|Who is Jean Cook?||Jean Cook's views on the MGF||Her verdict...!|
Jean Cook, the daughter of the MG's founder Cecil Kimber, was born
and bred with Morris Garages. She was there when they were conceived,
at Abingdon were they were built, and at
Brooklands where they were driven.
It was Jean, the now 70 year old retired social worker from the Isle of Wight, who led the protests to British Leylands headquarters in Piccadilly in 1980, to protest their decision to axe MG.
Jean Cook was just 19 when her father was killed in an unusual train accident, only four years after being publicly forced to resign as the head of MG. She remains bitter about the events surrounding his death and the sad demise of MG, and has spent most of her time since keeping her fathers name alive as an international envoy for the MG marque.
"I never thought I would see it", she sad after her drive in the MGF. "When the factory was closed we thought that it was the end of everything. If you had told me then that this car would be built, I wouldn't have believed you. It's a wonderful day".
Her verdict on the first all-new MG since the B in 1963? "I feel very confident
driving her. She feels like she would hold the road well up to 80mph,
and I would like to drive her much faster."
"I do have a problem with the shape" she says. "It's modern and I'm sure it will grow on you. Dad took his designs from classical art but this looks a bit like a modern yacht, a shape dictated by technology."
"My dad would have loved the F. If he were here now I am sure that he
would be impressed by the performance and the roadholding. The
roadholding was always very important for an MG. I think he would want
to jump into it and drive it to the Isle of Skye on the roughest roads
to find out what it is really like."
"I think he would have a problem with the high rear end, but the engines under there so what can you do? There will be always be arguments, but I think that the people who buy her will love her. And it will bring in alot of new MG people, something which dad would certainly have liked."
Jean Cook finds no shortage of potential new MG
people. Seeing tired looking MGB's and Midget's brings about
flashing headlights and waving arms. MG drivers have always
greeted one another in this way, and F drivers will be expected to
follow suit, she says.
In a letter written by Kimber just before his death, he suggested that "the enthusiasts sports car would be destroyed by the soul-hardening hand of big business". Instead it would seem that big business has brought it back, along with high levels on consumer demand, and the word from Jean Cook is that it's OK.