THE STORY OF AN MGA
1957 MGA 1500 fondly known as Oh Twenty Nine
MGA serial no. HDT43/28939
Purchased from Morris Garage, Maryland, NY
Original Owner Edwin "Spankey" Smith
Current owner: Joe Tierno, Honeoye Falls, New York
MGA 029 might be the most famous of any racing MGA's. Originally purchased by Ed Spankey Smith in 1957, the car was painted a bright tyrolite green and had the optional wire wheels. Smith was friends with Bob Bucher a race driver of considerable talent from the same upstate New York area. Bucher's favorite race number was 29 so Spankey began to enter the MG as 029 when Bucher had his own Cad Allard at the track.
Although not documented, we think Bucher rolled the car in late 1957, fortunately without any injury to himself. As the car's bodywork was being finished he decided the car would look a lot better in dark, British Racing Green and as an avid hot rodder, installed round Morris Minor tail lights in place of the standard MGA units. 029 has raced in dark green ever since.
The car won the prestigious Collier Brothers Memorial in 1957 and 1958. The 58 race ended with the most famous last lap in MGA racing history where Bucher and Sherm Decker rubbed knock-off spinners, side-by-side, in the last turn. (see page 2)
029 had lots of races around the Northeast at tracks like Lime Rock Park, Thompson Speedway, Giants Despair Hillclimb, Berwick and Mt. Equinox but by far it's greatest successes came at Watkins Glen.
Smith drove the car until he died in 1986. Joe Tierno bought it from his estate in 1987. Tierno has restored 029 to its 50's racing look and campaigns the car to this day. Proving that old 029 has a lot of life left in her, Tierno has won the new Collier Cup at Watkins Glen twice since he has owned the car.
at the last Sunday race
ever held at Lime Rock in April
1959. 029 came back 2 weeks
later and led before retiring
Bucher brings 029 into
the Lime Rock pit area
after a practice run
Bucher at Giants Despair when
the car was still Tyrolite green. Note spectator fencing and freshly oiled road surface.
|Bucher, Spankey & Kay Bucher take the victory lap in 029 at Watkins Glens 1957 Collier Cup||Watkins Glen 1957. 029 was first this day in the Collier Cup and Deckers MGA #112 was 4th|