Hopefully you have an Anglican priest on staff because I need to confess my sins.
As a young lad I dreamed of owning a T-series MG. In 1965 when I was 8 my cousin bought a new MGB and took me for a ride and I was hooked on British cars. At thirteen I bought as it turned out a very early 57 Austin Healey 100/6. I paid $300 for it, my brother loaned me half of the purchase price. It was my first car and it had all the problems of a well used big Healey.
Rust is a four letter word! It seemed to me it had been parked on a boat ramp with the back half under salt water. Anyway, not being one to surrender to the forces of nature, I found another Healey in a nearby junk yard. It was one of those coveted two seat models. So forgive me for what I am about to confess. The two cars became one and yes I ruined two valuable Healey’s. Please forgive me for I have sinned. I was only 13 and I didn’t know any better. I had never heard of Moss! All I knew about California was what I learned from the Beach Boys and the Beverly Hillbillies. Who knew they actually had parts for 13-year old English cars out west.
I owned several more British cars: a TR4A, a TR250 and then even a Midget. The car I still longed for was of a T-series MG but they just always seemed out of reach. Many years later that would change.
I realize what I am about to confess will give some in the hobby the “hebegeebees.” So this confession will be prefaced with a little personal history. My Uncle, a pilot in the 8th Air Force, was stationed in England during WWII. MGTA’s and TB’s were one means of personal transportation. His stories and photographs instilled in me a love for all things vintage—English cars as well as some great airplanes, B-17′s, P-38′s, P-47′s and particularly the P-51. Later I learned the P-51 was at first a ho hum aircraft, that was until it was mated with a supercharged Rolls Royce Merlin engine! Once the stock configuration was abandoned the plane became a force to be reckoned with.
Four years ago I ran across that T-series MG. It was a deal I could not pass up, and aren’t they always. It was cheap. Someone had tried to drop a 302 V8 in a TD and quit, so all I had was a shell. I had a 2.3 4 cylinder with a 5 speed from an 87 Mustang sitting in the corner of the garage, it was then I got to thinking about the P-51. If I could use that powertrain, I would have my TD. So in memory of my Uncle and all those GI’s who brought home the love of the immortal MG, I would resurrect this lovely little British car by uniting it with its American Mustang cousin. Together they would fly again!
It took four years and a great deal of labor. I couldn’t have pulled it off without the help of friends and Moss with their wonderful service and parts. Oh the parts! If I had only known about them so long ago perhaps I would have an Austin Healey or two in my garage. However, what I do have I love, a vintage looking MG with a 100 MPH American drivetrain. It has been a real adventure and one that continues with each mile.
Please forgive me for I have sinned and help me wipe the smile off my face.