A DUSTY CLASSIC


On a recent morning walk leaving my neighborhood, I saw this dusty MGB being loaded on a car hauler in front of a house that had been recently sold. For several years I would see the older man who lived there take it out occasionally for a drive on sunny warm days like this beautiful fall day. Once as I walked by I stopped to admire his classy sports car. Alas, it was not for sale. The soft top was down and he went on his way wearing a jaunty driving cap that made him look somehow British. It was always kept in the garage and never parked in the driveway.

I stopped seeing him drive it or even his other car several years ago. Instead I would see a car belonging to a home health worker parked out front; the garage was always closed; I wondered about the MG. Time went by, the house was put on the market. I never knew if the man was moving away or had died. That morning I walked past the almost full car hauler and looked back. The MG was halfway into the street. I walked back. There was the old car, top down and covered in dust. It must have been sitting in the garage all these years. Were the new owners selling it? Did the man die and his heirs were selling it?

I interrupted the two men who were trying to load it, and asked where they were taking it.

“Indiana,” one replied.

I asked if I could take a photo. Given permission, I pulled my phone from my pocket and took a couple of photos as I tried not to get in their way. The inside was as dusty and neglected as the outside. The inspection sticker on the windshield was dated February 2011.

As I thanked the men, one asked me what kind of car it was.

“MG, an MGB. British. The company stopped making these sports cars in 1980. I would guess this one is a 1970s-something model. My husband had one in citron when we got married. It was fun to drive.”

Turning for one last look as I continued my walk, I hoped that it would find a good home and someone would restore it and take it out again on sunny, warm days with the top down.

30 thoughts on “A DUSTY CLASSIC

    • No, they just don’t make them like they used to. And I am old enough to remember some of those really big cars that just purred. If someone was willing to have this one shipped out of state, I feel they will restore it to its “former elegance” as you put it.

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  1. What a thoughtful post about that car and it’s owner. I had one – a 69 in British Racing Green with a white soft top. That car treated me terribly in terms of repairs but I adored it. The transmission finally gave out on a bridge to Questa Key in Florida and I sold it for $500 to an aficionado. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. Best, Babsje

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    • Oh, that color combination must have been beautiful. No, they were not cheap to maintain and not everyone knew how to work on them. Glad you were able to sell it to someone who would be able to take care of it. Seeing it brought back memories for me too of our younger days. Thanks for taking time to visit and comment.

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      • You’re welcome and thanks again for the walk down memory lane. One quirk of my soft top is that I think it was an after-market top, not original equipment, and it shrank a little! Just enough that it wouldn’t ever latch closed securely. Living in Florida during the rainy season made that not so much fun. 😊

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    • Glad your husband takes care of your car! I try to check out things as I walk. This time of year there are holiday decorations to critique. We have lived here for 44 years so we are old-timers in the neighborhood. Thanks for visiting!.

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  2. Nice post! Hope all is well at your end.

    My husband Robert belonged to the British Car Club in town. He had an MGB that he bought from the wife of a man who passed away. Lovely as it looked, it was rough to drive and not as safe as he would’ve liked so he sold it. We have a good friend who’s an avid car buff and built his own British sports car from the bottom up. Lots of British car enthusiasts here on Vancouver Island.

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  3. I love finding things from a murky past that seem to carry memories. Who was the man who kept that MG so protected? And who will make more memories in Indiana? This is really a love story in a way. Thankyou for sharing it.

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    • I’m a romantic at heart, Dor, and wished I had known more about the man. His house was several blocks over from where we live so I didn’t even get his name or know him but would have to pass the house on my way out of the neighborhood. I would like to imagine one of the man’s children decided to keep it and they lived in Indiana. Guess I can make up my own story. I do know he kept it all those years even after he did not drive it. Take care!

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  4. The good news is, dust isn’t damage. It’s true that a boat that isn’t used for a decade is going to have problems galore, but a well-storaged car can be brought back more easily. What a nice thing to spot, and how nice that it will have a new home. I’m not much of a car person myself, but I do enjoy seeing sentimental objects (which this clearly was) given new life.

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  5. Yes, I guess a boat would have problems. I am sure you have seen your share as you are involved in boat maintenance. Glad this one will be appreciated. My father used to repair and restore old clocks so they could be passed on. He had a story for every one he found and restored. Fair winds to you.

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