- Written by webmin
I did a double take as I walked from the employee parking lot towards Hemmings HQ on the afternoon of May 28, as I thought that I saw a silver MG F drive by, but I knew that this was an impossibility – no MGs have been imported since Henry Ford II got the last U.S.-spec MGB in 1980. Imagine my surprise when I rounded the corner and found that silver MG was no mirage, and it had stopped in our Sunoco filling station!
The car is not an MG F, but its similar-appearing successor, a 2003 MG TF 135, driven by its enthusiastic owner, Roger Pratten.
Roger is a native of Northampton, England, and he’s brought his mid-engined TF over to the States for a seven-week driving tour, which he is detailing on his website, www.mygraffiti.co.uk. Photos and details of this trip are viewable on his blog, under the heading, Canada/USA.
After shipping the TF to the port in Baltimore, Maryland, he collected the car and traveled to New Jersey to participate in the Cecil Kimber Run, hosted by the Eastern NY MGA Club, the M.G. Drivers Club of North America, MG Car Club, Central Jersey Centre and the New Jersey MG T Register. He then visited our friend Peter Cosmides at Motorcar Garage. He traveled south to North Carolina and experienced the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive before making his way back north to Vermont.
Roger made Hemmings Motor News one of his many destinations, and would be spending the night in town so that he could meet up with a group of regional MG enthusiasts the following morning in our parking lot to exhibit his never-sold-in-the-U.S. roadster, to trade MG stories and to tour our Sibley Shop car collection. He tells us that eight MGs came here for the meet and greet.
After the overnight in Bennington, he was going to head out to Hershey, Pennsylvania, before visiting Toledo, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan, and crossing into Canada, where he’ll attend the Vintage Racing Festival at Mosport and visit family in Toronto. The MG TF 135 will be back on the ship for its ride home on June 30.
We asked Roger if he was having any issues with driving a right hand-drive car on U.S. roads, and he chuckled, explaining that he’d spent years driving oversized left hand-drive trucks on English roads, so he was quite familiar with the sensation of hugging the edge of the pavement. And he’d fitted a pair of sturdy roll hoops, just in case…
He walked us around the car and explained its many custom touches, including the two-tone leather interior, satin metal roll hoops, clear taillamps and touring decals.
When we pressed him for tales of the road, he told us that, although he’d been in the U.S. for less than a month, his car has been hit TWICE by inattentive parkers, the most recent incident being the previous morning. Being industrious, he quickly found a body shop that put the front bumper cover back in place, and he touched up the large chunks of paint that had chipped off with a can of silver paint. Proper repairs will have to wait until the MG is on home soil.
Roger was surprisingly good-natured about his multiple run-ins, certainly more so that we’d be in his shoes.
We were very pleased to welcome this MG ambassador to Hemmings HQ, and we’ll include a note about Roger’s visit in the upcoming September issue of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car, which ships to the printer later this month.
Enjoy the remainder of your travels, Roger, and watch out for those crazy American drivers. Safety Fast!