Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline November 2015

MGAguru is on the Prowl
MGA Guru is Gone Mobile

As noted at end of last report, we did attend the dinner meeting with Flatwater Austin Healey Club at Steel Horse Saloon in Nehawka, Nebraska with 22 enthusiasts and several British cars, followed by our late night exit to Omaha.

In case you haven't been following our daily trip log, you might be wondering where we were going in the next 10 days after Friday 9/25/15. We went tearing through Nebraska and South Dakota, followed by Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, and back into Kansas (again). Well it didn't actually take 10 days as we were back in Kansas by October 1st, so make that 1600 miles in 6 days. One purpose of this loop was to visit Rapid City, South Dakota, where we met Mickey & Heidi Hartnett. Mickey is President of the Black Hills British Car Club, which (we thought) didn't exist when we were ripping west to east through North Dakota in late August. As it turns out, Back Hills Classic Car Club was renamed Black Hills British Car Club which seems to have resulted in great benefit to the club (more active). So now we felt compelled to go for a visit. Added incentive was that South Dakota was state number 48 on our 48 state hit list, and we have now visited every MG and/or all-British car club in South Dakota (all one of them).

While we were in South Dakota we also ran through parts of Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Badlands National Park, and Rapids City (where we did not visit Wall Drug). We did visit Motor Service Company

Badlands National Park
(in Rapids City) which is long since out of business but carries a ton of history, and by now perhaps some ghost stores (being preserved for historical purposes by its current owner). We also diagnosed a failed Pertronics ignition unit while assisting Mickey's MGB off the street and back home, after which he pulled out the big guns MG MGC GTS to do some nice mountain road touring, ending up in a camp ground in Hill City, SD for the night.

Next day we were visiting Mount Rushmore (progressively more of a tourist trap) and Crazy Horse Memorial (the gigantic mountain carving so far 70 years in process with decades more to go). Heading south we grazed the edge of Custer State Park. The next afternoon (and the following day) we were in Cheyenne, Wyoming to visit Greg Brown who rebuilds gear shift extension housings for MGA (and also owns an MGA).

Restoration crew at Arrow Printing
On October 1st we spent a very long 15 minutes touring the small town of Gaylord, Nebraska, which turned out to be nothing to write home about (perhaps half ghost town). But by evening we were in Salina, Kansas to visit Steven Stockham and his 1958 MGA. Next day we were visiting Paints Unlimited (also in Salina) where Steven's MGA had its body work and paint done. Later same day we were at Arrow Printing in Salina (not what it sounds like) where they have a couple MGA and a couple MGB restorations in process.

On Saturday October 3rd we had a dinner meeting with British Car Club of Wichita at Bentley, Kansas, including at least a dozen people and half a dozen British cars. This would be an appreciable increase in population of the tiny town. Just before dark we managed to get one casual lap (with the trailer) around a preliminary autocross course on an abandoned airport runway near Hutchinson, Kansas. Next day we hit the Wichita Region SCCA Solo-II where I parked the trailer and thrashed the crap out of the MGA for a few hours, doing well enough to make the MG marque proud (among a host of cars 30 to 50 years newer). Cars are much faster now, so Miata’s have been demoted (twice) to E-stock.

By Oct 6 we were at Conroy's Pub in Lawrence, KS for a dinner meeting with 24 people in Lawrence All British Car Club
(Continued on page 7)

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