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My 1971 MGB Mark 2

"You can pay $70,000 or $90,000 for say, a new Audi and no one notices you," he says. "But you can go out and spend $20,000 on an MG and people are waving at you and saying hello. Everyone wants to stop and talk to you. They all know someone who had one over the years."

Colwell owns a 1971 MGB Mark 2, complete with the four-speed electric overdrive gearbox. "It's bright red of course." he says. "I purchased the vehicle in 2007 from a couple at Pyrmont (Sydney). "They had owned the vehicle since 2001 and needed to sell due to parking issues," he says. "MG 146, the registration plate was on it. Lucky I'm not a Kiwi."

Colwell says: "At the time I was not in a position to take on a restoration, so I purchased this car in good condition, and proceeded to make it better. "I have tidied the vehicle and added my own touches, such as the new chrome wheels and chrome grille, without destroying its ability to be reverted to original."

"Preserving the breed is paramount on classic cars. Only ever do things that can be easily undone. "Parts are readily available for these as they are a popular model both here and overseas, and internet is making it easier than ever to source parts."

He says he enjoys Sunday drives with his wife. With the roof down he says it's a pleasure cruiser. Colwell says he has loved the MG style since he was young. "My sister's boyfriend turned up in a beautiful Primrose Yellow 1969 MGB Mk 2. "I was in total awe of this sports car for playboys."

He bought his first MG when he was 18 and eventually sold it to TV motoring show host Peter Wherrett. "He turned up with his trademark cap and took the car for a spin and the deal was done. The vehicle was purchased for his son." Since then he has swapped between MGs and the other British iconic car of the 60s, Minis.

He says Minis are driven by everyone from the wealthy to the worker, but the MG has a different image. "There's a playboy image, a bit of snobbery that goes with the MGs." "Having the roof off and the sound. The MG has a sound all of its own. Most people will tell you that's what it's all about, the sound.

"And the sparkle of the wheels. The chrome-wire wheels on it attract people's attention." Although the MG is British they were assembled in Australia up until 1972. About 9000 MGBs were made here. The wide appeal of the MGs have seen their value fluctuate over the years.

Colwell says he bought the car for $16,000 two years ago, but the people he bought it from paid $21,000 for it back in 2000. Now he says good cars are selling for well over $20,000. "It comes down to how many of them are around at the time." When he was shopping around he saw several in poor condition.

"When I saw this one I was surprised. This one was restored. It was a fair to medium job." Now Colwell's interests are switching back to Minis. If he can convince his wife, who loves the MG, he is looking to sell it to fund his next project. " I have found a rare ex-NSW Police pursuit Mini Cooper S MK2 and it's now undergoing a major restoration. I will go the whole hog on it. "As I have said to others, I'm investing my super in my Cooper." " So I will be selling the MGB, however this may be a decision I live to regret. Only time will tell."

David Fitzsimons
Contributing Journalist
David Fitzsimons is a former CarsGuide contributor, who specialises in classic cars.
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