Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline October 2015

The Steering Column

David Novak
Left Hand Drive
from our President
It's been a great summer. Aside from a pretty long stretch of hot weather, this has been a pretty great driving season. Having just come off the Wine, Beer and Cheese tour, where a LOT of fun was had, I know I'm going to go into the fall and winter with fond memories of this driving season.

One memory I which I look forward to forgetting, is signing up to paint the wheels of the Club's MG-B GT for the club's restoration project. When I say "sign up" it was really more of our beloved Tech Coordinator saying "David, here are the wheels". It may have been over a cocktail on his porch, and I may not have all the words in the exact same order that he said them, or even all the same words, but that's pretty much what happened. As far as I remember anyway.

So some days later, I find myself in the backyard with 5 freshly de-tire-ed wheels in various states of ugliness. So I went at them with my trusty wire wheel, and removed the gunk, rust, and paint that come along with 40-ish year old wheels. After that I gave all 5 a fresh an all-over coat of glossy black paint. After a few days of drying time, I went to town with the masking tape. While it's not difficult to make a nice mask for the wheels with common masking tape and knife, it is time consuming, while being oddly relaxing. So after I masked the first wheel, I painted it and removed the mask to admire my work, and take a picture to mark my progress. A picture that, as far as I know, is still on the Club's Facebook page. While the first wheel dried in the sun, I went to work masking the rest of the wheels. All the while I'm working with tape and a hobby knife, there's something in the back of my mind that is trying to tell me something. After I mask another 2 wheels, I take a quick break to re-inspect the first wheel.

Then it hits me. It's all backwards. Yep, the silver part is black, and the black part is silver. And there's no way to fix it without starting over. From scratch. Square one. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

As you can imagine, to my shame, a few choice words may have escaped my lips. Then a few more. Then many, many more. A colorful array of words that would shame many sailors.

Some days later, after what I'm told authorities call a "cool down" period, I revisited my favorite hardware store and emerged, once again, with a familiar combination of paint cans.

On the plus side, I now know pretty much all the secrets to masking and painting an MG's steel wheels. If you're ever curious, just ask... On second thought, don't. I may just take these secrets to my grave.
-- Dave Novak      


Ray Hansen

The Steering Column
Right Hand Drive  
from our Vice-President  
A couple of weeks ago Susan and I headed for the Carolinas, specifically North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We drove the sedan because Maggie would only accommodate Susan's shoe wardrobe for ten days, no room for clothing. I digress.

Unlike the Myrtle Beach carnival atmosphere, North Myrtle Beach is the land of condos, beach houses, broad beaches, cole slaw bars, calabash buffets, and a little more quiet than the very popular Myrtle Beach, with the exception of the "shaggers". North Myrtle Beach is the epicenter of the Shag Dance which is proudly acclaimed with a silhouetted couple of shag dancers displayed on their water tower.

Much to my and Susan's amazement, this is a big deal. We sat in a shag club one night watching the shaggers exhibit their smooth moves on the dance floor. They even give shag lessons, which we tossed around for about a half second recalling how we miserably failed disco lessons in the 70's. That humiliation was enough to last us a lifetime. However, if we ever change our minds, right up the street from the shag clubs are shag apparel stores waiting to outfit us in all the proper shag attire.

The Shag is a dance started in the 1940s when rhythm and blues music found its way into the juke boxes along the South Carolina coast (commonly called the Strand). The teenagers and local beach bums, displaying the typical laid back southern style, reinvented the faster paced jitter bug into what would become the shag. The shag incorporates jitter bug and swing into a slower paced 6 count basic style that is danced in a shuffling motion on the balls of the feet. Most of the action takes place from the waist down while holding your partners hand. Having no set-in –stone moves, you are free to embellish the foot work adding twists and turns with you partner to create your own shag style.

Once a year shaggers from all over descend on North Myrtle Beach to compete in the national championship. The winner’s names are placed on a bronze tablet that is then set in the sidewalk. Think Hollywood’s famous Walk of fame.

Just to keep the column car related. The first Model T ford was red. That was before Henry Ford said his famous quote “they can have any color, as long as it is black”.

~~ Ray Hansen & Maggie    
(AKA Little Red)

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