was 14 when a neighbor decided to sell his 1957
MGA roadster. Parker had admired it for a long
time and the MGA was not going on this particular
corporate move. So, Parker, used his lawn mowing
savings to pay cash for his first car. He was
thrilled. He worked on it in the garage during
every spare moment trying to tune it up and fix
all the affordable parts.
He finally got
his license two years later and was so proud to
drive his own car. This was huge for Parker in
the self-esteem department. He joined the MG Club
of Chicago and was treated as a car owner, not
just a teenager. He raced in some of the rallies
with his buddies, who were very impressed. He
tried autocross and even ended up with a few
Owning a little
British car has so many advantages that I can
only advise any mother to let her son become a
car owner. I have several favorite stories. One
was when Parker had decided to enter his car in
the British Car Show in the early fall one year.
He had worked on it and worked on it in
preparation. Then, very early Sunday morning of
the show, I decided that he should not drive to
the show without a "chase car" just in
case something should go wrong on the way to the
show. There is no one on I-294 early on Sunday so
it was easy to spot the two beautifully restored
MG's as they came up behind us in the fast lane.
They pulled even with us and seemed to be
checking Parker's car over as the matched our
slow pace. Then, both drivers doffed their caps
to Parker as if to show that he had been accepted.
Parker returned the doff with his own British cap.
I cried in the chase car. What a wonderful
milestone for a young mechanic. Another great
moment was when Parker was returning home from an
academic competition at the high school. He
turned the corner of our street and the MG died.
He got out, went under the car, and was soon
upright again kicking the tires in disgust. He
had no other choice but to push. At that very
moment, on that very corner, the high school
girls' soccer team had just finished practicing
for the day. And, someone noticed that he was
pushing. So, they all dropped their gear and
decided to help push him two blocks home. What a
picture I had when he arrived home in the
driver's seat with the entire girls' soccer team
pushing and cheering.
Having an MG has
been a wonderful experience.