MGC 1931 model N3C 350cc 1 cyl ohv 2803
MGC ca. 1931 Type N3C 350 cc OHV Chaise frame # 513 engine # 43741
Marcel Guiguet is born in 1901 in the village of Corbelin in the Département of Isère.
His father and his uncles own a well-equipped mechanical and woodworking workshop where Marcel gets familiar with machine tools at a young age.
After finishing school he works for some time in his father’s company, where he builds up his first motorcycle in his spare time.
After military service he gaines work experience with several companies, among which Hispano-Suiza and Gnôme-Rhône.
In 1928 he formes the company of Marcel Guiguet et Cie. together with his brother Joseph.
The latter takes part for 60%, Marcel brings in 40%.
Joseph served as an aircraft pilot in the Great War with the famous Storks Escadrille; the stork is officially registered as the company’s trademark.
The first MGC machines are shown at the Paris Show in November 1929.
The machines create great interest with press and public because of the very unorthodox frame construction.
Guiguet chooses not to use a traditional tubular frame but two intricate aluminium alloy castings.
One serves as a backbone and comprises the steering head and petrol tank, the other functions as a chassis to carry the engine and gearbox.
The alloy is ALPAX AS 13, aluminium with 13 % silicon.
The two Alpax members are coupled by five milled steel I -section rods, two in front, two at the back and one behind the engine.
A cast alloy luggage carrier is fitted to both the upper and the lower main casting.
The MGC machines are fitted with a 350 or 500 cc Jap engine and Sturmey Archer (later Burman) gearbox, Amac carburettor, and Best &Lloyd oil pump.
Brampton Sports front forks complete the English flavour .
The magneto is French though, as the “Magneto France” make proudly boasts.
Apart from the revolutionary frame concept there are more notable features on this machine: the toolbox is placed on top of the front mudguard, the brakes are coupled, the footrests are fixed to the exhaust pipes and the oil compartment is integrated in the chassis between engine and gearbox.
The first version of the tank casting has a horizontal face, at the Paris Show of October 1930 new models are presented with more aerodynamically shaped tank castings.
From 1930 till 1938, when production ends, a range of engines is used from 250 till 600 cc in OHV and sv configurations, including some racing types. All are of JAP manufacture with the exception of the N3C, that is fitted with a 350 ohv Chaise engine.
Only about two hundred MGCs have been manufactured between 1929 and 1938; some measure of its historical significance may be gained from the fact that an MGC was among those selected for display at the Guggenheim Museum’s ‘Art of the Motorcycle’ exhibition in 1998.
An interesting history of the make has been written by Bernard Salvat in “Motocyclettiste” 35.
This rare specimen is unrestored and comes complete with a set of cast aluminium exhaust dampers.