Staff Profile

Photo of Ken NelsonKen Nelson

Ken Nelson

NAMGAR Columnist

Greetings to all from the land of the Rowdies. I’m Ken Nelson and I have served NAMGAR for over twenty years, writing the “At Leisure” column for MGA! Magazine.

I came to MGAs not by plan, because all my life I had wanted an MG-TD to work on. In 1978, however, I found myself contemplating buying an MGA when I realized I couldn’t afford the $5,000 average price of a TD. While struggling to make the decision of whether to buy an MGA or not, I heard of a knowledgeable MGA guru named RB Hart who lived in my city. I needed some advice, so I called him up and asked if $400 sounded like too much to pay for a rusted-out sports car with no brakes. After getting chewed out for bothering him, he answered gruffly with, “it’s an MGA, isn’t it? Go buy it!” He also told me to join NAMGAR and the Michigan Rowdies. I did as I was told, and before long was spending weekends with RB, learning how to rebuild an MG engine.

At that time RB also was the editor of our national “MGA” newsletter (the “!” got added later), and he read a few humorous articles I wrote about my rebuild for the Michigan Chapter “A-Antics” newsletter. Shortly after that, he called up to congratulate me on being appointed as a new columnist for “MGA” and gave me the publication schedule. I’ve continued writing ever since

Since that beginning I have rebuilt not only my 1957 MGA (several times actually), but also a 1954 Riley RME (built at Abingdon on an assembly line alongside the MGTD), along with a 1950 MGTD as originally hoped for, and a 1966 P5 Rover Coupe. I do my best to cater to the needs of all these demanding vehicles, but the MGA still has “Pride of Place” among them all.

In real life I am a happily retired physician doing much the same stuff to British cars that I used to do in my office- diagnosing and repairing malfunctioning systems. I found satisfaction both at work and in the garage, and I’d say it was often a close race as to whether Sir Lucas or my elderly patients gave me the most run for the money!

I enjoy being a part of a great organization like NAMGAR and hope to continue for many years to come. And, of course, the GTs are a lot more fun than any AMA convention, hands down!

Updated March 2016