Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline August 2008

Library Muse

July sure was a hectic month. The Bloomington Gold Corvette show and auction, long 4th of July weekend, family reunion on Deb’s side, Jo Daviess Tour, Road America camping trip, then a week fishing in the Northwoods. I (almost) wish that I had a real job so that I could go to work and get some rest. But I survived with a little help from my friends. This month’s featured book, Carriages without Horses, was selected and donated to the club by Ann Snyder and reviewed by John Schroeder. Read why we tour to The Rock on Thanksgiving morning and about the original London to Brighton run to celebrate the repeal of England’s Red Flag Law.

Carriages Without Horses
J. Frank Duryea and the Birth of the American Automobile Industry
By Richard P. Scharchburg 1993, hardbound, 26 pages, b&w photos.

This history of the Duryea brothers and their automobiles documents the beginning of the Duryea Motor Wagon company. It also attempts to correct the record of which of the brothers was really responsible for the development of the first and subsequent cars. The book documents building the first car in Springfield, MA along with the second car which won the first automobile race in the US (in Chicago, 1895). It continues with J. Frank’s victory in the London to Brighton Run in England of 1896. The author continues with the family feud that arose between the brothers and continued after they had died. The book is an interesting story of the men who created the greatest American industry.

-- Wilbur

Monthly Shop Keeping

Project Car To New Home
The 1977 MGB Club Project car was purchased by member Tom Tovello in early June. Tom joined the club this spring and wanted a running car to drive while he works on his “needs-restoration” 1972 MGB. The club project car received extensive restoration work over the last few years to include new sheet metal, interior parts, clutch, top, repaint and more. A great thanks to all the club members who helped bring this car back to a useful life from its previously deteriorated condition, and our congratulations to Tom for helping to “keep it on the road”.

EBay Parts Sales Program
The club has initiated a program to sell used parts on eBay. We receive, from time-to-time, items that are no longer useful to club members with the request that they “go to good use”. Some of these have been sold at the British Car Swap Meet, but


some are – unfortunately – of no current interest to club members. Hence the decision to make these available to the general public through the eBay process. As stated before, the intent here is not to “make money” nor to create a business enterprise, but rather to attempt to put these items into the hands of someone, somewhere, who will make good use of them. Current procedure will be to list these items on the club website “Classified” page for a period of two weeks as a “last chance” for club members before going live to the general public on eBay, so keep your eye on the website. Club member David Evans has taken control of this effort and has already had some success with it. Club members who have items to donate should contact either Jim Evans or David Evans (no relationship) for info on acceptable items. The club can issue a certificate of value for tax purposes, if appropriate. See the club website for info on this.
Sycamore Speedway Demolition Derby
We have been invited to join the ISOA (aka “Triumph Club”) at their annual excursion to the amateur stock car races and demolition derby at Sycamore Speedway, in Sycamore IL, on August 22. No, this is not a driving event – we are attending as spectators only. If you grew up in Chicago in the ‘50s or ‘60s you probably went at least once to a similar event at Santa Fe Speedway or, if you’re really old, at Soldier Field, and you probably remember the mirth and hilarity of watching a demolition derby. “Bring back those stirring days of yesteryear” as the announcer used to say (do you remember where?) and come out for a guaranteed laugh and good time. We will meet at the track, at about 7 PM, unless it is raining. This track is on IL Rt 64 (North Ave) just east of Sycamore, IL. Check the website for info on this event.
Orphan Car Picnic
The CMGC has been invited to attend the 18th annual Orphan Car picnic and Car Show on August 17 in Aurora IL. This show is sponsored by the local Corvair Club, which tells you right there the definition of an “orphan car”. Also to be seen will be many other defunct makes such as Nash, Hudson, Kaiser, Rambler, etc., etc. Past attendance in excess of 150 cars. If you would like an opportunity to casually mingle with likeminded owners of cars no longer produced, put this on your calendar for a fun filled afternoon. We will be joined by the Vintage MG Club of Chicago. This is billed as a picnic, so bring your own beverages and snacks. You can probably buy a soda pop or hot dog if you wish. This is a club endorsed event and you will earn “MG Bucks” for attending. Check the club website for location, directions, and timing.
Tool and Archive Donations
Thanks to club member Dave Bralich for donating an adjustable timing light to the club tool program.  This product allows for more accurate setting of ignition timing under high RPM’s when both vacuum and mechanical distributor advances are in play.  It is available from the ToolMaster as with all other club tools. Thanks also to longtime member Bruce Magers, who is also one of the original club founders, for donating a set of club newsletters covering the mid-1970's through early 1980's to the club archive program.  Some of these will fill in missing issues on the club website.  These early issues make fascinating reading as to the personnel involved and activities held back then; more observations on the insights from these newsletters will be forthcoming in the Driveline at a later date.

Pg 5 of 12 homebacktopnext

©2008 Chicagoland MG Club, All rights reserved.