Photo by Salt Water New England

Friday, August 24, 2018

A Blue MG

Photos by Salt Water New England


  1. I'm in love. What a beautiful car.

    I had a 1979 MG that was the equivalency of taking a crash course in auto mechanics. For every month I owned that car and had it on the road, it was consequently parked with me tinkering under the hood for approximately the next two weeks. Two to one ratio sounds about right.

    British cars were beautiful, but notoriously unreliable. The British auto industry is the best argument against socialism that I can muster. When the state took over the British auto manufacturing industry, the reliability of the cars plummeted. Oh, the electrical systems drove me nuts! Yet for all the constant tinkering and hassle, when I had the car on the road it was a dream to drive, an absolute pleasure. Oh what fun to drive that MG; responsive, tight steering, good pickup, and a summer frolic with the top down.

    Alas, one year I had to sell it in order to make rent. I have rued that day ever since (although I must admit that I did like having a roof over my head - lean times require desperate choices). I would give my eye teeth to have that '79 MG back again, eccentricities and all.

    The Concord Diaspora

  2. The MG I owned, almost before living memory, was a sedan (a saloon car), one of the later "badge engineered" cars. The Rover I had was reasonably reliable and I went over 100,000 miles with it. I kept seeing another Rover near where I lived and found the owner, made friends and a few years later, he was the best man at my wedding.

    Still looking for that Triumph Stag. Any color will do.

    Anyhow, I wonder how the old cars, and not just the British ones, manage on today's gasoline.

    1. I have a friend who has an old Plymouth made in the 1950s use additives from the auto parts store to run today's gas...

  3. Had a '59 MGA. Same as photo but was British Racing Green with wire wheels and knock off hubs. Great care. Twin SU carps were hard to keep in sync.. Had a crank shaft if one of the two 6 volt batteries failed.

  4. I still have my '78 MG Midget, in a color that MG called "vermilion". My wife and daughter insist that it's orange, but it has faded a bit, I suspect. I sometimes have to stick my arm out to signal turns. Basic electrical functions are uncertain on British cars, although my '95 Jaguar XJS (BRG with a tan ragtop) does pretty well. There's just something about British sports cars that I have loved since I was a boy, regardless of the electrical problems.

  5. These photos bring back great memories. I have had several vintage British autos, and for all their faults, I still love them! Thank you for the photos.

  6. I had a 1966 MG Midget that I bought around 1970-71 for $500. It was a crap vehicle that I loved more than anything. Drove it off to college (400 miles from home) and had some great times with it all over California. I don't recall ever being stranded but I do recall constant repairs. I sold it to buy a 1968 Cougar XR7 like my college roommate had. Over the years, I ended up with a new 1988 Alfa Romeo Spyder Veloce (which became a wonderful vehicle after Alfa had gone with Bosch fuel ignition and some other Bosch components). A little over 10 years ago, I got a new Miata Grand Touring roadster which was the best sports car I ever owned but it was leased and it made no sense to keep it at the end because I could only drive it 8-9 months out of the year due to weather. Since then, I've driven a Lexus Land Cruiser which is the finest vehicle I've owned to date. Still, I dream of old MGs and Triumphs and I never say never. ;o)

  7. I owned three MGs in my younger years. The first was a ’59 MGA with twin overhead cams. Yup, I owned one of these. I say that because only a small number were imported to the States; today, they are highly desired. Black with a red interior, removable slide-style windows, interior door cables (no handles), wire wheels, spanner hubs and all. It was a great car, but because it was really a race car, it required constant tuning, cleaning of the points & plugs and other tinkering to make it run well. I’ve never been mechanically inclined, so sold it after a while.

    The next was a ’67 MGB. That was a car. British racing green with a black interior, wire wheels, etc. Loved that car and it loved me back. I drove it into the ground.

    The last was a ’76 Midget. Worst car I ever owned. By that point, British Leyland, who bought Morris Garage, had fully stripped the essence of what made the MG an MG. I traded that car in for a Subaru. I was getting more mature then, sorta.


  8. I owned a red with a black interior 1960 MGA, I loved that car. I often have the urge to get another one, but my 74 year old knees tell me NO. I am 6'3" and people use to watch in amazement at how easily I got into that car. One of my friends was 6'9", when he jumped into the passenger seat, that was a sight to behold.

  9. My first car was a used British Racing Green 1965 MGB, sold to me by a Col. Eugene O'Neill, RAF Retired. You can't make that up. He told me the previous owner was a school teacher who "treated the car like a baby." Within three months, virtually every moving part had ceased to move, and I discovered the car had been in a serious crash, put back together and repainted. I was difficult to manually get the top down, but getting it back up took an act of God. It started every third day. In slippery conditions, it turned into a luge. I came to the conclusion that British cars only work in Britain. Once removed from Blighty, they are susceptible to autoimmune disease, no pun intended.


  10. I remember seeing an old video clip of Walter Cronkite racing around Lime Rock Park in an MGA in the late 50s or early 60s (before he was convinced to cease his racing activities by his employer/insurer).

  11. Owning an English sports car taught me the wisdom of always carrying a bus schedule and the phone numbers for the taxi and towing services. Great fun to drive but utterly unreliable. If only they had Mazda Miatas 45 years ago.

  12. Is that blue color even legal? I mean, now, really.