As you may be aware, my husband won the prestigious 2013 Presidents Restoration Award for his 1971 MG Midget. You may have read the article and saw the project pictures published in a previous issue of Wheel Tracks. I have decided to share the untold story; what you do not know, the details that my husband does not share.
My husband has been tinkering with cars, for as long as I have known him. This was the first time I took an active part in one of his projects. I was drafted at the start of the reassembly phase. How hard could this be, only time would tell?
He quickly put me to work cleaning, scouring, painting and polishing parts. I quickly discovered that steel wool and bare finger tips were not a good combination. Note to self: wear gardening gloves when doing this type of work.
One afternoon, I am busy working in my home office, my husband’s out working in the garage. I hear something that sounds like, possible domestic abuse? Yelling, cursing, more yelling, more cursing; I go outside to investigate when it hits me. It’s not my neighbors, but my husband and his British lady having a disagreement. I went into the garage and told him to simmer it down; someone just might call the police. There is no doubt that this car will be the death of my husband!
Our next task was testing the back-up light switch. It was not working and we did not have a wiring diagram. After hours of unproductive painful tinkering, I suggest using the internet to see if anyone else has had this problem. He looks skeptical, I get a couple of key words out of him, and I am off. Twenty minutes later, I am back with a list of potential faulty parts and directions. The internet is our new best friend! He sends me off frequently to do his research: replacing the head light switch, downloading a wiring diagram, how to install the window door weather strip clips, and installation of the side door glass windows. It was all there, imagine that!
There were moments when I was not sure that the three of us would make it, but we did and we are all a little better off for it.
I have a new found appreciation for the car restoration process; My husband thinks me clever and worthy of a wrench; and the MG Midget is enjoying her new face lift.
We look forward to seeing you on the open road, hopefully not attached to a tow strap. I have more stories, please ask and I will be happy to share.
Signing off from the Softer Side, Christine Stone