Monday, March 5, 2012

Summer Adventures ...

Summer Adventures With Her 1964 MGB
by Bill Sherk

In every Thursday issue of the Hamilton Spectator 
                              is a section “WHEELS”... all about vehicles. 

                     Bill Sherk, “The Old Car Detective” publishes a weekly article
                     in this whom  last autumn I responded.  He writes:

 An email arrived recently from Merle Baird-Kerr of Burlington, Ontario.

In 1962, I was married in a stately Anglican Church in downtown Hamilton. 
My husband worked at Stelco as a research chemist and I was teaching at 

Linden Park Elementary School on “the Mountain”.  Our apartment on 
Upper Gage Avenue had no bus service to the school area (located in a 
new subdivision) and after our son was born in November 1964, I returned 
to teaching and needed a car.

My husband recommended a Vauxhall but they were boxy-looking and with 

no visual appeal.  I wanted something sportier.  Walking into a downtown dealership, I fell in love with MGB's.  My husband thought they were unsafe, being a convertible;  to satisfy his concerns, I ordered one with a hardtop painted the same colour as the car.  I also had a chrome luggage rack installed on the trunk.

Over the next several months, Merle discovered her new  MGB was not
without problems. Every four to six weeks, she had to return to the dealer
to have her twin carbs “re-tuned”. Also, in damp or rainy weather, the car
would stall or not even start.  But these drawbacks were nothing compared
to the pleasure the car provided. 

Imagine the delight!  A sleek marine blue sports car with wire wheels, luggage rack, blue leather seats and 4-speed transmission.  Summers were wonderful adventures with MGB travel, and my husband, reluctantly and later happily challenged car rallies with me.  Our son also loved the car.  Several times we visited family friends in Sault Ste. Marie via the Manitoulin Island ferry route.

After a couple years, I abandoned the hardtop for the fresh open-air motoring 

as a convertible!  On weekends, I hand-washed  the car and polished the wire wheels, luggage rack and chrome accessories.  When needed, I waxed the body 
to a brilliant sheen.

With the birth of their daughter, the family  now lived on one income and the MGB had to go.  A young executive bought it and  was totally thrilled with it.
And so, Merle's  MGB disappeared from her life but not from her thoughts.

I always had the yearning to own another one.  In the early 1990's, I saw a bright orange one for sale on a car lot.  To repaint it in marine blue would destroy its original colour. I walked away from this opportunity, realizing that I was content to retain the many fond memories of my 1964 MGB!

The MG nameplate stands for “Morris Garage,” where these cars were built in
England starting around 1925.  All MG's  are highly collectible today and still provide a special brand of happy motoring.

The above article was published on   January 19, 2012.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Bill displayed a photo of this 1964 MGB with my young son 
on the front fender. Thank You Greatly, Bill!

Bill Sherk is one of Canada's  leading authorities on old cars.  He has written three books on the subject.  Since 1991 he has been a feature writer for OLD AUTOS newspaper and is the recipient of an award from the Antique Automobile Club of America for his work as a Canadian automotive historian.  Sherk taught history to high school students for 31 years and is now happily retired  and tracking down old car stories from all across Canada.

To share  your story or comments,
or 25 John Street, P.O. Box 255, Leamington, Ontario  N8H 3W2.

My “Pearl of Wisdom”, I dedicate to you, Bill:

A Teacher affects eternity...
he can never tell
where his influence stops!

Merle Baird-Kerr . . .
All comments welcome...scroll down (may enter as “anonymous”)


  1. What a lovely entry today to your Blog... Enchanting Memories which also ties in your early life with your children and love. It will always be there in your memories and sometimes that is the best way to look at it.

    Memories are so special... look what they have brought you to... Us !

    1. Your constant readership, I greatly appreciate.
      Bill, I am confident will be thrilled to see this
      since I give him credit for the opportunity of
      publishing this in his Wheels of the Spec.
      Hopefully someone with a story to tell, will
      contact him....