• MG club

Car Clubs Fuel the Automotive Industry

One reflection of this passion is the number of car clubs that exist all over the world.

Jim Kenzie By: Jim Kenzie September 16, 2019
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I have always said that we buy cars with our hearts, not with our heads.

Oh, sure, we tell the market researchers that we buy them for reliability, economy, durability, safety — all those important but boring things.

But what really fuels our passion for cars is how they make us feel when we own them and drive them.

One reflection of this passion is the number of car clubs that exist all over the world. I’ve never heard of people getting together to celebrate their love of refrigerators.

I have personally attended events for fans of everything from Mustang, Camaro, Mazda Miata and Volkswagen, to Aston Martin, Porsche and Ferrari.

Some clubs even celebrate cars that are no longer in production.

MG club

One such is the MG Car Club.

MG, originally standing for “Morris Garage,” was a British manufacturer of mostly sporty cars that started in 1924.

The brand went through a succession of owners, ending up in the hands of a Chinese outfit that still makes a handful of cars annually, none of which are sold here.

The last model developed in England was the MGF, launched in 2005 and built until 2011. It was a proper modern transverse midengined sports cars, but with the company seemingly changing hands every six months, it never got the development it deserved.

Still, owning one won’t get you kicked out of the MG Car Club.

To many MG-ophiles, the last “true” MG was the MGB, introduced in 1963 and produced through 1980.

It was — well, “revolutionary” might be a tad grandiose, but it was one of the first cars to feature unitized construction (as opposed to body-on-frame), and also one of the first to employ the now-universal “crush zones” in the body structure, which would collapse in a controlled way to absorb the kinetic energy of a crash.

MG club

1980 was also the year Jon Rosenthall bought his first MGB. As often happens with iconic cars, it ended up changing his life.

To show the power of the press, he first fell in love with the car when he saw a photo of one in Road & Track magazine, and joined the MG club a couple of years later after seeing an ad for the club placed right here in Wheels!

You’re welcome, Jon …

As these things often go, he got involved in the club to the point of creating his own octagon-shaped museum in his home to display an amazing collection of MG-themed artifacts.

Jon eventually received a lifetime-achievement award from the Toronto-based Club and a special recognition award from the North American MGB Register in Chicago.

What brings car enthusiasts like Jon Rosenthall and millions more like him together is a love of their unique automobiles. What keeps them together is the camaraderie of enjoying their enthusiasm with like-minded friends.

MG club

If you love your car, chances are others love it too. Looking to share that enthusiasm? No matter what brand you favour, there’s bound to be a club. That’s what that InterWeb thing Al Gore invented is for.

It all reminds me of a phrase attributed to Ferdinand Porsche. I’m surely losing something in the translation, but it goes something like this:

“The last car on earth will be a sports car, because when we find better ways to move people and things around, we will still want to drive for the sheer pleasure it brings.”

I’m sure the Jon Rosenthalls of the world would agree.

Jim Kenzie is a Toronto-based writer and a freelance contributor for the Star.