A century of memories for MG owners

Posted at 7:22 Wed Jan 03, 2024

Author: Steve Stricker
Columnist

This Christmas season continues until Epiphany, Sunday 7th January – so don’t touch that tree or decorations! However, I can’t let 2023 pass with more days until 2024 without recognizing a fantastic milestone in the world of my toy cars that is directly connected to me and Oxford, Mississippi – The 100Thursday Anniversary of the fantastic British MG sports car! Uh, what are the MGs many of you younger people will say?

On May 1, 1923, William Morris, Morris Garages (MG) assembled their first cars at Alfred Lane, Oxford, England, our sister city. Between 1971 and 1975, 250,000Thursday The MGB was built and rolled off the production line in Abingdon, England. The final MGB was assembled at MG’s Abingdon plant, where more than 500,000 MGBs, hardtops and roadsters were built during the 1923 production run, making it the most popular sports car in history; seventy percent of all MGBs produced were sold in North America.

After graduating from Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) in 1968, I was immediately called—draft documents in one hand, diploma in the other. The Vietnam “War” was raging and guys were being drafted left and right! Within a year, I went from carefree brotherhood, basic training, to Vietnam! Try to wrap your head around it – I still can’t!

I drove a bloated 1964 Chevrolet Super Sports, sold it – sure I wasn’t coming back out of that hellhole alive (July 1969-August 1970). In the end, luckily, I went home, flew to St. Louis to my sister Mary Ann from LA, he needed a car. With typical impatient brother-in-law, he reluctantly bought a 1967 Pontiac Firebird automatic – nice, but wanted a manual transmission, couldn’t stand the beige interior or that.

Back at SEMO, where I was working on my first Masters degree, I loved the Pininfarina-designed MGB-GT fastback and hated the Firebird, one weekend I went to Continental Cars, St. Lous, MO and traded that ’67 for a brand new 1971 MGB-GT, bronze. Yellow, (Orange), off the showroom floor – it was the most beautiful journey back to Cape Girardeau and into the future.

I am currently a member of the MGOC (MG Owners Club) in Cambridge England and in December 2019 I had a four page article in their classy magazine ‘Enjoying MG’ with photos of my MG and the story behind it. My MG has a badge on each wing (fender) identifying it as 250,000ThursdaySpecial) as above and specially equipped with full console, clock, speaker, oil cooler and electric rear window defroster.

Owning it meant buying a workshop manual, tools (keys) and to this day constantly fixing all the things that would go wrong with the unreliable British stuff! Then in 2011, broke up with an engaged Scottish girl, both hips replaced, very difficult to get in and out of MG, knee reaction the day before Thanksgiving 2011, replaced MG, Honda Element (bought from her), 1985 Pontiac Grand Prix ( mom’s car) and my Saab SPG 1987 and for the new KIA Soul+ 2012.

A year later I totally regretted getting rid of my MG, miraculously tracked it down from a car dealer in Alabama who had never changed it and bought it back – still one owner, unbelievable! He didn’t know anything about MG, the dealer almost let my car go to the junkyard! Many months later, rebuilding, redoing everything, ah, back on oxford roads USA, back at peace with me once more, every ride so healing and now parked in my garage next to 2.n.d car he ever owned that 2012 KIA.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2024 EVERYONE!

Steve is an Oxford resident, received his Ph.D. in the Ole Miss Counseling Office and can be reached at sstricker@olemiss.edu.

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