result of “outgrowing” the previous spot. Innovative programs in the club and at meetings helped ratchet the attendance upward each year. With a strong program of speakers, films, etc. at monthly meetings, you would have had a good incentive to set aside the third Monday evening each month. You might have also enjoyed the occasional social event such as the Holiday Party (sometimes even with Santa present!) or maybe the picnics or the Awards Banquet.
You would have had the opportunity to borrow MG-oriented books from the club library, and borrow MG-oriented tools from the club tool collection. You could have bought club-oriented regalia. You could have learned to work on your own MG by joining the work sessions on club project cars or attending other technical events such as the Tune Up Party. You probably would have felt comfortable no matter who you sat next to or who you drove next to: there doesn’t seem to be any indication of any cliques, factions, or political groupings of any sort. You would have had a lot for your dues money. And you would have had some pride in the club “firsts”.
And you would not have been let down by the club: meetings were held as scheduled, as were most events. There is no record in the newsletter of last minute cancellations or failures of scheduled items. Certainly the confidence inspired by that record also helped to solidify a growing and continuing membership count.
The club financial environment during this period was very positive. The treasury balance generally moved upward due to careful management of club funds and some good fundraisers that meant there were never any special member assessments or requirements to sell candy bars to your neighbors. The political environment was calm; elections were held yearly, but records show that a relatively small group of interested members occupied most of the offices over the decade – sometimes moving from treasurer one year to secretary the next to president the next, etc. This resulted in a cadre of experienced and competent people consistently in charge of club affairs – no wonder the decade was so successful!
And if you chose to play the hermit, you would at least have had the newsletter. Club newsletters are like arrowheads and broken pottery shards to archeologists – they tell a story about the club not only with what they say, but when they say it, and how they go about saying it. And with what they choose to say in the first place. A look at the club newsletter over time shows some interesting things. But we will save that for next time.
And if you want to know where the money went, follow the archives yourself…it’s all there.
You can read all the old club newsletters on the club website; follow the links from Driveline to Archives to get to them. You will relearn there many things you may have forgotten...and perhaps learn some that you never knew.
The next installment of this history will pick up after the AMGBA National Convention of 1991 and follow the club to the present day.
-- Jim Evans
Who Fixes Your MG?
In the September and October editions of the Driveline I asked for names of people and businesses that maintain MG's. Please check your old newsletter or read the articles on line at the www.chicagolandmgclub.com. The list is already quite long and has places all around the Chicago area. The list is most helpful if it is maintained and growing, so keep the suggestions coming to (847) 342-9804 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Workshops and Repair Locations
Belknap Autobody Jim Brockway
Ed’s Auto Repair Ed Eakins
Exclusive Auto Restoration Don Ellefson
Francen & Son Kevin Francen
John’s Auto Service John Nystrom
Lindberg Automotive Doug
Motor Works Marty Fay
Quality Tire and Auto Mark Leuck
Scarsdale Auto Repair Dan Riportella
Sportscar M&R Richard Blair
The Sports Car Store Ken Kales
Vintage Sports Car Yves Boode
W and G Motorparts Wade Keene
Grand Auto Parts Chris Glorioso
Mark’s Custom Auto Interiors
Editor’s Note: The list actually has so much information now that it is impractical to print here in Driveline. It is available on the club website. Besides there being contacts listed there are also phone numbers, addresses, websites and email addresses.
-- Reinout Vogt