By : 
Dr. Jan Meyer
Biker's Diary

Maybe it’s because people who own MGs are a little unique. Or, maybe it is because the MG marque is unique. Maybe it is because MGs are no longer manufactured. For whatever reason, I really do feel that an inordinate number of happy occasions and circumstances come to MG owners.

I had some history with MGs before I purchased this one, but those weren’t new and had prior owners. So I did not become as attached to those vehicles. When I drove this one off the car lot, it had ten miles on the odometer. For the 38 plus years I have owned her, I have been the only driver except for the mechanics insisting they do a test drive when she has been in for regular servicing. She and I have been close for those many years.

There are some not-so-good things that happen too. However, if I am honest, I have brought those things on all by myself. For instance, a month or two after I picked up my new car at the dealership, in 1980, she quit on me! Just like that, and, she stubbornly refused to start again. Fortunately, it was a Saturday morning and my friend, the dealer, came to me with his tow truck and towed her back to his dealership. A few hours later, he called and said, “Jan, you do have to put gas in your car to make it run.” My excuse was that with each different car, it always takes a little experience before I learn its idiosyncrasies, such as where the needle on the gas gauge dial is when it is truly empty.

I have always enjoyed frequenting stores on summer holidays because then most other people are outdoors doing something fun. If I had shopping that needed doing, those were good times to do it because stores would be nearly empty. One year, on the Fourth of July, I parked as I usually do at the least-populated parking lot at the large mall, and also quite a ways from the entry itself. That way, other parkers who seek to park as close to the door as possible were not likely to move in next to me and “ding” my doors.

I stayed inside the mall for about an hour and a half. With no windows inside, I did not realize that it had clouded over and started raining — hard. As I approached the exit and saw that, I was sick, because the top was down on my baby. I started to rush out into the rain, but once out there I could see my car. Someone had put the top up, and I shortly found out that she was dry as a bone inside. The angel who did that just had to be an MG owner, current or past, because those tops are not easy to handle.

Last week I attended the Second Annual British Wheels on the Green car show, hosted by the Arizona MG Club, Last year I had won first place in my category at that show and really enjoyed the experience. This year confirmed what I had experienced last year: MG owners love talking about their cars. One visitor at the show was talking about one of the difficulties of becoming so attached to our vehicles. He had always thought he would give his to his son, but over time he has come to realize that his son would not care for it as he did himself, and would likely just sell it. So he decided that when he died, he would be cremated, and have both his and his wife’s ashes sprinkled in the car. That way, his son would never be able to get rid of the car.

I laughed with him, and then related my own sort-of-similar story. I bought my car during the time when I was getting a divorce, never an easy process. I decided then that when I died, I would have my ashes spread under the carpeting in the trunk of my MG. Then I would will the car to my former spouse, and for the rest of his life he would have to drive around with me right behind him. I did get over that, but it is a fun story to tell when swapping MG tales.

One summer I was driving on an almost-empty freeway out in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. I was on a long trek, and at one point was passed by another MGB. The driver and passenger waved, and then slowed down. They let me get ahead of them again, and when I pulled off at a rest stop, they pulled in right behind me. That stop turned out to be quite a bit longer than usual: they wanted to — what else? — swap MG stories.

Time and space has caught up with me, and like others, I still have stories to relate. I guess I’m going to have to continue this on another page of my diary!



Having bought my 1968 MGB in 1973 when I was finally old enough to afford the insurance here in the UK, (and it is still in my garage today 45 years later and ready for use whenever I feel the need to relax), your reminicences strike a chord so familiar with mine and this illustrates how similar MG owners are all around the world. 
Unlike you we in the UK have had a variety of new MGs available since the demise of MG and closure of the Abingdon factory in 1980, with short production gaps between 1980 and 1982 when the saloon ranges based on the Metro Maestro and Montego saloons arrived, then 1991 when the last of those cars was withdran and late 1992 when the limited run MG RV8, (an updated MGB with a then current Rover V8 and slightly different styling) that ran to 1995.  Then the volume MG sports car role was filled by MGF that ran to 2002 when it was replaced by a substantially different under the skin MG TF, (reuse of the 1950's moniker).  The year before saw the introduction of the MG ZR, ZS, ZT and ZT-T MG saloon variants of then current Rover saloons that were actually well received and more than simple badge engineered cars, but all went belly up in April 2005 with the collapse of the MG Rover company.
The Chinese then bought up the remains, but ironically one company bought the rights and another the physical assetts.  This was like someone selling an Airfix kit where one company bought the instruction sheet and the other the plastic parts and each then had to work out how to make something from what they had bought.  The sensible reality was that the Chinese Government knocked heads together and the bigger company took over the smaller one.  We then saw the MG TF restart production for three years until 2011, by which time the first of the new Chinese/UK designed cars, the MG6 arrived, followed by the MG3 in 2013 and since then several other models with more and more models pending.
MG as a company is in full production with nearly 200,000 MGs being prodcued so far this year, more than the highlight days of MG and Midget production, and even counting MG Magnette and MG 1100 and 1300 saloon production that ran alongside the MG sports car production.  Today though we are in a totally different era of MGs that is so far removed from the traditional pre 1980 MGs that is could be a completely differnt brand, but we do finally have a committment from the new MG company that they will be producing a 'roadster', as they describe it, from 2021 with pure electric drivetrain, and being as this is a company with deep pockets and an intention to spread its MG products around the world it may well be something that could eventually come to your neck of the woods, but perhaps not if the current economic climate persists, but this is getting political and the beauty of traditional MG ownership is that this transends all classes, creeds and political boundaries and why it is such a pleasurable and enjoyable scene - and long may it continue to be.