“I had pictures of this car all over my walls when I was a boy.”
- The Ride
- The Driver: Mark
- Car in Question: Replica of a 1953 MGTD
- Spotted at: Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon Street San Francisco, CA 94123
- Odometer: 80,000
- Car’s Nickname: The Little Red Car
Q: Hi Mark. This is a beautiful car. What can you tell us about it?
A: The car is a replica. It is not an authentic model, but it looks so much like one. It is a replica of a 1953 MGTD series. The body itself came from Brazil. It’s fiberglass. The engine in it was originally a Volkswagen engine, but I had it modified to match the specifics of the 714 series Porsche had. It gave it a little more umph. The pan underneath and the running gear are from a 1968 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.
Q: How long have you had this car?
A: I’ve had this one for about 15 years now. When I say this one, I mean I’ve had others. I’ve always had one red roadster. I’ve always had at least one sports car that’s totally unusual and unique, so that I know someone’s not going to park next to me with a car that looks exactly like mine. Red is the active color and I’m a Scorpio. We like red.
Q: Is there a story behind why you chose this specific car?
A: Back when I was 15 years old, closer to 14. Hot Rod Magazine, a black and white publication. When we were teenagers we were all totally devoted to cars. That was the year of the hot rods. What I did, I would buy Hot Rod Magazine every month. Then low and behold, they came out with a color one! They featured the MGTD and it was red. I had pictures of this car all over my walls when I was a boy.
Q: Neat! Can you tell us about your licence plate?
A: I used to have a license plate that said, “Sobriety bought me this car and not smoking puts gas in it.” Now my license plate reads “H-I-O-N-S-F,” which epitomizes my feeling about San Francisco. I’m so in love with San Francisco. I’m euphoric.
Photos and interview by Abigail Kira
View previous Defend Your Ride features as well as other great stories for people who love cars at CBSSanFrancisco.com/Autos.