mark T

do you have any sense of self preservation?

Lettuce begin: My first real sports car; purchased for the princely sum of $500 when I was barely 16 years old. My younger sister loaned me $300 at a usurious interest rate. The car came complete with 13 layers of paint and liberal bondo. Oh, and the "boot" was filled with grass clippings.

I loved it naturally. It was light, nimble, pretty good on gas and got me to and from my gas station job most of the time. Now, as it happened, I was the product of a hippie mother, and lived in rural Oregon where most people drove vans, trucks or anything that needed mud flaps.

My mother sort of noticed the MG after a while. I think she figured that it was safer than the dirt bike that I had prior to the MG.

After reading much and frequently about heel and toe shifting, oversteer, understeer and anything else I could gleen from R&T, I started trying to figure it all out. My high school girlfriend was a sport. Nevertheless on one exciting romp through the Oregon countryside, we were happily motoring in the classic style when we learned all about oversteer and late braking. You see, my MGA was set up in an un-orthodox manner. At the front, I was running Montgomery Wards finest bias ply tires and at the back I had mis-matched no-name radials with no tread: Perhaps re-caps? The problem was that at the end of a long sweeping off ramp with a decreasing radius, the little A went into a lurid slide. My girlfriend seemed alarmed that the "lightly sprung" aluminum door became un-latched as the car came to rest facing on coming traffic. She was not impressed with my style of motoring, and rightly so, she remarked that it was clear that her safety was not a consideration, but more importantly that I obviously had no sense of self preservation.

I kept that car through college, many future girlfriends and friends, marriage, graduate school overseas, two houses and many, many miles of travel up and down the west coast. I sold it for two reasons: After owning it for so long it made me feel old, and oh, by the way I wanted to buy a vintage Ferrari.

I'm still in touch with the current owner.

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