MGB For Sale (Maybe)

Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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Best as I can figure, I’ve owned just 16 cars in my lifetime and still have four of them. I’ve told you before about my inability to part with vehicles until they’ve lost all trade-in value and are in such bad shape they could be written off as totaled if the gas tank is about empty.
One in particular I’ve hung on to for 35 years and even though it sits dead in the garage, she’s like Norman Bates’ mother in Psycho..I just can’t let her go.
In 1976, I was in my third year working at Keloland television. I had married for the second time and became step-dad to her two daughters. They, along with my two girls, made for quite a house full and, I don’t mind telling you, money was pretty tight.   I was able to supplement our income by playing music five nights a week at the Station Break lounge located right next door to KELO.  I could be out the back door of the TV station and on stage singing within a matter of seconds.  One night our bass player, knowing my love for sports cars, told me about a neighbor of his who had a 1969 MGB for sale and was only asking $800! This isn’t mine but it’s what she looked like new.Eight Hundred Bucks!? That’s an absolute steal. I’d have to borrow the money… but won’t the family be surprised when I drive that little bugger home? 
Now, I know what you’re thinking and, in hindsight,I probably should have at least checked with my wife before closing the deal but you gotta understand my lifelong passion for two-seater sports cars.
It began in the early 50’s while watching a little remembered TV series called “Boston Blackie.” It was about a former thief who now worked on the right side of the law. Anyway, he drove around chasing crooks in the most fantastic car I’d ever seen..a sleek little roadster..a functional work of art. Boston Blackie’s car was the first all fiberglass vehicle. It was made by a boat company. I still love it. The series only lasted a couple of seasons but I never forgot about that car and vowed to one day have one like it. When I heard about the MG at such a great price, I figured this must be God’s way of saying “Well done good and faithful servant, enjoy your long awaited reward.”
I was right about one thing; the girls, ages 11, 9 and 7, all shrieked with delight when they saw me drive around the corner and into the driveway. They all started begging for a ride and arguing over where they were going to sit. When my wife saw it, she shrieked too..but not with joy.  She apparently had never seen a single episode of Boston Blackie. All she saw was a big green toy purchased by a selfish inconsiderate clod with money we didn’t have.  She was right, of course, and it was mighty cold around our house that hot summer.Eventually, though, she sort of accepted it into the family..especially after seeing all four girls seated on the back lid like homecoming queens, laughing and waving to everybody as I slowly paraded them around the neighborhood. The marriage eventually ended but the MG stayed with me. It would sometimes sit parked for years at a time in need of repair but I wasn’t about to part with my dream car.By contrast, Linda loved the little car and always looked forward to going for rides on nice weekends. She didn’t seem to mind the many times we had to stop at a farmhouse for water because it overheated or would sputter to a stop in the middle of nowhere and I’d have to get the electric fuel pump unstuck by banging on it with a hammer. But love is fickle and after I bought our Camaro convertible in 1996, (with Linda’s permission and blessing and which we still have) the MGB got tucked in the corner of our garage where she has remained to this day.  Today, my little dream car has become a shelf for patio furniture. A few years ago, I decided garage space overruled sentimentality and put her on the street for sale. But I wasn’t all that disappointed when there were no serious takers. After all, according to E-bay, my little dream car is something of a collector’s item and is more valuable now than when I got her three and a half decades ago..which is more than I can say for any other of my investments lately. Still, we COULD use that space in the garage.hmmmmm.

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