Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline August 2011

Tales of the Mongrel - (Continued from page 12)
match his penetrating, cold-as-ice, look. Even his silence didn’t seem the bother Reece.

“That little MG gets me where I need to be”, said Arata. “As for the tax payers – they get their monies worth”!

Reece had only been on the job 90 days but had already proven he was not just a good manager and organizer but had a good deal of “soldier” in him. The folks in the field had commented on that and the Neutralizer now agreed.

Reece went on. “I love the share a good cup of coffee with you and shoot the breeze bit I know that’s not your style”. He handed the Neutralizer a top secret file folder. “You know all the hoopla over the new Arizona Immigration Law and the issues around the increase in crime and drug trafficking we are dealing with there”. “The file is complete. We suspect a strong connection between the Aminio Drug Cartel and a certain poppy connection in Afghanistan with strong to Al-Qaeda. The Cartel is exchanging raw heroin for information on their entry points to the US. Entry that we believe will be used to smuggle dirty bombs onto US soil”.

“You game”, said Reece? “I’m game”, came the reply! The big Fed replied, “There’s a plane waiting for just south of Langley…you know where. Be at the Farm’s war room by 0800 hours tomorrow. Simpson and Vogt will provide the details. Oh, you will need the “B” – Tom’s got it ready”!

With that, the big Fed simply got up and left. The Neutralizer had not seen Reinout Vogt, who was the Farm’s cybernetics expert, in awhile. As for Susan Simpson, the Farm’s brilliant and gorgeous mission controller, time with


her was always looked forward to. The soldier and Simpson went back a-way and for more reasons than one.

Arata would also see his old friend Dino ‘Gadgets’ Perez, the electronics whiz-kid who was one of the best pilots in the air. Dino piloted the plane waiting for him at Langley…. he suspected.

Selling drugs to kids on the street was bad enough but bringing dirty bombs to US soil to wreak havoc on US citizens caused required action. Strong action, decisive action….. the action of the Neutralizer. It was time leave and the Neutralizer went by way of the back door as there was no sense in too much “public” visibility. He turned the corner toward M Street and walked south.

His thoughts drifted. Not knowing much of the mission he thought of his old friend Reinout, who had served with distinction in the Dutch Special Forces. The soldier thought back to missions shared with the tall Dutchman. “Ah Reinout, you are one kick-butt guy and I’ll look forward to kickin’ some butt with you”!

“Ralph….RALPH!!!! What are you doing in there”? I woke up on the couch, it wasn’t DC but Naperville. I stared out the open window from our living room to kids on sidewalk now staring back at me.

My lovely wife, Susan….spoke from the kitchen telling me to get off the couch and go upstairs if I am going to talk out loud while napping. “...and close the windows when you go up there you boob”, she said!

Oh well….until next time!
-- Ralph Arata

Birth of the Octagonal Badge

MG stands for Morris Garages, which was the Oxford distributor for Morris cars; co-incidentally, it was also owned by William Morris, later Lord Nuffield. When Cecil Kimber became its general manager in 1922, the firm started modifying standard Morris Cowleys, lowering the chassis and fitting more sporting bodywork.

By 1924, Morris Garages was advertising the "MG Special four-seater Sports", and had incorporated the famous octagonal badge into the copy. Old Number One was the first MG sports car, but it was the 48th body built for Morris Garages by one firm, Carbodies, since 1924.

Morris Garages outgrew its home three times before moving to Abingdon in 1929, by which time it had been renamed the MG Car Company. During the early 1930s, MG became synonymous with the term "sports car", and its road cars were promoted by successful racing forays. Then, for fiscal reasons, Morris sold his private companies, including MG, to Morris Motors in 1935.

Purists argue that MG was never the same again. There was less variety in the products, racing activities were limited, and placing the MG badge on BMC saloons such as the Morris Oxford and 1300 would have been anathema to Kimber. Realists would point out that even after Kimber's death in 1945, fine, affordable sports cars such as the TC, MGA, Midget and MGB continued to be built, and it was only British Leyland's appalling management that sullied a great name in the 1970s.

Car production was stopped at Abingdon in 1980. From 1982 to 1990, the MG name was applied to re-badged and tuned Maestros, Montegos and Metros, but MG enthusiasts were cheered by 1992's RV8 and have more to celebrate with the introduction of the mid-engined MGF, which draws heavily on the corporate parts bin. Back to the beginning, really.

Nice one, Cecil.

Pg 13 of 16 homebacktopnext

©2011 Chicagoland MG Club, All rights reserved.