All you (as a TC) may experience within 57 years
My South African papers officially confirm in two languages: Date of liability for first licensing or in my adapted new mother tongue: Datum van aanspreeklikheid vir eerste lisensiering 1948-01-01. In addition: light passenger mv (less than 12 persons), koepee (oop kap), coupe (open top) - better known as MG TC.
All this and much more I was told later. I will now try to relate it as precisely as possible. I must have been born in England somewhere in 1948. Records insist on that I have looked already rather old at the time of my birth. Faces to be easily mixed up with have already been produced long before the war. But at that time few things exist which were old and in good shape. There's some nasty gossip going round that at my birth I have been already a replica. Even so some people in the far away South Africa must have liked my historical look. Otherwise why should I have been forced to migrate.
Shortly after my birth if I may believe oral legends I was brought on a foggy and cold day in autumn to a dirty old English port. My wheels were put in loops and a huge crane pulled me up and I was placed in the belly of a ship. Fortunately enough I was not alone in this huge and sticky room. Besides numerous curious rats running past there were a number of fellow suffers which like me obviously were forced to start a long and stormy voyage. Details I only remember in that respect are that I have been awfully seasick the whole time. Lucky enough my stomach was empty and to vomit was a no go. But retching all the time - dreadful.
About the following years in Durban and its suburbs little is to tell. Horrible things - like accidents were not reported. Up to than it has been the nicest years of my life.
As mentioned before on my birth I have been looking old already. But now I got really old. This obviously has been noted by my owners as well as they loved me less and less and did not take care either. On one day they pushed me into a big barn, alone I were no longer be able to enter. Behind me the big barn doors were shut. Here I withdrew from life left alone from my alleged friends. Nobody came to visit me any longer.
How long I lived there - I have no clue. Only the pinching affecting the leather upholstery reminded me of friends I met during the long voyage coming from England in the earlier days. Nothing is too bad that is does not have something positive. This pinching clearly told me that it could be possible to put some life back into my body. I was not yet dead as doornail.
One day - some 8 to 10 years ago - the barn doors were opened and some people pulled me into the open air. Oh boy, that light was too strong for my eyes! But at the same time horror entered my thoughts. This is the end, now they will scrap you! But I should have known better. Someone who looks like an antique from day one will be forgiven. Instead of being brought to a place to be scraped I was put into pieces.
Nothing stayed untouched. Even the mice were chased from the leather upholstery. What a shame! I got used to them and over the years they really became friends. They were always so funny. The worst of what I can remember during that time has been the constant scraping of my skin respectively surface until I stood there completely naked. Afterwards everything was covered with a red brownish colour. Why, up to today I have no idea. I personally would have preferred silver. Later the red brownish colour was covered by so called old English racing green. Well I can live with it I thought. I got acquainted with it over the decades. Today I know better. Almost everybody looks like me - awfully boring.
There after it became as nice as in the early days in South Africa. Though I got older the people liked me again. I really enjoyed that time. Why all in a sudden I had to leave my second home and was brought on top of a trailer from Durban to Knysna (what a funny name for a little town) I still don't know. I was offloaded in a shop with huge windows where I met a number of old friends. Friends, whom I first had met on my voyage from England and which I indeed remembered very well. People were saying that this was only a stopover and that most probably we had again to do a voyage up north into the cold.
No time to get used to the new surrounding. The owner of the shop pulled me out into the open air once in a while to drive me to the golf course. Also the day when leaving the shop all in a sudden a long, blond and rather big man stood in front of me and asked the driver whether I was for sale. The accent alone! He did not even speak Africaans, though it did not sound that strange. It did meet him the same day in the afternoon on the lawn in front of one of the golf clubs in Knysa. Armed with a camera he took photos from all possible and impossible angles. Really the limit was when he suddenly pulled a little instrument out of his pocket and started talking to it - endlessly. Often the name Dieter was mentioned. Obviously he was seeking advice. The whole time he was asking stupid questions. He was even laying underneath my body scraping with a key in my wood. Brrr…tickling. We even did a test ride. He always tried to drive on the wrong side of the road. Fortunately nothing happened.
The next day he comes back to the shop with the result that some papers were signed. I were loaded some days later again on a trailer heading for Cape Town. A long and dusty trip. Again a number of photos were taken before I were pulled into a big metal box and my legs, sorry wheels were strongly tied down with ropes. I could not move a bit. Contrary to my first voyage during this one I was completely left alone - and again terribly seasick. The wheels got seriously hurt by the ropes.
Arriving finally in a port the horror trip still was not over. The big box was put on to a truck travelling the whole night. When the doors opened again after arrival this man with the indefinable accent was already waiting for me. And he smiled, endlessly. The weather was terrible, raining like in England. Do they have a rainy season over here as well? I have to get accustomed to it. He continuously is fiddling around with me, polishing here, dismantling something there.
Nowadays my new owner still smiles when he comes to see me. Let's try to be honest, I am also happy. You agree to accept when the springs squeak when he jumps in. And how does it looks like? Does he plan to make longer tours with me - hopefully not!
NB. I even was baptized on my old days. I am now called the green Fritz. How can I convince him that I can't stand the green as a colour?
green Fritz (owner: Rolf Schüler)