Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline November 2015

Barney's MGA, new shock, oil change, master cylinder seals.

On the table there was a box containing a front shock absorber for my MGA, having been shipped here with some advance planning thanks to Charles Linn (club president) for being the ship-to point. Next day Charles invited us to a vintage farm in Tecumseh, KS (west of Lawrence) to meet his parents Chuck & Shirley Linn. There was an ulterior motive to give his Bugeye Sprite a tune up, but we also got the shock absorber installed on the MGA along with an oil change and lube job and new primary cup seals in the master cylinder (to stop internal leakage in the clutch side).

Next afternoon we were visiting Jesse Prather Motorsports in Topeka, Kansas, mostly about Mazda Miata and RX7, but a sort of spin-off from his father's business. In the evening we were "guest of honor" with Kent Prather at Prather Racing in rural Wakarusa, KS (south of Topeka). Kent has garnered six national championships racing his MGA with SCCA (and just missed number seven the week before). The regular Thursday night Beer and BS session was a blast while we were checking out a Ginetta 1500 and other interesting British car treasures in his car barn.

Rover/MG RV8 clone at Lake Garnett Grand Prix Revival

On the weekend October 10-11 we were busy at the Lake Garnett Grand Prix Revival. I spent most of Saturday kicking tail at a Jaguar sponsored autocross, doing very well on a short tight course while watching Cobras doing donuts off course. There was a Datsun 2000 that was pretty quick. We spent most of Sunday watching "touring laps" at speed on the old Lake Garnet race course. This was quite entertaining as they were divided into groups of maximum 60-mph, 80-mph, 100-mph, 120-mph, and unlimited speed class. Yeehaa! In the fast class a Ferrari was chasing an Indy car until the Indy car let him past, after which the Ferrari turned off into the paddock as the Indy car was threatening to pass. A Rover/MG RV8 (clone) was doing quite well until some mechanical failure led to a tow-off at end of session. There were certainly LOTS of British cars at this event. If you like to do some speed on a vintage race course, you might consider this event for next year.

On Monday the 12th we were visiting Rob Camblin in Independence, Missouri (who happens to be president of Kansas City MG Car Club). Talk about having priorities in order; think TWO attached garages with two lifts and space for nearly a dozen cars, regularly hosting club tech sessions. He has an MGB GT, an MGA 1600-MK-II (French edition) and a few more British cars. I managed to give his MGA a tune-up. In the evening we were off to a club social with Kansas City MG Car Club with about 40 people.

As a slight diversion on the 15th we were visiting an emu farm, helping an MGB GT get a picture with an emu for the Moss Motoring Challenge. Next day we had a visit to H&H Motor Company in Wichita, Kansas (where we missed them the month before). The odd car here was a 1991 Sterling 827-SLi, east or west coast hatchback (as the mid-west only got 4-doors). Next day we were in Springfield, Missouri for a luncheon meeting with a bunch of British cars and 40 members of Greater Ozarks British Motoring Club (where their "Ice Cream at Andy's" got rained out the month before). After the meeting a 50 mile trip to visit David Darby in rural Kissee Mills, MO. Next day we fired up a sleeping ZB Magnette, and I lent him a hand "trying" to remove a very stubborn differential pinion gear shaft from an MG BGT. Didn't quite succeed, but will likely have another whack at it later.

From late Monday through Friday 10/19-10/23 we were in Bolivar, MO with Thane Kifer poking around his insidious collection of LBC. This includes a dozen Morris Minor, three Volvo 1800, 2-1/2 Sunbeam Alpine, two MG Midget, an Austin Mini Cooper S, a vintage Land Rover, plus an odd Toyota, a Pontiac Fiero, a miniature Japanese truck, a couple vintage Chevy trucks, a couple large Pontiacs, (more I'm sure I missed), none of which were running. No I am not going to restore them all, but I did manage to fire up a Volvo 1800S, and a Sunbeam Alpine, and installed a battery and clutch slave cylinder in the Land Rover (running). And we're not finished yet, stay tuned.

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~~Barney and Elliot Gaylord  

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