Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline February 2015

The Steering Column

David Novak
Left Hand Drive
from our President
Hello everybody! This is my first real article for the Driveline, and I’m not 100% sure what to say. Hopefully this

First of all, I wanted to thank the outgoing President, George Phariss, for all of his hard work on behalf of the club that he’s put in during his tenure. His guidance and mentoring were probably more appreciated that he knows. I’d also like to thank outgoing Treasurer, Ralph Arata, for what sounds like an impossible task: gather and organize the clubs finances so that a mere mortal could comprehend them. And he did this for the previous decade, so we could compare past and present finances. Simply amazing, to me at least! Last, but not least, I want to thank Victor L’Heureux for his excellent work on the premier club newsletter anywhere, Driveline, while packing, moving, unpacking, and performing the duties of the Vice-President.

However, I am excited to begin working with the new board. I’m sure we’ll face our share of challenges, but I’m confident that the new team will make quick work of them.

I’m also looking forward to the upcoming driving season. Lisa and I didn’t participate in as many driving events as we would have liked, so hopefully we can set that right this year. However, I noticed the other day, while fixing something in the garage that our MG-B doesn’t seem to be sitting level. At first I suspected that my 60+ year old garage floor might not be as level as it once was, but a quick measurement confirmed that the B is actually lopsided. Something I’m hoping to look into as the weather warms, or at least we have a warm spell. This will be important, because a couple years ago, I installed a new, competition front roll-bar, and I have yet to put it to the test at an Autocross! So this year, I expect to join our friends in the Miata club for a good bit of racing.

February’s club meeting will be the annual business meeting, where we will review the previous year, and plot out this year. If you want to see, or have questions about how the club operates, please come to the meeting. The March meeting, which is the day after the Swap Meet, promises to be extremely exciting, as MG guru John Twist will come and talk to the club about his life with MG! The Nuffield Cup will be at both meetings, I plan on putting a lot of miles on that trophy while we have it!

Stay warm, and I’ll see you on the road!

-- Dave Novak    


Ray Hansen

The Steering Column
Right Hand Drive  
from our Vice-President  
Barrett-Jackson. For those who may not know Barrett-Jackson is an auction house located in Scottsdale, AZ specializing in classic and antique cars. The Barrett-Jackson auto auction was on TV from January 10th till the 18th. In their 44 year history this is the largest auction with over 1600 vehicles.

Since I am a new board member I thought it would be my duty to put aside my “honey-do” list and watch the auction for research purposes, of course. I put on my MG cap and my MG shirt (Susan made me put pants on too) and got ready to watch classic cars being sold for amounts I could only dream of affording. Armed with beer and snacks I was ready to begin my research. I did not get to do as much research as I had hoped for but I did notice what I think we all know. Car collectors love American cars. They will buy old cars, new cars (with a low production number), concept cars, movie cars, TV cars in short almost anything American. Foreign cars do sell, but not at the rate of those American beauties. I did see a 1964 Jaguar XKE sell for $181,000.00. As a side note: I wanted a 1962 Jaguar when I was a lad but my father refused to co-sign for a used car that cost more than a brand new car. I had to settle for a Corvair. Not quite the same thing.

Not too many classic car collectors look for MGs. There are a few exceptions and a real joy to see one at auction. I saw another boyhood dream of mine, A 1953 MG TD sell for $88,000.00. To be honest, if I had owned either one of these cars they would not be in a condition to sell for that kind of money.

I know very little about cars and enjoy driving them more that looking at them in my garage. There was an MG that I thought you would like to know. It is a green 1949 MG TC . Carroll Shelby drove this car (it belonged to a friend) in his first race in 1952. It is a right hand drive and considering that he had never raced before and using a borrowed car, it is surprising that he won. He went on that day to beat out Jaguars and the rest of his life was changed. I have a feeling that he was trying to get the thrill of his first race back when he started making Cobra’s go 200 miles an hour.

You never get over your first MG. Newly added by me at the top of my “honey-do” list is get Maggie (AKA little Red) my 79 B out on the road for some preventive maintenance driving. So, I’ll be putting on my MG shirt and my MG cap (and I suppose my pants) to take a little spin during our next thaw in my LBC which is priceless to me.

-- ~~ Ray Hansen    

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