Classic beauty abandoned in the dust


Photographed this abandoned MG convertible in the Kia Motors garage near Hyde Park (Colombo) a few years ago. Her roof was down. Every inch under a layer of dust. She had been left in the grim cavern of the work shop a long time. Yet she defied her neglect with wordless dignity. Amplifying an air of sadness that only a stiff upper lip could fend off. Despite the gloom, grime, and shiny modern economy cars (or perhaps because of those things) this MG looked beautiful.

The sight of her flashed a memory of those uncle’s tales. 1960s Ceylon. Adventurous types driving from London to Colombo. In my mental 16mm black and white imagery, it is in the kind of car they would swerve through the Khyber Pass. A speed demon in a slower time. Tales of my parent’s road trip days expanded the picture.

I must have been lost in the dust of this thing for quite a while. Summons to sign for my chariot dragged me back in the world of hurrying. I just had time to snap this picture before I looked too eccentric. Then scribbled on a blur of forms and scurried off to what ever I was late for.

I consider myself indifferent to cars. All that mattered was the Rolls or the Maserati or the custom built Lambo fitting into a parking spot at Hotel De Pilawoos. Even that no long matters. In the maelstrom of life I abandoned the memory of this MG. Just like the criminal who was its previous “owner”. Then I saw David Blacker’s classy shot of this Porsche 356 Coupé. It brought back this photo and related memories into the post you are reading.

Got any Ceylon MG tales? The comment box would like to hear them. So would I.

Logo of an abandoned MG convertible, Colombo Sri Lanka

4 comments

  1. an uncle had an MG TD in the late ’70s (along with a Willy’s jeep and a BSA bike), and he worked on it mostly himself, with the result that my grandmother’s garden looked like a mechanic’s yard. i had a lot of cousins, and half a dozen of us would be jammed into the passenger seat and parcel shelf for an occasional rare drive. i remember a trip to the airport to see someone off (since back then one did that, with a whole extended family squeezed into a convoy of cars), and i remember a hubcap coming off on the way back and skidding off down the road.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] I’m not a car buff. Yet I’m quick to drool at old cars in fine condition. This mid 20th century Mercedes Benz is a classic example. Saw if cruising through the madness of Colombo traffic. It’s dignity got my attention before I realised how well maintained it was. Worlds away from the condition of another classic car I found. […]

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