“MG Is Related to Some of the Best Memories of My Life”
Santiago Bancalari shows his MG B from 1968 so proudly, that you may think this car has been his partner for his entire life. But this “relationship” began just six years ago, when one day we found this model online and decided to bring it all the way from Australia to Chile to start an inspirational project, one that has made him to relive beautiful moments of his past.
It was in the 70`s when Santiago decided to buy his first brand new car. During that period, Morris Garages had a manufacturer center in Arica, in the north of Chile, producing the MG 1300, a piece of jewelry for the MG car collectors nowadays because it is the only model made of fiberglass in more than 90 years of history. He remembers and treasures its sporty and classic design, but mostly the meaning of this car in his life.
“I enjoyed my first years of marriage and the birth of my children in my MG 1300”, he says. Not only that, because this MG made him achieve the biggest dream of everyone’s life: his own house. “Back in those days, Chile was living a complicated period in its political history due to the military dictatorship. However, in that period it was possible to exchange a car for a house and that’s what I did”. Although it was difficult for him to say goodbye to his car, it was a difficult time and he had to think in his family.
Today, having the MG B from 1968 is almost a way to go back in the past and enjoy a good MG riding. He had to spend a year fixing the car because the driving wheel was on the right and in Chile the driving seat is in the left. Other minor issues had to be solved, as painting and fabric, but in his own words “this model aged perfectly and it was impeccable. That says a lot about the quality of the brand”.
One of biggest surprises for him was the fact to realize that not only people of his age feels attracted to the classic style of his MG B. “People in their mid-twenties approach to me and congratulates me because of my car”, Santiago says with a smile in his face.
Regarding MG’s present, he is clear: even though the classic and sporty old feeling is not explicit now, for him MG is living a new era and that’s excellent. “MG is today a modern brand, more equipped and smart competing in another league. I’m happy they are still there”, he emphasizes.
“I Have an Emotional Bond for Life with MG”
When he was a child, his father owned a MG 1300, the model manufactured in Chile in the 70’s and that nowadays is a truly jewel for the MG collectors because is the only model whose body was made of fiberglass.
But besides a personal preference among his father’s cars, Claudio has more reasons to be personally attached to the brand. When he was four years old and was baptized, his family went to the church in an MG. He keeps a photo in which he appears alongside his parents and godparents. “We lived in Concepcion, a city in the south of Chile, and I clearly remember that day. Unfortunately, my mother and godmother passed away, but I treasure the good moments with them, the disco music they used to listen in the car and the happy trips we had during my childhood. I definitively have an emotional bond for life with MG”, Claudio says.
That inspiration moved him to become a MG lover for life and today he own two M3 1300 from 1972, and became an advisor for those who wants to repair old MG models. “I created a Facebook group called ado16.info Chile Austin MG 1300 that today has 320 members, all of them passionate by the brand”, Claudio explains. In that Facebook group member exchange experiences and recommend to others good tips to find spare parts and original pieces for
their cars. This gave Claudio the honor to be named ad the Chilean representative for the international group, ado16.info.
Claudio’s passion doesn’t stop there. He wants his son to embrace the MG heritage, so he joins him in each remodeling step. Also, they enjoy driving together through the city. This experience will be an intimate father and son bond.
Considering his attachment with MG, especially with the classics, his opinion of MG present is important. “I believe MG is a solid brand that became global. I think the past and the present can live together because all of its models came with the brand DNA”, he says.
Passion, Fervidity and Stubbornness
MG Spirit and MG Life
Staying under corridor overnight, sightseeing cold cloud and enjoying beautiful moon and stars, it may be someone’s most poetic depict on life after retirement, however, there is another way of life, such as to drive a sixty years old car when you were sixty, just step on the accelerator and enjoy the acceleration, the young state of mind never fades out; Regardless of time and persistent in favorite, they just live their own stubborn lives.
After two-year’s constant planning, this journey has now become a reality. The schedule is ready for hotel reservation, 8 vehicles have been installed in 24-feet container on the way.
The journey starts from Bangkok, through Cambodia, Laos and China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and then to the Silk Road before passing through north Iran and Turkey. From Turkey, we will fly to Europe, and then to Abingdon - the home of MG.
This is not the temporary passion. After first successful voyage of discovery from North Africa to South America in 2012, Australian MGCC owner has again finished his trip to Latin America in 2015 with his route from Bolivar of Columbia to Stone Forest in Chile.
After finishing South America Trip in 2015, one of members John said to his team leader Michael: “Uno Mas?” And Michael responded: “All right! We just do something different”.
Then comes the theme of “the Silk Road”. After two-year’s planning, 15 Australian MGCC members drove 8 MGB and MGB GT vehicles from Bangkok, through Cambodia and Laos, China, North Iran and Turkey and to Europe and finally Britain which is the homeland of MG. Shanghai has become the witness in revisiting the Silk Road.
Silver-hair drivers drove their own classic British sports car roared past modern streets of Shanghai On May 3, constituting a picture with spatial-time parallelism. At this point, neither driver nor car care about the time flow, they are just starting by warm-blooded car with a young heart.
MG, Not Just as a Car
Story of Michael - Dream, Love and Family
“I own 9 MGs in total with 1948 MG TC as the oldest one, which is 20 years’ elder than the one I am driving now.” The team leader Michael yearningly told us the stories with his MGs while skillfully driving his car, “I dreamed to drive my MG from Tierra Del Fuego to Alaska as early as 1974 and finally realized it with my wife in 2015. You know, my wife is also a fan of MG.”
“All my family members are driving MG cars, my wife drives MG F, my son drives MG TF and my grandson will drive MG as well.”
In his heart, MG is not only a car for driving, but also a companion for going forward and discovery and even the symbol of his family.
Story of Tony - Lonely Planet Founded, so I bought a cool car
As the low-key member, Tony Wheeler is the founder of Lonely Planet as one of the most popular travel guides worldwide.
“In 1973, I wrote my first book Across Asia on the Cheap with Moreen in my kitchen. At this yearning year, I bought my MGB GT, at that time, few cars were equipped with air conditioner.”
“Travel always keeps me full of passions, which constantly reminds me of my persistent passions and my own big world”. The decision for departure is always the most difficult part. And the trip is only the need to be focused on.
Story of John - I understand him just like I am familiar with myself
“Hey, hand me the wrench, you know, I am acquainted with every part of my car.” In the after-sales center, John took over the wrench from maintenance personnel, and started to check the brake, “The brake discs are worn partially, please give me a vernier caliper and I have to confirm my maintenance solution.”
Engine system, braking system, carburetor, etc. In his view, this MGB with an over 50-year history is just like his child. He is quite familiar with every detail, “This is my old buddy, I certainly do know his temper.” How much time and emotion accumulated on which such a remark is based.
In their heart, the significance of MG is far beyond the vehicle itself, it is not only to represent family’s companion and friend’s support, but also to record love continuation, career development, children growth, friendship maintenance, dream realization and other important moments in their lives. MG bears the wonderful memories, fervent emotions as well as eternally young and warm hearts.
Maybe, this is the charm of MG Brand.
Me and My MG
My love for MGs began in 1971 when I first met the man who was later to become my husband and best friend, Richard. He had an MG Midget at the time which was of course, not a classic car in those days but a highly fanciable modern sports car. I swear to this day, he thought it was him I fancied. It took three dates before I was allowed a ride in it but it was worth the wait.
After many years and two sons, we realised, as many couples do, that we could now get back to what has become our passion, driving MGs again.
We have had quite a few cars and, at the moment, we have a 1964 MGB; a 2003 MGTF; a 2004 MG ZR; and we had an MG ZS which was OK but I didn’t like the “man-colour” X-Power grey.
I now had to start thinking about what it was I wanted from my new car: 4 or 5 -doors obviously as most MG friends are now not able to climb into the back of a 3-door model; Comfortable seats as this was going to be our distance-travelling car; Good protection from the Airbags having had a bad car crash in an MGA without any bags, obviously; Great steering and braking to avoid a repeat of above accident.
Lots of gadgets as both our sons delight in telling me what all the buttons on their cars do. I would also have liked a sun-roof as I’m used to open top MGs and love to feel the wind in my hair. The MG6 GT seemed to answer all the criteria above except the sun-roof.
We were really surprised about three weeks later to hear that John had our white MG6 GT in his showroom. It was arranged we’d drive up there to collect it from his showroom. I knew it was his first hand-over sale, but I didn’t know it was the first hand-over of an MG6 GT anywhere. We arrived in his showroom to be greeted by flashes from a photographer from the local paper and the Press were on the phone waiting to talk to us. It was overwhelming. This was to be the first of many photo-sessions as Kimber House wanted a memento of the first MG6 going to a couple from Abingdon, the spiritual home of MGs. The Abingdon press then got involved and Daisy, my lovely white MG6 was photographed again.
I don’t believe I could have had a more personal service from any other company. Thanks to you all for a great car. I love her.
Our MG Love Affair
Our names are Nigel and Jo May. My, dare I say it, ‘love affair’ with MGs started in my teen years during the late 70s/early 80s at senior school. One of the teachers had a Harvest Gold chrome bumper MGB GT and the sound of its engine made me look at it going past every time. As a schoolboy I decided that one day I wanted to own one.
Then one day early in 1988 I saw an MG Maestro advertised in a garage a few miles from home, so I went to look at it. It was a 1985 2.0 EFI in bright red and it had only covered 17K miles. After a test drive I made up my mind to buy it Jo and I married in 2001 and in 2002 we decided that we had no need for two cars as we commuted to work together, so we part exchanged our owned cars for a brand new, built to our specification ZS180 in XPower Grey, complete with electric sunroof and green inserts in the dash and doors. Then early in 2005 with 40K miles on the clock we decided it was time to change the ZS, and as we no longer transported anyone around a TF was at last a possibility.
A couple of months later we went on holiday in the TF to Norway and whilst admiring the MGBs on the same holiday I said to Jo, “I’d love a B,” and Jo kindly said, “Well buy yourself one”. So once again we were a two car family. In early 2008 I spotted an ad in the local paper for a ZS180 which sounded like our old one. So on to the internet and yes it was our old ZS. There was no harm going to have a look at it was there? It had only covered 17K miles whilst we had covered 40K in the TF. It felt just the same as when we had sold it and yes, we came away having bought it back! I wonder how many people have done a similar thing?
In April 2009 we attended the Royal Windsor MG Heritage Festival when the TF 85th was revealed. We both came away thinking how nice it looked, we selling our TF to fellow F Register members. In mid September we took delivery of our Intense Cassis TF 85th and we’ve been really pleased with it. Browsing cars for sale on eBay as you do I started thinking what if we have a good summer? Will I want to use the TF 85th every day and start adding almost 300 miles a week to the odometer? A low mileage, 2000 British Racing Green MGF VVC was spotted not too far away, so off we went to take a look. It was a little rough around the edges but drove well and so MG number four joined the fleet. The F became my little project. It’s a great car to drive and you can’t beat the commute home with the roof down on a sunny day.
I’ve always had a hankering to own a V8 and over a period of time had been showing Jo various ZT260s and the odd BGT V8 which happened to appear on eBay. The ZT260 is a great effortless motorway cruiser and the growl of the XPower exhausts is simply intoxicating. It was sad leaving the ZS180 behind, but it had served us well. Friends have joked that we’ll buy it for a third time in a couple of years if we see it advertised again.
Towards the end of 2012, Jo started hinting that she wanted her own car, so that she could pop to the shops if needed. So we started browsing cars for sale on the internet. Whatever we bought it had to be an MG. To cut a long story short, when a 1986 MG Metro was advertised for the third time we knew it was fate and that it was intended to join the collection. So in early December MG number five joined the collection. Is that it for the collection? Well I would love an MGA, but unfortunately haven’t the space or the money.
An Impulsive MG Journey to the UK
I’m Tang Shiliang, General Manager of MGCC China. MGCC China is a club established in April 2011, which has gathered over 800 car owners with passion for MG brand culture from across China. However, even myself was not a MG car owner in the very beginning.
Once I passed through 13 countries to the Silverstone Circuit of the UK in 66 days by driving a Chinese-made MG6 from Shanghai. I also ran cross the Pacific Ocean by driving a MG GS to the North Pole from Vancouver. In my dictionary, there is a saying that action is much more better than imagination. I chose to take action on my idea.
I have experienced different things in only three years since met MG. In July 2013, I heard a news that in order to celebrate the 90th anniversary of MG, MGCC planned to recruit MG car owner to participate “Drive to the UK” activity which cooperate with Idriver Media .
As for an enthusiast of self-driving travel, I’m very looking forward to this activity. I was not a MG owner at that time, so I replaced my car with MG6 immediately. The replacing qualified my enrolling for the activity. In April 2014, I felt excited and noble to start my journey to a pilgrimage site-Abington together with several other MG car owners from Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.
Trip to the UK with MG
I was a little anxious and worried about encountering car trouble on the way at the beginning of the travel. However, we had four MG cars in all and only one MG3 SW suffered damage of hub in Turkey. After driving for over 18,000 km, we finally arrived at the dreamed Silverstone Circuit. Now in the retrospect, it’s still exciting .
Our ultimate purpose of the journey to the Silverstone Circuit is to join the “MG LIVE”. On the day, the Silverstone Circuit would be crowded by MG fans and their cars from across the world. Some big fans would even set up tents outside the venues to participate in the whole activity. As the first MG car owners who drive all the way from China to the Silverstone Circuit with self-owned MG cars, we were given warm welcome from the organizer.
Gain MG GS
At the Silverstone Circuit, I also “gained” my second MG, that is MG GS with which I drove to the North Pole later. At that time, I was attracted by a SUV concept car and learned that it would be launched on the 2015 Shanghai International Motor Show. So, in April 2015, I bought the MG GS displayed on the exhibition.
Feel MG LIVE!
I was admired by some foreign car owners when exchanging my own experience with MG in the last few years. Meanwhile, I also felt the sincere love to MG brand from the local people . Quite a few foreign car owners shared their stories with vistors enthusiastically, and exchanged their contact and car information with congenial peers.
Many British people are proud of having a MG car. One can often see such a scene in the UK or other cities in Europe that the grandfather is smoking a cigar leisurely in his MG bubble car and the parent is dealing with a MG roadster while the child is busy playing with a MG car model. Their recognition to MG brand is heritable. This may be the charm of MG brand: enthusiasm, classics and heritage.