When I first learned that Mike purchased a 1956 MGA that had been completely restored, I was instantly excited. I had loved the MGA ever since I was a kid. Now to have one here in the collection, well I could hardly wait to give it the proverbial test drive.
When the car arrived at the store, I had my chance. The beautiful lines of this iconic car just scream.... TRUE CLASSIC SPORTS CAR. Stunning British Racing Green paint with tan interior, wire wheels and the chrome luggage rack on the back. I could picture myself now, driving with the top down, 72 horsepower 4 cylinder engine and 4 speed on the floor, and the open road. I was ready, I would take off for home, pick up Carol and head into town to the ice cream shop for a fun evening of just cruising and enjoying this remarkable car.
But before the ice cream and fun, I had to drive home. A 45 minute drive on country roads, chicken trucks, and 3 smaller towns. It was great to see the reaction of people as I cruised down the road in the MGA. Lots of big waves and thumbs up displaying their approval of a car, which is not usually found on the back roads in Arkansas.
As I arrived home, Carol was so excited to see the MG. She hopped in and we headed over to our friends home to show them the latest addition to the collection, and then on to the Dairy Queen. This car was a real attention getter by both the young and old onlookers. The younger ones had never seen one and the older crowd remembered when they had owned one or could have purchased one. It was a great evening and as I put the car in the garage for the night, I just stood there and admired the MGA as a true work of Art.
However, reality slowly began to creep in. The cars appearance was unquestionable stunning, but there were other features which weren’t so desirable: the brakes were soft (it took about a country mile to stop it), the steering was like a truck (no power steering), the steering wheel almost rested on your lap ( maybe my 200 pounds didn’t help); there was no synchro in first gear (stopped me from my usual rolling stops), no roll up windows, no radio, a turn signals that had to be manually turned on and off, a horn button located in the center of the dash, no air conditioning, and worst of all NO CUP HOLDERS (where was a guy to put his coffee?).
The next day, I realized that I had gotten too old for this car. If I was younger, most of these things wouldn't had bothered me. But now I am so used to all the luxury amenities, and sadly this car did not have them. The reality is I didn't enjoy driving it as much as I had dreamed, but I will say the MGA is beautiful piece of Garage Art.
Sometimes the Dream is better than the Reality.