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MGs on Track shows the power of the MG marque
How many times have you discussed classic cars only to hear the phrase 'my Dad had one of those' - it's a familiar refrain to us all. Now, The MG Car Club, with the power of its registers and branches, managed to help reunite a lady with her father's 1934 MG PA at the Club's recent MGs on Track meeting at Goodwood.
Clare Littlefield hadn't seen the car since her father passed away and she sold it back in 2008, contacted the MG Car Club asking if anyone still owned the PA.
She eventually got in touch with the Triple-M Race Coordinator Mark Dolton, who told her to attend Goodwood as the car would be present there.
Mark's Sister Alexa Reynaga, along with her father and husband were preparing the red MG PA they had rebuilt, and it was due to appear on track for the very first time.
Excitement was building in the paddock for this family who have forever been surrounded by vintage cars, and they were almost ready to test the PA when a lady approached Alexa, and what she said nobody could have expected.
"This used to be my father's car," a teary-eyed Claire Littlefield told Alexa as she walked up to the car for the first time in eight years.
After the sheer emotion of seeing the car up-and-running, Claire had a good look around what she remembered so vividly as a child growing up. Later on in the day, after Alexa had taken her out for a drive, we all sat down with a coffee and tried to get to the bottom of the story.
"Dad bought the MG PA in 1969, and it was running initially," Claire said.
"As a little child I was in the garage with the car but I can't ever remember it running. He started doing bits and pieces to it before I came along and then he bought a BGT as a family car which I've still got.
"We kept it until 2008 when it was sold as a restoration project to one of my dad's friends, Dave Castle. It was going to be Dad's retirement project, but unfortunately he passed away that year so it didn't get done. Then I found out that Dave had sold the car and I wanted to find out where it had gone."
After initially phoning the MG Car Club and having no initial luck, Claire was re-directed to Graham Arrondelle and then everything opened up.
"He knew who had the car, so I gave him my details, then Mark Dolton messaged me back and said that the car would be here at Goodwood today so I decided to come along."
After not only finding her father's old MG PA, sitting inside it, and going round as a passenger for the first time, Claire was lost for words about her day at Goodwood with the MGs on Track crowd.
"Words don't describe it, I'm just absolutely overwhelmed, " Claire said.
Not only was it an incredible experience for Claire, but also for Alexa, who was at Goodwood to test the same car her father had rebuilt for her.
"I've never done a track day or racing before," Alexa said.
"My dad has been with vintage cars all of his life, and like Claire I was sitting on the bonnet when I was one. My brother Mark is racing my Dad's PB, and as joke I said to my father that before he passes away would he build me one to drive for my 40th - and he did.
"He's had the car for about five years, but it's so interesting that this is the first time we've had it out on a track day. The first event we did was Prescott Pre-War Hillclimb, but this is the first big day out. So it was really nice that Claire has been able to share that," Alexa added.
Alexa's Dad Tony has done a lot of work on the car to get it prepared for track days and events, including respraying the car, and to something a bit different to the white that Claire remembers as a child.
"We had a big debate on the colour. Originally it would've been Cambridge Blue, so we were going to do it two-tone Oxford Blue and Cambridge Blue, however Dad always had Pippin Red MGs when I was a little girl, so I wanted it to be red," Alexa said.
For Alexa, the fun doesn't stop here though.
"I'm definitely doing some more track days and Hillclimbs. Today has been great fun, we all felt safe, and it has given me personally the time and space to get to know the car and feel it.
"We'd love to have more track days like this at other circuits. My Dad said it's been such a great day, nothing too serious but a nice social event," Alexa added.
After such a brilliant day for both Claire and Alexa, they both promised that they would keep in touch, and after speaking with both of them it felt like they were old friends catching up when in fact they had only met that day.
"Dad would be so proud, this is our local circuit, and he was taking me here when I was four years old. It's like a dream come true for me, for both of us," Claire said.