Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline May 2017

MGA Guru Gone Mobile

Monday, March 27, 2017, we were going shop-hopping again. Tourist Trophy Garage in New Orleans, closed since the Katrina storm. MicroFinish, LLC, custom mix paint mail order, doing well. Gambino's Foreign Cars in Harahan, LA, now sending LBC business to the next shop. Keith Vezina in New Orleans, part time week ends LBC repair business. V& N Foreign Car Repairs in Baton Rouge, LA, out of business. Acadiana Sports Car Orphanage in Abbeville, LA, parts by mail order. We can't find a physical location from their web site, and no phone number. The "Contact" page on their web site is Formmail, no email address given. I never recommend doing business with someone who wants to remain anonymous while taking your money.

Automotive Specialties Co in Dallas still going strong
Next day we started with H. D. Rogers amp; Sons in Bossier City, LA, locked up and phone disconnected, although the place was surrounded by older LBCs in "shaky" condition. A grandson has opened a new shop Classic Auto Spares (at the same address) for selling parts, but we didn't get to check that one out yet (maybe also gone). Then we move on to Automotive Specialties Co in Dallas, TX, where I met Art Ziesk, an old-time acquaintance from 20 years earlier still in business at the same location. We also had two shots at Bruno's Garage at two different locations in Irving, TX, both closed. Then on to British Automotive Services in Dallas, TX, also closed. (Are we seeing a pattern here yet)? Just for kicks and a picture we went past the corporate offices of Interstate Batterie in Dallas, TX. Long days for not a lot of success.

For tinkering time, we stopped to visit Phil Marcell in Plano, TX, to give his MGA Twin Cam a tune-up and soft mount the
1934 MG PA in Plano, TX, raised from the ashes
carburetors. Phil also has a 1953 Corvette survivor car, and a 1934 MG PA which he had resurrected literally from buckets of parts and piles of rust.

On last day of March, we were shop-hopping again. A 75-mile trip to Poor Richard's Euro Service in Gordonville, TX turned up an empty lot and a disconnected phone number. Oh well. Back south again to try British Car Company in Denton, TX, at least 22 years gone but now occupied by DC Starter Services, Inc who will rebuild starters and generators and alternators for vintage British cars. Score one for the good guys (finally). Then R P Motorworks Restorations in Denton, TX turned out to be a motorcycle shop (for at least nine years), but that's why we are checking the Shops list so diligently. In case you were curious, many of these long-gone shops are still listed on other web sites, and some have been gone for longer than the existence of the web site, meaning those folks have been copying out of date lists from other web sites without checking validity of the content. Boo, hiss.

British Auto Specialists, Haltom City, TX
Finally, we had a winner with British Auto Specialists in Haltom City, TX. They have on display an extremely rare Jaguar XKSS. In the shop, a few real Lotus 7s, a Jensen Interceptor, a 1926 Rolls Royce, and a variety of MGs and TRs. Next up was A-1 Foreign Car Parts in Ft Worth, TX, supplying vintage British parts for decades, but soon to be liquidating. Then we stopped at Sports Car Warehouse in Arlington, TX, a full-service shop lined with MGs and other vintage British cars.

In early April, we visited Sport & Classic Car Company in Houston, TX, here for decades, these days doing mostly full restorations. Another visit to The MG Shop in Houston, TX, a one-man shop for decades where I got to fix a sticky choke on an MGB.
Ron Shimek Auto Service, Austin, TX
Same day visit to Vintage Car Solutions in Houston, TX, big into Alfa Romeo but work on lots of different classic cars including vintage British cars.

Another day, Graham Davies,Best of British in Austin, TX, closed and phone disconnected. Then Ron Shimek Auto Service in Austin, TX, here for decades and very busy. We found a MG TD survivor car and another TD in for minor mechanical work, a Lotus 7, and a few more cars in back waiting their turn.
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