I was ten-years old growing up in Pittsburgh. The Pirates fans were singing “We are Family” and celebrating a World Series Game 7 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Willie Stargell is named the Series MVP. My favorite show was Charlie’s Angels—Farrah Fawcett. Both Claire Daines and Adam Levine were born. And our family dog Cindy traveled with us in the car. I loved that!
Each day from the window of my bus as we pulled up to school I scanned the parking lot for the magical green MG. During class I dreamed up elaborate stories of putting luggage on the rack and traveling to distant places. Every day a new adventure. There was something about the headlights and the way it sat alone in the parking lot. It was rumored that the teacher bought it when he turned 50 years old.
I never forgot that little car and as the years went on I would continue to see MGs from time to time. “Someday I’ll have one,” I’d tell myself. I used that same old line I always heard about getting a classic car—“I’ll do it when I turn 50!”
Then in the summer of 2012, I pulled into a shopping center and parked next to a green MG. I waited. I had to see who owned it to strike up a conversation. Out walked a young woman in her 40s. She was my age! I started talking to her and she said that she was going to wait until she turned 50 but she had a series of health issues and she said to me, “I started thinking, gosh why wait! Life is short, so instead of waiting around for things to fall into place, take action sooner rather than later.”
That same day I started looking for my car. And before long I found it: a 1979 MG Midget sitting in the barn of John Becker. The cassette player still worked, and it only had 35,000 miles on it. John bought the car for his wife for her 50th birthday; she had since passed away.
I drove to meet John on his farm and fell in love with the car. Yes, the car was exactly what I hoped for, but it was John’s endless stories of the fun he and his wife and dog had in the car that convinced me it was all meant to be.
John was gracious enough to flatbed the car to my home in Wilmington, DE, in exchange for dinner at a local diner. He was so happy to see that the MG was going to have yet another happy chapter in its life. He even gave me the original owner’s manual and company marketing materials they used to sell the car in the showroom.
When John arrived with my Farah, the name I gave the Midget, at my house he brought his dog with him. I told John the story about meeting the woman around my age in the parking lot at a shopping center who told me to “Go for it!” and get an MG. We talked some about our love of pets and cars. He said to me, “Well now you need to get a dog again to complete the ride in your new MG!”
And again it felt like a sign that I wasn’t about to ignore. I got the car in July 2012, and Ava, the Dalmatian, who I adopted from an animal shelter, came into my life May 2013. Ava loves riding in Farah and they both have gotten a second chance at a new chapter in life.
I have learned a lot through the journey of finding a wonderful car. A classic is more than a car, it is a connection to all the people and stories that, in my case, came to life in the very special year of 1979. The responsibility has come to me to keep this classic alive and to share those wonderful stories and create new memories.