Scot and Julie Watkins

Octagon Newsletter … February 2002

By Wayne Watkins

Victoria MG Club members' MGs and other British cars - there are some we haven't seen or known about. This month we look at some of the cars in the Watkins families.

Scott and Julie Watkins bought their 1976 MG Midget 10 years ago in Victoria. It was a local car and had been looked after reasonably well. It also had a factory hardtop. Scott made the deal with the local car dealer, subject, of course, to a pre-purchase inspection by Mike (The Wizard) Owen at Searles. Scott took Mike's list and associated costs back to the dealer and encouraged the use of a sharper pencil. The deal was finalized and the Damask red Midget was on the way home. The first minor expense was a membership in the Victoria MG Club - of course. That led to many club events over the years, including a trip to the Portland All British Field Meet in 1992.

On that trip Scott and Julie continued on to Lake Tahoe with other club members making it a wonderful introduction to Victoria MG Club tours. Scott installed an electronic ignition and has made other improvements including putting the suspension back to the original pre-1975 ride height. Many hours of polishing and cleaning, as well as painting the Rostyle wheels, have been recognized with awards from our own Anniversary Meets and the Vancouver Van Dusen Gardens ABFM. Scott is a participant at club slaloms at Camosun  and Western Speedway and regularly beats Dad! Hmmm, Scott just had a thought - in another 10 years Erica will be sixteen! - Jack, you had better get a membership card ready! (I look forward to the day when Erica wheels the Midget around Western Speedway and beats her dad!)

Turn back the clock a bit - to 1959. Wayne's first car was a 1949 Austin A40 - just like the one in the Times Colonist photo recently depicting a youthful President Al. Then there  was a 1952 Austin A70 with the same block as a Healey. Wayne and Lou's first British car, together, was a 1965 Austin Healey Sprite - British Racing Green. Lou reminds Wayne that she was the one who paid for it. The Sprite went to Montreal and back for Expo 1967. The driving light was so cool - it was an aircraft landing light which is very likely illegal now.

The next British car was a 1959 Morgan 4/4 with the 1,600 c.c. Ford (Cortina) engine, which was purchased in Kamloops from Nick Tanner. Thirty some years later both Nick and Wayne lament over a beer as to the value of the old Moggy if it was still around. Then another Sprite - this one a 1958 Bugeye serial number 610 - the 109th Sprite built. It was time to move on so the Sprite was for sale. Alas, there were no local buyers to speak of and the Sprite was sold to a local wheeler-dealer and shipped to Germany.

The one that produced the most tears when sold, due to lack of garage space and not enough dollars to fully restore, was the 1949 MG 'Y' tourer, sort of a sister car to Sue Fraser's 'Y' saloon. The good news is that it was purchased by fellow club member and old Kamloops Interior Sports Car Club member, Ken Finnigan. ("old" refers to the club, not to Ken!) The current and permanent keep forever ride is the 1969 BRG MGB which has been painted and received a new set of shiny wheels along with much TLC.

The 1976 Midget and the 1969 'B' have permanent parking status in the Watkins' families motor-house. Regardless of past indiscretions neither one is for sale.

1976 Midget

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