Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline November 2009

Jim Evans The Steering Column
Left Hand Drive

from our President

There were 27 members present at the October Natter ’n’ Noggin. What a change from just a few years ago, when a typical turnout for this event was less than half a dozen members!
And there have been other changes, too. Some of these are behind the scenes – most members don’t even see the changes, but the benefit is there.
The membership processing function is now running smoothly, back under the control of the club Secretary, which is where the club’s charter says it belonged all along. Several new members have joined the club through innovative recruiting techniques, such as using national club mailing lists, and new members get a warm welcome including a new member package. And we have provided a local home for MGA owners by affiliating with their national club, NAMGAR.
The club newsletter now arrives near the first of the month for most members, due to the advantages inherent in a new technology and a new way of producing the newsletter; and with lots of color photos, too! Members now also receive regular email updates on club calendar items and unforeseen changes to club plans.
The club management benefits from a computerized financial reporting system administered by the Treasurer that now has five years of accurate club accounting data available, on everything from dues payments to postage stamp expenses. Club members get reports on those financial items at an annual meeting that now meets the requirements of an Illinois non-profit corporation (which we are).
Club members have access to some new benefits: we are now trying to get old MG parts to “a good home”, wherever it might be, rather than sending them into the dumpster, by providing a clearinghouse function for member’s parts donations. We will soon provide members with an opportunity to buy club regalia online with a wide range of color, size, and style choices through an “on demand” regalia program. Club members have been introduced to some of the better car shows in the Chicago area by being encouraged to enter their MG. And, who knows? Perhaps we will see some new members some day because a bystander saw one of our MG’s at a show and decided to get his(her) own. We will soon be “live” with a “social networking” site on Facebook, offering both members and prospective members one more way to connect with the club and club activities.
This year’s Halloween Rally had nine cars and 26 people involved; at one Halloween rally a few years ago, no one showed up for the event! Driving events are fun, and this rally (as well as the Land’s End Rally) showed how a good recipe can deliver the goods. There was a time when rallies of this type produced over 20 entries on a regular basis - hopefully, we are on track to bring back this level of enthusiasm in the future. Quality products like these are one of the keys to building enthusiasm.
The club has experienced many positive changes in the past, with more to come in the future. Hope you will be with us to enjoy them!


And if you haven’t been to a Natter ‘n’ Noggin recently, plan to join us soon!
Safety Fast, -- Jim Evans

dave_peterson The Steering Column
Right Hand Drive

from our Vice - President

As promised, a brief report from the other side of the road.  Our trip to Ireland was great fun.  Unfortunately I didn't get to drive because the fee for an extra driver was really high.  Since our traveling companions had reserved the car he signed up as the driver.  He didn't enjoy the narrow roads with no shoulders and was totally worn out by the end of a day of driving. Our first car had a faulty clutch and gave out on a steep one lane two way road.  As we were trying to make room for two cars to meet on this narrow road the engine started revving and the clutch started smoking and we could hardly move.  We finally got enough grip to move a few hundred feet to a two lane where there was room for traffic to pass.  Fortunately we were not far from the Cork airport and a replacement car was on hand within a couple of hours.  Even as a passenger I could tell the difference it made to have a properly functioning clutch.
  On a previous trip to Ireland I did the driving and enjoyed the narrow winding roads.  However, as a passenger I began to understand why my wife kept asking "Do we have to go so fast?"  A comfortable 100 kph for the driver seems at least twice as fast for the passenger whose left shoulder seems awfully close to the hedge and stone walls that are right at the edge of the pavement.
  I only saw two MG's.  Both of them were rubber bumper GT's that appeared to be daily drivers.  They were parked on the street during working hours presumably waiting to carry their owners home at the end of the day.
  Speaking of GT's, I've made virtually no progress on mine.  The front suspension bump stops did not pop right into their raised position as I had hoped so they'll either need some modification or replacement with special raised units.  But travel and repair of a small hernia have cut into my working time.  So what else is new?
-- Dave Peterson 

Steve's British Connection

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