MGS, PORSCHES AND JFK
Your August 2018 issue with its Porsche 1955 356A story and MG 1100 feature was like a hillclimb to memory lane for me. Newcar stories are ne, too, but it’s impossible to forget road testing an 1100 MG in 1963 as a young reporter for a newspaper in the USA. It drove nicely compared with the Volkswagen Beetle 1200 of that vintage but the dealer vehicle had no radio installed.
At 13h45, as I returned it to the dealer, I found the entire staff huddled round a radio in the workshop. It was 22 November 1963 and president John F Kennedy had just been assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Five minutes later, I was back in the newsroom helping tell the local reaction to an event that changed American history.
Six months later, I sold my VW Beetle convertible to buy a 1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Super, exactly like the one you featured, except it was burgundy red. It had the same orange Fram oil lter and blue coil in the engine compartment. As good as they were, for road trips, you had to carry a full tool box, spare plugs and points, duct tape, bailing wire and various clamps, just in case.
It failed me only once when its windscreen-wiper motor quit in a driving rainstorm. Luckily, I could reach under the dashboard and operate the wiper mechanism manually. I drove maybe 150 km that way, too young and dumb to just pull over and wait for the rain to end. KENNETH TIVEN Cape Town