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Red MG Diaries - Part 4

2006-09-27 09:17

Chris Emmanuel

Why does winter bring on such despondence and absence of mind? In my case, it's most probably light deprivation brought on by having to keep the hard top on my car for months on end.

In your case it may be that a bittersweet relationship was stretched to the limit, or it could simply be that you just don't like the cold! Whatever it is, it's now behind you.

Chorus of angels

Last week I did the hard top removal ceremony and eagerly edged the bonnet through my rising garage door! As the sun struck the red paintwork, the angels began to sing in chorus, doves scattered from rooftops and I, well I could finally feel the sun on my face again.

With spring now in full swing and a number of months into the great swap from modern mobile to drop top MG, I just can't help getting the feeling that I have been given a great gift. Years from now I will bore people with the stories of my youthful meandering. The places I saw and the people that stared when I drove my MG. Well I suppose I am doing that already! But as far as tales go, this one is certainly worth telling I think. So what is there to tell that I have not already?

So what's the maintenance bill tally? Well after a bit of back firing disturbed my smooth sailing, my miracle worker mechanic came and replaced the points in half an hour, charged me a mere R380 and that was that. So to recap. In total, in five months, I have spent: R1 on a new fuse (shock, horror!), R80 on an electrical check up and R380 on a service and points replacement.

Nothing to do with luck

Oh and I forget about the flat I had where they had to replace the tube for R30. Ouch! It seems almost bizarre but not only is the car 37 years old but it seems the amount they charge to fix it is also stuck firmly in the 'In my day' dad style era! What a pleasure.

Although most men will never admit it, I have been known to watch an episode of Oprah, now and then, of course only when forced to by some female instigator! The queen of talk said, in one of the rare episodes I happened upon, "I do not believe in luck. I did not get to where I am due to luck!" (or something to that effect). Well I agree with those sentiments, luck is for the fool hearted fatalist that believes that our journey on this rock is pre-determined in a bloody big book somewhere.

If we create our own space and destiny by positive thought and determination then luck has nothing to do with my awesome experience in my old car thus far. Others may look on and say I have been lucky and to them I say this, had I gone out and bought a car that was not particularly common on the roads we drive, was made in a country that drives on the wrong side of the road and is generally so rare that people think that you tried, and failed, to make a rally driving kit car in your garage, then your experience is most likely to be characterised by a severe lack of luck combined with a oafish level of intelligence.

In my case intelligence was combined with romantic desires. By no means rare, each day I see another MG driving the streets, usually with smiling occupants. Although I would not go so far as to characterise my car as common, poor thing, I would say that their prevalence suggests to the alert mind that, should the car break down, a donor part can't be that far off. And indeed logic prevails.

Here's to summer!

Summer is sure to be a great adventure. Again logic tells me that if you combine a sexy red convertible with a handsome (subject to interpretation!) occupant, add in a dash of sunshine and some summer I-tunes, well, lets just say that the next column may need parental guidance.

So with the sun block firmly wedged behind my seat, 'emergency' toothbrush in the boot and a spare cap in the cubbyhole, it's time to go forth and, well, do all the things our parents did but still never admit to! Here's to summer and to leaving the blues behind as well as any semblance of a hairstyle...


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