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Last weekend, my car was sitting in the driveway for a few hours, not a common occurrence. The reason she was out was because I was spiffing her up: Sunday was going to be a big day for her and for me. We were going to a car show for the first time ever!

I had found out about the AZ MG Club because I couldn’t get the car started after it had sat in the garage through its first Arizona hot summer. Since I have owned her, I have always had a nearby mechanic friend to do whatever might be needed, which was never much. Now I didn’t, so I went online and found the Club. I emailed, and got a phone call almost immediately. Soon, George and his wife showed up, charged the battery (duh!) and in no time that baby was happily purring again.

Later, after I got to know more of the club’s members, I was telling someone that I feel as if it is time to sell her, because neither Spouse Roger nor I are mechanics, and most garages don’t want to work on MGs. My “local” mechanics in Minnesota did the oil changes and usual checks, which has been all she has needed for her 37 years; here, I didn’t have even that. But one of the members responded, “Jan, we’ll keep your car running for you.”

So, last spring, when it needed radiator repair, George called and said he was working on a total redo of someone else’s 1980 MGB. That one had a radiator that also needed repair. So, to make it easy for me, he planned to remove the other one, get the repairs finished, and then he would call me to bring her over to his house. He would remove my radiator and immediately install the other one, so it would be ready in a couple of hours. He did just that.

The Club planned a car show for this year, which they named the “Inaugural British Wheels on the Green.” I was still in Minnesota when I got a call from George asking if I was going to enter my car in the show. I said that I hadn’t planned on it, because I didn’t think it was anything special. I was remembering Uncle Jack’s experiences with car shows, and how perfect the entered vehicles are, and how serious the owners are about the cars. But George convinced me that it should be in the show, so I registered.

The show was held, true to its title, on the green, a shallow bowl that allowed cars to be parked around the circle facing into the bowl. Other cars were parked down in the center. I think I had one of the best spots at the show because it was in the shade all day, hard to find in Arizona.

I learned a lot. People were amazed that mine was one owner, and one driver, and only a little over 36,000 miles for all these years. I explained that, while I did use her for my work car in the summers and also took a few long trips, she was always parked for winters and never went out in the rain.

There were a couple of exceptions to the one-driver. At one time I had two MGs, a Midget and this B. Both were in the same parades once or twice a year so, of course, someone else had to drive the second one. Another exception was that whenever I took it in to the garage for an oil change and checkup, the mechanics always seemed to think it was necessary for them to take it for a test drive when they were finished.

I met a lot of great people, and heard a lot of car stories. I found out that restored cars can vary widely in the admiration they get from other car buffs. For instance, one attendee pointed out a car just down the row. “That color’s Redone Red,” he said. Of course I wondered why he called it that, and he replied that the color was not original to that car and that year, so it makes it very obvious that the car was not original. I heard the same disdain for cars that were not driven to the show under their own power that Uncle Jack had: he called them “Trailer Queens.”

It was a fun day and I was very happy that I went. The young man who was in the spot next to me had spent months completely restoring his car. I was happy for him when, at the end of the day, he won second place in our category. Then I was completely floored — and didn’t believe what I was hearing — my baby won first place! With over 90 cars in the show, I had not even thought about winning anything.

When I told a friend in Thailand, via email, what had happened, he wrote back that my car was now in the award-winning category, and worth five times as much as before.

Spouse Roger laughingly said I won because I “schmoozed” with almost everyone who walked by. But whatever. I was elated, and I think Uncle Jack would have been tickled too.