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Swan Song

A couple issues ago the Moss magazine had an article about bringing a Sprite racecar back to life—and with the owner’s intention of doing this with his kids. My thoughts returned to a day in 1993 when I purchased an MG Midget for my daughter. She drove it from high school through college and then it was laid to rest in the backyard.

Jump forward a few years. I had just restored two TR4As and decided to resurrect the Midget and restore it to its former glory with the help of a donor car. From this restoration I had a store of very good parts that I wanted to give to the Sprite owner. An email to the magazine editor, David Stuursma, jumpstarted a conversation with Todd and his family and together they drove to my home with a truck and trailer. I am sure he will make use of the parts and it means a lot to me to play a small part in their restoration.

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My interest in English sports cars dates back to a sunny day in summer of 1959 when walking home from my Royal Navy ship after a long 18-month deployment to the Far East. I came across a lovely red 1935 MGPA which, after a short drive, I purchased without having a legal driver’s license. I immediately took the necessary driving lessons.

After the MGPA, I have had a Bugeye Sprite, MG Midgets, TR3As and MINIs. After leaving the Royal Navy I took on a job in Bahrain on a five-year contract and purchased a 1000cc MINI with the goal of turning it into a car I could use in the many events that the Bahrain Motor Club frequently held. This was a good learning curve in the art of hill climbs, circuit racing and rallying. The rally side of it took me to different states in the Gulf until rallying became so successful that the major car manufacturers took an interest and the money they put into the events left us amateurs on the sidelines. But it was a fantastic experience.

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Today, at my home in Florida, a 1962 TR4 in the final stages of restoration keeps me busy. As my 80th birthday looms, I am sure that this will be my final project car. I hope to keep and drive this one until they take my license away. My swan song!

By Bill Maskell

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