Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline November 2016

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all around, but only one guy to do the work. We had a late night visit with David Cobb in Enfield, CT Been here before, but his MGA had carburetor adjustment issues and fuel leaks after a pro shop had worked on it.

On the 7th we visited Jim Vibert at Farmington Motorsports in Farmington, CT, where one end of
the shop was stuffed with British cars (dyed in the wool British car enthusiasts). Then we did a short sprint to Quantum Mechanics, Ltd in Oxford, CT to check out the sizeable operation rebuilding gearboxes (and differentials and sometimes carburetors). He was happily chatting about business well past closing time. One of his "trick parts" is saving rare MG TD laygears by welding on a new 1st gear cog to make like new. On the 8th we paid a return visit to Charlie Lumb in New Milford, CT (on some seriously unpaved roads) to lend some encouragement to his slowly progressing MGA restoration project.

On Oct 9 we were back in NY for the Woodstock British Car Show. A bit short with about 40 cars (when they were hoping for 1000). But the weather cleared up for a nice day. We found a few new models of cars I had not seen before including a "continuation" car, an extended production copy of the Cobra Datona coupe. Also a 1972 Bond Bug (later to be Reliant). We drove another hour north in far upper NY state, but a couple appointments fell through, and it was getting pretty cool up there, so we finally headed south again.

On the 13th we aid a visit to Triumph Rescue, British Wiring, and Bally Auto Care in Bally, PA (a "three-fer" under on roof). In addition to a number of TRs there were also an MGA, a TD, an Elva Currier, and a AH 3000 under restoration, and a bunch more Brits outside waiting in turn. Good to see racks of new wiring harnesses and a multitude of different colors of wire ready for delivery on a moment's notice. We took a little side trip to Chalfont, PA to visit Clarke Spares and Restorations, but struck out when Todd wasn't there. By late night we were in Arnold, MD for a brief visit with Victor Knox who has a nice '62 MGA 1600-MK-II. Nothing needed here, just a social call.

On the 14th we were in St. Leonard, MD to visit Dick Masse and his wife who have a hard-earned MGA by way of home restoration that began with boxes full of loose parts. We have been coaching this one along for about 15 years by remote email, mostly finished a few years ago. Last time I saw there folks was about 2003 when they were circumventing the eastern USA in a boat, and made a brief stop in Joliet, IL. I was just adding a touch by testing the fuel gauge circuit and touching up coolant and pressure cap.

Then we headed farther south back into VA for a while. After a day of planning, on the 17th we ventured out for a three day "shop hopping" session where we were visiting at least 15 workshops in Virginia that will work on MGs and other vintage British cars. Some shops were appreciably big while others were one-man and personal (and full spectrum in between). We found a couple closed, one moved out of state, at least two continuing under new ownership, and a couple more shops we didn't know existed before. Then it took two more days to catch up documentation, but all in all a very well founded venture. The new Shops list now has more than 700 workshops for MGs and British car service listed across the USA, and in time we may be able to visit and verify them all, same as the car clubs (tall order).

Until next time, find lots more photos and notes, and follow our follies at

~~Barney Gaylord

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