DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Lawrie At Folsom Powerhouse

September 4, 2012 5:00 AM

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“In one of these, at 60 mpg you’re working. You’ve got to concentrate.”

The Ride
The Driver: Lawrie
Car in Question: White 1948 MG TC
Spotted at: Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park, Folsom, CA 95630
Odometer: 80,000


Q: Hi Lawrie. What first got you into MGs?

A: My first job in England–I lived in Wimbledon–I used to commute up to London and we went past the back lot of the local MG dealer. I’ve always been interested in cars. I saw a little MG sitting back there looking very sorry for itself. One day I went and asked them if they wanted to sell it and we agreed on a price. I took it home and fixed it up. I’ve been playing with MGs ever since. In fact, I made my living restoring, servicing, and repairing MGs from 1976 until two years ago when I retired.

Q: How long did you live in England?

A: Until I was 22, which was 1964. Then I went to Singapore for four years. Then I came to the States and came to California in 1974. Been out here ever since.

Q: How do you like California?

A: I love it.

Q: And you’re a part of an MG club here?

A: I joined the MG club up here 20 years ago when I moved up. I’ve been very actively involved ever since then. I’ve been on the board most years and we put on at least one event a month, sometimes two.

Q: When was the last time you’ve been to the Powerhouse?

A: The last time I came to the Powerhouse, I was cruising around looking for places that might be fun for the MG club to come as a group to visit, to have a picnic. It seemed like a quiet area. We haven’t done that yet, but we probably will one day because it’s a nice central location.

Q: Tell us, what’s your favorite thing about driving this car?

A: This is a car you have to drive. A modern car, you have beautiful transportation, air conditioning, power this, power that, power the other, but you’re a passenger. You’re just sitting inside there going from A to B. A modern sports car, they’re so powerful and so functional that at anything up to legal speeds, you might as well be in a Honda Civic. In one of these, at 60 miles per hour, you’re driving. I like driving. I mean, you’ve got to concentrate. It’s a stick shift. You’re working. You’re never a passenger.

Q: And how long have you owned it?

A: I’ve had this one about three years, but I’ve had lots and lots more. This is probably my 52nd MG in the course of the last 40 years!

Q: Wow. That’s dedication.

A: I have two others and I just sold one. I had a 1934 MG that I restored from lots of bits and pieces, and drove it up to Reno up Interstate 80. That was interesting: a 1934 750 CCs, very small. But it kept up with traffic and took me to Reno and back. It’s really a show car and I don’t like showing cars. I like driving cars.

Q: Finally, if your car had a theme song, what would it be?

A: Probably “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles because on a sunny day, when it just says, you know, “You’ve taken me out of the garage—here comes the sun and I’m ready to go.” It’s a car that likes to be taken out and enjoyed.

Photos and interview by Lisa Palmer

View previous Defend Your Ride features as well as other great stories for people who love cars at

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