Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline June 2008

Jim Evans The Steering Column
Left Hand Drive

from our President

I think it was just about 10 years ago that I decided to become a time traveler. It was a deliberate and conscientious decision, prompted by who-knows -what. I know that it followed attending a car show in Gatlinburg, TN with a few of my old high school “gear head” buddies. This show featured custom built “street rod” cars, but like many other shows of this type, the best “real” show was in the hotel parking lot…and what caught my eye there was the 1962 Pontiac Catalina convertible driven in by one of the other spectators.
Yikes! It could have been the car that I once owned, with 3 deuces and a T-10 four speed, sold in the face of an upcoming trip to Viet Nam in the summer of 1969. Like so many others listed in the Sun-Times (and if you are a Chicagoan, you know that the Sun Times was the only place to advertise a hot car in those days), it was described as “a such-and-such model, with thus-and-forth special equipment. Never raced or abused. Drafted” We used to chortle at the B***S*** in that “never-raced-or-abused” description for a hot car, and the “drafted” descriptor was all too common in those days. And so my Pontiac went to another while I embarked for South East Asia.
And then these many years later I come face-to-face with its twin brother. What a sense of déjà vu! And perhaps I had set a trap for myself: after all, I had arrived at the show with (and perhaps some psychic intuition involved here) a tape of a Franklyn MacCormack WGN radio show from one winter night in early 1968 (and if you don’t know, or never listened to Franklyn MacCormack…well, sorry for you and what you missed). What a treat for us all to play it on the car stereo as though it were a live broadcast, back as though when we drove around for hours listening to the radio all night, and then up for class in the morning!
The site of this car triggered a barrage of memories: songs, events, experiences, and more. And so I came to resolve to revisit my past, with intent to rediscover things that I had taken for granted at that time.
I found that I could buy remastered copies of many old records of that time. I located Glen Yarborough, Judy Collins, Eric Anderson, the Kingston Trio and many others: the Limeliters? Mimi Farina? Ian & Sylvia? Do you remember them?
I found that “folk singing” artists were still alive and well, in spite of the junk found on contemporary radio dials.
And, yes, I found that I could buy a 1962 Pontiac Catalina convertible in Coronado red for a reasonable price but (ouch!!!) I had to pass on it due to lack of storage space at the time. Oh, well …I’m sure it is still out there somewhere and I’ll get it someday.
And are my MG’s part of my “time traveling” agenda? I think so. After all, they’ve been part of the family for over 25 years and have been involved in numerous memorable experiences.
And what about you? Would you like to become a “time traveler” too? Have you taken your MG on a long distance trip in the past? Have you attended an important MG event with it?


Dean Swanson The Steering Column
Right Hand Drive

from our Vice - President

Is everyone having fun driving their car? huh? With all this beautiful weather we're having, how could you not? NOT! ONE WARM DAY, TWO COLD DAYS, TWO RAINY DAYS, ONE COOL DAY, ONE RAINY DAY, 1/2 WARM DAY, well, you get the idea. I know I haven't done much driving this year! Weather and $4.20 a gallon gas is sure keeping a lot of us close to home. I guess patience, tolerance and hopefulness should be the rule of the day; one day we'll look back and laugh about this year!
I do want to remind everyone again about MG 2008 at Valley Forge, PA - so far 9 cars are going, taking two days to get there. John Schroeder is setting up the trip so you should call him if you'd like to make the trip. They are scheduled to leave from Lincoln Oasis at 7:00 AM, June 24th.
June has a few neat things to do, June 1, is Austin Healy Auto Cross. At least, I think it’s still on. Check with Seth for sure, though. June 8, is the great Lands End Rally! Wade Keene has gotten this one going and wants it to be a family-get-together and all around good time. I believe it is more of a tour than a rally, so bring the kids and enjoy the great outdoors.
June 22, the "Gears & Ears" Car Show at the Kendall County Fairgrounds, nice Detroit Iron, Rods and a few Sports Cars are sure to make this a fun day for all! Also, you get "MG Bucks" for attending.
And DON'T FORGET, Sunday May 24 thru June 8, is "National Drive Your British Car" week, so drive it! Everywhere! For Groceries, Take a Trip, Drive the Neighborhood, Go on a Picnic......but drive your car around, let everyone see you!!

-- Dean Swanson

On the cover: The top picture highlights the Vintage Club on their recent Spring trip to Baraboo Wisconsin. The group picture shows the club participants at the Al Ringling Theater. In downtown Baraboo. The theater is in the process of being renovated and restored (something we all know about with our MG’s) by the local residents.
The lower picture shows CMGC, Vintage and British Boots and Bonnets members at the Spring Chicken Tour in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. We are all set to start the driving tour. The only thing missing from the picture is bright sunshine. We did manage to get some splashes of sun through the clouds; we had some cooler temperatures and no rain. The roads were all in great shape, the food was good, best of all though was the MG friendship that was present.

Is it time to attend another convention, another MG meet, another major show to relive the past and engage in a little “time travel” of you own? Only you know the answer, but the opportunities are there this year.

Safety Fast, -- Jim Evans

Pg 3 of 16 homebacktopnext

©2008 Chicagoland MG Club, All rights reserved.