Owned, driven and maintained over the years with care and passion, these classic cars have have led to the blossoming of many great friendships. We’ve collected some lovely stories acknowledging these classic friendships, and hope you have as much fun reading them as we did 🙂
James Beal, Kent, Ohio
The Last Beer With MG-TC3418
This is literally the last beer with TC3418 after 20 years of driving with Don, my friend and neighbor on the left. I met him in the spring of 1996 shortly after acquiring my TC. Don stopped to introduce himself and tell me that he had always wanted a TC. Shortly thereafter, he acquired one. Together we drove our cars through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park at least weekly from April through November from 1997 until 2017 when I sold the TC to another friend. As a ritual, Don and I would celebrate the end of each successful drive with an Old Speckled Hen beer. As I recall, the unsuccessful drives may have required two beers. I had knee surgery in 2016 and could no longer drive the TC comfortably. In a show of true friendship, Don sold his TC earlier that year whereupon we held a “last beer” ritual on the day his car left his garage. This photo was taken on the day that TC3418 left my garage for the last time. We still continue our weekly tour through the National Park, however, we do it now with roadsters that old men can easily get in and out of. May the friendship and driving continue!
Here’s the story of My MG TC Legacy, along with a photo of the TC and Thomas The Tank Engine taken at Station Road in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Joe Mercer, Dublin, OH. Central Ohio MG Owners (COMGO) & New England MGT Register (NEMGTR)
Best Friends and British Cars
Those of you belonging to the New England MGT Register may recognize the photo of Bob Watts in the middle of a hill climb near Coshocton, Ohio around 2002. It is on the cover of the CD for back issues of the Sacred Octagon. Bob is a long-time member of the NEMGTR, its Ohio chapter, and the Central Ohio MG Owners club (COMGO) based in Columbus. Bob has owned his 1948 TC since the mid-1950s, having traded in what his wife, Joyce, calls their “courting car”. The TC sat idle while they raised their family and around 1986 Bob began a 12-year restoration project. In his words, he “restored it to drive it”, and drive it he does. He is not afraid to “put his foot in it” as shown in the hill climb photo as well as when he drove the “Tail of the Dragon” in 2006 where he bested a couple of young motorcyclists who had to pull over to let Bob through.
Bob and Joyce have ventured on many trips in their TC – Watkins Glen, Wisconsin, the all-MG meet in Louisville, and a 3,600 mile trip to Nova Scotia. In 2017, Bob, a WWII Navy veteran, went on an Honor Flight to Washington, DC along with 80 other veterans. Starting at 5 AM, they boarded the plane to DC, toured all of the monuments, and returned about 9 PM. Unbeknown to Bob, 25 MG owners from as far away as 100 miles came out to the airport to welcome him back from his trip – a true sign of the friendship that MG ownership fosters!
[Photo credits: Tony Burgess – group photo; Dave Bly – Hill climb photo; Dublin, OH Minuteman Press – Honor Flight poster.]
The top group photo shows Bob and Joyce (1st row, 4th & 5th from right) with all of their MG friends at the airport. On the bottom is Bob’s hill climb photo within the poster that members held up to greet Bob upon his return from Washington, DC.
My 1965 Morgan DHC with me (in cap) and my friend and chief mechanic Tim Kozlowski, who is also a dedicated and long-time Moss customer. This picture was taken at our local car show in Toledo, OH.
Paul Barnes and I met at a British car show about 6 years ago in Pennsylvania. Both mechanical engineers, we liked working on our cars. He, more so, that he became a private mechanic specializing in British and Italian sports cars. We did restoration of my car, a 1975 TR6, which included rebuilding the head, detailing the engine compartment, adding new wiring harness, and wood dashboard using many Moss parts. My car was purchased in 1976 with 6,000 miles on it. It just turned 100,000 miles. Paul and I continue to be friends, and I always enjoy working alongside him on my Triumph or other cars. Our next project will be to install an original Bendix AM/FM/Stereo radio which has just been rebuilt to a modern Bluetooth radio which can stream music from the internet.
Kim And Les
Les and I met at the Hudson Car show in May 2004. I owned a 1972 (Red) TR6 and Les had a 1974 (Yellow) TR6. We both belonged to the Montreal Triumph Club but had never met. The Sunday of the car show was a beautiful spring day in Quebec. All the cars on the field had their roofs down, all except me, as I still had my hardtop on. Anyone who has a hard top knows that it is extremely difficult to remove by oneself. So Les, being the gentleman that he is, offered to help me take the hardtop off. The rest is history. We were married 7 years later and our TR6s were the centerpiece of our day! We still own the 74 Yellow TR and have had many adventures since.
Keith Foley P.Eng. Mech.E, Boot ‘n’ Bonnet car club Kingston Ontario
This photo shows the “passing on” of the knowledge. Here I am showing my son Alex, how to do a brake job with Moss Motors Parts on my 1977 MGB GT V8. He has a hankering for an MGA he tells me. Over time, we have stayed close through our hobby. Recently he drove 3 hours each way to help me change-out brake fluid. What a guy!
Joel E Justin
Martin Keller and Bob Jasper working on a vacuum leak problem on Neal Subic’s TR6 during our Mille last fall.
Neal Subic and Dave Reid helping with an oil change on Mike Gustafson’s TR6 at my house.A fun picture of a bunch of us pointing at something “catastrophic” on a friend’s TR6.
Andrew Hardie, Calgary MG Car Club
Azim Bhatia and I met in 2005 at a local British car shop, just as he had completed the restoration on his 1973 MGB. We have been close friends ever since. The restoration of my 1972 MG Midget needed another year before it would see the road again. In 2009, we started the tradition of a summer road trip, which has seen other friends join in from time to time. Such was the case with this particular trip to Vancouver Island, British Columbia – Our 5th summer holiday together! Here, he is pictured with my wife Donna, and his partner Helen seated in his car as I prepare to drive up the hill with my Midget. Ardith Holt’s white rubber bumper MGB is hiding in the trees.
Despite the many miles we have covered in each other’s company, we have seized few “photo ops” that show our fondness for each other. We are always having too much fun! Our trips have taken us to many different locations in Western Canada and USA, including much of British Columbia, with forays into Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and California (including Moss on a Sunday when no one was there ☹️), and to major British car events such as the ABFM in Vancouver (May) and Portland (September), NAMGBR’s MG 2013 in Corvallis, Or and MG 2017 in San Diego, Ca.
And just for giggles ???? Moss on a Sunday, with my ‘72 Midget, Azim Bhatia’s MG RV8 and Henri Lefebvre’s MG BGT. We were on our way to MG 2017 in San Diego, and hit Goleta on a Sunday due to multiple car troubles en route from Alberta.
Andrew Hardie, Calgary MG Car Club
With so many great friends in this hobby, it’s hard to pick one. Azim Bhatia mentioned in the post above is joined here by another dear and close friend, Mike Holtz (who owns a gorgeous 1964 Morgan). We cruised around Trail BC in search of points for the Moss Motoring Challenge. These guys are so much fun to be around, and are always there with a helping hand when needed.
Azim’s RV8 and my MG CGT sandwich Mike Holtz’s 1964 Morgan outside a used Book Store ✅
Scott McKee, TCSC Newsletter Editor
I took this picture a few years ago when we helped Allan Cox pull the engine in his TR6. Allan loves his TR6 and TR8; he stresses about them all the time. A few of us (Alton Bryant, Jim Kellar, Steve McElliott and myself) showed up early one Saturday morning to help Allan Cox out. We had the engine out and dispatched to Steve McElliott’s garage for rebuild in short order. We were enjoying lunch a few hours before it became dinner – and the sun was still shining. These are special friends that I’ve had the good fortune to work with in getting a few TRs back on the road. Sadly Alton Bryant is no longer with us and everyone misses him dearly. What a great day that was!
Alton Bryant is on the left while Jim Kellar is on the right.The picture above shows Steve McElliott, Jim Kellar, Allan Cox (in the background) and Alton Bryant working on tearing down the TR6 engine.
I took the picture (below) of Steve Dever (L) & Allan Cox (R) looking woefully at Allan’s TR8 that had been displaying a rather ominous noise in the engine. The three of us spent a good part of the day ruling out possible sources of the noise. This is the second engine that has been installed with a recent replacements of the heads. The problem was ultimately fixed but not without the “village” of people in TCSC lending a hand in this journey. “It takes a village to keep a TR8 on the road” lamented Allen about his running TR8.
IKAS MG YT Story
This 1950 MG YT belonged to my late brother Igor Brickman. He lived in Tel Aviv, Israel and was always interested in vintage cars, especially the MG. This YT was his “love at first sight”. He bought it in February 2009, as a present for his birthday. The car was brought from the USA in parts, as there was not much left of it. He checked the car’s history, saw that all the “matching numbers” were correct, and started a full restoration with the help of a professional restorer. Most of the parts were missing, and it took us over five years to collect them and restore the car – we were looking for the parts all over the world. Since the custom regulations in Israel are very strict, and the custom taxes for shipping the parts are ridiculously high, we were shipping many of the parts to the USA and then I was bringing them in my suitcases to Israel during my frequent visits. And, of course there were many discussions and disputes about almost everything (color of the body, color of the saloon, rims etc.). The original car color was English White and after a few, very long disputes we decided to keep the car in her original color. The only thing we were firm about: “We are restoring her only with original parts for it to be in original order”! When the restoration was finally complete, he became a member of the Israeli Vintage Car Club (The Five Club) and participated in many exhibitions, shows and road runs with the club.
He passed away in July 2017, after a three-year terminal illness. In the last six months before his passing, he was unable to drive the car, so we would drive it together when I would come to visit every three months. During this time, he asked me what would happen to the car, his baby, after his passing. He was worried she would be sold. I made a promise that she would stay in the family forever and I would bring her over to the USA. As you can see, the promise was kept, all necessary arrangements and registrations were made, and she arrived to the port in Long Beach in November 2017 to make her new home in Los Angeles.
When I was a little kid, I could not pronounce his name, Igor, and called him “Ika”. As we grew older it became his nickname, so here is his baby with new license plates – “IKAS YT”. Thank you to all MG lovers around the world, and specially members of Israeli 5 club, who helped us and are still helping with everything!
Stephen Deigert, California
Two Generations – Going on Three!
My parents, “MG – GEN 1”, originally purchased our MG-TD series 1951 from an original owner for their anniversary gift to each other in 1970. We lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan then. I was about 7, my sisters 4 and 3, and my brother 2. This car moved with us to seven different homes in Michigan, West Virginia and finally California. If you can believe it, my parents loaded all of us (six total – my parents in the front seats with my brother in my mother’s lap, and me and my two sisters totally stuffed into the compartment behind the seats) into this car (sometimes even with the top up) and I remember driving around Summersville Lake, in West Virginia, and then going for ice cream before we drove back home.
Years later, I drove the car for special events, homecoming games for myself and my sisters, or just for enjoyment. We ended up moving to California in about 1987 and the car sat in a garage in Monterey, CA for about 3 years until I approached my parents about buying it from them. They hadn’t driven it for years and I was the one that had maintained it for years. My wife and I took over ownership in 1991 and we drove it for a few years until our son was born. When he was young, he had us drive the car in neighborhood parades, to the park for afternoons, and to his grand-parents house to visit. My son was infatuated with Bat Man, wearing his outfit almost full time, and he called the MG his “bat car”, sitting in the driver’s seat moving all the buttons on the dashboard as if he was driving his bat mobile.
My parents and their Grandchildren in the MG
Those years have passed now, as he is now 24 and living on his own. Although I have maintained and owned the car for the last 28 years, I was disabled in 1997 and have not been able to do much more than wax, clean, do oil changes and simple repairs on it. My wife and I decided late last year to do another complete rebuild on the engine as well as some other work as she is getting ready to retire. We just attended our first GOF West in 2016 together which we thoroughly enjoyed, and we would like keep it going and enjoy it for another 20 years. Although my son has driven the car only a handful of times since he got his license, he was very nervous about coming to a stop on a hill with the clutch. We weren’t really sure he wanted the car someday when I was ready to let it go. To my surprise, he was at home recently and came running into the house, asking my wife where the MG had gone, since I had already taken it to a shop to have the rebuild done. She explained what we were doing with the car and he responded that we were not to sell the car, that he very much wanted it. I felt great about the fact that he had kept an eye on the car, wanting to take it when I was ready to let go. The car has been in our family for more than 48 years now, and I’m happy to say that it will continue to make memories for my family when I am gone. I still remember and cherish all the car rides with my parents and siblings, the homecoming events and pleasure riding. These cars are not just fun to own and drive, they create unforgettable memories for a family.
With my car, shortly after I bought it in 1991.
My son about 5 years old.
Lindsay Costigan, Sacramento Valley MG Car Club
My name is Lindsay Costigan and I am with the Sacramento Valley MG Car Club. In 1995, my husband with his 1952 TD (which he had purchased for $299 in 1962) joined the SVMGCC (Sacramento Valley MG Car Club) and tried to get me to go to a meeting. I would have no part of it! Why would I want to go kick some tires, talk about engines, and be bored to death? I didn’t know a TC from an MGB, TD, GT, or any other letter, let alone what those letters stood for. My refusal to join my husband caused a few arguments to say the least. I finally caved in and agreed to go to a progressive dinner where everyone drove their MGs to three houses starting with an appetizer gathering at house number one, then the main meal at another, finishing with desserts at the last house. I met the ladies of the club and was surprised to find that not only were they a blast but so were the “guys”! For the next twenty-five years members of our club have planned and led many multiple-day excursions up and down the Coast, up and over mountains, visited historical sites, and so much more. Our social gatherings are always full of camaraderie and fun, not to mention the great food and cheer we always enjoy. We are a close knit club where friendships have flourished and stood up to the test of time. I now know a TC from a TD, what the range of years are for each model, and have been an enthusiastic member for these 25 years! I was even President for three years and now preside as the Vice-President.
Lindsay and her husband Jim Costigan
Dave Sims, President, Toronto Triumph Club
The attached photograph depicts two of our Toronto Triumph Club members in front of a broken Triumph Stag. Tony Fox has been around LBCs for over 60 years since he worked in Britain as an apprentice at Austin. Since then, he has owned, fixed and driven a myriad of Brit cars, but in recent years Tony has specialized in Triumph Stags. Tony has had a dozen or so Stags pass through his hands over the last 25 years, so if you want to know anything about Triumph Stags, Tony is your man to share extensive knowledge on this fine marque. He has just completed an extensive rebuild of a “new” Stag to go with his “original” Stag which he drove back from California, a 2,600 mile trip which took him 4 1/2 days! Tony is an active member of Toronto Triumph Club, Stag Club of North America and the British Saloon Car Club. His advice is sought by many; advice that is freely given in a friendly and knowledgeable fashion.
Owner of the broken Stag is Ellys MacKenzie. Ellys has been the proud owner of her British Columbia-sourced Triumph Stag for 4 years. All was going well until recently when, just a block away from home, there was an almighty bang from the engine. Since that time Ellys’s Stag has been languishing in her garage… broken! Ellys called Tony to ask his opinion on what had happened and what the next steps were. Tony soon identified that the cam follower had shattered. There was metal debris everywhere – not a pretty sight. Tony has never seen such a catastrophic failure of a cam shaft, given that his experience is quite remarkable. The next step for him is to remove the cylinder heads to determine the extent of the damage to heads, pistons, etc. and ascertain if the engine can be saved. We shall see.
The point of telling you this story is quite simple. Tony knows everything there is to know about Triumph Stags, Ellys, not so much, and through this partnership Tony will make sure that Ellys’s Stag receives the appropriate attention to bring it back to where it should be – a fine driving Triumph. This is how friendships build in car clubs and I’m sure that these relationships are forged every day in the world of LBCs. Long may it continue!
The usual suspects working on Mert Beebe’s MGB.
Ken Nicoll, Registrar – BCTR
I am Ken Nicoll, the registrar for BCTR and here’s a picture of the BCTR members helping install my engine. I’ve always said this is what a club is all about “members helping members”.
(Left to Right: Adrian Moore a member of BCTR; Lee Cunningham, Vice President of BCTR; Barrie Puffer former Secretary of BCTR; and Father John Hunt, former Vice President of BCTR giving blessings.)