The MGC GTS was a special high-performance version of the MGC. Just two were built at the MG factory at Abingdon before the programme was discontinued – fortunately four additional lightweight MGC shells were constructed at the Competitions Department in period and sold on to John Chatham to finish them off.
With the development of the MGC GTS, the engineers started with the same core frame as the MGC but used aluminium roof, body and door panels (with flared fenders) to add wider tyres and reduce kerb weight. The engine was tuned for racing with triple Weber carburettors and a slew of upgrades that boosted horsepower to 220bhp – 75bhp over stock. Power is fed to the rear wheels via a four-speed box, it rides on independent front suspension, with a live rear axle (with semi-elliptical leaf springs), and it stops thanks to disc brakes on all four corners.
Along with the Le Mans, Nürburgring and Targa Florio races, the 12 Hour Florida International Grand Prix of Endurance at Sebring had become one of the world’s major tests of automotive excellence by the early 1960s. Success at Sebring could give a new sports car instant credibility and the massive American market was the focus of all car makers at the time. With reasonable success at Sebring, it was little wonder that the track name was tagged onto MG.