Doug and Eileen Ingram

Octagon Newsletter … June 2002

By Wayne Watkins

Victoria MG Club members’ MGs and other British cars - there are some we haven’t seen and some that bring back fond memories. This month we look at some of the cars of our Healey buff Doug Ingram.

When Doug was sixteen years old he bought his first British car - a 1964 Austin 850 Mini. It was Old English White and was a ton of fun. It took Doug and three of his friends, all hockey players, up island to a hockey tournament. Can you imagine a Mini stuffed full of four hockey players, four sets of gear and eight hockey sticks? They should have taken a picture and sent it to Austin to confirm the ads which stated how much luggage and how many people could fit into a Mini. Every car has its quirks and the Mini was no exception. Quite regularly Doug would have to put a wrench, screwdriver and hammer into play to unstick the starter. The other ritual was to take the helmet style battery terminal off every time he parked the car and to reattach it every time he wanted to start it - because of an elusive electrical draw.

Doug’s next car was a 1972 MG Midget - Blaze in colour. Doug then went to Vancouver and after a year or so he traded in the Midget on a Damask Red 1973 MGB at Fred Deeley’s on West 4th. The cost of the 'B' was $4,000.00. Oh, oh, now we have a few problems. The 'B' in 1973 appeared to have a few faults. With the air pump on the engine the performance suffered and Doug was not happy. He also observed that for $1,000 more he could have had a Triumph TR6. (No na-na-na-na-na’s from our president, please.) To this day Doug is more of a fan of the older 'B's - 1967 or older.

Time marches on with houses, mortgages and other obligations - so we fast forward to 1997 when Doug bought his Mark I Austin Healey Sprite. This Bugeye, or Frogeye, looks great in British Racing Green and was one of the members’ cars featured in the club calendar in 1999. It has had a recent total rebuild on the engine, gearbox, front suspension and the brakes. Everything has been redone including the gauges.

Well, Doug notes, everything except the wiper motor, but that can wait until the Fall. Doug and Eileen are looking forward to heading out to the Open Roads 2002 Austin Healey meet to be held in Lake Tahoe June 23rd - 28th .

Doug also has a 1963 Sprite which is designated as a future project. In the meantime Eileen is tooling around in her favourite car - a Jaguar XJ6. She had wanted one for years and one year ago she found one and a deal was made. Many will remember when Eileen arrived at the June 2001 club meeting and parked the XJ6 which she had only owned for a few hours right beside the hall. As expected, club members surrounded the Jag with lots of questions and lots of enthusiasm. Today the XJ6 receives ongoing refurbishing, but no improvement can take too long as it is her daily driver. Who knows what the future will bring but for now the Bugeye and the Jag are both a ton of fun.

1958 Sprite

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