Lee Merlino & his '74 MGB

Almost 3 years ago, I bought a 1974 MGB for my dad as a surprise 70th birthday gift. At the time I got the car I was only 25, and NO idea about British vintage cars, or what I was getting myself into, but since being a child I have heard my dad tell numerous stories on "his MG" and how he should "have never sold it." Even when I came home to visit once, and I had just got a WRX for myself, he recalled, "wow that’s almost the same blue as my MG." So to make a long story short, I found a local add on Craigslist for a 1974 MGB. I left my house with a handful of cash, and after a little negotiating and bought it. Here i was with an MGB: frozen breaks, crap wheels, no interior, and a cracked up convertible top. The list of things that the car needed seemed like an endless bill, so I cracked open my piggy bank and got to work. I must admit, I had help with the car, and luckily for me, right down the street from apartment is a guy that specializes in older Jaguars, and loved tinkering with MG's on the side (he had a 65 growing up himself) They helped me with all of the mechanical work. When the car was not in the shop, I was ripping out seats, sucking up some mice poop, and laying down the new interior that I had whimsically bought off of eBay. The car was slowly starting to come together. There was only one missing thing- the wheels. My dad's original car was a 68 i believe. He had wire wheels, so I knew it would only be right if this one did too. I looked on Moss, VB, and eBay. This was my one last push to make the car right, but I couldn’t afford 1400$ wheels. Finally I found used wheels on CL with the hubs, and the ball started rolling. My dad's 70th party was over July 4th weekend. I think i had picked the wheels up on the 1st of July, needed them installed on the 2nd of July, and the car was going to be shipped on the 3rd. I picked them up, and dropped them off at my guy, who sandblasted them, and painted them on the 1st into the 2nd. I was getting nervous since it wasn’t done yet. He called me up saying he needed the right bolt kit to assemble them. I freaked. I thought i wasn’t going to have them in time, but somehow they were overnighted. The 3rd rolled around, and he was still installing them, and i thought the truck was on its way. I was waiting all day for the truck to say "hey i'll be there in 30 minutes to pick up the car" and i got nothing. Finally 4pm on the 3rd came around, and i said, let me call them. I did and they told me there was no truck coming, it had to cancel. My heart dropped. What to do! As soon as I found this out, I called my friend in NJ. I begged, and pleaded with him to take the next bus up from NJ to Boston to help make this a dream come true. After a $$$ offer, he decided he would come. Incredibly it helped the guy in the shop out since it gave him a few more hours to put on the wheels. Finally around 8pm I got the call that the wheels were done. All that had to happen was to get the car from Boston - NJ, a 200 mile journey. I had never driven the car for more than 10 miles at a time, fearing I would be stranded. My friend took the bus up, and got into Boston at 3:30 am that morning. I picked him up and brought him to see the MG. He was floored. I tossed him the keys to my WRX and said, I need you to drive behind me, and there are 2 rules. Follow me, and don't get into any accidents. We took off into the early morning heading down I90. It was a slow drive (55 mph) but it was a pleasant drive. Not many other cars on the road, and the MG was holding up on its own. 5 and a half hours later, the MG made it to NJ. Never over heated, never died out. She was a trooper! For the rest of that day, now running on no sleep, i detailed the car. Only to present it to my father for his 70th bday later on in the day. When I pulled up in it, the look on his face was priceless, and he was speechless. Now that he has had the car for almost a year, he has learned how to text on a smart phone, and sends me pictures. "look what we did to the car today" attached with a photo. Its a great feeling to know i was able to give back to him, for after what he has done for me my whole life. Hope you enjoyed my story, and I hope it makes sense.