In about 1957 I became the owner of a barely driveable Morris Minor, vintage 1930-31. With considerable help from my dad, its chassis and engine were fairly thoroughly overhauled until it reached the point that it required some bodywork.
Whilst I was still puzzling over how I might construct a reasonable 2-seat arrangement I discovered an abandoned M-type MG lurking behind Clare College Memorial Court. On closer examination, I found that it had the same chassis as the Morris (I wasn't an MG expert then - not that I am now!). The owner was fortunately traced, and I purchased the wreck for the princely sum of £5, and with the aid of Dad's works van it was transported back to Sussex. A good many years after, I eventually found that it was one of the Jarvis-bodied M-types, but until then I was a bit puzzled as to why it didn't have the boat-tail.
The next step was to transfer the body to my restored chassis, creating a slightly unauthentic M-type. I never discovered a chassis number for the MG, but I was able to keep the original registration - MG1196.
It was not too long before it was ready for its first adventure - a trip from Sussex to Edinburgh in a day, with my sister passengering.
Over the next 5 years it provided daily transport between various bouts of needing things repaired or improved - oil in the clutch, a couple of failed big-end white metal bearings, some interesting electrical problems - over some 27000 miles in all weathers. Pictured right is the car in Hawick on a second Scottish trip.
The end of the story came in 1963 with getting both married and a modern car. The MG went for £15 to a friend's young brother-in-law who spent a good few years doing a further restoration including recreating a replica boat-tail fabric-covered body. In this form I was rather surprised to see it advertised in 1977 in the pages of Motor Sport for no less than £2850. In 2010 I managed to trace its current location - somewhere in Arkansas, no less. Apparently it’s in good order, but is not in regular use. Message to its present keeper - Don, time to see if it still works - send me a photo!
The net result of all this was that I got MG-ism in my blood. When the F appeared and I was nearing the point where I could manage to get one, it became inevitable that it would be a red one.