 10” Rockford Fosgate subwoofer.
The suspension has been completely revised, adjustable coilovers are now fitted front and rear, and a four-link suspension system has been added in the back in place of the simple leaf spring arrangement that was used on the original car.
Above Video: This is a clip from the episode from the Motor Trend TV show Texas Metal showing John Cena take delivery of his newly rebuilt MGC GT.
The listing doesn’t specify how long John Cena owned this car however it’s now being offered for sale with just 150 miles on the odometer so it remains in almost new condition throughout.
It’s being sold out of Naples, Florida with a clean Florida title on Bring a Trailer and you can visit the listing here if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid.
Images courtesy of Bring a Trailer
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