I have come to really enjoy attending the various car shows held each year in this area. Like MG’s, they are all pretty much the same but different enough to be enjoyable in their own right. The recent AACA show in Sandwich, IL is one of my favorites and was pretty good this year.
The Steering Column
Left Hand Drive
from our President
As I arrived, the disc jockey was warming up, and the Beach Boys were serenading the crowd about their “Dual quad, four speed, posi-traction 409”. While listening to the still-familiar lyrics (and don’t we all have them memorized even 45 years later?) I stopped to wonder if anyone would ever sing the praises of their “dual airbag, variable speed, all wheel drive SUV”? Will that “Little old lady from Pasadena” ever make a comeback onto the contemporary radio waves by trading her “Brand new, shiny red super-stock Dodge” for a “socially conscious, politically correct, hybrid import”?
I am now prowling the swap meet vendor area and Nervous Norvis is promising that he’s “never, ever, ever gonna speed again”. What’s that in with the rusty saw blades and bent screwdrivers? Can it really be? An almost (i.e. 7) complete set of J.C. Whitney Fire Injector spark plugs! In their original boxes! My hand instinctively reaches for my wallet but caution reins me in – where will I ever get that eighth plug necessary to complete the set? I could roam these swap meets for years and never find it. And besides, I don’t even have an 8 cylinder car that needs the promised improvement in power and fuel economy. Someone once calculated that if you installed every J.C. Whitney product that promised improved performance and fuel economy, your car would eventually actually produce gasoline in the engine and pump it back into the tank – all the while out-running Art Arfons’ jet powered Bonneville car. Besides, if I really want a J.C. Whitney miracle device, I’ll opt for the engine-rebuild-in-a-can. Just think of the money to be saved with that! Lots of treasures to be found at these swap meets, I just might get lucky and find it.
Enough of the vendor area and out onto the show field. Buddy Knox is on the loudspeaker looking for a “Party doll”. Another day with a Bratwurst for breakfast and indigestion for desert: just can’t seem to remember to eat before I leave in the morning but it’s all part of the experience. Lots of cars out on the field, maybe close to 250. All kinds – antiques, muscle cars, street rods, and everything in between. Always interesting to see how people approach common problems such as unsightly wiring harnesses. As usual, most owners are happy to
talk about their car: the improvements they’ve made and the ones still to come.
What’s this? A 1914 Cadillac parked next to a 1910
Buick, just down the row from a 2009 Rousch Mustang. As I
approach, Ronny and the Daytonas are wailing about their
“Little GTO”: how prophetic that the Cadillac and Buick are
not companioned with a Pontiac at the show. You get the sense
sometimes that the vehicles at these shows are all like dinosaurs
in a way, and that they simply won’t be available for inspection
years from now, let alone for driving, except for a very few that
manage to be preserved.
Car shows are mostly morning events, and tend to
break up by mid afternoon. I gather my stuff and prepare to
leave. On the loudspeaker, Del Shannon is still anguishing over
his “Run, run, runaway” girlfriend after all these years as the
cars leave the field. Well, she may never have returned, but –
for now – I know that these cars will be back next year, and will
also be at many other area shows this year. You can see them
too, if you attend one of the shows that the club is publicizing
And you can sing along (under your breath, of course)
with Ronny, Buddy, Del and the rest as you inspect those 409’s,
GTO’s, Roadrunners, and the like.
Safety Fast, -- Jim Evans
P.S. Last month’s column was shortened by some computer
gremlin; below is the lead paragraph to that column, which was
“I recently had a brief discussion with Mark Leuck of Quality
Tire, our host for the annual Tune Up party, concerning the
correct anniversary of this popular event. He thought 24 years
and I thought 23, but the true answer lies in the web site ar-
chives: the first Tune Up party hosted by Mark occurred in
The Steering Column
Right Hand Drive
from our Vice - President
The Spring Chicken Tour '09 is history, and a great event it was. A huge atta boy is due to Bill Reece for doing a great job of planning and executing a great route and an excellent meal. Thanks Bill and Jan.
Dave "Cowboy" Bralich stressed the importance of driving our MG's at the May meeting. It's very likely a lot of club members drive their cars less that they'd like to because they're concerned about reliability of a 30 or 40 year old car. For one thing our cars will be more reliable if we maintain them properly and drive them more.
That's the reason we're starting a new series of tech sessions to address the basics of maintenance beyond changing oil and (maybe) checking coolant and brake fluid. The sessions will be the first Saturday of each month and hopefully will take some of the mystery out of dealing with our MG's. The first session will be at Jim Evan's place and hopefully will deal with reviving a car that has been idle for a while.
Continued on page 4