Category Archives: General

They Started in MGs

My new book titled “They Started in MGs” has recently been printed by McFarland. It features profiles of 80 sports car drivers of the 1950s, in 291 pages of original racing stories and 278 photos by the great racing photographers of the past. The forward is written by John Fitch.

Highlights of the book include a chapter on Cam Argetsinger, the father of road racing in America, racing patron Briggs Cunningham, first SCCA National Champion John Fitch, American Formula One Champion Phil Hill, Midwest Elva driver Suzy Dietrich, SIATA pilot Isabelle Haskell, Pikes Peak winning Porsche driver Bob Donner, Formula III ace Rowland Keith, Carroll Shelby, five-time Corvette titlist Dick Thompson, Bridgehampton race founder Bruce Stevenson, MG Specials builder Ken Miles, Alfa Romeo champion Chuck Stoddard, Charlie Ellmers of the Funny Face Auto Racing Team and the 1955 SCCA H-Production winner, George Valentine in his MG TC.
Featured cars include MG, Austin Healey, Jaguar, Allard, Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche, Cooper, Elva, Lotus, Lola, OSCA, Bandini, Nardi, Alfa, Cunningham, Ford GT40, Shelby Cobra and many more.

The book can be ordered directly from the publisher at . You will enjoy reading it. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Carl Goodwin, attlastt@

“Earning the American Dream”

 A new interesting book “Earning the American Dream,” is about the introduction of foreign made automobiles into North America, back in the 1940’s and 1950’s, and the great success’ foreign cars enjoy to this day. During that same period, the U.S. totally dominated the world’s production of cars / trucks, tires, steel, locomotives, and aircraft. Unfortunately that domination is no longer the case.

Whitby’s unique experiences and well documented book reflects the rise of Britain’s and Europe’s largest automobile company, when Austin Motor took over the Nuffield auto group in 1952, forming British Motor Corporation (BMC) making it the fourth largest auto company in the world. Whitby goes into great detail on how BMC sports cars; the Austin Healey and MG, were so successful in America through the 1960’s yet BMC, old design, poor quality control sedans, failed miserably.

Whitby was invited to join BMC record attempts on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1956, 1957, and 1959, during which he became a good friend of Syd Enever, Chief Engineer and designer for the MG Car Co. Ltd. His direct communications with Enever, helped to improve the quality of the MG and Austin Healey cars. Many interesting copies of their correspondence spanning ten years are reproduced.

Car lovers will enjoy the great road racing photos, many in color especially those covering BMC Bonneville Salt Flats of 1956, 1957, and 1959 and will be amazed at the very successful endurance and speed records established by Syd Enever’s outstanding MG and Austin Healey sports car designed streamliners, all of which are well documented.

The book should also appeal to those that are interested in economics, especially as it relates to trade, manufacturing, and transportation, and in the demise, of so many British and American auto companies, over the years. Throughout the 338 page book, Whitby and BMC American dealers’ recommendation to have new modern designed sedans, quality control, more powerful overhead camshaft engines, and full synchomesh transmission, were totally ignored by BMC top management. This allowed progressive Japanese companies like Nissan and Toyota and later Korean companies to take over from the pioneering British with better designed and higher quality cars.

Whitby devoted 16 years with the British Motor Corporation in the US, 17 years as a sales executive of Nissan Motor Corporation in USA. and he finally completed his successful career as Vice President of Business and Finance for years where he guided a debt ridden and badly managed private university in Southern California to one of fiscal responsibility and success. There is a wealth of knowledge in this remarkable book that would be very difficult to find elsewhere. In addition it is a book well worth owning as an profits wiIl be donated to cancer research.

Author:     Gordon Whitby
Retail:     $50.00
Dimensions: 8.25″ x 10.75″
Pages: 340
Phone: 626-688-3554

MG Vintage Racers – Top Three Honors for 2010

The MG Vintage Racers designated VARAC’s Vintage Racing Festival at Mosport, Ontario, this June as their “Focus Event” for 2010.  Attracted by this world class track, special MG races at the event, and the camaraderie of the MG racing community, 46 MG racers showed up to compete with MGs from MGTC’s to MGB-V8’s, in both the regular VARAC classes, and a special all MG race.  This was complimented by both MGVR and VARAC parties and honors.  MGVR presents three special awards at their annual Focus Event.  The deserving recipients for this year were:

MGVR “Spirit Award to David Holmes.  The MG racers at the track vote by their peers as best representing the “Spirit of MG Vintage Racing”.  David is a very enthusiastic MGA racer from Ontario, and shares the track with his son Evan who races a MG Midget.

MGVR’s “Bill Parish memorial award to Storm Field of New York, racing a MGB-GT V8.  It is presented in memory of MGTC racer Bill Parish who never won a race, but had more FUN than anyone.  It gets presented to a MG racer with a similar pursuit of FUN!

MGVR’s “MG V-8 Challenge Trophy was awarded to Nick Pratt of Ontario, in his amazingly fast MG Midget.  It is presented to the first overall MG in the all MG Race.

And if that weren’t enough, there were even more MG honors presented that were particular to this VARAC event at Mosport.

-VARAC’s “Al Pease Trophy”, for the first MG overall in the MG race, to Nick Pratt in a MG Midget

-VARAC’s “Van Worsdale Trophy”, for the first MGA in the MG race to Mark Brandow, of Minnesota.

– VARAC’s “President’s Trophy”, for the first Midget/MGB in the MG race to Nick Pratt in his MG Midget

-MGVR’s “Tommy Hoan Trophy”, for the first T Series in the MG race to Manley Ford of Michigan in a MGTD,

-VARAC’s “Tony Simms Challenge Trophy”, for best prepared, driven, and vintage correct MG, to Manley Ford with his MGTD.

This was MGVR’s 15th Focus Event as the excitement of MG Vintage Racing continues.  At this event, MGVR announced that their “Focus Event” for 2011, will be at Lime Rock Park’s Vintage Fall festival in September next year!  For more information on MG Vintage Racing, visit MGVR’s web site at

University Motors Reopens!

John Twist has decided to reopen University Motors and continue the path his wife and him chose so many years ago.  While she is gone, in her place now is his son Brooks, with Curt and Casey both back a work in the shop.  Contact him for all your MG needs at 616-682-0800 and and congratulations on his continued work!

New Club Store Items

Additional merchandise including the following can be found at our Fieldhouse Club Store located at .

Men’s Women’s Youth Baby & Toddler
Dress Shirts Dress Shirts Dress Shirts Accessories
Jerseys Jerseys Jerseys Onesies
Outerwear Outerwear Outerwear Outerwear
Pants Polos Polos Tees
Polos Shorts Shorts
Shorts Sweatpants Sweats
Sports Shirts Sweatshirts Tees
Sweatshirts Tees
Bags Headwear Accessories Big Deals!
Backpacks Baseball Hats Gift Cards New!
Briefcases Other Headwear Novelty Top Items
Duffel Bags Youth Headwear Blankets Seasonal Items
Tote Bags Towels

MG History

MG not defiere history in excess of other British signatures, at least in his genesis. A concessionaire of a big signature, in this case Cecil Kimber, who had Morris’s representation in Oxford, began modifying the cars that it was selling to take part with them in competition in highway.


The success of the first models they provided orders to him and, little by little, what was only a parallel activity turned into the principal one. This way it began MG, modifying Morris for competition and selling short series of cars as the Super Sport 14/28, derivative of Morris Oxford, with open bodywork of two or four squares. Kimber kept on throwing new built models of handmade form, until in 1928 it met in the nail on the presentation of the Midget, a sports child of 847 cc that was using the platform of Morris Minor.

M-Type Midget 1930

Child and Spartan, although very sports, the Midget supposed an authentic success in sales up to the point of which Kimber turned out to be forced to buy an old leather factory in Abingdon to initiate there the serial production.

TO 1955 01

In the thirties, the MG added innumerable victories in the highway tests and even ran in mille Miglia. The most important of these victories achieved the big Tazio Nuvolari in Tourist Trophy, in Island of Man, where with a MG Magnette established a mark that was not beaten until 1951. The children MG captivated for his sportsmanship the North American soldiers emphasized in the United Kingdom, which took them back to the United States.

B GT 1970-04

Meter Turbocharger

To face to the demand, MG had to extend the production of the successor of the Midget, the Type T, and decided to leave the careers to concentrate on the serial production.



In 1955, the signature threw the Type A, more refined and expensive. By that time, the mark already was part of British Motor Corporation, after his merger years earlier with Austin. It implied that MG was spending to make of his plant Austin Healey and was beginning developing the MG B, which was his only product to the sale between 1962, year of his throwing like substitute of the A, and in 1980, year in which I stop the production.

X Power ZR EX258-02

X Power 500 02

ZT 260 V8 SE 01

Integrated to the consortium British Leyland along with Austin, Rover, Jaguar and Triumph, the mark MG served simply to designate the most powerful versions of Austin’s models, before disappearing definitely in 1986. Fortunately, the Rover privatization allowed to recover the mark and, under the name MG, a child appeared in 1996 roadster two-seater of central engine, the MG F, which is still supported in production and to which they have been added it, in a return to the recent past, promoted versions of the Rover 25, 45 and 75.

Sv-r 06

After happening, (together with Rover and Mini) for BMW hands, the signature remained alone with Rover. The MG-Rover bankruptcy in 2005 took it almost to the disappearance, but now this in a new way thanks to the Chinese group SAIC.

Road to the Collier Cup

Road to the 25th Collier Cup


I’ve been involved with SVRA’s “Collier Cup” race for MGs from its inception in 1985.  It is hard to believe that we are now celebrating its 25th running.  These things don’t “just happen”!  I’d like to briefly reflect on the past 24 years leading up to this benchmark year, for those who might not know how we got here.  Few have been involved from the beginning.  I’ve been vintage racing my MGTD since 1977 and have witnessed the growth and changes of MG vintage racing with time.  Over the years the Collier Cup has been a wonderful event for MG racers in so many ways, and thanks to SVRA for staying the course with it, even in the lean years when they could have easily scratched it.  The MG Vintage Racers have also played a key role in its success.  And thanks to so many other MG racers and enthusiasts who have dedicated their time to make it successful in past years in a number of way.  Some key supporters have included MG racers Joe Tierno, Dick Powers, Mark Palmer and Chris Meyers, but there are so many others too – thanks to all of you, plus every MG racer who has ever participated in it!  It has grown into being the most significant MG race in North America, and has expanded to much more than what it first started out as.  It use to be hard to get a dozen or so MGs to some races, and no one would have ever believed that the Collier Cup would have 143 MG entries in 2004!  And not only have MG racers supported this event, but so have MG clubs and enthusiasts in a variety of ways.  NAMGAR, New England MG ‘T’ Register, and MG Car Club – Western NY Center, are a few which come to mind.  Plus who can forget the warm memories of historic MG racers like Denver Cornett, Jack Archibold, Syd Silverman, and Jim Carson – only to mention a few – who joined us over the years.  The Collier family even sent two of their family’s historic MGs up from their Florida museum to be on display in 2004.  Also lets not forget the town of Watkins Glen.  Most towns near race tracks would be happy to have them go away.  But Watkins Glen welcomes us with open arms.  They revel in their racing history, and they put on their street festival for vintage racers on Friday of the vintage race weekend.  Main Street gets closed down and it turns into a huge party for vintage racers and thousands of spectators!  For it the race cars are driven down (with police escort) from the race track over the original street race course to the downtown festival, as many drivers find it hard to imagine how they actually raced at speed on these public roads!  So many wonderful memories over the years, with more to come!  I expect this year’s 25th Collier Cup will become another great experience for all involved.  And it will have special meaning for me, as it will be the first time my daughter Rachel will race a MG in this historic race!

Enjoy the article, and feel free to share it with any friends, clubs, publications, newsletters, etc.  This introduction and the article below may be reprinted in whole or part without permission.  I can also provide this article as a Microsoft Word document on request if needed, and I have a number of photos that I can provide to support it.

“… we few, we happy few, we band of brothers”

Greg Prehodka
MG Vintage Racers
Publicity Coordinator
(Editor MGVR Newsletter, 1981-1995)

July 26, 2009

MGVR on the web:


Road to the 25th Collier Cup

By Greg Prehodka

It began in 1985 as a spark between SVRA and the Collier family, along with the support of the MG Vintage Racers, but would it catch on?

Flashback to 1954, when the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) established the “Collier Brothers Memorial Trophy” to remember MG racers Sam and Miles Collier.  But as the years passed it wandered from its original intent of recognizing MG racers and remembering the Collier MG legacy.  Then in 1980 MGs stopped being imported into North America from England, as the MG marque began to fade.  But during the 80’s vintage racing was catching on, and MGs began making a comeback in “vintage racing”, recapturing their racing heritage.  So in 1985, as SVRA was expanding to support the growth of vintage racing, they decided to “Re-establish the original Collier Memorial concept, but with vintage MGs now, while maintaining a consistent “MG” theme this time”.  SVRA’s 1985 letter to MG racers for the first Collier Cup read in part “The idea for an all MG race event was initiated by SVRA, and is sustained by Miles C. Collier …and much thanks to Mr. Greg Prehodka (MG Vintage Racers) … he has provided valuable advice….”  The result was the first “Collier Cup” all MG race at Watkins Glen, in SVRA’s first full vintage race weekend there.  This would differ from the SCCA concept, in that only MGs were invited to compete, and the cup’s winner would not necessarily be the race winner, but rather a MG racer, voted by their fellow racers, as best demonstrating the “Spirit of MG Vintage Racing”.  This would include car preparation to being period correct, its appearance, racing skill on the track, and overall MG spirit.  The first race in 1985 saw only eight MGs entered, and the Collier Cup was awarded to MGTD racer Bob Colaizzi  (who will race the same TD in the 25th Collier Cup).  SVRA stayed with this concept as the number of MG entries began to grow.  Benchmark years included 60 MGs entered in 1994;  72 MGs in 1998 for the 50th anniversary of the Watkins Glen races; and in 2004, in recognition of the 50th anniversary of SCCA’s “Collier Brothers Memorial Trophy”, an incredible record-breaking, 143 MGs showed up to compete – a North American MG record which may never be broken!  All of this has led up to celebrating the 25th running of the Collier Cup this September, backed up by a quarter century of MG vintage racing heritage!
MGs are British sports cars.  Mostly two seat convertibles, with modest four cylinder engines, manufactured between 1946 to 1980.  This includes MG-T’s, MGA’s, MGB’s, and MG Midgets, although you may see a few Pre-War MGs and specials to.  Vintage rules limit the modifications and updating allowed to these cars.  In a general sense they have to be prepared similarly to the way they were originally raced when they were new, have original components, and meet current safety requirements.  Most of the MGs you will see in the Collier Cup are street production cars with some modifications for racing.  Period appearance is strongly encouraged and you will not see sponsorship decals on these steeds.  This mix of many different MGs is very unequal in their performance potential, but winning the race is not the objective.  So what is to be won in vintage racing MGs?  Just the fun and enjoyment of racing a piece of history, and sharing that enjoyment with other MG enthusiasts – both racers and spectators.  Some of the racers you will see at the race have even been vintage racing their MG for over 25 years!  A number of them even have their kids racing MGs now.  They are all most proud of their cars and take a very personal interest in them and MG history.
So why are Sam and Miles Collier being remembered?  They were the earliest MG racers in North America, who started racing their MGs in the 1930’s while sports car racing was in its infancy, and MGs were almost unknown over here.  They continued to race MGs up through the 40’s and 50’s including the inaugural Watkins Glen street race in 1948.  This ended when Sam died in a racing accident at Watkins Glen in 1950, and then Miles passed away from polio in 1954.
Over the past 24 years recipients of the Collier Cup have almost become a “Who’s Who” of MG vintage racing.  As the race has grown in stature, other awards have been added to it by various sponsors, increasing its prestige!  This includes the “Denver Cornett Jr. Trophy” for first MG overall; “T Cup” for first MG ‘T’; “Bucher-Decker Trophy” for the first MGA; and the “Bill Glanville Memorial Cup” for the first MG Midget.   But when the checkered flag falls on the race, all the MG racers will be “WINNERS”!  I trust that you will enjoy the trip back into memory lane if you come!  Even if you’re not a MG racer, take some time to look at these wonderful MGs in the paddock, and chat with their drivers – there is nothing they would like better!  Then enjoy watching them at speed and notice the huge grins on their faces after the race!  To find out more about MG vintage racing, go to the MG Vintage Racers’ web site “”.

Past Collier Cup Recipients:

1985:  Bob Colaizzi, MGTD
1986:   Tony Simms, MGA Twin Cam
1987:   Alex Heckert, MGA Twin Cam
1988:   Joe Tierno, MGA
1989:   Alex Quattlebaum III, MGA
1990:   Don Funke, MGA Twin Cam
1991:   Tim Handy, MGB
1992:   John Faulkner, MGB
1993:   Jim Carson, MG TC
1994:   Greg Prehodka, MGTD, & Joe Tierno, MGA(repeat)
1995:   Mark Brandow, MGTC
1996:   Denver Cornett, MGTC
1997:   Bob Schoeplein, MGA
1998:   Jack Archibald, MGTC
1999:   Mark Palmer, MGA
2000:   Frank Mount, MGTC
2001:   John Targett, MGB
2002:  Mark Palmer, MGA (repeat)
2003:  Sid Silverman, MGTC
2004:  Dick Powers, MGA / Bill Hollingsworth, MGTC
2005:  Dan Leonard, MGTD
2006:  Dave Smith, MGA
2007:  Bill Shields, MGB
2008:  Chris Meyers, MGA

MGB in Korea!

I am a professor in the MIT of Korea (KAIST) and brought my MG here 5 years ago when I moved here in 2003. It is the only MGB in South Korea. I see MGFs but they are rare too. I have owned the car for 18 years. It was made 13-14 December 1972. When I arrived here they put a new serial number on the car frame. I think it also is one of the oldest cars in Korea. The car is very original with all the pollution control installed and no rust. It passed the pollution control test with flying colors. They had expected it to fail and were very surprised. I do most of the work myself  as it is a mystery car to the mechanics here. Korea’s car culture is limited to new cars but I often am followed by people who want to know what it is. I was offered $20,000 for it to become the center display in a Seoul Night Club having a British theme. I would not sell it as I really love the car. Drivers here are very aggressive so I must be very careful when I have it on the roads. The fall and Spring are wonderful times to drive and the mountain roads are great for top down driving. I have done a history of the car and know the owners back to ’78.

It was sold in St. Louis, Missouri in the fall of ’74. The car spent most of its time in the Texas Pan-Handle area so it is rust free but full of Texas dust. Fuel is $6 per gallon. I must pay extra insurance as it is considered a dangerous car since it is a sports car. There are no antique plates here. I look forward to being your first car owner in this part of the world.
George Furst

AMGBA is the best MGB club!

The American MGB Association is North America’s oldest, largest and best club for all MGBs, MGB-GTs and Midgets. A nonprofit organization which was founded in 1975 and offers color magazines, emagazines, technical advice, member recommendations on service, body and parts sources, registration of your MG, a tradition of service and FREE member classified ads that appear in the Octagon magazine AND on the AMGBA web site on the Internet. The website is