Chapter Profile

Logo for MG Car Club Northwest CentreMG Car Club Northwest Centre


"ABOUT US" the MG Car Club NorthWest Centre

If you were around in the Fifties, you may remember Eisenhower, public bomb shelters, ducktail haircuts, and good old style Rock-n-Roll. It was a simpler, happier time for many and saw the introduction of the British Car love affair in the USA. Amid the tank-like offerings from Detroit, sleek, nimble-handling MGs, Triumphs, and Jaguars found homes in driveways and garages across the country. Car magazines of the day like Road & Track and SportsCar Graphic could not stop exhorting all the glories of the road capabilities of the British sports car. If you cared anything for performance, you just had to own one.

MG was by far the most popular model. Slower than some competitors, but often better built and had spot-on handling characteristics. They were pretty darn attractive to boot. It was during this time that many sports car clubs sprang up almost everywhere. Some were started up by local dealerships because it was good for business. True enthusiasts spent more money on maintenance, performance hop-ups, and accessories for their cars. In 1957, a sales manager (Cliff Garlatz) for Imported Motors, a Tacoma foreign car dealership applied for and received a charter from the MG Car Club of Great Britain. Cliff had a list of people who had bought MGs from the dealership and invited them to the first meeting. This was the birth of the longest continuously running MG club outside of Britain. One can only wonder what Cliff Garlatz would have thought of the mighty oak that came from the acorn he planted. He was just hoping to grow a little extra business back in 1957.

Some of the original charter member names from back then such as Johnson, Lumley, and Mafli still grace our club. Their MGs were often not only their “hobby”, but their daily driver. It was amazing what you could do in an MG. It was amazing what you could fit in an MG! Jim Lumley remembers his then infant daughter Meagen riding comfortably in the passenger footwell of his MGA one dark evening when she suddenly decided to yank out a bunch of wires from under the dash. The Lumley’s MGA didn’t like that very much and stopped dead on the side of the road. A handy flashlight and a few lucky guesses with wiring got the MGA limping and flickering home. Roadside repair in darkness is an honored rite of passage for MG owners then as it still is today. The Lumley’s and a number of early MG club members were a common sight at the SCCA races in Kent. Watching the races and in many cases they worked the turns of the raceway. During 1958, twenty four men from the club acted as emergency control and safety personnel during sport car races in Western Washington.

As club progressed into the sixties its success was helped by the wildly successful MGB which brought even more members into the club anxious to hang out with other enthusiasts. Catalogs like Hahn and MG Mitten offered a dazzling number of accessories for the sporting enthusiast, offering irresistible goodies such as wooden steering wheels, stringback gloves, and Cibie driving lights. The seventies ushered in a daunting era of safety and emission laws which greatly affected the performance and appearance of MGBs and Midgets. Chrome bumpers gave way to black bumpers designed to absorb the hits from modern traffic. Many local sports car clubs folded their tent during this time. The last affordable USA bound British sports car rolled off the line in 1980. The MG factory was shut down, but the legend refused to die. The MG Car Club NW Centre somehow soldiered on. With the dealer support now gone, we learned to depend on each other more and more to keep our MG s on the road. The club newsletter which was known as the MG Times became the celebrated MOWOG MURMERS which is now called just MOWOG. Sometime during the mid-eighties a huge membership drive led by club members Ken Bottini and Rob Broderick swelled the ranks of our club to nearly 500 members. In 1989, The Puget Sound MGA Classics Car Club joined the MGCCNWC and added more members with MGA cars.

With so many members, the MGCCNWC is compelled to offer something for every MG owner. The LaConner Tulip Rally has been going strong since 1981 bringing out hundreds of cars from numerous clubs every year. Our annual wine tour is over 20 years old and is a club favorite. There are also tech sessions, picnics, shows, parties, banquets, day drives, parades, overnight tours, and so much more. Our club is also focused on extending a helping hand to those less fortunate. We have been very active in assisting local foodbanks, Toys4Tots, and other charities.

In recognition of its contribution in supporting the MG marque throughout the Pacific Northwest and being an asset to the general community, the MGCCNWC has been awarded the Nuffield Trophy no less than five times by the Mother MG Car Club in England. Our newsletter, the celebrated MOWOG has won journalism awards for its presentation and content.

The present day still sees the MGCCNWC as the longest continuous running MG Club this side of the Atlantic. It is also appropriate that we have the longest standing overseas member of the MG Car Club of England in the form of Doug Beagley in the MGCCNWC. Our club now covers a geographical area so vast that we offer five different meeting locations for the convenience of our members. It is the adherence to the MG motif “The Marque of Friendship” that has made our organization not only a place to enjoy your MG, but also a place of friendship, camaraderie, and good will.

If this all sounds good to you, please join us. You don’t even have to own an MG, but we’re willing to bet you’ll own one soon.

Safety Fast!

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Last updated on December 5, 2017.