Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline September 2015

The Steering Column

David Novak
Left Hand Drive
from our President
For those of you who donít remember my article from last month, let me give you a brief recap: Chicago can be a funny place. Allow me to expand upon that thesis again this month, if you will.

Last Thursday, Iím at work, minding my own business, when the wife calls. Now this is not an unusual event, but this call was a bit different from your usual day to day chit-chat. Something was wrong. Something is wrong with the Wifeís truck. Since Iím 26 miles away from the Wife and said truck, the best I can do is listen to the symptoms and advise. The symptoms include, and are limited to, an unbelievable racket when the truck is started. Since this was a completely new and unexpected event, my advice was to not start the truck, and wait until I got home to have a look. Luckily the Missusí job allows her to largely set her own schedule, so she shuffled a couple appointments, and all was well.

When I arrived home and changed, I crawled under the truck, where it sat on the street, and began my investigation. It became immediately obvious that a key component of the exhaust and emissions system was no longer where it was supposed to be. This key component: The Catalytic Converter. Itís new location: Parts Unknown.

Yes, thatís right. In front my our house, somebody crawled under the truck, and with what one can only assume was a battery operated reciprocal saw, and cut the Platinum filled exhaust scrubber out of the car, and made off with it.

And so began the chat with the insurance company. Luckily, all went well, and not only is the truck sporting a new and shiny catalytic converter, but it also got a long overdue recall notice taken care of. One of our neighbors works for an Auto Insurance trade group, and she informed us that catalyst theft is more or less the #1 most stolen car part, and that Chicago is in the upper echelons of the practice.

With that escapade behind us, I was looking forward to the week, and the Club meeting, but there I am at work on Monday, and the phone rings. This time, itís the next-door neighbor, which is unusual. And again, something is broken. Luckily, the Missus was just arriving home while I was on the phone and was able to with the neighbors help, stabilized what turned out to be a plumbing issue. Unfortunately the issue was important enough to warrant skipping the monthly meeting.

So, back to my thesis about Chicago being a funny place, where one month you can meet a random stranger who tells you the secret resting place of an unloved TR-7, and the next month, nik your wifeís catalyst! Lucky for me, the catalyst thieves will be left scratching their heads if they ever try that trick on the Ď74 MGB!
-- Dave Novak      


Ray Hansen

The Steering Column
Right Hand Drive  
from our Vice-President  
I was recently asked a question. What kind of car do you drive?

Seems like a simple question. I could have said my daily driver. A non-descript Toyota Camry. I could have answered with a convertible, but that is too vague. There are many convertibles so that doesnít seem to be the answer they are looking for. I could also have answered the question with ďa sports carĒ. That is more wishful thinking than fact. According to Merriam-Webster, a sports car is "a low small car, usually two-passenger automobile designed for quick response, easy maneuverability, and high-speed drivingď. Maggie (AKA Little Red) is a low small car, two passenger automobile with somewhat easy maneuverability but thatís where the similarities end. Maggie is hardly a quick response and high-speed driving automobile.

I normally just answer with an MGB. That is commonly followed with the next inevitable question. What is an MGB? I give them my limited knowledge about an MGB. British car, last produced in 1980, newer versions of the MG (no longer British) are produced but to my knowledge not available in the U.S. When talking about my ďBĒ and trying to answer questions I show how little I really know. So given my past experiences with the question I simply answer with my daily driver. Then I started to think about the next time I am asked, what kind of car do you drive. I now will reply with ďan MGB roadsterĒ. This may also bring the same questions but a roadster has a special sound to it. It truly is a roadster. Again citing Merriam- Webster, a roadster is ďan automobile with an open body that seats two and has a folding fabric top and often a luggage rack or rumble seat". This is a very old definition since I havenít seen too many rumble seats lately (and when was the last time you looked in a dictionary?). Maggie is an open automobile that seats two and happens to have a luggage rack. So take your roadster for a spin and if youíre asked about it, proudly promote it and donít forget to mention the Chicagoland MG Club too.

I hope you have a chance to take a road trip this summer and feel the wind in your face. Not a 2000 mile road trip like Edsel but an enjoyable trip in the sun.

~~ Ray Hansen & Maggie    
(AKA Little Red)

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