Hello, I’m Lily. Not my real name, just a name I was given by a previous owner who thought it suited the green paintwork.
I don’t know my real identity although my current owner has tried to find out with the help of Messrs Hall & Montgomery of STAR. (the Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Register)
What I do know is that I was “erected”, whatever that is, in September 1938. The factory kindly hand wrote that into a ledger which also said I was bought by a lady known as Miss M Bunzl.
She lived in London in a grand apartment. She wasn’t English. She had come over from Austria as soon as she could because the Nazis had taken her family home, murdered her eldest son and tried to confiscate all the family businesses in Europe. She brought two other sons with her no doubt with help from the London office of the family business. She was divorced and took her maiden name.
I think I gave her a bit of joy at this dreadful time. I don’t know who drove me there, probably the youngest son, but we went on a trip to the Isle of Wight, to Shanklin.
The joy of a motoring holiday soon passed as Britain declared war on Germany and unfortunately for Austrian Jews, they were now treated as German nationals. She didn’t like that, especially as the police started to watch us very carefully and she got into trouble for shining a light after dark. The authorities found us at the hotel and started the process of registering us as enemy aliens. She wasn’t the only one in trouble. They said she had a motor car and petrol which she was not allowed to do without permission, so that got me into bother as well
I think we went back to live in London. Before he was sent to Canada, the youngest son drove me very fast in Tunbridge Wells and got me into trouble again for doing 40 miles an hour. The magistrate reported that this is a message for drivers not to use the Kings Road as a racetrack. The other son was sent to Australia on a ship, we think was the infamous Dunera, the crew of which behaved outrageously to their passengers. The lady got into a lot of trouble over the coming months and went to prison. I think she was rightfully very unhappy.
No-one seems to know what happened to me after that until in 1989, I found myself on a ship which had set sail in New York for Southampton. Since then, the various people responsible for my welfare made me all smart again. I’ve even been to shows.
They all tried to give me back my real registration name given to me in London which they say is FXY 403. There is an organisation which tries very hard to stop that from happening, so I have an identity which I don’t like, issued in Scotland. They say it is “age related,” which offends my dignity.
That’s why I’m telling you my story as far as it can be remembered. I will be 80 years old on the 26th October 2018.
If you happen to know where I have been for the 50 missing years please let STAR know, but for now please wish me a Happy Birthday. I’m not too sure but I think my current owner has bought me some new tyres. You know that a lady loves new shoes. With much love Lily
Car of the Month MG Midget Register December 2018 Car of the Month
Owners name: Arthur Wood Owners location: Claverley, Shropshire , GB Model: Midget GAN5 Round Wheel Arch 71 - 74 Engine size/type: 1275cc Year of manufacture: 1973 Colour: Blaze Red How long owned: Since August 2017 History of Car and any work or modifications carried out: The car was purchased from Doncaster by Mike Mohr with the intention of preparing it for hill climbing. On closer inspection it was realised that the car was in a rust free condition. It would have been sacrilege to remove the wings, bonnet and bootlid to replace them with glass fibre parts. Mike, who I have known for a least fifty years, asked me if I would be interested in buying the car, and Mike, who has rebuilt many cars including 'E' types and Healey, would finish the rebuild. I jumped at the chance. I decided to finance a Sierra gearbox, which I was reliably informed would improve the driving of the car considerably, having had no experience of the original four speed gearbox I am unable to make a comparison. We agreed on a colour, flame red, an early BMC colour, which it was felt would be ideal, C&R, in Bridgnorth did an excellent job in spraying the top coat, most of the preparation having been done to a very good standard by Mike. On closer inspection of the engine we found that it has a high compression head which explained why the inertia starter motor was having difficulty at times. This was changed for a Power Lite pre-engaged unit purchased from the manufacturers in Brierley Hill. It was felt that the steering rack was worn so it was changed for a new one. A great deal of care has been taken in setting up the car and in fact I'm still working on it and expect to be throughout the winter. My only association with MG Midgets is that I navigated one in the Buxton Rally in 1967. My own interest at the time was hill climbing a 500 Cooper Norton.