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Back Cover
  Chicagoland MG Club:Driveline
Left hand drive The Steering Column
from our President

Jim Evans
Left Hand Drive

I had some spare time recently this Spring between sleet storms and decided to look through some of the publications that the club receives each month. We get a regular issue copy (whether it’s monthly or quarterly) of several enthusiast publications as well as newsletters from other clubs. These items are always available at the front table at monthly meetings for our members to look through and take, if so desired. They are interesting to me as a reflection of what is going on in the MG hobby world and also in the world of clubs similar to ours.

So what do we find on that sleet filled day? Well, the March issue of Safety Fast!, published by the MG Car Club of England, has a letter to the editor from Mr. Bryan Mellen, YA, 53 TF, and 105e owner, discussing the need to recruit younger members in the face of aging membership, and offering some thoughts on the situation. I see that the club is raffling a car to members who recruit other new members. Well, I guess I should have known that the membership issue is not particular to this continent, but that raffle is an interesting idea. On another page, Safety Fast! has an article describing the history of the “Collier Cup”; as I read through the story of this trophy, I’m struck with a sense of deja vu…by golly, I think I recognize the players in this scenario from their aliases in a Burt Levy book: how very interesting. I note also that I can still buy a replica Spitfire fighter pilot sheepskin flying jacket, with turned over cuffs and belt, for a mere 460 pounds, and a matching leather helmet for 49 pounds (goggles extra at 37 pounds). I’m tempted, but the dollar is still too weak against the pound. Additional articles cover a long distance rally in Australia (they do it just like we do) and info on locating secret VIN number stampings on MG chassis’.

Another English publication, Enjoying MG from the MG Owner’s Club, carries the reminiscences of a former Abingdon factory worker, Mr Jimmy Cox. Mr. Cox supplied many interesting photos taken during his tenure with the MG Car Company. There are numerous technical articles on restoration projects, and a couple of interesting book reviews: maybe I’ll pass those on to our librarian for evaluation, I think, realizing that I never would have known about these books if I hadn’t thumbed through this magazine. I am further impressed with the quantity of performance and customization parts offered for MGB’s in this magazine: we are on the dark side of the moon in regard to the availability of these types of products from our domestic vendors.

Closer to home, I note that in The Octagon, the MG Car Club of Toronto has a winter dinner (as we do), conducts a go-kart night (as we did at one time) and has a treasury balance similar to ours. Cars for sale are pretty pricey; obviously in Canadian dollars but aren’t Canadian dollars and US dollars pretty close now? Why are these cars so high priced? And the president of the Milwaukee based MGMGMG group in their April issue of The Exhaust discusses the need for officer & director liability insurance, something that we too have had on the table for a year: small world, right?

I also note that, per Snic Braaapp, the local Triumph club (ISOA), has acquired a project car (hmmm..wonder if they’d like some management insight on that?). And, Holy Smoke!, The Downshift (Chicagoland Sports Car Club) has a word-for-word rendition of our recruiting flyer: The MG Is Not Obsolete. Wow! News travels fast as that flyer was just printed a few weeks ago. I guess they read our stuff, too. The Vintage Viewpoint, from the Vintage MG Car Club, has an article on DIY painting your MG; I note that their financial situation also approximates ours. And what’s this? The April issue of the Quad City British Auto Club is devoted to Barney Gaylord’s MGA restoration project. And the Miata Garage shows how successful a club can be in getting advertisers into their newsletter (of course, they’re mostly Mazda dealers, but they do have a few independents).

And there are, of course, more publications than those that I mentioned. All club mail of newsletters and other announcements is available for member perusal at our monthly meetings. Sometimes, there’s just too much stuff to itemize each car show, each cruise night, each product for sale, in the Driveline. So here’s one more reason to attend the monthly club meetings: spend a few minutes rummaging around the front table to see what showed up this month in the mail box. If you do take a publication, please return it within a few months for others to enjoy. Otherwise, there are no restrictions on helping yourself to this wealth of information and entertainment.
Safety Fast, - Jim Evans

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