Car club members from Vancouver return to show off beautiful MG models in Osoyoos
There have been many sports cars built over the past 50 years with huge sticker prices and insanely powerful engines, but none compare to the old English Morris Garage (MG) models, says Colin Fitzgerald.
The Vancouver-based sports car enthusiast is the founder of the Vancouver Pre-1956 MG UnClub, which is made up of auto enthusiasts who own original models of the MG made before a drastic transformation back in 1956, said Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald and 18 other club members made the long trek from Vancouver to Osoyoos this past week and spent four days in town taking tours across the beautiful South Okanagan and showing off their beautiful cars.
“We’re not about rules and regulations and we don’t do car shows or any of that nonsense,” said Fitzgerald. “We’re all about driving and touring and being proud owners of what we all think is the greatest sports car ever created.”
This is the third year the car club has visited the South Okanagan and second-straight year in Osoyoos, said Fitzgerald.
They decided on Osoyoos because of the availability of hotel rooms and the terrific deal offered to them at the Watermark Beach Resort, where all of the club owners showed off their vehicles over several days last week.
“This is a beautiful part of the province and we thought it would be a perfect tour for our group,” he said.
There will be many who disagree, but to MG owners, the models built before 1956 were the best sports cars ever built as long as you weren’t looking for insane power, said Fitzgerald.
“The MG is the ultimate sports car,” he said. “It represents everything that a sports car is supposed to represent and more. It was the classic two-seater with a great look and design.
“The body design of all the cars before 1956 had never been seen before. It is a very attractive car. It had the right style, the right design, the right proportion and the wow factor. If you were into cars in 1953 and you wanted a sports car, you bought an MG.”
From its inception by Morris Garage in England in the 1920s until the 1955 model year, the biggest thing that separated this model from all others was the entire frame was built from wood, said Fitzgerald.
The 1956 model switched to a metal and steel frame and introduced an Austin engine instead of the original engine and the MG lost its lustre and reputation and that’s why every member of his club owns a vehicle made before 1956, he said.
The competition in North America had bigger and louder engines back in the early 1950s, but none could compare to the MG for looks, style or reputation, he said.
Almost every successful race car driver in the 1940s and early 1950s drove an MG model, he said.
Because the MG was built in Britain, the majority of club members and many owners he knows of who don’t belong to the club have some sort of British heritage, he said.
“Most of the club members are from England or know someone who is,” he said.
Club members are planning a long tour to southern California next June or July, but they do plan on returning to Osoyoos the following year, he said.
“This is a beautiful little town and we’re treated very well here, so I have no doubt we’ll be back,” he said.