Staff Profile

Photo of Michael EatonMichael Eaton

Michael Eaton

NAMGAR MGA Historian

They say that it is best to begin at the beginning, and for me that was the summer of 1972 when my father purchased a 1948 MGTC (owned to this date by members John and Linda Wright) and brought it to our local pool. I ran out to the parking lot to see what Dad had purchased, and there was the TC, unlike anything I’d seen before. To me it was like a mini “Bonnie and Clyde” car except a convertible and the steering wheel was on the wrong side and the doors opened funny. Well, once I slipped behind the wheel and smelled that red leather interior, I was hooked!

Fast forward to 1976 or so, and Dad was now stationed in Virginia Beach. It was time to freshen up the TC, and Mom and Dad joined the local MG-T series chapter. It was through this group that we met Mike and Jennifer Ash, and while stationed there, we also purchased our first MGA, a 1962 Mk II. Before we left Virginia Beach for Vienna, Virginia, we had also purchased a 1959 MGA Twin Cam Coupe. The affliction was taking its natural course.

The move to the Northern Virginia area in 1979 started our affiliation with the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of NAMGAR. I had the great privilege of growing up knowing most of the early founders and organizers of NAMGAR, such as the Spears, Renkenbergers, Wrights, Ludtkes, etc. Sometime in those early 1980s, I purchased the Mk II outright from Dad, and proceeded to restore it with much assistance from the Chapter. Throughout my college years I digressed a few times into other makes of MG (MGB and BGT) and other brands entirely, such as BMW 2002s, but I have almost always retained an MGA in the stable.

My interest in the history of MGs and MGAs in particular began when my father and I purchased a 1957 MGA 1500 ex-Sebring team car from Gerry Goguen. Although Gerry provided us an ownership history of the car, he really did not have much historical documentation on the car. Over the years of owning and restoring the car, I delved into the history of the car and contacted all the prior owners. I also contacted the research library at Watkins Glen and developed deep friendships with the prior owners and racers of the car. One of these friendships was with David Ash who was a major importer and racer in the era. Through his work at J. S. Inskip, David cultivated personal relationships with John Thornley and Sid Enever. His personal accounts of his exploits and importing MGs furthered my interest in MG history.

So, it was an easy decision to accept the position of Historian when I was approached. I have a few ideas in mind for initial articles, but the challenge in writing about anything historical is coming up with some new facts or areas that have yet to be covered. I am certainly open to any ideas or areas you would like to know more about. If you have any specifi c suggestions, please do drop me an e-mail. I’m greatly looking forward to serving!