Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline August 2009

Jim Evans The Steering Column
Left Hand Drive

from our President

I recently returned from an extended driving trip out to the western part of the country. Not the NAMGBR Convention (I would like to have been there) but a similar event held by another organization.
I always look forward to visiting that area of the country; after all, who doesn’t get just a little bit of a thrill to actually visit such places as Laramie, Laredo, Cheyenne, Durango, Dodge City and the rest that we all got to know of through innumerable cowboy movies and television shows years ago? There just seems to be something different about the west; here are a few things that I noticed:
In the Midwest, we have Salt Creek and the DuPage River; out there, they have “Devil’s Creek”, “Wolf Creek” and the “Snake River”. Here we have char houses, brasseries, and lounges; out west, they mostly still have saloons and diners. There are a lot more motorcycles out west, on the road and parked in driveways for quick access; makes sense since traffic is mostly non-existent. Might be some throwback to riding horses. Pickup trucks and full size SUV’s outnumber Honda Civics and Toyota Prius’s about 500 to 1; Mercedes and BMW’s are seldom seen except in the urban areas; Volvo’s and Saab’s are a figment of their own imagination and only seen in magazine ads.
There are a lot of guys who look like Willie Nelson hanging around (maybe they actually are Willie Nelson). There are no red-light cameras anywhere that I was; not many red lights, either. Speed limits are apparently only suggested not mandated. Your dog can ride in the back of your pickup truck, regardless of speed or terrain. Lots of people apparently have horses and cows for pets, as they are commonly seen grazing in front yards. People also get to have their own personal junkyard, with old washing machines as well as cars and agricultural equipment. You can see interesting things, such as the world’s largest ball of string, the actual “home on the range”, and a Bed-n-Breakfast operated out of a “double wide” trailer.
There are a lot of unrusted old cars to be seen everywhere. People there such as store clerks smile at you when you are their customer; also, local residents have been known to be very helpful to strangers without any cash involved. Buffalo are not as big as you think. You can see for yourself how easily 500 Indian braves could have hidden just over the next hill and could be at your side in a flash before you dismounted from your covered wagon and loaded your Winchester. Rocks come in an amazing number of sizes and varieties; weeds can live anywhere.
Road trips are always fun, and we have a few still left this season. Both the Lincoln Highway tour and the Wine, Cheese and Beer Tour are still upcoming and promise to be a lot of fun, with many interesting sights to see. We probably won’t encounter any hostile Indians or buffalo, so you won’t need your Winchester. But you could bring your dog, if he fits, in the back of your MG.
Safety Fast, -- Jim Evans


dave_peterson The Steering Column
Right Hand Drive

from our Vice - President

After years of planning to get to Road America for the vintage races I finally made it, however, it was at the prodding of my friend Jeff, a Porsche 356 driver. Actually we went to the vintage races last Sept. as well which led to our tour a couple of weeks later of the Kettle Morraine Scenic drive, he and his wife in her Miata and Judi and I in our MGB roadster.  Interestingly both of our trips to the races were in his Miata which earned him a lot of ribbing from his Porsche friends.
One of the attractions for my friend was the Porsche Park put on by the WI Porsche 356 Club. There were some really outstanding examples from which Jeff was getting detailed information for the restoration of his 356 Convertible D.  He's trying to convince me that I should buy a 356 as an "investment".  It sounds convincing until I realize that for the price of a decent driver I could get a couple of nice additions for the MG dream collection.
In any case more cars would only distract me from the projects at hand. I have done nothing on my to do list on the roadster and made only minor progress on the GT.  With Jim Evans' help I got the trunnion off the second spindle, and got the parts needed to rebuild the front end, as well as the paint to make it look presentable and preserve it.  I've spent some time cleaning the rust off the parts but have been persuaded it is best to sand blast everything, so painting and reassembly will wait until I can arrange the use of a blast cabinet.  In the meantime I have plenty of other non-car projects to keep me busy.
The program for the Aug. meeting will be put on by Dave Bralich.  He'll be previewing his Fall Tune Down Party and looking for input on tech session topics that you might find helpful in increasing your confidence in the reliability of your MG.
-- Dave Peterson 

Front Cover: A couple of the MG group shots (cars mainly) from the Lands End Rally. Also included is the Jiffy Lube dragster; this was the answer to the questions, “How fast can you get a Lube Job?” There also is a Lands End group shot on the back cover and each of the questions from the rally is posted on the website at:

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