TIZI Recovery, Resurrection or Rebirth. Forgiven?

After the return trip to Spain when I was 18, ‘TIZI’, (my 1936 MG TA), lay forgotten in the back of a stable while I went on to university (notable only for where I discovered a second love, an MG TF, and Civil Engineering).

As I was only 16 in 1963 when I acquired TIZI (see TTT 2 Issue 66), she remained registered in my mother’s name. She, in her wisdom, and unbeknown to the rest of the family, transferred the ownership to my son on his arrival. In the 1980s, ‘young Charles’, then 14, decided to visit the stable and uncover the patient….

His face lit up with a big smile ………….

…only to soon appreciate the extent of the

 illness and seek expert medical input.

He mobilized a surgeon and the operating team and after inspection, the diagnosis was “very poorly, seriously neglected and perhaps terminal.”

A bit more probing….

…followed soon thereafter by an Xray….

…then some plasters……

….. but the bald tyres from 1968 / Madrid were left for later amputation!  The only viable option, another anesthetic….

So followed a deep sleep back in the stable for another 20 years until the end of my work on the Channel Tunnel, the Humber Bridge, an oil terminal and a gas terminal (4½ miles north of Glasgow), the Jubilee line, a power station and a tunnel in London, the M4 motorway, Gatwick Airport Runway, three years in Saudi, 3 years in Paris and railways in Australia. No wonder ‘TIZI’ felt forgotten and unloved!

Finally, the prodigal engineer remembered his first love and decided to return to base and try to make up for all his neglect (of both ‘TIZI’ and the now 45 years old ‘young Charles’).

‘TIZI’ was to experience a new birth. The intent was to return her to the state I found her as a poor student, neither better nor worse – a time when it was then just her and me. A lifetime ago before all the future loves, distractions, family, cars (57), house moves and work had intervened.

Ten years of retrieving and transplanting body parts from the attic…

…. chroming, cleaning, mending – not least the driving seat intestines – followed, to help with the rebirth….

…the rebirth!

Then off to Adrian’s operating theatre at Finishing Touch in Weston-super-Mare for the final cosmetic surgery.

The new intern, Charles junior, sedated ‘TIZI’ and having first removed his surgical gloves to protect her spinal column, fixed her arteries / electrics.

….and having acquired the skill to graft on new top skin / tonneau, he discovered the special doctor-patient relationship, and with it the beginnings of responsibility and ownership.

‘TIZI’ is now completely recovered in full health, out of intensive care and back on the road, looking just as she did the day we fell in love in 1963.The old adage that one never forgets one’s first love is indeed true.

She is at last beginning to forgive me for even considering amputation of her bumpers and for all the intervening deep surgery and neglect.

Now it is over to young ‘Doctor Charles’ to find the joy of a first true love!

Charles Penny