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Eye Candy: An MG fit for a family

1956 MG Magnette, came with a full history, including photos of the original owners, an elderly couple in Blackpool, England.

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The car: 1956 MG Magnette

The owner: Colin McQuirk, St. Marys, Ont.

The story: A few years ago I was at a local car show with my 1957 Morris Minor. Being out in the country the show consisted mainly of American cars and trucks. However, there was a beautiful Rolls Royce there, so I wandered over to chat with the owner. Within about ten minutes I had practically bought an MG which he had photos of. And which he needed to sell to make room for his newly-acquired Rolls.

After actually seeing and driving it, I bought it. It came with a full history, including photos of the original owners, an elderly couple in Blackpool, England. It was passed down in the family, one of whom brought it to Canada and eventually sold it in Kitchener to the fellow I bought it from.

It has a good solid body (unibody) with only 60,000 miles on it — approximately 100,000 kilometres. I have, however, put in a new wiring harness (whew!!) and added flashing turn signals to the standard trafficator — illuminated arms which pop out the side when turning — and disc brakes in the interest of safety.

The car drives smoothly and quietly with its 4 cylinder, 1.5 litre engine and four speed manual gearbox. The interior still has the original leather seats and walnut dash along with right hand drive.

The first car I bought in 1954, when I was sixteen, was a R.H.D. 1935 Armstrong Siddeley and since then I’ve had five more R.H.D.’s. So I am quite used to it. I have entered the MG in several car shows where most people are surprised to see an MG other than the two-seater sports car.

The Magnette was designed by Gerald Palmer who drew inspiration from Italian designer Pinin Farina. He wanted a “Sports Saloon” for the family man who might have had to give up his two-seater. The MG now shares garage space with its not so distant cousins — a 1957 Morris Minor, a 1976 Mini, and a 1959 Austin Healey “Bug Eye” Sprite.

I’m pretty sure that when I put the light out and close the garage door, the MG lords it over the other three “lesser” relatives.

Show us your candy: Got a cool custom or vintage car? Send us a picture of you and your family with your beauty, and tell us your story. And we like photos — the more the better — of the interior, trim, wheels, emblems, what you admire. Email wheels@thestar.ca and be sure to use “Eye Candy” in the subject line.

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Show us your candy: Got a cool custom or vintage car? Send us a picture of you and your family with your beauty, and tell us your story. And we like photos — the more the better — of the interior, trim, wheels, emblems, what you admire. Email wheels@thestar.ca and be sure to use “Eye Candy” in the subject line.

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