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Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline
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Left Hand Drive
Meeting Report, August
Welcome New Members
Natter 'n' Noggin Contest
Shirts and MG Bucks
MG Parts Donated
Project Car Update
Camping Road America
UML MG Summer Party
CMGC Member Award
Orphan Auto Picnic
August Autocross
BCU British Car Festival
Wine, Cheese, Beer Tour
September Autocross
Morris Garages Rally
CMGC/Morris Auto Show
Halloween Rally ?
"Tex" Session ?
Fall Tune Down Party ?
Cruise to the Rock
Regalia Update
CMGC Holiday Party
Membership Processing
Driveline Editor Update
CMGC Events
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  Chicagoland MG Club:Driveline
Left hand drive The Steering Column
From your Co-chairmen
Jim Evans
Jim Evans'
Left Hand Drive

Driving up to Grand Rapids had a sense of déjà vu to it this year. It is a trip that many of us have made over the years, sometimes alone and sometimes as part of a club caravan. Over the years, attendance at the University Motors Summer Picnic has waxed and waned as with other aspects of the MG scene. Memory tells me that at one time this event was probably the premier MG event in North America, and that the host, John Twist of University Motors, was the best known MG authority on our side of “the pond”. Our club has always had a special relationship with John Twist. Some of you may remember that he would attend our annual Christmas parties years ago and was always available as a guest or speaker at club events. Back then, you couldn’t pick up an MG oriented publication without seeing an article by John.
Our club has always been a strong supporter of this event and has often sent as many as 20-30 cars up to the UM show, which attracts participants from Canada as well as the upper Midwest, and always a scattering of long distance drivers from down south and out west. This year, the field held about 225 cars, perhaps an indicator that enthusiasm for the show is down. Why is that, I wondered?
Many of the cars on the field have been there before, and the owners are known to each other for years. Conversations start up where they left off years ago; it’s almost like seeing cousins at a family reunion. The companionship and camaraderie are clear. I wonder if MG owners in the Midwest would have ever become such a cohesive group if it had not been for this event over the years. Would I have ever met Jim from New York? Duane from Indianapolis? Or Jim from Omaha? MG owners are known for their cohesiveness as a group: I wonder if businessmen have seen us as a more solid market than other marques because of it? Do we have an easier time getting imported or repro parts due, in some measure, to the image we portray by massing together at events such as the University Motors Summer Picnic? Are we seen as a better market than more dispersed groups? Has this gathering had a greater impact on our hobby than we might think?
Times change, and one change in the car hobby field over the years has been the tremendous growth of hobby-oriented events. It is a challenge nowadays to pick a date to hold a club event due to the number of competing events on any given day. Another change has been the availability of information on any topic – MG’s included – on the internet. And so with these changes the relative importance of the University Motors Picnic has apparently diminished for some members as other events have cropped up; and John Twist now has many competitors offering technical knowledge and advice via email.
I could have gone to a local car show or cruise night instead of Grand Rapids…could have sent my technical chat over the ether…but I’m glad I took the opportunity to travel up to the University Motors picnic to visit in person with some old friends and make a contribution to the continuity of the marque. Perhaps you will join our group for the next show there.
Safety Fast!   Jim Evans

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