50 Years With MGA - NAMGAR Member “Safety Fast” Story

Photo for 50 Years With MGA - NAMGAR Member “Safety Fast” Story

As the new NAMGAR Internet Coordinator, one of my goals was to use the opportunity to interact more with the MGA owner community.  Recently, at a Flatwater Austin Healey Club show in Omaha, NE, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Jay Fluehr, NAMGAR Registry Member #644, and learn more about his beautiful 1960 Dove Grey MGA 1600 Roadster.  I’d seen Jay’s MGA in passing on several occasions, first driving down a street in Omaha, NE and then in 2018 at the Annual Eastern Nebraska Veterans Home in Bellevue, NE. 

It is a very special car not the least of which is the fact that it has been under Jay’s stewardship for the past 50 years!  I asked Jay to share a bit of the car’s history for NAMGAR members: 

I was looking to buy an MGB until I discovered the MGA and was immediately captivated by the classic 50’s styling. I especially fell for the oval MGA vents on the bonnet surround, and the lack of door handles. That was 1969 and I was a junior in high school.

 

My dad and I found my MGA in the Omaha paper. The owner had inherited the car from his brother in Wyoming. Though suffering from some minor dents and brake pads worn completely to the backing plates, the car was amazingly original. $400, plus $25 for the tonneau cover, and the car was mine. My bank account was now empty.

 

The A was my only car through college, then became a second car and no longer had to attempt to slog through Omaha winters. Over the years the engine was completely rebuilt, a cracked head was replaced, and the brakes were fully rebuilt several times. The big event began, though, in 2004. Metropolitan Community College (MCC) started a program for us hobbyists. On Saturdays we had use of the body shop, the vast array of professional-quality tools, three real spray booths, and even an instructor. Now was the time for a true body-off restoration and elimination of rust once and for all.

 

The problem was that I lacked the skills to replace the rusted-out rockers and sills. Enter Brian Goldsmith, local club member and genius of all things MGA. Brian kindly agreed to bring my car into his home shop and lead me through the process. With Brian tackling the tricky parts, the sills and rockers were replaced and the body was transported to MCC.

 

It sure was nice to work in a real shop, with real tools and the spray booths. The body work and painting came along nicely, and I’m generally pretty pleased with the result of my amateur restoration. The car is still almost completely stock and even has the original seat upholstery. It runs great AT THIS TIME and, at age 66, I’m hoping to avoid any more major projects down the road.

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Last updated on May 26, 2019.