If you were in Kelley earlier this month at the community hog roast and car show, you may have noticed a striking silver automobile that really stood out.
The 1952 silver MGTD belongs to a Huxley woman, Anne Quick.
“People are generally surprised to learn that I am the owner, not my husband, and that I can drive a standard transmission,” said Anne, who bought the car at an auction in Boone on Sept. 26, 2015. When they see it, most ask her how old the car is and they like to verify that it is indeed an original and not a kit car.
The car had been partially restored in California and driven to Boone in the mid-1980s. Grant Quam, from Ames, purchased it in 1987 as a package deal to also get a vintage American car that he wanted for his extensive collection. The MGTD is a British vehicle. MG stands for Morris Garages, a British automotive marque registered by the now-defunct MG Car Company Limited — a British sports car manufacturer begun in the 1920s as a sales promotion sideline within William Morris’s Oxford city retail sales and service business by the business’s manager, Cecil Kimber.
Quick bought her MGTD at an auction held by Quam’s heirs after he and his wife passed away. “The MGTD was the only car of its kind at the auction, not as desirable as the American cars, and yet I competed with five other people in order to get it,” Anne said. “I went slightly over my budget, but am ever so glad I kept bidding because it has been the perfect car for me.”
After purchasing it, she drove it from Boone to Huxley that same day. “It has no fuel gauge, just a measure stick, so I misjudged and ran out of fuel outside of Slater,” she recalled. “It got me home just fine, but the smell from the oil leak and lack of power were the first things to attend to. My husband, Steve, is my mechanic and has made many improvements to its performance and reliability.”
The first Christmas after buying the MGTD, she received a small toolbox and a set of Whitworth tools as a gift from Steve. “Neither standard nor metric tools fit,” she said.
She considers her MGTD a fair-weather car since it is a convertible. Even with the top up, there are no windows or side curtains.
“I generally drive only in Huxley or towns nearby,” she said, “yet every month in the summer, the British Car Club of Des Moines (to which she belongs) takes a day trip together, which might be 100-150 miles, generally on two-lane roads. I am the only female driver in the bunch.”
Car shows are also a favorite pastime for Anne. “I have taken my car to shows in Madrid, Slater, Huxley, Ankeny, Kelley, Cambridge, Johnston and Des Moines. It’s not a trailer queen, so I generally stay closer to home.”
The most prestigious car show she’s attended was in 2018, when she was invited to participate in the Concours D’Elegance at the Pappajohn Sculpture Park in Des Moines for the Children’s Cancer Connection. “One of the badges mounted on the front of the car is from this exceptional show,” she said. “The other (badge on the front of her car) represents the British Car Club in Des Moines.”
As far as cosmetic improvements she’s made to the car, Anne said she hasn’t changed the exterior much at all, except for the addition of chrome wire-spoked wheels and radial tires. With no desire to sell it at any time soon, she noted that she may update the paint and upholstery in the near future to keep its special charm.
Anne and Steve Quick were business owners in Huxley for many years. In April of 1983, they purchased the local hardware store and it became Quick’s Hardware Hank. “We ran our ‘mom and pop’ store for 35 years until we retired in December of 2017,” Anne said. The couple is also still active in land development in Huxley, something they did while running their business and still enjoy today.
As for cars, the MGTD isn’t the only car of interest at the Quick’s household. “Steve owns a 1965 Plymouth Sport Fury. His car looks and performs better than the original. It’s considered a ‘Resto-Mod’ because of the improvements in performance and safety, but it still has the original 383 Commando engine,” Anne also owned a 1929 Chrysler for about 15 years but recently parted with it to make room in the garage and to finance her chrome wheels. “It was trickier to start, and I needed to double-clutch going both up or down the gears, so my MG is much flashier, fun and easier to drive.”
And drive it she will, for as long as she can. “There is always something special about driving a convertible on a beautiful day. I love the two-tone grays highlighted by all the sparkling chrome. I am especially drawn to roadsters with long front ends, chrome radiators and large headlights. My car has it all!”