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  Chicagoland MG Club:Club Info
by Steven M. Selan

I was commuting home on the Metra train the other day, reading a copy of the Toronto MG Club newsletter. As your club secretary, I receive and read club newsletters from throughout North America. As I perused the articles, I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder. Turning around I saw a middle-aged businessman in a gray pinstriped suit. He inquired, "I see you're reading a magazine about MGs; do you have one?"

"Why, yes," I answered," not only do I have a '68 MGB, but I'm also the secretary of the local MG Club. Why do you ask?"

He then went on to reveal intimate details of his lost youth, commuting to his first job between Austin, Texas and some small town in eastern Arizona in his very first new car--a red '64 MGB. He reminisced about driving through the desert at night, averaging over 100 MPH on his long commutes. You could see in his eyes that he loved that car! He went on to relate the sad day after seven years and 150 thousand miles when she finally gave up the ghost--no rust but the drivetrain was shot. He replaced his "B" with a Mustang and was sorry the day he drove the "pony car" home. It certainly was no MG, and believe it or not, it was less reliable! The years had been good to my storyteller. He was now the Vice President of a major commercial real estate firm. His latest toy was a restored 1963 Jaguar XKE. He really enjoys that machine, but in confidence shared that he still preferred, still loved, still dreamt about those cool desert nights driving flat out in his first love-- a red '64 MGB.

What I ask, possesses a total stranger to bare his soul to another at the mere sight of a picture of an MG? Had this been the only occasion in which this had occurred, I would have chalked it up to chance. However, it had happened to me once before in a Chinese restaurant in the Loop. While scouring a copy of the Moss catalogue, picking out desperately needed parts, I was regaled by a heartfelt discourse on MGs loved and lost--again by a total stranger who glanced over my shoulder.

So what are we to learn from my experiences? No matter how disgusted we may become when the gods of Lucas strike us with that intermittent short in the starter, 20 years from now we will fondly remember our cars as the best damned vehicles we ever owned and will lament the day we sold them. For like malaria, once bitten by the bug, it will remain in your blood forever, and on those cool summer nights when the moon is full as the MG fever rises, only a flat out drive on that last open road will work as a cure. Then like the Ancient Mariner of old, you will be compelled to tell your MG story over and over to whoever will listen.

Safety Fast,
Steve Selan

©1998 Chicagoland MG Club, All rights reserved.