Saturday, November 27, 2010

Across the Border: Potts Point: Hoon-Cars: 1948 MG

This classy red racer was today parked on Macleay Street, Potts Point, just next to the Fitzroy Gardens, where the Saturday markets were being held. I don't often see cars of this vintage around the area, but it was a fine day so the owner had brought it out for a spin. It reminds me of the cars that Toad of Toad Hall (from Wind in the Willows) used to gad about in and I can just imagine him taking the wheel and then crashing the car in to a tree.

The car is a 1948 MG TC and attached to the side was a little note so that passers-by could learn about the four-wheeler's fine pedigree and the kind of work involved in maintaining such a vehicle:

The note reads:
1948 MG TC
Registration Number VPV 240.
Purchased new by a Mr P.R Williams of 268 Oxford Street, Woollahra in 1948 (original metal sales plate still attached to battery box).
The car was then purchased by John and Barbara Dixon, of Mosman, date unknown.
In 1966 Mr Dixon then sold the car to Mr Cooke of North Sydney for approximately 150 Pounds.
1968: The car was taken off the road and all wood was replaced with hand-crafted, lead-primed Tasmanian Coachwood and all mechanicals that needed it replaced or rebuilt.
1972: Again taken off the road and stored on blocks.
1980: Re-sprayed in original colour.
1990: All leather replaced.
1998: Car sent to Albert Johnston to finish rebuilding and restoration. Motor rebuilt/balanced, new suspension, better quality steel crankshaft, new brakes, Datson steering box, new carburettors, both 16- and 19-inch wheels rebuilt, new stainless steel exhaust, new waterproof cloth hood and new side curtains and canvas tonneau-cover.
2000: Car registered and travelled 3000 miles, until . . . 
2005: After owning it for 40 years, Mr Cooke then sold the car to its present custodian (Car lives happily ever after).

I was extremely lucky to be allowed to sit behind the wheel of the car (I think it was because I once gave the owner's dog, Sunny, some of my breakfast bacon):

And then, even better, the owner took me for a drive around the block, and with the wind in my hair and Sunny on my lap, we cruised along Elizabeth Bay Road. Ah, happy days in Darlinghurst.

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