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Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline
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  Chicagoland MG Club:Driveline
Where It All Started For Me
by Mike Olsen

My love for little British cars started when I was 16. I had been arguing with my parents about buying a motorcycle. I had small dirt bikes since I was 13. So we were going to find a car that handled as good as a motorcycle. After looking in the paper an ad for a Triumph TR3 on the south side came to light. The next weekend the whole family went for a ride to take a look. This car had been sitting for a couple of years and was missing a few idems. There were no sidecurtins, speedometer, battery, or water in the cooling system. After some discussion we bought the car. Working in their garage and buying a battery locally my father who was a stockcar driver and builder breathed life into the TR. We drove it home that day with my mother complaining we were doing over 70mph and would get a ticket.

For the next three months my father and I worked on the LBC rebuilding carbs, brakes, clutch, body panels and rewiring the little beast. On Christmas Day I received a set of sidecurtins (It was getting a little cool driving around) and installed them that afternoon. Then my uncle (who was a real MG freak) showed me the art of synchronizing the carbs. Watching my Uncle and my Dad working on the TR with me running for coffee was a treat in itself.

With a the help of my friends (catchy isn’t it) I drove that Triumph all over God’s creation. Not once did I get a ticket (in that particular car). We played with MGA’s , Midget’s, bugeyes and the like every chance we had. Many of friends learned how to drive stick in my LBC, and one of my younger brothers learned how to strip gears.

The one car on the road that would always beat me in our impromptu races was the MGB. My uncle would give me rides in his showing me things like drift, broad sliding, double clutching and so on telling me I should upgrade to a “B”. He had things like a factory cam and flat top pistons which came from a dealer (don’t I wish I had that “B” today). As time went on I sold the TR and bought a buick, got married, had kids, and bought a house.

About 13 years ago my wife was looking in the paper and showed me an ad for a MGB. ”You are always saying you wanted one now here’s your chance”. After looking it over I gave it a new home.

The MGB sat in the garage for a year before I built up the courage of working on it. This poor baby had been abused and was in the need of some TLC. Making the “B” road worthy took two years of weekend work before she saw the light of day.

Now I have four “B’s” and just picked up a Midget in need of work. The love affair isn’t over yet.

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