My Classic Car: Ralph’s 1971 MGB

My Classic Car: Ralph’s 1971 MGB

I owned two MGBs long ago — a spanking new ’78 and an old ’73 — but both were gone from me by the year 1985.

Ralph and Zelda

Ralph and Zelda

I owned two MGBs long ago — a spanking new ’78 and an old ’73 — but both were gone from me by the year 1985. I spent a quarter of a century bemoaning the absence of a British sports car in my possession, but life kept getting in the way of getting another one in the form of mortgages and kids and making ends meet.

Finally, in 2012, I retired and I bought my own retirement present, Emily, a beautiful, shiny black MGB I resolved to keep forever.

For a year Emily and I were happy as a twosome, but one afternoon a fellow sped out of a parking lot and t-boned us, totaling Emily.

I sold her for parts and chalked the experience up as something that was not meant to be.

I was heartbroken and sad.

Then, about two weeks later, my old mechanic called me up and told me to get on eBay and look at a car. You might want to bid on this car, he told me. I’ve checked it out via email and such. It’s a good buy.

The car was a 1971 MGB in Renton, Washington. I was in Nashville, Tennessee. I had never bought a car before I had not driven or touched or seen in person, but I threw caution to the wind and invested the insurance money I’d received from the demise of Emily. I put in a bid and waited to see what happened.

I won!

I had the car shipped from Washington (took a week) and then went and picked her up. She was green and pretty and ran like a top — ran better than all three of my previous MGBs combined. I’ve had her three years now and she is my sweetheart.

Her name is Zelda. We love each other.

Love is lovelier the fourth time around.

— Ralph Bland, Madison TN

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