Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline August 2016

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attend British Invade Gettysburg (PA) car show on Sunday (about 220 British cars here). After the street show we were off to Appalachian Brewing Co for food and spirits

Next day (Monday) a short morning jaunt to Dominion Spares, LLC in Vienna, VA, where Bill Rachal specializes in parts for TVR cars (which in many cases will share engines and some other parts with MGs). By the following afternoon we were a few hundred miles west in Barboursville, West Virginia here we spent some time fiddling with a TR Spitfire running poorly, coming to the conclusion that a Crane XR700 ignition unit was going bad to cause misfires under load. This was followed by invasion by the West Virginia British Car Club for "Pistons & Pints". Late night we were heading back east to Virginia to take up where we left off.

On the 13th we were visiting Bob Stickley in Christiansburg, VA with an MGA 1600 that was hard to start, until we properly adjusted the choke linkage. It also has a tricky fuel delivery problem. When run to high engine speed at full throttle for extended hill climbing, one carburetor will starve and drop its own to two cylinders (must have a partial clog in the float chamber cover inlet screen, or float valve). We put oil in the front shocks to cure a severe rock and roll problem (and put a big grin on the driver).

The 14th offered a few hours’ spare as an opportunity to change the trailer side lights and most of the wiring harness, which was suffering from failing pinch connectors (factory issue). I shouldn't complain as it lasted 27 years and more than 200,000 miles. Then we were off to Kingsport, Tennessee for an evening meeting with 40 members of Appalachian British Car Society. Next day we were visiting Bill Welborn in Burlington, NC, offering a little touch up for copper sealing washers on his MGA master cylinder. On Saturday the 16th we met with Shenandoah Valley British Car Club in Madison, VA for a cruise through some nice back roads of Madison and Rappahannock Counties, Flint Hill and Little Washington, mild mountains, shady lanes, stone walls and vineyards along the way. We had 26 people for lunch, followed by another short haunt to visit Cooper Fox Distillery in Sperryville, VA, where they brew whisky (not bourbon). You can easily kill a couple hours boning up on the difference.

On the 18th we visited Mike Ohleger in Buena Vista, VA who has a 1961 MGA 1600 undergoing restoration. Late evening, we paused at a rest stop to fix a problem with one last pinch connector in the trailer connector harness on the car. On the 19th we finally got to visit White Post Restorations in White Post VA. The place is full of eye candy where people will pay big money to restore vintage American iron. We saw at least three Cadillacs, a Dodge, and a couple Lincolns in process, as well as a Jaguar E-type nearing completion, and a Porsche 356 ready for the road. The have their own upholstery shop and do a lot of work sleeving hydraulic cylinders. In the evening we had one more stop to visit Clustered Spires British Car Club for a dinner meeting at The Braddock Inn in Braddock Heights, MD with 17 people for dinner and a short club meeting.

On the 20th we made a short stop in Urbanna, VA at a locally known shop of Bobby William's, who does work on British cars for local club friends. He has an MGA under restoration. There was also an MGA 1600-MK-II belonging to Charlie Adams under restoration, low mileage no rust California car. Next day we stopped at Charlie's home in Fairfax, VA, to check out an odd phenomenon involving two different cylinder head castings with the same casting number (MGA 1600-MK-II 1622cc engines). Long story making a new tech page on my web site. Charlie also has a nice MG TD nearing end of restoration, and another MGA 1600-MK-II just beginning restoration.

On Saturday the 23rd we were off to Burke Lake Park in Fairfax Station, VA with MG Car Club, Washington DC Centre. I was honored to drive my MGA for a Braille Rallye. This event was first devised to encourage young blind people to learn to read braille. This works quite well, as long as the sighted driver does not question the navigator's interpretation of the route instructions. There were at least 10 MGs participating with a sight impaired navigator for each one. My young lady navigator was proud to be in the Senior Braille class where we finished as 3rd place.

A bit more than 4,000 miles in 4 weeks mostly within Virginia, just passed 87,000 miles for this trip (and we are still off to a good start).

Follow our follies at
~~Barney & Elliot Gaylord   1958 MGA with an attitude

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