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Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline
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  Chicagoland MG Club:Driveline
Just a Simple Wrench
by Ann & Jake Snyder

Ann and Jake Snyder MGnificent Obsession

Most of us must deal with deadlines- the presentation is scheduled for 9 a.m., the project must be completed by Tuesday, the dinner guests are arriving at seven. In this case, the deadline was less well defined but unavoidable nonetheless: the rubber bumpered GT had to be in storage before we saw salt on the roads. For that to happen, the “new” ’73 GT had to be on the road. We had begun looking for a car in late September, and half of October had passed before we were committed (no pun intended) to painting the newly-acquired MG. This fits a pattern: we seem to find ourselves deeply immersed in an extensive project every autumn, and it’s always something that must be completed before winter sets in. Admittedly, we were extremely lucky with the unseasonably warm weather this fall. But it is a law of nature that as you approach a deadline, the intensity of the effort increases exponentially. For several weeks the project had consumed nearly every Saturday and Sunday, as well as all the evenings in between. But it had progressed nicely, and we had already met one deadline: the color coat had been applied before the weather turned too cold for spraying. So we took time out to join other CMGC members for the annual pilgrimage to “The Rock” that commemorates the first automobile race run in this country, on Thanksgiving day, 1895. Although our club has marked this event since its centennial celebration, other groups have congregated at the Rock in recent years, and among these are hot rod enthusiasts. Yes- that means beautifully painted cars, incredibly painted cars, perfectly painted cars. So that day, the warmest yet for a Thanksgiving trip to the Rock, we resolved to color sand the ’73, which was still on jack stands in the garage.
White GT in new paint
The Super K was the only store open that day, but that was good enough, because they had machine polishing compound, as well as the 1000 grit paper that we were missing for the sanding schedule. We knew that our luck with the weather could hold for just so long before those big old trucks started spewing out MG-rotting salt, so we redoubled our efforts. We had thought we were busy with this project before, but now it became the focus of our very existence. We managed to complete it without resorting to fast food for our meals, by subsisting on salads and all those leftovers that tend to accumulate in the freezer. The laundry was done, but clean clothes were to be found in the dryer or laundry baskets rather than folded neatly in drawers. The vacuum cleaner was given a vacation. The backyard still waits to be cleared of leaves. We kept up our aerobics, but sanding, buffing, and fitting the windscreen and backlight replaced resistance workouts. (Besides, pushups are nothing compared to fitting a GT windscreen.) We made a pact that Christmas presents for each other would wait until we both had time to shop.

We finally phoned to make arrangements for storing the rubber bumpered GT- we would be at our usual storage place in Marengo at one the following Saturday afternoon. Friday evening came, and lamps, front and rear had yet to be installed - cancel the ballroom dancing. Saturday morning, seats and bumpers to go - phone to ask if we can be there at two instead. And soon our caravan of two MGs was headed westward on Route 176. Jake took the lead with the ’73. Ann followed in the 74 1/2 and got to watch the “new” GT. Pretty, pretty! And the brake lights worked just fine.

We’re not really finished yet. There is still the heated backlight to wire, the radio to install, the interior to finish, some silastic to clean from the glass. But the deadline is past and the pace has slowed. We can take our time and enjoy it. Except that the ’71 tourer has been sitting patiently in the driveway, waiting its turn for a makeover. And after that, the ’72 GT needs both body and engine work. And after that... Well, we wouldn’t want to run out of projects, would we?

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