Cars, to many, are tools of every day life. Go from A to B. See a friend. See a place. For the most part, they’re just there, and nothing more than a collection of metal, plastic and glass.
For Cori Steele, her late father’s 1962 MGA 1600 Mark II is more than just a car, but a part of her dad, long time Sooke resident Neil Fawdry, whose legacy and dedication with the Victoria MG Club was celebrated by members and friends two weeks ago with a drive through East Sooke and Metchosin.
“It’s the camaraderie, which is what he always enjoyed, getting out and doing events,” Steele said, adding Fawdry always took the car to classic car shows on Father’s Day at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, and liked having his car on display at the Sooke Secret Garden Tour over the years at numerous different gardens.
Fawdry’s passion for MGs didn’t officially start until he joined the Victoria MG Club with his wife Lorraine in 1986, and even after moving to Sooke, both continued to support the club, said Armande Morton, VMGC events chair.
For many years, Fawdry organized the VMGC participation in the Oak Bay Tea Party Parade.
“Neil enjoyed a good parade,” Morton said, adding Fawdry was club president twice.
“He was a gentleman through and through, and always willing to help with technical advice or participate in events. He is greatly missed by us all.”
Fawdry owned several MG cars over the years, but it wasn’t until 1997 when he bought a MGA Mark II, which had not run at the time for more than 30 years. Following a complete strip-down right to the frame, the car was back on the road in May 2005.
“He would embrace the spirit of driving the MGA by wearing the Union Jack on a shirt; that spirit is what people knew him for,” Steele said, adding he’d have club get-ups just for the occasion.
The car itself is quite the character, too. It was bought in Victoria, and while it was stolen twice from two previous owners, it spent its entire life on Vancouver Island. Today, its creme-white paint and red leather interior is enough to turn heads, easily retaining its British good looks in the best way a classic roadster can.
Under that long bonnet is a 1.6-litre inline-four cylinder engine with 90 horses, capable of launching the car from 0-60 in around 12 seconds.
Steele said she wants to continue her father’s dedication to the MG club, and become a member.