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'73 B of Art Isaacs

73 B of Art Isaacs
73 B of Art Isaacs

The August 2008 issue’s Queen B is the ’73 B of Art Isaacs of our technical staff. Here is his story:

I am the second owner of this car and bought it for $300 in 1990. It had fortunately been abandoned inside a garage, so rust was not as bad as it could have been. Though there was some minor collision damage to the front and rust along both sills, the car was basically complete and solid and much of the body remains original even now. The dealer emblem on the rear is from the original new car dealer sale. I took on a full rebuild and restoration that took about 3 years to complete. I still consider it a work in progress, as refinements and improvements are always being made. The Hong Kong and China plates are legit and owing to my working there, but just for show in the US. The NJ “QQ” tags are hidden beneath the HK ones. Though never intended as a show car, it is primarily driven for enjoyment, it has consistently garnered 1st and 2nd place in class honors at shows it is entered in. Even after these many years, it continues to be a source of much enjoyment, pride and entertainment.

Back View

The dealer emblem on the rear is from the original sale to an associates’ son when he was a student in Denver. The Hong Kong and China plates are real and owing to my working there and being an active member of the MG Car Club – Hong Kong (the HK club badge is set in the grille), but are just for show and generating interest in a sea of red MGB’s here in the US. The NJ “QQ” tags are hidden beneath the HK ones which are on removable slip plates.

Interior

The instrument panel and gauges are all original. I used a coverlay on top and sat hours with black silicon and a toothpick to repair cracks in the vertical face which, 18 years on, are still holding up with the repairs invisible. The steering wheel is a Grant Signature Classic. It is not available from any of the MG catalogs, but from most auto parts chains and the JEGS or JC Whitney catalogs. The MG logo horn button is home made from the plain kit piece, but all else is available for all MGB’s.

Engine in place and trimmed

I modified the Stellings & Hellings air cleaners from the HS application by drilling-out the threaded holes in the back plate so they can be fitted to the HIF carbs. I recently changed to a Pertronix electronic ignition and am very happy with the results.

'73 B of Art Isaacs

'73 B of Art Isaacs

'73 B of Art Isaacs

'73 B of Art Isaacs


From the Editor's Desk – August 2008

by Frank Ochal

'74 B of David Arnett at AMGBA Meet 2008 Welcome to the new members that have joined since the last issue.
We would like to thank Art Isaacs, Wally & Sand Smith, Brian Gurney, Tom Triatik and all of the other contributors to this issue of the Octagon. Also thanks to Art Isaacs for his continued work in answering members’ technical questions and answers. Be sure to send in photos and stories so we can include them in future issues of the Octagon.

American MGB Association Meet 2008 was held June 19-21, 2008 in Armagh, Pennsylvania in conjunction with the TRF Summer Party. See the report and photos elsewhere on the website.
You can now see more information on each local club on the Club Message Board in the Local Groups/Activities section.

Technical Sections Volume III is now available which continues the great tradition of practical tech advice started with Volumes I and II. In keeping with the times this one is available only on CD for PC or Mac. Another new item in the store is a complete copy of the past ten years of the Octagon available on CD only for PC or Mac.

We have a new and improved club message board. You can access through the club website at www.mgclub.org or directly at http://board.amgba.com . We have a members only section of the message board. You can use the user id and password on page 3 of each Octagon or you can get a personal id and password. To do so, register and then logon to the message board and send a message to us with a reply in this section or via email. This allows you to access the MEMBER ONLY QUESTION & ANSWER and UPKEEP & PERFORMANCE HINTS area. It also allows you to post items in the FOR SALE and WANTED sections as well as post photos in the MEMBER PHOTOS area. Also there is a now a Local Groups/Activities section.
The club also now has a blog located at http://blog.amgba.com . Members can publish items or comments to the Blog by logging in as a member. We have a new American MGB Association photo gallery located at http://photos.amgba.com . The same login is used for the gallery as the Message Board. Members can download photos directly to this gallery.

Members now receive monthly publications. The Octagon is published in February, April, June, August, October and December and the eOctagon is published in January, March, May, July, September and November.

We now offer a 3 year membership or renewal rate which includes a free t-shirt or tech volume III CD. The rate is $95 or $125 for members outside the USA. And in response to many members we now have a 3 year eMembership for $50 which also includes a free t-shirt or tech volume III CD. Save money and get a t-shirt or tech CD!

Send us your email address so that we can send you the eOctagon. The eOctagon is sent via bulk email so if you are blocking this type of email you will not get it.

Please send in you stories and photos to be used in the Octagon. You will receive a credit toward renewal or regalia.

Send in your list of spare parts that you have for sale as we send out all lists we have received during the year to members that request lists of spare parts available. These lists are also now appear on our web page in the “members only” section!

You need an ID and password to access the “members only” section of our web site at www.mgclub.org. You will find the ID and password on page 3 of the OCTAGON. These change with each issue so be sure to use only the ones listed in the latest issue.

Have a great driving season and see you at the many shows this summer!

AMGBA Meet 2008 in Armagh, Pennsylvania

by Frank Ochal

The American MGB Association held its 31st annual Meet on June 20 – 21, 2008 at Armagh near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The event was held in conjunction with the annual Roadster Factory Summer Party. This event has been going on for many years and this was purported to be the last one. I will be sad to see it go but there were hints that it may be resurrected in a different format and not every year.

On Friday, there was a barbecue picnic for the participants which consisted of hamburgers and hot dogs. They were then treated to music by Roadster Factory employee. The traditional Summer Party bonfire and a bedsheet drive-in movie showing “Animal House” followed the barbecue.

On Saturday, many of the cars participated in a “poker rallye” consisting of 86 miles of scenic driving. Participants received a playing card at stops along the way. The winning poker won a cash prize. Technical and information seminars were given at the Roadster Factory headquarters in Armagh during the afternoon.

Late Saturday afternoon, a downtown Indiana, Pennsylvania street near the Coventry Inn was closed off for the car show. The Coventry Inn is a British restaurant owned by Charles Runyan and he also serves at its chief chef. The cars lined up on the street in various classes awaiting popular vote balloting.

A fine meal was prepared for each of the participants at staggered times so that a quality meal could be served. This also allowed for a three hour voting and display while dinner was being served.

Secretary Margie Springer and myself handled the AMGBA awards presentation.

It was great to meet many of our long time members in the this area of the country.

Margie Springer and myself were kept busy all day signing up new members and providing other member services at the AMGBA table.

The AMGBA wishes to thank Charles Runyan an John Swauger at the entire staff of the Roadster Factory and Coventry Inn for hosting the event.

Winners of the American MGB Association popular vote were as follows:

RUBBER BUMPER MGBs

1. ’77, white – James Young, Canton, OH

2. ’79, black – Jeff Lee, Belle Vernon, PA

3. ’79, black – Howard & Joan Henry, Indiana,PA

CHROME BUMPER MGBs

1. ’65, white – Jim Royal, Warren, OH

MGB – GTs

1. ’72, green – Marilyn Phillippi, Homer City, PA

2. ’74, white – Scott Reinhardt, Spencer, OH

MG MIDGET

1. ’72, red – Bud Osborne, McDonald, PA

For information on next year’s event or on the American MGB Association, please contact the AMGBA, P. O. Box 11401, Chicago, IL 60611; phone: (773) 878-5055; email: meet@mgclub.org; website: mgclub.org .

1st place chrome bumper - '65 of Jim Royal 1st place rubber bumper - '77 B of James Young

1st place chrome bumper B – ’65 of Jim Royal

1st place rubber bumper B – ’77 B of James Young

1st place B-GT - '72 V-8 of Marilyn Phillippi 1st place Midget - '72 of Bud Osborne

1st place B-GT – ’72 V-8 of Marilyn Phillippi

1st place Midget – ’72 of Bud Osborne

2nd place B-GT - '74 of Scott Reinhardt 2nd place rubber bumper  - '79 of Jeff Lee

2nd place B-GT – ’74 of Scott Reinhardt

2nd place rubber bumper B – ’79 of Jeff Lee

3rd place rubber B - '79 of Howard and Joan Henry Charles Runyan saying farewell to his Summer Party attendees

3rd place rubber B – ’79 of Howard and Joan Henry

Charles Runyan saying farewell to his Summer Party attendees

Margie Springer announcing the winners The Roadster Factory - site of AMGBA Meet 2008
Margie Springer announcing the winners The Roadster Factory – site of AMGBA Meet 2008

Revival of TF roadster shows the Spirit of MG is still alive and well!

MG TF
MG TF

It’s the roadster revival of the decade! Auto Express can exclusively take the wraps off the car that’s sure to get British fans hot under the collar: the new MG TF.

Emerging from the ashes of the famous company, the roadster is the first sign that the spirit of MG is alive and well, even though the brand is in the hands of Chinese owners.

This stunning model is set to replace the existing TF – production of which is back on track at MG Rover’s old home of Longbridge in the West Midlands – and will go on sale around 2010. And there’s not only a convertible planned, but a coupe, too!

The new TF is based around the Roewe 550 compact hatch, which made its debut at the Beijing Motor Show. It will feature a rear-wheel-drive version of that model’s platform – and this should ensure it has plenty of appeal for enthusiasts.

Although it will be slightly bigger than the Mazda MX-5, the MG will be targeting the Japanese convertible, as it’s likely to carry a similar price tag. However, also in its sights are the likes of the Alfa Romeo Spider, Audi TT Roadster and Volkswagen Eos.

If it looks a little familiar, that’s because the new TF takes some of its styling inspiration from the MG SV supercar and X80 concept. Those models were both based on the Mangusta – a sports car from Italian maker Qvale, which MG Rover bought in 2001.

As you can see from our pictures, produced using insider information, the new TF updates that shape with a striking front end incorporating a deep-set four-piece radiator grille and quad headlamps. At the rear, the curvy tail completes the look.

Under the skin, the TF features a chassis based on a design that was created by MG Rover – one which would have underpinned a replacement for the 45/ZS, had the company not gone into receivership.

When Shanghai Automobile Corporation (SAIC) bought the rights to the 25 and 75, it also acquired projects such as the unfinished 45. It has since produced the Roewe 550 and the 75-based Roewe 750.

There has always been the desire within SAIC to build a replacement for the TF, but with rival Nanjing Automobile Corporation (NAC) owning the rights to the MG badge, there was never any chance of it wearing the famous octagon emblem – until the two Chinese giants joined forces.

Featuring a rear-wheel-drive platform developed in conjunction with British engineering expert Ricardo, plus MG Rover-based engines – including a 1.8-litre turbo and 2.5-litre V6 – the TF will deliver a great driving experience. And as SAIC-NAC are looking to form a UK Roewe dealer network in 2010, the stage is set for the TF’s comeback.

Since its launch in 1995, the MG TF – or MGF as it was then – has won a loyal following thanks to its neat looks, mid-engined layout and driver-pleasing handling. When MG was bought by NAC in 2005, the TF was one of the first cars the Chinese firm wanted to get back into production at Longbridge – and as soon as possible.

It revealed a mildly revised version in 2007 called the TF LE 500, which had a new bodykit. Since then, production has been delayed, first when bosses were concerned about quality and then when a key supplier pulled out.

However, it now seems that new (current) TFs will start rolling out of the plant within six months. Buyers looking forward to the roadster will have to wait for another couple of years, but it appears MG has a brighter future.

from Auto Express

NAC MG announces launch date for new MG TF LE500!

NAC MF TF MG has announced that production of the TF LE500 sportscar will commence at their Longbridge plant in Birmingham at the beginning of August, with the first cars delivered to showrooms in September.

Chairman for NAC MG UK Ltd, Mr He, Xiao Qing, said; “I am delighted to be in a position to talk about a launch date for the TF LE500 following a process of planning, re-organisation, active quality improvements and parts optimisation that we recognise resulted in frustration for our stakeholders. We are now fully focussed on bringing our hard work to fruition.”

The new car is expected to appeal to a wide range of car buyers looking for the authentic sportscar driving experience, as well as existing small sportscar owners looking to upgrade, current owners and the large band of MG enthusiasts.

Gary Hagen, Director of Sales & Marketing continued, “The open top sportscar is an iconic image of British motoring and forms the basis of the MG marque’s long pedigree. The launch of the TF LE500 signals our determination to keep this class of car at the heart of the brand as we take it forward.”

With the launch of the new TF LE500, the company knows that it is also re-launching one of the best known and best loved brands in the world. Whilst production efforts at Longbridge are focussed on the LE500, designers at their SMTC facility in Leamington, Warwickshire are already planning exciting newMG models that will capture the essential qualities of the MG brand and extend the range into additional sectors.

The commitment planned by MG and the level of investment underwritten by SAIC will persuade doubters that the MG brand is being re-launched with the support to make it successful again. The fact is that in 2008, desirable and competitive British made sportscars will once again be rolling off a production line in Longbridge. A sight that many thought they might never see again.

– MG

'77 B of Tom Triatik

77 B of Tom Triatik
77 B of Tom Triatik

For the past 2 years I have been driving my yellow 1977 MGB to a Salvation Army picnic for children in Green Bay, Wisconsin. As a clown I create 200-300 balloon animals for the children during this event and here is a picture of me with the clown suit in the B.

Another picture here is my grandson, Cameron Smits, who seemed to blend in with my 1977 yellow MGB as he was wearing his Packer sweatshirt.

Another picture is my 1977 MGB sitting in my driveway.

The story of my 1977 MGB begins in July 2006 when a friend of my wife (Bonnie) let her know she wanted to sell her MGB of 20 years. She had 55,000 original miles, new tires, new top, wire wheels, and during those 20 years of ownership this MGB had been restored, repainted, and rewired. Being in Wisconsin, she only drove it occasionally in summer. The next weekend my wife and I drove to her home (about 40 miles) for a test drive. She had informed us that while she would not be home that weekend, her home would be unlocked, the keys would be in the MGB, and if we liked the car we could just “drive it home and we’d meet next week to trade the title for a check”. So after a short test drive this 1977 MGB was on the way to my home with my wife following in our van. That was a Saturday in July 2006. The next Monday we met and exchanged my check for her title. She is glad her MGB has found a “good home” and my wife and I, along with our grandchildren, are the happy owners of this MGB. We’ve even taken our MGB camping in October in Door County – Wisconsin to visit Fall Festivals and see the Fall colors with the top down!

Note: This is an article appearing in the American MGB Association club magazine, the Octagon which is received with club membership.

From the Editor's Desk – May 2008

Welcome to the new members that have joined since the last issue.

We would like to Tom Bruno, Thomas Hernandez, Robin Tallardy, Mary & John Headrick and Tom Triatik and all of the other contributors to this issue of the Octagon. Also thanks to Art Isaacs for his continued work in answering members’ technical questions and answers. Be sure to send in photos and stories so we can include them in future issues of the Octagon.

American MGB Association Meet 2008 will be held on June 19-21, 2008 in Armagh, Pennsylvania. In conjunction with the TRF Summer Party. See more details in this issue.

You can now see more information on each local club on the Club Message Board in the Local Groups/Activities section.

Technical Sections Volume III is now available which continues the great tradition of practical tech advice started with Volumes I and II. In keeping with the times this one is available only on CD for PC or Mac. Another new item in the store is a complete copy of the past ten years of the Octagon available on CD only for PC or Mac.

We have a new and improved club message board. You can access through the club website at www.mgclub.org or directly at http://board.amgba.com . We have a members only section of the message board. You can use the user id and password on page 3 of each Octagon or you can get a personal id and password. To do so, register and then logon to the message board and send a message to us with a reply in this section or via email. This allows you to access the MEMBER ONLY QUESTION & ANSWER and UPKEEP & PERFORMANCE HINTS area. It also allows you to post items in the FOR SALE and WANTED sections as well as post photos in the MEMBER PHOTOS area. Also there is a now a Local Groups/Activities section.

The club also now has a blog located at http://blog.amgba.com . Members can publish items or comments to the Blog by logging in as a member. We have a new American MGB Association photo gallery located at photos.amgba.com. The same login is used for the gallery as the Message Board. Members can download photos directly to this gallery.

Members now receive monthly publications. The Octagon is published in February, April, June, August, October and December and the eOctagon is published in January, March, May, July, September and November.

We now offer a 3 year membership or renewal rate which includes a free t-shirt or tech volume III CD. The rate is $95 or $125 for members outside the USA. And in response to many members we now have a 3 year eMembership for $50 which also includes a free t-shirt or tech volume III CD. Save money and get a t-shirt or tech CD!

Send us your email address so that we can send you the eOctagon. The eOctagon is sent via bulk email so if you are blocking this type of email you will not get it.

Please send in you stories and photos to be used in the Octagon. You will receive a credit toward renewal or regalia.

Send in your list of spare parts that you have for sale as we send out all lists we have received during the year to members that request lists of spare parts available. These lists are also now appear on our web page in the “members only” section!

You need an ID and password to access the “members only” section of our web site at www.mgclub.org. You will find the ID and password on page 3 of the OCTAGON. These change with each issue so be sure to use only the ones listed in the latest issue.

Have a great start to the driving season and see you in Pennsylvania!

SAIC and Nanjing Merge to form Mega Chinese Auto Group

Industry analysts widely agree that one of the principal factors preventing Chinese automakers from succeeding outside of China is the local industry’s fragmentation, with over 100 automakers vying for their slice of the proverbial pie. However, a merger announced Wednesday between two major Chinese automakers, Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corp (SAIC) and Nanjing Automotive Group, stands a stronger chance of succeeding in the international car market as a larger group.The merger, which has been long anticipated, involves SAIC paying $285.7 million for Nanjing. In return, Nanjing’s parent company acquires 4.9 percent of SAIC Motor Corp.

The products of SAIC’s joint ventures with GM and Volkswagen Group account for 14% of the domestic market in China, selling 1.25 million vehicles in the first ten months of 2007. Nanjing, meanwhile, sold less than 80,000 over the same period, making the acquisition a merger in the same sense as Mercedes had “merged” with Chrysler. Nanjing, however, owns MG Rover, whose plants in England SAIC hopes to use as a foothold into the European market.

MG TF Re-Launch Delayed

Nanjing MGTF According to reports by the Birmingham Post, the much-vaunted re-launch of the MG TF Roadster will be put back until sometime in 2008. It has stated that as well as there being little likelihood of the MG 7-Series saloon reaching the UK until next year, but also, ‘Nanjing Automobile missed its end of the 2007 year target for the launch of its MG TF sports cars.’

NAC-MG was aiming for an April relaunch, to coincide with the parent company’s 60th anniversary, but following the Longbridge re-opening ceremony in May where company executives were talking about an ‘Autumn launch’, it now appears that TF will now go to the showrooms in the UK in 2008.

Final details are being worked out on pricing for the car, although reports in China suggest it could be around £20,000. Around 31 dealers have signed up so far to sell the car with more expected to follow. Meanwhile a marketing campaign is expected to start in early 2008 to alert MG enthusiasts and other potential purchasers to the relaunch of the car.

Eleanor de la Haye, spokeswoman for NAC MG, said: “The car will be released to dealers in February and deliveries will start in March..” According to the Birmingham Post, 20 cars are currently on test for altitude testing in Spain, hot weather testing in Australia, and cold weather testing in Finland.