To support the Parkland Education Foundation in Allentown Pennsylvania, Moss customer Barry Dobil is donating his 1969 MGB Roadster.
If you’d like to support the foundation and have a chance to win an MGB, you can purchase raffle tickets via this link:
To learn more about the great work of the Parkland Education Foundation, click the following link:
If you have questions not addressed in the above links, you may email the Parkland Education Foundation Executive Director, Lisa Ervin at: email@example.com
THE BEST WAY TO CELEBRATE 50 YEARS
By Barry C. Dobil, member of the Keystone Region MG Club
This is a love story that won’t have you reaching for a box of tissues. My story features micro fibre towels and paste wax, the stuff to which MGB owners are emotionally attached. British sports cars are inherently romantic and, much like your first love, they sometimes take you on a road you might not otherwise travel, to places you wouldn’t ordinarily go. Such was the case with my 1969 MGB Roadster.
Fifty years ago, on October 10, 1968, my 1969 MGB roadster rolled off the Abington assembly line. At that time it was known as Commission Number G23N/12631F. I am the third owner of the car and have had it since 1989. My share of the car’s 55,000 mile lifespan has been spent enjoying many a warm spring day, clear summer night, or brisk autumn afternoon behind the wheel. The car endured winters in the cozy confines of my garage. Somehow the romance of the ride melts when sharing the road with a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation utility dump truck plowing snow and spreading salt. Paint and polish are meant to be admired, not expired.
As many British sports car enthusiasts will attest, there is nothing like sitting behind a leathered steering wheel shadowed with meaningful gauges. With legs extended you feel the road mere inches beneath you. You wind through the transmission at your hip until hitting the sweet spot that is third gear. You’re almost reluctant to shift into fourth for the cruise. I’ve explained the concept to my wife, but I can’t understand it for her. She never really came to appreciate the sounds either. Nonetheless, I’ve had a blissful relationship with my wife for 46 years and with my MGB for 30. It is as close as I care to come to an open marriage.
To get on with the story, 1969 was also the year in which my high school sweetheart and I graduated from Parkland High School. In 1973, we married, then raised four children who were educated in the Parkland School District. We now enjoy the company of nine grandchildren who will also be educated in Parkland schools.
Education has expanded over the past 50 years and burgeoning technology will create new teaching methods and challenges down the road. To accommodate that growth, the Parkland School District has created the Parkland Education Foundation, a sort of giant P.T.O. with a bank account and a board of directors who oversee grant requests from teachers for educational materials and programs not covered by the school district’s budget. The education foundation is funded as a result of community interest and involvement. That’s where this story gets traction. Within the Parkland School District, my car is now known as the 50th Anniversary MGB and the centerpiece of the Parkland Education Foundation 50th Anniversary MGB Roadster Raffle, again the result of community interest and involvement.
As our family grew, my wife and I spent more time with our children and grandchildren and less time in the cockpit of my MGB. Subsequently, in celebration of the car’s 50th anniversary and our 50 years since high school, my wife and I decided to donate the MGB to the Parkland Education Foundation as a fund raiser. And so it is that our car will be raffled for the benefit of the students within the Parkland School District.
The idea has grown into a full blown community project. To get the “old girl” ready for the raffle, Moss Motors generously donated parts and materials to refurbish the interior. The car now sports new black leather seats with red piping, new carpeting, 3-point seat belts, trim work and what British sports car owner would not welcome a fresh alternator? Local garage, Integrity Auto, gave the car an extensive mechanical renewal including a change of all fluids, Pennsylvania state inspection, and a tune-up. The students at our local vocational school LCTI applied sweat equity by rebuilding and installing the new seats, carpeting and touching up the paint. Students in the Parkland High School TV studio created a film clip to highlight the benefits of the Parkland Education Foundation and the rebirth of the MGB. The MGB is featured at the 6:50 mark of the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4zOq0pwvVg&feature=youtu.be Photography students are documenting the process in a photo journal. Local collectible and classic car dealership RB Collections will provide the finishing touches by detailing the car. Generosity was boundless and this project will blossom into a financial windfall for the Parkland School District community.
The car and project were unveiled at the Parkland High School Festival of the Arts on Saturday, May 18th where it generated $2,000 in raffle ticket sales in one afternoon. Most recently, the effort realized $1,200 in raffle ticket sales at the Keystone Region MG Club British Motorcar Gathering. The car will also be shown this August at British Cars at Das Awkscht Fescht in Macungie, PA, at Parkland High School football game tailgating, and at the Parkland High School Class of 1969 50th reunion. The final drawing is scheduled for November 21st when the Parkland Education Foundation will host the Harlem Wizards in an exhibition basketball fund raiser in the high school gymnasium.
Along with the Parkland Education Foundation, I can’t thank the sponsors of this project enough for their willingness to participate. Response spanned coast-to-coast from David Stuursma at Moss Motors in California to Mark Benson at Integrity Auto in New Tripoli, PA. I think Fred Rogers said it best:
It’s not so much what we have in this life that matters. It’s what we do with what we have. We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.”
Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.