Donna Whittaker & her '78 MGB

“I really need to talk to my husband. He is deployed in the Middle East and emails every day or two and calls about once a week.”

    Our daughter Amy and her friend had spotted the 1978 yellow with black trim MGB in the dealer lot over the weekend. She and I had taken it for a spin on I-29. We did enjoy the ride and everything seemed to be in good mechanical condition.

    “What would it take for you to make a deal today?” the salesman insisted and the price came down $500. 
    
    “I do need to talk to my husband. I’ll email him tonight.”
    
    The price came tumbling down further. “A local dentist traded it in for a Spyder and we need to move it off our lot.”

    Now we had some car history, but I still hesitated. “I’ll hear from him by the end of the week.” The price fell another $500. I took a deep breath and Amy was in shock as I wrote a check for this cute MGB. 

    That was the moment that changed our family’s lives. We found a completely new set of friends – away from the Guard, our extended family, medical problems, school – when we joined the KCMGCC upon Roy’s return. 

    Our yellow bumblebee has taken us on Slim Runs, Fat Runs, Jefferson Highway Sociabilities, Poker Runs and many more miles. One memorable Mother’s Day weekend, Amy drove me on the Slim Run with a long stemmed yellow rose lying on the dash. She drove all the 500 plus miles because my legs are too short to reach the pedals. The ‘guys’ of the car club marveled at her driving skills up and down the hills and around the sharp curves in Southern Missouri. 

    The Bumblebee has also travelled to car shows in St. Joseph, Overland Park, KCI airport and Carthage. A couple of Heartland Car Shows were memorable for the rainy downpours – definitely not enjoyable weather for convertibles. The Carthage car shows around the downtown square have themed activities each year. For the hillbilly theme, Bumblebee has appeared as “Granny’s Californie Car” complete with a rocking chair. 

    Our yellow Bumblebee has impacted the lives of our extended family, too. How do you get a 90 year old cook away from the kitchen where she is cooking a Sunday dinner for you? You offer her a short ride in a shiny yellow convertible. Amy lured her Great Aunt Ruby into the MGB, buckled her in, and drove down the lane with Aunt Ruby grinning happily. At the end of the lane, Amy turned right to circle the blacktops. Meanwhile Roy and I turned off the burner, gathered up the food and her – now quite confused 91 year old husband “what’s going on?” – and loaded him into our Ford. At the end of the lane we turned left to speed over to the Gower City Park. 

    Soon Aunt Ruby made a grand entrance in the MGB. She was over-whelmed to see her two daughters – one from Arizona and one from Virginia – there as well as all her Missouri family. She has a surprise 90th birthday none of us will ever forget. I don’t know how we would have enticed her to the park without our MGB. And, yes, her husband got his chance to ride in the MGB to return home at the end of the afternoon. 

    In writing this piece many memories came to mind. Our dogs consider the Bumblebee their car. At Sonic they have celebrated birthdays complete with party hats in it. The Bumblebee was a safe refuge at a Guy Fawkes event. They outran tornadoes in it. Yes, even our extended canine family enjoys the MGB.

    We my deployed husband learned we owned an MGB, he shook his head and dreaded the potential electrical problems. All in all, we have had more pleasant experiences than headaches. Our neighbor recently asked Roy why we keep pouring dollars into MGB repairs. Luckily, parts at Victoria British Ltd. are reasonable and the memorable experiences our family had had are truly priceless.