May 22, 2022

Classic Cars News and Information

Where Dreams Are Driven

When Moving Ahead is Turning Back

5 min read

Kimberly V. Althage – May 09, 2022

A car is not simply a mode of transportation for most. Rather they are an extension of how we see ourselves, they reflect our personality. Our attraction to one vehicle over another often cannot be defined, but it is instantaneous.

This is exactly what happened to Dionne. In 1990 when she was a junior in high school, she saw in a Kmart parking lot by her house a 1974 MG Midget for sale. It was love at first sight. She copied the number and once she got home, she immediately told her dad she wanted the car and asked him to help make it her own.

Being only seventeen at the time she could not get a loan on her own, and $1,800 was a lot of money. Her father took the opportunity to use it as a teachable moment. He agreed but only if she paid him back with interest. He even created a loan payment booklet for her by stapling blank deposit slips together. Each deposit slip acted as a payment coupon. She was to turn in a slip with every $88 monthly payment to him until her “loan” was paid in full.

Dionne LOVED that car. That MG Midget was her baby. She drove it year-round, never caring how cold it would get during those Utah winters. Until roughly four years later, she did decide to park her baby for the winter.

Her grandfather had a speed shop with a fenced lot. A couple months later Dionne’s uncle called. He asked her to come to the shop.

Neither he nor her grandfather wanted to say over the phone. She arrived only to discover someone hopped the fence and vandalized her baby. They destroyed her MG Midget, cutting its wiring and beat it to smithereens. They even used a screwdriver to slash multiple tears into its convertible top.

Dionne was devastated. Her then boyfriend (now ex-husband) confessed he hated working on the car. As a result, he pressured her to get something else rather than fixing it because of how much he did not like the car.

She had to give it up. Yet that connection stuck in her mind and Dionne has wanted another MG Midget ever since.

Fast-forward to today. Dionne told her current and amazing boyfriend the story when they first started dating. Unbeknownst to her Vern has been on the lookout for one to buy her ever since. He even recruited his kids who live in North Carolina to help him look for an MG Midget to buy for her.

One night Vern found this one at the Las Vegas showroom online and showed it to her. Her first response was utter surprise, and asked him, “What are you doing?”

But they both fell in love with it, even the color was perfect. They called that night and left a message. The next morning, Curt Egan (Las Vegas Sales Consultant) contacted them. He gave them a little background on the MG Midget and said if they wanted it, they could put a deposit down and come collect it. Almost in stereo they decided aloud, “I guess we’re going to Vegas.”

Salt Lake City, Utah is approximately a six-hour drive. Well, it took less time than that. Dionne was so excited she drove 90mph on route there.

They arrived at the Las Vegas Showroom and knew instantly. Dionne immediately went directly to the bank for a cashier’s check. Her and Vern stayed at the Stratosphere (STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod) that night and the next morning they awoke and drove her new baby home.

The way home took longer. Their return trip took twelve hours because its top speed is roughly 70mph.

In Vegas it was almost 80 degrees, but once they hit Utah, they also hit cold weather. They tried to get the top up, but because it was so cold it wouldn’t stretch. As a result, Vern offered to drive it the rest of the way.

Vern’s hands were nearly frozen to the steering wheel. They had to stop and buy gloves so he could have a little feeling in his hands. During their pitstop, he also added an extra pair of pants, a hoodie, and a beanie hat to add layers and help against the cold.

Dionne explained Vern is a little over 6 feet tall and has broad shoulders. All those extra layers and his girth in the little MG Midget was a striking contrast. She explained, “as I followed behind, he looked like Mr. Incredible from the Pixar film behind the wheel.”

Vern drove it most of the way home. He texted her he was freezing but has the biggest smile on his face. “This is why I love him,” she explained. Adding, “it was amazing.”

Dionne is so grateful too that Vern is such a lover of cars like herself. Being a car guy, he had a list of checks to make once they got home. He checked the battery, belts, all the fluids, the spark plugs, and brakes. He wanted to make sure everything was sound, and it was in tip top shape.

Dionne feels such gratitude that she found someone that will love and appreciate her car as much as she does. Dionne’s original MG Midget was a 1974 model year. It was white with a black top. Her new one is a 1973 which she thinks is cool because it was the year she was born. This car will be for summertime canyon rides or just having fun. It will be parked in the winter months and preserved. And the color is called Limelight. “It’s beautiful, it’s so cute – now green is my favorite color,” she said. Jokingly she added, “I’ll have to paint my nails to match.”

Are you looking to find that long lost love from earlier days, begin your own collection, or add to the classics you have? Gateway Classic Cars sells and consigns hundreds of vehicles each month. Or do you have a classic car for sale with a story to tell?   We’d love to hear about it, please email us at news@gatewayclassiccars.com.

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