All about John

John Mangles was born and raised in St Louis.  He worked his way through South County Tech School and apprenticed with several different body shops. He worked for 18 years in the automotive body repair industry before starting his own business – Hi Tech Collision Repair - in 1986.  Initially, John mainly performed collision repair work on modern cars, but after buying and restoring his first MG – a 1965 MGB – he was instantly hooked.  Gradually, over the years he began to work on more and more MG’s and less and less on modern cars as people saw the great work that he had performed on his award winning 1960 British Racing Green MGA as well as other cars.  Over the years, many of John’s restorations for customers have won national, regional, and local awards at various British car shows around the country.

When the MG Centre closed in St Louis, John started to take on more mechanical work for MG and other British cars since there wasn’t really another place in town that he felt could refer his customers.  These days, John has made a complete reversal in that he only works on MG’s as well as other British cars and has gotten out of the collision repair business.  Besides the full range of mechanical work, John provides a complete body restoration service including rust or accident repairs, paintwork, and interiors.  He is also fast becoming a specialist in MGB V8 conversions having now worked on three conversions and about to begin a forth.  On his first MGB V8 conversion project, he worked with the Father of the MGB V8 – Ken Costello – who was staying in St Louis with a friend at the time and worked extensively with John on what was probably the first commercial V8 conversion project performed in the area.

Besides MG’s filling John’s professional life, they are his chief hobby as well.  John has been a member of the MG Club of St Louis since 1989 and has served in the past as Chairman, Secretary, and the MGA Register.  His technical seminars that he holds each winter for the members of the St Louis club are always well attended.  He also has handled the registration for the local British Car Show since 1995 and handled the registration for the MG 2003 convention.  He has been a member of NAMGAR since 1990 and NAMGBR (He has always made the North American MGB Register’s Service Recommendation List) since 1992.   He has competed in all but one of the Missouri Endurance Rallies, did the 2002 Lap of Lake Michigan, and has tried his hand at autocrossing his MG’s.

In March of 2003, John met in Grand Rapids, Michigan with other business owners, club reps, magazine publishers, and parts providers to help form the British Motor Trade Association.  He is a charter member of the organization that was created to improve the standard of service and quality of parts provided to the owners and enthusiasts of British cars. 

John has a son Keith who is a guitar fanatic and plays with a local band.  In 1999, John met the love of his life Carol.  A true lover of adventure, Carol has jumped right into the MG scene and has already gotten 4 endurance rallies under her belt.  In June of 2001, John and Carol were married.  One of her first birthday presents to John after their wedding was a 1973 MGB named “Ruby”.  Another passion they share is their newfound interest in fostering recently retired racing greyhounds.  So far, they have permanently adopted two – Zoë and Cloë – and are learning more about the dogs daily.