FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF A LONG AWAITED C – GT. Having had 4 enjoyable years with a 63 MK1B it seemed that a ‘C – GT’ would be a good car as I was going to live in Hong Kong. After settling in Ivisited Dodwell Motors to order a ‘C – GT’ with all useful options and was expecting delivery in late 67. As we all found out later this was a period of total and utter confusion at BMC as “Triumph” men from Leyland were about to try to promote “Triumph” as the corporate sports car and hope MG would fade away. The terrible bloody STAG was close to release. Many spanners were thrown in the works with the formation of BLMC; some thought “Bloody Lousy Motor Corporation” was what BLMC actually stood for. By the time the car was due to ship I had returned to Australia so the shipping address was changed to Brisbane (Personal Import Plan #4, from memory) so this is how I got my [new from Abingdon with 17 miles on the odometer, on the wharf] ‘C’ in Australia. Two other used “C’s” were imported about 2 years later, one to Moe in Victoria and the other one to Alice Springs, possibly from SE Asia. On the 3 August the “SS Auckland Star” arrived with my ‘C’ onboard. I inspected the car on the 5 and took the dry charged batteries to Century Batteries for filling and over night charging, which they did free of charge and I still buy Century Batteries as a result of this excellent service, so next morning armed with my toolbox and 1 Gallon of petrol I picked up my Batteries and headed for the wharf. First step, after installing the batteries and adding fuel, was to remove the plugs and pump up 20 PSI of oil pressure, the motor was tight with only 17 miles on the clock. Then refit the plugs and attempt to start the monster, a few feeble splutters but no go. The plugs were very dirty and oily so out they came, again, and off to the nearest garage (there were garages with real mechanics in 1968) back I went to try again this time 3 cylinders actually tried to run, ah! let’s check the SU pistons, 1 piston moved easily, the other didn’t move at all. So dismantle the struck SU to discover the jet was not centered and struck against the needle (Quality Control was thought to be some strange foreign concept at BLMC) after centering the jet correctly all was well and the motor started and ran easily but with a lot of choke required to keep it going, no wonder the plugs were so fouled. So after finding all the bits (passenger side wiper blade in with the tools etc.), picking up the spare keys and signing all the shipping forms I had my car. So off to the Public Weighbridge in the Valley then up to MRD to register the car. PFT-000 (Later known as “Pretty Fast Truck”) was all ready to go, so off home to fit the plates and registration sticker and my car was ready for the road. A condition for warranty cover required the car going to Leyland Australia at Wacol, for inspection and pre-delivery. I arranged to take the car to Wacol and drove up next day. Arriving at the gate a surly security guard told me “only staff can drive on to this site” and wouldn’t let me in, suggesting I just leave the car with them. I made an excuse about arranging a later time and drove away for a while, (about morning tea-time) then changed into a pair of white overalls drove back saw a different security guard, so thinking at “Security Guard level”, drove slowly up to the gate waved and drove thru; then I had to find the workshop. The mechanics were not aware that I was coming either and they were busy with a Mini Gearbox so we had a little problem to solve. I suggested that if they told me what had to be done I would be happy to do it myself. This turned out to be very simple as I had already checked the car carefully before taking it toWacol and so far everything worked as expected. So we put it on the hoist to inspect underneath. All was OK except for a couple of exhaust brackets which were bent and were easily fixed. So the staff gave me all the solvents, rags etc. and I set to work removing the heavy and now very grimy shipping wax. Once that was done more paper to sign and all was mine, just run in for 1,500 miles and take the car to Howards Motors for the 1 Service and any warranty work required. Two days later I lost the top layer of skin from my hands, strong solvents, and I never considered taking gloves. I ran the car in over 2000 miles and found that the car understeers badly on slow tight corners but gets better at highway speeds and steered quite well on fast open roads. One day on my way home, down the back road from Mt Cootha (I worked at Channel 0), I forgot that I was driving the ‘C’ and turned into a tight right hand bend like I had for years in the ‘B’ and suddenly discovered chronic understeer, the only cure was to straighten up and brake hard luckily not hitting the bank, then proceed with less haste. All the myths about increasing power etc. do not work with the ‘C’, it just understeers straight ahead. One early press comment said the “The ‘C’ goes like a bullet and steers the same way.” This was an accurate description, with my car, after years in the ‘B’, it was a real trap changing into a ‘C’.