Perseverance

Photo for Perseverance

In 2007 two momentous events occurred in my life. The first was that I finished the restoration of my 1960 MGA, which I had had in my life since 1968. The other significant event was that I survived a truly awful motorcycle accident which left me permanently paralyzed, permanently paraplegic, and permanently in a wheelchair.

 

Who says the universe doesn't have a sense of humor?

Since that time, through the help of a good friend, I have been able to keep the MGA, by parking it in the garage during the summer and in storage in the winter. By crawling around I am still able to perform most of the necessary repairs and service. With a friend, Jim's, help, I was able to remove the MGA racing clutch (too stiff) and install an MGB system which is much easier on the clutch foot. Some things I'm still not strong enough to do, such as removing/installing the road wheels to lube the front suspension. But Jim is able to help me with these items. You get the picture.

But, it has gradually become clear that if something doesn't change I will never drive my MG again. A car you can't drive is a car you should pass on to someone else to enjoy. So last fall I started making arrangements to sell my MGA this spring.

But, the world works in mysterious ways. This winter, after reading articles in MGA! and Moss Motoring, I decided to make one more attempt to keep the car by installing handicap driving aids so I could safely drive it. Trouble is, I have not been able to find anyone who has done this modification before.

Fortunately, I still have the setup which came out of my Pontiac when I sold it to buy my 2012 SRT 392 Charger (fantastic car). It looks as though this setup just might work for the MGA. My clutch foot is strong enough to operate the clutch. What I need is a push/pull arrangement to operate the brake (push) and the throttle (pull) with my right hand; since my right leg is useless for driving.

We shall see. I don't know if this modification is possible or not. If anybody has done this before, I would really like to hear from them. My garage is my workshop; so I will not be able to start until May when you can no longer see your breath.

The picture of me was taken "post-accident," leaning on the MGA and standing on my good leg. It's not very flattering. I'm pale as hell and urging Jim, to hurry the %$#@ up and take the picture before I fall over.

John and his MGA

Of course, I took many pictures of the car over the years and 250,000 miles of driving, but most are not in digital format.

I do have a couple of photos taken of myself and the MGA at Elkhart Lake Road America, where I am waiting to get on the track, and also an "at speed" photo where I am about to be passed by a Shelby. This was one of the first outings right after I got the car back on the road, about nine months before my motorcycle accident.

John on Track

Hopefully people will enjoy this article and perhaps there is someone out there who can offer suggestions. I'm a fairly good self taught mechanic, but this project is all new to me. If anybody has any suggestions, please email me.

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Last updated on April 21, 2015.

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