1958 MGA is owner’s dream car

1958 MGA is owner’s dream car

Darrell Hallgren fell in love with classic cars at age 12

  • Nov. 1, 2019 6:30 a.m.

– Story by Maggie Jackson Photography by Don Denton

Darrell Hallgren of Bear Mountain fell in love with classic cars when he was twelve years old. A few decades later, his dream of owning his dream car came true. That car was a cream coloured 1958 MGA.

“I saw it online and purchased it without driving it, Hallgren said. “You might say it was love at first sight. It was shipped to Victoria in an enclosed carrier.”

The MGA was restored before he purchased it. “The car is mostly original. It’s a complete off-frame restoration. The tires are aftermarket and the back taillights are from a 1960 MGA.

I also personalized a few things,” Hallgren said. “I love classic cars, they have so much character. They remind me of the simple things in life that make us happy.”

This isn’t Hallgren’s first classic car. “I’ve had a Porsche 911, a BMW M3 and a Jag XKR, but I only had them for a year or two. I experienced them, and that was cool, but then I was looking for something new again. This one is different. I remember going to car shows when I was young and I could look at this body style for half an hour. The 1958 MGA was really the car of my dreams.”

“I love the colour combination of this MGA. I love the body style and the noise it makes, hence no radio. It puts a smile on my face every time I drive it,” he said. “I have owned many fast European sports cars, but they weren’t right for me. But this, this ’58 MGA … it’s hard to put into words. This car is so cool. I’ve never felt this way about a vehicle before. I guess you could say it brings out the boy inside of me.”

The interior of the car is indicative of the 1958 era. “The handles are not on the outside, they are hidden inside the door where you pull on a cable. It’s so straight-forward – there’s a map light on the right-hand side. People ask why I don’t put a radio in and it’s because I don’t want to kill the sound of driving the car.”

The dash of the car is, of course, all analogue. “The dash is all old school,” said Hallgren. The dash is so simple and elegant, yet highly functional. The back-light is a greenish colour. The speedometer, tach and oil are all analogue and instead of the signal light on the column there’s a switch on the dash that you push. There are little lights on the dash too.”

Owning the MGA has changed the way Hallgren drives. “It’s really cool to drive this car. I used to travel in the fast lane all the time, now I’m in the slow lane and it doesn’t bother me one bit. It’s funny how you have these fast vehicles and you get caught up in the speed of it. In this car I want to enjoy the ride, enjoy the scenery. I love driving around the south island, especially near the ocean.”

The car has also garnered Hallgren a few new friends along the way. “When people see me in the car they always come and talk to me, some become friends. Little kids will walk by and stop and wave and give me the thumbs up. When I’m stopped in traffic, people roll down their window to ask about the car.”

And, his car has a name. “I named it Isa, after my daughter Isabella, who’s the love of my life. I plan on keeping this car forever, and when the time is right, I’ll give it to my daughter.”

Hallgren has owned the MGA for over three years now and the thrill of owning it is still there. “This car is a keeper. Everyone from 8 to 80 years old smiles and waves when I drive it. They want to come over and talk to me about it. You can’t put a price on happiness.”

CAR DETAILS

Year: 1958

Make: MG, two door roadster

Model: MGA

Exterior: cream

Interior: red

Mileage: 57,936 km (36,000 miles)

Motor/Engine: 1800 cc

Transmission: Manual, 4 speed gear box with rear wheel drive

Outside length: 3962 mm / 156 in

Width: 1454 mm / 57.25 in

Wheelbase: 2388 mm / 94 in

Curb weight: 930 kg / 2050 lbs

Top speed: 150 km/h (93 mph)

(declared by factory)

Accelerations: 0-60 mph 14.6 s; 0- 100 km/h 15.7 s; 1/4 mile drag time (402 m) 19.8 s

Gas mileage: 11.3 l/100km, 25.1 mpg (imp.), 8.9 km/l

Manufactured from 1955 to 1962 in Abington, England

Lifestyle

Just Posted

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The Victoria woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Anita Troop officially turns 100 on Sunday and cards are pouring in from around the world. (Courtesy Marina Miller)
Cards roll in from around the world for West Shore 100 year old

About 100 cards have come for the woman who turns 100 on Sunday

A cardboard man bearing Queen Elizabeth II’s royal cipher has been placed in a window at the Royal Theatre for at least several days. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Mysterious cardboard figure appears in Victoria’s Royal Theatre window

The identity of the figure, which was moved there amid cleaning, remains unknown

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read