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Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline
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  Chicagoland MG Club:Driveline
Steve Merical Go Brit Baby!
MGA Time Machine

Okay, I thought I would guest write an article about a recent MGA I discovered. A 1963 MGA Mk2. Yes, a ’63. It is one of the last MGAs made and the engine number puts it just 50 from the last MGA engine produced. It was sold on January 7, 1963. So, even though it was made in May 1962 it was titled and registered as a ’63. By this time the MGB had already been in production.

It is an interesting story, one that you still stumble on once and a while…minus the ‘lil gray haired old lady.

This MGA is a southern car. The owner bought the car in Alabama after leaving the U.S. Navy. Sometime later he moved up to a northern suburb of Chicago. After commuting in and out of Chicago, he decided he needed a car with roll up windows and not side curtains.

The car was parked in a tiny garage and the door closed in 1973. The last year the car was registered and driven. It still has a pristine City of Chicago city sticker from ’73 that never made it onto the car.

Fast-forward the H.G. Wells Time Machine to August 2002. The car is moved out of the garage and washed. The tires will still hold air. The rear wheels are locked up from disuse, the leather seats are brittle, and the side curtains have not faired very well. Otherwise, the car looks as good as the day it was driven into the garage in 1973. The owner who had hoped to one day bring the car back to the road decides to sell the MGA to help pay for his son’s college education.

Well, I just had to have the car. The car is totally complete and original except for one repaint it received in the early 70s. It is the most solid MGA I’ve seen, minus a restored car of course. So, we strike a deal and I get the car trailered home with the help of Dave Bralich and Paul Urquhart. What an interesting ride it must have been for the MGA. It had not left that garage in almost 30 years. How the neighborhood, heck, the whole metropolitan area must have changed in the last 30 years. A regular Rip Van “MGA” Winkle.

Anyway, we head off towards my house traveling the expressways. As we go through the Kennedy toll both, I spy a lovely chrome bumper MGB sitting on the side of the road. Cowboy manages to cross the tollbooth traffic and get us parked a little down the road from the broken down MGB.

I jog back to the MGB and ask the owner what the problem was….”the clutch”. I tell him he might be in luck as the folks who just pulled over to help consist of the Chicagoland MG Club President, Dave “Cowboy” Bralich, Endurance Rally Driver and Ace Mechanic, Paul Urquhart, and me - former Club Tech Coordinator, Steve Merical.

I guess it was his lucky day. The problem got diagnosed - the bolt that passes through the clutch and brake pedal had come undone. He was back on the road in about 20 minutes and called Triple A to cancel the tow home.

Another successful roadside repair. Cowboy figures we get a MG credit for that…you know we helped someone else, so we when break down someone will come to our aid. I hope he’s right...

Steve Merical - 630-443-4985

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