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Gas, Vinyl, and Tyler Labine’s 1978 MG Midget

"New Amsterdam" actor Tyler Labine's first car was a money pit, but that didn't prevent him from loving it.

Tyler Labine

(Photo: Jeff Riedel/NBC)

Most new drivers are most excited about the opportunity to drive around town with a carful of their friends. Not Tyler Labine.  The actor liked the fact that his MG Midget could only fit two people: him and his girlfriend.

Labine has come a long since those days, though. The Canada native now stars as Dr. Frome on the hit NBC drama “New Amsterdam.” His character is an attending child psychiatrist who likes to think outside the box but is continually beaten down by the hospital system. Labine can also be seen on the new season of the BBC America series “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency,” starring opposite Elijah Wood and Samuel Barnett, as Sherlock Hobbs, the overly enthusiastic small-town sheriff. On the big screen, Labine has starred alongside James Franco in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” Melissa McCarthy in “The Boss,” and Rob Lowe in “Super Troopers 2.”

But before all this, Labine was cruising around his native British Columbia with girlfriend in his two-seater MG Midget.

What was your first car?

It was a 1978 MG Midget.

How did you acquire it?  

I bought it through a private seller, who made me interview about buying it to make sure I would treat it with love and care. It was surreal.

 What did you love most about it?

I loved that I couldn’t drive a bunch of my mooch friends around in it. Just my girlfriend. Also the smell: gas and vinyl.

What didn’t you like about it?

It broke down all the time. If a car can be a money pit, this certainly was one.

What’s your best memory of it?

Me and three of my friends literally picked it up and moved it one time when I had been blocked in by another car. It was hilarious.

What happened to the car?

I eventually sold it to a very sweet and adoring collector. I made him interview.  He was in his late 60s.

For more celebrity stories, visit AAA.com/MyFirstCar.

Comments
  • Catherine H.

    Back in the early 80’s my husband and I owned a1964 green Ford Mustang(not convertible). We were told it actually was a1964 1/2 model that had a second set of backup lights. I don’t know if this is true, but when it was time to sell, my husband was willing to take $50 for it. I held out for $500 and the buyer immediately turned around and sold it (straight from our garage without even registering it) for $1200. I wish I knew more about it. Anybody? It was a great car! I now have a 1979 red/orange MG Midget convertible we purchased in the early 90’s that still only has about 45,000 miles! Another great car! The old cars really are special

    Reply

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