Once upon a lost decade there was a British Lord Nuffield who owned the W. R. Morris automobile factory called the Morris Garage. The company invented and produced the legendary MG sport cars as a sales sideline.
Over the last century the brand changed owners numerous times. In 2005 the Nanjing Automobile Group bought and resurrected the defunct icon in time to celebrate its 90th birthday in 2013. Plan to travel if you’d like a late model MG, because today its showrooms are in China, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and the United Kingdom.
At the moment, local MG addict Bryan Hutchinson of Justin owns three MGs.
“I’m a gearhead with a weakness for British sport cars,” he said.
He also keeps a Triumph, a Mustang, a Miata he says speaks fluent Japanese, and some vanilla workaday vehicles for a total of nine cars. At the head of this parade in a 1973 black MG roadster called Maggie, the first Grand Champion of a North American motoring scavenger hunt called the Moss Motoring Challenge.
Moss Motors, an American born and bred company with plants in Virginia and California, supplies not only parts for older and vintage British cars worldwide, but a sense of camaraderie among the vehicle owners and clubs. One group in Cedar Hill holds regular get-togethers called GOFs or Gatherings of The Faithful.
“Maggie’s a sexy 14-foot-long gal with 10 coats of black paint that gleam under 10 more coats of clear finish that cover her 6-foot-wide body,” Hutchinson said.
As cars go, “She’s a sleek 2,356 pounds including a black convertible top and leather upholstery.”
A vamp? The car’s young enough to have a steel frame, but her 1920s grandparents sat on wood foundations.
He acquired the lady from his brother and sister-in-law who a decade earlier gave it to themselves as a honeymoon gift. When the time arrived to sell, Maggie had been asleep in a garage for 10 years.
“She moved like grandma on horseback, and belched a trail of smoke,” Hutchinson said.
He ran up the new parts tab at Moss, and currently the odometer reads 200,000 miles.
“I drove her 12,000 miles in the 2013 Challenge. My daughter Madison and I put 16,000 miles on her last year.”
How long does he think the car will last? “As long as I keep her running.”
Navigating mountain passes in Colorado, his daughter, a student at Argyle High School and self-professed “gearhead gal,” learned the fine art of driving a stick.
Hutchinson’s dad was an MRI/CAT scan tech whose sideline love was building and rebuilding old race cars. His sons grew up tinkering and fixing “and skinning our knuckles” in pop’s garage over in Garland.
“He really was a genius with mechanical things,” Hutchinson said.
Over the years the Hutchinson brothers developed a weakness for MGs. Madison said her dad had owned 15 MGs by the time she raced with him last year.
“The Challenge isn’t about speed,” Bryan said. “It’s about enjoying and exploring the world.”
There are 14 British car clubs in the State of Texas, and he belongs to two in the Dallas/Fort Worth area: the Texas MG Register and the Texas MG T Register. The former’s logo is a solid blue silhouette of the Lone Star State filled in with the red, white and black crosses of the British flag called the Union Jack.
A North Garland High School graduate, Bryan joined the army in 1996, and became a paratrooper for a 5-year hitch. Not only did he learn to waddle around under 125 pounds of military equipment, he learned how to jump out of a plane with it, plummet through the wild blue yonder, and live to tell the tale.
That was no mean accomplishment, but “the thing that captured my imagination was how the military commands made leadership transitions,” he said.
After discharge he returned to Garland, and entered Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary, but leadership transitions still niggled his imagination. He transferred to Dallas Baptist University, and by 2005 had a bachelor’s degree in business, and a Master of Arts in Professional Development. By 2009 he started to accumulate professional awards in the real estate world. He joined forces with Victor Myers, a luxury home builder in Denton County, and today Bryan’s the managing partner of Legendary Luxury Homes.
“We grew up in economically modest homes,” he said. “One of our partnership goals is to support local charities.”
Bryan took on the task of developing giving ideas the same year Moss Motors gave birth to the Moss Motoring Challenge. At a family brainstorm session, the Hutchinson family came up with an idea they dubbed “Miles with Maggie.”
Bryan’s mother had survived a breast cancer battle. The expenses connected with his sister-in-law’s breast cancer battle, and his nephew’s autism diagnosis occasioned Maggie’s sale.
What if Bryan and Maggie entered the Motoring Challenge, and his network of family, friends, and acquaintances supported him by pledging charity donations for each point he earned? The first place prize was $1,000, and he could add the pledges to the kitty. That evening two more partnerships came to life, one with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and the other with Autism Speaks.
Maggie won the contest’s maiden voyage with 110 points, and has supported other charities since that time.
“The thing about life is that it’s not about winning,” Bryan said, then waxed eloquent. “Life is about making a difference. It’s about developing the spirit of giving, about caring for others, about going the extra mile for a friend or a stranger.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned over the years is that small things can have a major impact on the world around us. When we dream, we should act, and not give in to discouragement.
“Think about this. If I hadn’t acted on my dream I’d have never visited Xenophon, Tennessee which is about halfway between nowhere and somewhere. Would I have ever visited the Arcade Restaurant in Memphis?”
That’s where Elvis Presley went when he craved peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Bryan defended The King’s taste buds. “It’s not a bad snack!”
One rainy night Bryan and his car stopped at a Waffle House in a small Mississippi town. The staff saw his car, asked questions and learned about his charity goals. Everyone knew cancer survivors, and autism wasn’t news either.
“Not only did these working people of modest means pool tips to pay for my meal, but they donated to Miles with Maggie.”
Bryan emphasized that he grew up in unassuming circumstances. He appreciated the restaurant staff members’ generous sacrifices that night.
“The best part of the Challenge has been meeting people from all races and backgrounds, and experiencing their spontaneous goodness,” he said.
What Bryan enjoys most about the road race is meeting other competitors at point locations. He plans to enter several cars in upcoming races, including the Miata with Madison behind the wheel.
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