All posts by amgba

AMERICAN MGB ASSOCIATION MEET 2021 and CHICAGOLAND BRITISH CAR FESTIVAL IN PALATINE, ILLINOIS


story by Bruce Magers, photos by Frank Ochal

The American MGB Association (AMGBA) held its 43rd Annual Meet in conjunction with the 34th annual Chicagoland British Car Festival on Sunday, September 12, 2021 at Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois just outside of Chicago. The American MGB Association Meet/Convention was initially held in the Chicago area in 1978 and it was good to be back where it all began. The AMGBA Meet was held with this show because of the ongoing pandemic fears. Neither show was held in 2020 because of the pandemic.

The show itself is organized by a consortium of British Car Clubs in the Chicago area. It has become the premier event for those interested in British cars in the Chicago area.

Each year the show features hundreds of automobiles ranging from those in Concours condition to just normal everyday drivers. This year was no exception as approximately 500 cars were gathered on the field representing virtually every marque produced in England under almost perfect weather conditions. Door prizes and popular vote awards were presented to the lucky winners.

Food was provided by Robinson’s Ribs. Many food vendors as well as some of the entertainment did not attend because of the uncertainty of the show due to the pandemic.

The American MGB Association (AMGBA) was on the field welcoming old members and signing up several new participants. If you have not had the opportunity to attend this popular event be sure to mark your calendar for the 35th annual event which will be held on September 11, 2022 at Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois. For further information go to www.britishcarunion.com or www.mgclub.org .

Next year’s AMGBA Meet is still in the planning stage. Keep an eye on our website (www.mgclub.org) or in future issues of the Octagon for details. The MGB and Midget winners were as follows:

MGB- Chrome Bumper Roadster

1. ’73 red B, Philip Wydra, ’73 red B, Fox River Grove, IL

2. ’67 red B, Denise & Pete Ballard, Plainfield, IL

3. ’64 red B, Chuck & Gail Haskins, Burlington, WI

MGB – Rubber Bumper Roadster

1. ’80 red B, John Frost, Kenosha, WI

2. ’79 yellow B, Dean Hickenlooper, Darien, IL

3. ’79 B LE, Melissa Gonzales, Pingree Grove, IL

MGB-GT

1. ’74 gray B-GT, Jeremy Kinsey, Burlington, WI

MG Midget

1. ’65 red Midget MKII, Stephen Sparks, Chicago, IL

2. ’74 blue Midget, Paul Polaski, Lyons, IL

1st Place Rubber Bumper MGB - John Frost, '80 MGB, Kenosha, Wisconsin
1st place Chrome Bumper MGB –
Philip Wydra, ’73 MGB, Fox River Grove, Illinois
1st Place Rubber Bumper MGB –
John Frost, ’80 MGB, Kenosha, Wisconsin
1st Place MGB-GT - Jeremy Kinsey, '74 B-GT, Burlington, Wisconsin1st Place MG Midget - Stephen Sparks, '65 Mk II, Chicago, Illinoi
1st Place MGB-GT –
Jeremy Kinsey, ’74 B-GT, Burlington, Wisconsin
1st Place MG Midget –
Stephen Sparks, ’65 Mk II, Chicago, Illinois
2nd place Chrome Bumper MGB - Denise & Pete Ballard, Plainfield, Illinois2nd place Rubber Bumper MGB - Dean Hickenlooper, '79 MGB, Darien, Illinois
2nd place Chrome Bumper MGB –
Denise & Pete Ballard, Plainfield, Illinois
2nd place Rubber Bumper MGB –
Dean Hickenlooper, ’79 MGB, Darien, Illinois
2nd Place MG Midget - Paul Polaski, '74 Midget, Lyons, Illinois3rd place Chrome Bumper MGB - Chuck & Gail Haskins,'64 MGB, Burlington, Wisconsin
2nd Place MG Midget –
Paul Polaski, ’74 Midget, Lyons, Illinois
3rd place Chrome Bumper MGB –
Chuck & Gail Haskins,’64 MGB, Burlington, Wisconsin
3rd place Rubber Bumper MGB - Melissa Gonzales, Pingree Grove, IllinoisAMGBA Tent at British Car Festival and Meet 2021
3rd place Rubber Bumper MGB –
Melissa Gonzales, Pingree Grove, Illinois
AMGBA Tent at British Car Festival and Meet 2021

’73 B-GT of Peter Hallett from Chester, New Hampshire

An American MGB Association Queen B is the ’73 MGB-GT of Peter Hallett from Chester, New Hampshire. Here is the story:

In 1975, when I was 36 years old. I did all my own maintenance. My wife called it my $80 fix-up car since it seemed that just about any fix cost $80.

Now I am 81 years old and have trouble getting in and out of my lovely toy so I may have to part with it.

Kind regards,

Peter Hallett
Chester, NH

'73 B-GT of Peter Hallet from Chester, New Hampshire
'73 B-GT of Peter Hallet from Chester, New Hampshire

’75 B of Steve Lea from Madison, Wisconsin

I bought this MGB in October 2019. I was not in the market for an MGB, so I knew nothing about them. That is not my style for buying. I normally do a great deal of research.

The gentleman selling the car was in very poor health. He had the car partially restored, and my main concern was rust. He said there was none. I have since found a small amount in the floor pans, and repaired that. I didn’t know much about Lucas electric systems when we bought it, but I have learned a lot in the last year. He had the engine rebuilt with 38K original miles and new paint and did some front suspension work. He pulled the engine to rebuild, but did not redo anything else under hood. The car was white and he repainted red, so engine bay and rear trunk are still white.

Some of my projects in the last year include:

Electrical:
1. Got original radio working and replaced the antenna. (While we don’t listen to it (use iPhone with Bluetooth to a portable BOSE speaker), it is nice that it works.
2. Replaced courtesy light and door switches.
3. Replaced cigar lighter.
4. Replaced several gauges.
5. Replaced turn signal and High Beam headlight dimmer.
6. Installed relays for high beams, low beams, electric fan, all running tail lights, running lights, horn.

Mechanical:
1. Rebuilt rear suspension (new shocks, leaf springs, bushings).
2. Replaced exhaust hanger
3. Pulled heater and rebuilt and repainted it. I haven’t reinstalled it, but as hard as it was to remove, I read that it is harder to install.

Interior:
1. Sealed floor pans.
2. New carpeting.
3. New door cards and front and rear panels
4. New leather cover for steering wheel.
5. New wind blocker

Projects in the future:
1. Repaint engine bay.
2. Repair vinyl seats.
3. Install a new front anti-sway bar.
4. Rebuild the Weber Carburetor that came on the car. (I think jets are incorrect).
5. Refurbish master cylinder.
6. Reinstall heater.

Steve Lea
Madison, WI

'75 B of Steve Lea from Madison, Wisconsin

Book: Mouse, the Man and the MGB

by Wayne Truax

Mouse, the Man and the MGB

A mouse, a man, and an old car…what could possibly happen? The following article is how I turned my encounter with a curious little mouse into a fun children’s story, and some of the challenges I faced trying to finish the book.

About 3 years ago I was working on my MGB’s engine and I felt as though I was being watched. I looked up and spotted a little mouse standing on the opposite fender watching me. I yelled and waived my arms, pretty much the same way it shows in the book. At first and he ran away, but the little mouse kept coming back. We crossed paths several more times that year and I would see him watching me work both inside and outside the car. The mouse never built a nest or did any damage to the car, and I began thinking about a story. The story would be about a mouse that wants to help but is chased away; he does not give up and develops a relationship with the man.

Over the next few years I kept thinking of the story and I finally decided to write it down in January 2020 during a 45-minute train ride to work. I had the ideas for the drawings in my head for quite awhile, and the words just flowed as I had imagined the story. When I returned home that evening, I sent a copy of the story to my friend Andrew H. Black, a talented graphic designer, who had written, illustrated and published several books himself. I asked if we could make a book out of the story and he said, “Sure!” So we started putting together details for the drawings and Andy began sketching ideas.

Unfortunately, shortly after we started work on the book COVID began to impact the US and I had to stop due to my job in emergency management. For several months I did not have the time, energy, or creativity to work on the book and believed it would not get published until 2021.

But in June work stabilized and I had time to start focusing on the book again. It became an outlet that allowed me to think about something other than work. Having time to focus allowed the creative thought processes to take off again and Andy and I were on a roll. Andy recommended I shorten the story and limit the number of technical drawings. I wanted more technical drawings, but Andy knew I was going overboard and firmly asked, “Is this a children’s book or technical manual?” I answered “Both!” We compromised.

We spent July through November proofing drawings and rewriting story lines to match the illustrations. I asked people I trusted to provide honest feedback when reviewing the drawings and reading the story. My wife Nancy and friend Lee were invaluable reviewers and editors, but in the end they both made it clear that it was “my story and everything was a suggestion.” I proofed the book over 100 times during the process to reduce the text and get everything right. I learned very quickly when editing if you are not in the right frame of mind it just creates more work.

In a stroke of luck during the final weeks of editing I discovered what a great feature the “Read Aloud” capability in Adobe Acrobat is. I began listening to the story to make the final changes. There are number of voices to select from, and I chose “Mia,” a women’s voice with an English accent that became my favorite proofreader. I would close my eyes and listen. If Mia stumbled or a word sounded off, I would tweak the sentence, and have Mia read it again until I was happy with it. No more convincing myself it sounded correct when it really didn’t.

The day the book was submitted for print I was up at 4:30 in the morning and Mia read the book to me at least 20 more times. I made 10 minor tweaks before declaring it finished, sending the final edits to Andy, and finally uploading it to the publisher later that day.

My hope is that this book will make young and old alike smile when reading the story and looking at the detailed illustrations. With luck, little ones will become more curious about our cars, memories will be stirred up, and we will share some MGB stories or old pictures with the next generations of owners.

’73 B and ’67 GT of Thomas Miller

The ’73 roadster is my 6th MG (TD, 2 MGAs, 2 MGBs). The ’67 GT is a restoration/resurrection project, starting with 2 67s, the GT and a roadster used as an organ donor (engine, transmission, various useful bits and pieces (steel dash, seats, all missing from the GT, which was essentially a shell). The GT body has been away at the welder’s for about a year and is due back around Christmas. Panel straightening will be followed by sandblasting and primer and paint, and finally reassembly. Engine is being done gradually and am doing the transmission now. As you might expect, am tithing to Moss…

Thomas Miller
Bellows Falls, VT

'73 B roadster of Thomas Miller of Belllows Falls, Vermont
'67 B-GT of Thomas Miller of Belllows Falls, Vermont

Tentative American MGB Association Meet 2021 and Chicagoland British Car Festival in Palatine, Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: 43rd Annual AMGBA Meet 2021 will tentatively be at the Chicagoland British Car Festival at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois on September 12, 2021. More information regarding this show can be found at www.britishcarunion.com .

The American MGB Association’s 43rd Annual Meet – AMGBA MEET 2021 – for the MGB, MGB-GT & Midget – at the Chicagoland British Car Festival at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois – September 12, 2021

MG sports car production as we know it was discontinued in 1980 with the closing of the famed Abingdon-On-Thames works in the United Kingdom. But these modern day classics are being preserved forever here in North America by members of the American MGB Association which serves enthusiastic MGB, MGB-GT, and MG Midget owners throughout the USA, Canada and throughout the world. Each year, the AMGBA holds its National Meet.

The 1978 initial gathering was held in Chicago. In 1979 and 1980 the AMGBA National Conventions were held in New York state, in Ithaca and Glens Falls. The organization’s success led to renting the world famous Indianapolis 500 Motor Speedway in 1981 for the AMGBA National Convention. In 1982, the AMGBA held its National Convention outside the USA in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. In the years 1983 and 1984, the AMGBA went west for the first time in Lake Tahoe, California and Boulder, Colorado. In 1985, the AMGBA held two conventions in Santa Barbara, California and Abingdon, Illinois. In 1986, we visited Texas during its 150 year anniversary in San Antonio, Texas and in 1987 we visited the Saratoga Springs area of beautiful upstate New York. In 1988, the convention site was Kansas City, Missouri. In 1989, we visited the Great Northwest part of our country in Springfield, Oregon.

In 1990 the convention was held in Atlanta, Georgia which was a first for that area of the country. In 1991 we returned to the site of our first convention in Chicago and in 1992, we returned to the West Coast to the beautiful San Francisco Bay area in Palo Alto, California. In 1993, we traveled to New England at Keene, New Hampshire near the site of the Westminster MG Museum. In 1994, we went for the first time to the San Diego, California area at the Del Mar race track. In 1995 we went to Memphis, Tennessee, home of the blues and Elvis Presley. In 1996 we joined with all of the major MG clubs in North America for MG Indy ’96 in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Indy 500 track. In 1997 we were on the West Coast in the San Francisco area at Palo Alto, California. In 1998, we were in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Lake Campus of Davidson College. In 1999, we went to Los Angeles, California.

In 2000, we went to Armagh, Pennsylvania and joined with the TRF Summer Party and in 2001 we were in Houston, Texas for the Houston MG Club’s All British Motor Vehicle Exposition. In 2002 we again went to the San Francisco, California area for the Palo Alto British Car Meet. For 2003 we visited Florida and the Space Coast in Titusville, Florida. In 2004, we visited picturesque Cape Cod in Massachusetts for the Cape Cod British Car Club’s British Legends Weekend. In 2005, we were in San Diego, California at Fairbrook Farms in Bonsall for San Diego British Car Day. We were in Maryland in 2006 at the MGs on the Rocks Show and in 2007 we went to Charlotte, North Carolina at the MGs on the Green Show. In 2008 we were in Armagh, Pennsylvania with The Roadster Factory Summer Party and for 2009 we planned for a show in the Central Valley of California.

In 2010 we went to Sussex, Wisconsin for the British Car Field Day. For 2011 we were in Ohio for the first time at Dayton in conjunction with the Annual British Car Day at Eastwood Metropark. We went to the Jersey Shore in 2012 with the Annual Brits on the Beach Show in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. In 2013 we visited Mississippi for the first time to the oldest city on the Mississippi River in conjunction with the English Motoring Club of Mississippi’s Brits on the Bluff Show in Natchez, Mississippi. In 2014, we were at New England’s largest British car show at the British Invasion in Stowe, Vermont. Meet 2015 was in South Carolina at the Britfest in Myrtle Beach. In 2016 we were in Virginia for the first time in Waynesboro at the Shenandoah Valley British Car Festival and in 2017 we made our initial trip to Alabama in Fairhope which is near Mobile and the Gulf Coast at the South Alabama British Car Festival. In 2018, we went to the Philadelphia area for the first time at the Brits in the Village Show in Lahaska, Pennsylvania. For 2019 we will be at the Grand Strand British Car Club’s Britfest at Market Common in Myrtle Beach, SC. Meet 2020 was not held due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

For 2021 we will be back where it all started tentatively at the Chicagoland British Car Festival at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois It promises to be a great time and a memorable experience for all that attend. For more information contact the above, write to the American MGB Association, 5433 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60640, call 773-769-7084, email us at info@mgclub.org or explore our website at www.mgclub.org.

The American MGB Association (AMGBA) is North America’s oldest, largest and best cub for all MGBs, MGB-GTs and Midgets.  It was established in 1975 and has provided continuous services to owners of MGBs, MGB-GTs and Midgets throughout North America since then. National conventions have been held annually since 1978 from New York to California and Texas to Canada. Membership in the AMGBA is not required to attend but it is encouraged. For membership info call 773-769-7084, email: info@mgclub.org , website: www.mgclub.org or write to: AMGBA, 5433 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60640 U.S.A. Membership is $35 per year or $45 per year outside the U.S.A.