My first memories of the family MG was when my Dad bought one in 1961. It was a 1957 MGA he got for $300. The guy he bought it from thought the engine was shot but all it had wrong was a burned value. Dad said he repaired the burned value for next to nothing and drove it for years with no problems at all.
When I was around 13 or so my best friend Dewayne and I would sit in the MG inside our garage and plan out the road trips we would take when old enough to drive. We dreamed of flying down the winding highways with headphones on rocking to the music and cruising to Garner State Park in the Texas Hill Country to check out the babes. It was a popular camping park with a large pavilion and patio where everyone would do dance at night. Rather we would have the babes check us out!
I do remember the temptation to drive that car before I was old enough. Dewayne and I rolled it out of the garage late one night and took it on a short joy ride around the neighborhood. We cut it off then pushed it back in the garage without making any noise. The only problem is we scraped the driver’s side door on the center brick column going back in. I can’t remember what happened to me but sure it was not good.
It was in 1970 when I really started to take interest in the MG and realized how special of a car it truly was. It had 78,000 miles on it and I helped Dad in rebuilding the engine. Well I more like handed him tools when he needed them or searched for dropped or misplaced nuts and bolts.
I later got to drive the MG to high school in my sophomore year which was pretty cool. I remember coming out to the parking lot one day after class and the car was gone. I began to panic. Looking all around I suddenly see out of my peripheral vision the MG being pushed by 4 to 5 of my class mates just disappearing behind the football stadium. I caught up to them mad and yelling but later we all had a laugh on my behalf. From the look that was probably on my face it was probably somewhat entertaining. I drove it another year or so with some minor scrapes happening to the exterior. Besides getting caught in a heavy rain storm with the top down flooding the interior and bending the rear bumper in two trying to pull a friend’s car out of a muddy ditch the car never suffered anything major accidents. I’m sure it didn’t please my dad too much about the bumper either.
My best friend Dewayne and I never made the highway trips in the old '57 MGA to the state parks like we envisioned as 13 year old kids but did make the trip years later in a '68 Firebird 400 but that is another whole story.
We moved on to other things like college, work and something called life and that old '57 MG stayed in my folks garage for years in Houston until my dad was transferred to Odessa TX. He was a general manager for a steel service center then. The oil boom was going strong in the early 80's and dad was doing well and he had the MGA restored. It was painted back to the original white color from an ugly burgundy we painted it earlier. It was taken down to the metal, wet sanded and the whole bit. I forget how many coats of paint he had put on it 3 or 4 with about 5 coats of clear coat. With the black leather trim the car still looks sharp to this day. He moved back to Houston later and would drive the car in annual 4th of July parades and attend car shows. He told me several years ago that he put the old '57 in his Will for me as that car will always remain a part of our family.
I bought my own MG in 1982. It is a 1980 MGB and I still own it today. My dad and I were trading notes the other day about MG's. I happened to notice we were about the same age when he bought his MGA as when I bought my MGB. I told him it would have been spooky or eerie if we had happened to be the exact same age or bought it the same month or something like that which wasn't the case. He was actually 27 and I was 28. I do believe though that once these cars make their way into your life they never seem to go away.