Getting Coffee and buying a prewar MG
One day Roland Hatebur was visiting Geneva when he started talking to a elderly gentleman in a café – he went home owning a 1935 MG KN Special.
The story begins with Roland Hatebur going to Geneva on a day trip to visit the city. He quickly developed the urge to grab a good hot coffee. And in order to get a good coffee one must choose a well visited café. Roland stepped into one which looked quite busy. It turned out that there was just one single seat free next to an elderly gentleman. After having politely asked whether the one seat would be available. Roland sat down and ordered a coffee and a croissant.
After a while the two gentleman started talking. It quickly turned out, that they were both huge petrolheads. Having covered all sorts of cars and special moments, Roland then mentioned, that his biggest dream was, to one day own a prewar car. Surprisingly, the gentleman answered that he in fact owns a prewar MG and whether he would be interested in buying it. Roland answered “no way am I able to afford such a car” to which the gentleman replied “Let that be my problem”, However the topic was quickly changed. After talking for quite a while they went for a walk along the lake where they had lunch. Obviously the topic of their discussions were cars again and at about 5 PM the gentleman asked if Roland would like to go to dinner with him and his wife. “Of course” Roland replied and at dinner the conversation was eventually drawn back to the prewar MG. It was no surprise that Roland, when asked whether he would like to see the car, answered “Of course, I would love to see it”
The car at the time was stored at the Musée ‘Automobil at the Palexpo in Geneva. The Gentleman phoned a friend which could open the museum after dinner. Once they arrived at the museum they were given a private tour around the museum grounds. After seeing most of the exhibits they entered the prewar-era room, where also a few MG’s were on display. Roland pointed to a MG which had a supercharger at the front and six pipes sticking out from the side and told the gentleman that something like this would be his dream car. Being asked why, Roland replied “Well, it looks kind of cute, but l imagine it is quite a mean machine”. The gentleman replied: “Yes you are right. This is in fact my car! Would you like to buy it?”.
“Tell me a number and the rest will be my decision”
Roland answered “I told you before, unfortunately I can’t afford such a car.” The gentleman replied “Tell me a number and the rest will be my decision”, Roland started calculating how much it would cost him to make the car streetworthy again, to insure it and so on. He then came up with a number, to which the gentleman replied “You got it, Deal!”. Roland couldn’t believe it and replied: “No way!”. But the gentleman nodded his head and said “Yes, its your’s, you can pick it up tomorrow.”
Roland drove home the same day only to head right back the morning after with a trailer and the money which they agreed on. The next day Roland was able to pick the car up and take it back home. After a few weeks of working on the car he was able to take it on the street. On a snowy and rainy day we met up with him for a drive up the famous Klausenpass in Switzerland.
You can get a closer and more detailed look into the story of how Roland Hatebur got his MG KN-Special in this video:
The mean machine MG KN Special 1935 and a snowy Klausenpass | STORY
Photos & Words by Alpineracer.ch