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This issue’s Queen B is the ’71 B of Marshall Moore. Here is his story:
All my life I have been a “car hound”, attracted to just about anything with four wheels on it. Having grown up on a university town in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, I had seen sports cars around town regularly. I grew to know all the various marques from seeing them as well as reading every automotive journal I could get my hands on. After I got out of college and had been working for about a year, I spotted a gold 1972 MGB on the local dealer’s lot. It was just two years old and really caught my eye. Once I drove it, I was hooked so I worked it out with the dealership to trade in my one year old Toyota on the MGB. The B was fitted with overdrive, Ansa exhaust, driving lights and was a real joy to drive (when it behaved itself). It was, indeed, my first exposure to ownership of a British sports car.
A couple of years later, I moved to my first of 7 TVRs, a marque which would become a passion of mine for over 35 years. Then, about three years ago, after selling my last TVR, I decided to look for another MGB, or in essence, to come full circle back to where I started my sports car journey.
I first spotted a very nice MGB-GT out in the Midwest that was very attractive but was sold before I could get to it. Then a friend in the local British Car Club here in southwest Virginia told me about one he had just placed an ad for in our newsletter for someone in his town. It was a 1971, teal blue with black interior and top. The car was reasonably priced so I made the hour’s drive down to see the car. The top was in rough shape, and the interior needed a new upholstery kit. The car drove OK but obviously needed servicing and the front end was loose.
However, I was able to negotiate a good price for the car so I went back a week later with my trailer and picked the car up. I got a new Robbins top for the car and a new seat kit with new foam, etc and that began to really enhance the MG. I had it serviced. The car was grossly out of tune and ran enormously better once it had been properly tuned. The front shocks were worn out so they have been replaced with uprated shocks, the tie rod ends, bushings and steering rack boots have been replaced and the car drives like a dream now.
When I purchased the car, I was unaware that it, like my original 1971 B, was also fitted with overdrive. My mechanic made me aware of it, but it had to be reworked so it would function properly. And I just added a new Touring Trophy wooden 14″ steering wheel to replace the 15″ wheel that was original to the car. And finally, I went by our local British car dealer one day and inquired as to whether he might have a decent used tonneau cover to fit the car. He rummaged through piles of stuff he had in inventory since he had been a new MG dealer back in the day and found a new old stock, factory original, tonneau cover to fit my car for only $150.00!
Now, with winter finally gone, I can begin enjoying my B for many years to come. And, to top it all off, my 2 year old granddaughter’s name is Madison Grace, (initials MG) so perhaps this will be handed down to her when she is old enough to drive it.
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story by Bruce Magers, photos by Frank Ochal
The American MGB Association (AMGBA), a nationally recognized organization for MGB’s, MGB-GT’s and Midgets held it’s 36th annual meet on September 20th and 21st, 2013 in Natchez, Mississippi.
The meet was hosted by the English Motoring Club (EMC) of Mississippi which sponsors their annual Brits on the Bluff show each year in Natchez, Mississippi. Natchez is the oldest city on the Mississippi River and also the start of the famous Natchez Trail. Many antebellum homes have been carefully preserved which makes Natchez a “must see” if you are ever in the area.
The weekend got under way on Friday evening with an informal gathering at Bowie’s Tavern located just across the street from the famous Mississippi river bluffs. This location provided an opportunity for this years show participants to greet newcomers and renew old friendships in a truly historic venue.
Unfortunately the “weather gods” interrupted the planned activities on Saturday somewhat and the “bluff” portion of the Brits on the Bluff had to be moved from the grassy (now muddy) field on the bluff to the parking lot at the hotel. The rain did stop at the proper time which allowed the days events to go on as planned. The British tradition of keeping a “stiff upper lip” prevailed and it all went on without a hitch. Kudos to all of the EMC members and their staff!!
The AMGBA officers were kept busy all day enrolling new members and processing renewals and selling regalia items.
The AMGBA wishes to thank Charles Durning, President and John Turbeville, Vice President of the EMC and all of their members for hosting this excellent event.
Information on next years AMGBA Meet can be found at www.mgclub.org.
Here is a list of the winners in the MG categories:
MGB Chrome Bumper:
1st – Clay Johnston, ’72 harvest gold, Mt. Olive, MS
2nd – Blake Sonnier, ’72 yellow, Lake Charles, LA
3rd – Richard Bishop, ’66 white, Fairhope, AL
MGB Rubber Bumper:
1st – Grady & Donna Wilkerson, ’78 red, Brookhaven, MS
2nd – Danny Varnado, ’76 red, Denham Springs, LA
3rd – Armand Breard ’74 red, Monroe, LA
1st – Jim Lynch, ’74 blue, Jackson, MS
2nd – Jim Enzman, ’74 yellow, Meadville, MS
1st – Steve Whitlow, ’74 red, Jackson, MS
1st place Chrome Bumper MGB -
’72 B of Clay Johnston
1st place Midget -
’74 of Steve Whitlow
2nd place Rubber Bumper MGB -
’76 of Danny Varnado
Bruce Magers with English Motoring
Club Vice-President and
Meet coordinator, John Turbeville
1st place B-GT -
’74 of Jim & Valerie Lynch
1st place Rubber Bumper MGB -
’78 of Grady & Donna Wilkerson
2nd place Chrome Bumper MGB -
’72 of Blake Sonnier
Meet 2013 reception at
Bowie’s Tavern in Natchez, Mississippi
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MG will re-enter the Australian market officially next month (August). The re-born Brit brand, now wholly owned by Chinese giant, SAIC, will initially offer a single model for sale and expects to appoint dealers in all eastern state capital in the coming weeks.
The first car to go on sale Down Under is the MG 6. Available in liftback (GT) and sedan (Magnette) body styles, the MG 6 is powered by a turbocharged 1.8-litre petrol engine matched exclusively to a five-speed manual gearbox. Three equipment grades are available.
The entry-level S is priced at $22,999 (plus on-road costs), with $27,999 (plus on-road costs) buying the top of the range TSE.
MG’s newest model, the MG 3 Light segment hatch, and an as yet unnamed compact SUV model will join the MG 6 in local showrooms in 2014. An auto (dual clutch) equipped MG 6 is also on early 2014 timeline. Meantime, MG’s all-new MG 5 medium car is still on SAIC’s drawing board and is not expected to debut until 2015 at the earliest.
The new MG models are unrelated to the ill-fated re-emergence of the brand in the early 2000s. In deference to the brand’s history, however, SAIC’s MG design and engineering resources are housed at the former home of MG, Longbridge in the British Midlands.
The Australian MG importer is ground-up, all-new operation. MG Motor Australia, has purchased one of the former Rick Damelian sites on Parramatta Road in the Sydney suburb of Petersham. The new company is founded and funded by Chinese automotive interests but is a private importer distributor not connected to SAIC.
MG Motor Australia is headed by automotive enthusiast, Andrew Shaw. According to Shaw, the operation has already invested in excess of $12M in its set up. It expects to commence retail operations at its Petersham within weeks.
Also expected to be confirmed in coming weeks is MG’s first tranche of dealers.
“We’ve very close now to rubber-stamping [confirming] the first [dealers],” Shaw told motoring.com.au.
“We’re primarily looking for: New South Wales and Sydney-based; Victoria, Melbourne-based; and Queensland, Brisbane-based [dealers]…. In the next 12 months, I would see potentially no more than 20 dealers,” he said.
“We don’t want to have too many [dealers]. We want each to have enough of a patch and enough of the [retail new car] sales that we want to see happen — which are probably only going to be something in the region of 400-500 in the next six months,” he said.
Shaw believes the new MGs will attract a wide range of buyers. He says existing MG fans and aficionados will make up only a fraction of buyers. Initially, the brand will seek to appeal to buyers looking to step outside the square, he says.
“So they’re [SAIC] looking at MG as: we, we want to produce a quality product. So that’s where we need to get as many people behind the wheel, as fast as we can — so that they realise what true value there is in the car that they’re buying.
“It’s not a cheap Chinese car, but it’s a very affordable car that happens to be made by a Chinese owner — one that was designed and engineered by a team of 300-plus designers and engineers out at Longbridge; the original home of MG in the UK,” Shaw opined.
MG Motor’s UK website states the Longbridge operation is “responsible for developing the initial concepts for all new MG vehicles.
“The department also ensures that each model meets the latest in European legislation and customer requirements… Under the leadership of David Lindley, the engineers here work on all MG products for Europe, and support product development in China and other world markets.”
UK market MG 6s undergo “final assembly” at the Longbridge facility. Australian market cars are fully assembled at MG/SAIC’s production facility in Lingang, China.
Shaw says MG’s UK development team is already in regular touch with the fledgling Aussie operation.
“I interact with them on a weekly basis… So [they are interested in] nuances about the car… You want something special for Australia? What do we need? Is there anything that would be required here? [Also] Marketing promotions and ideas that they’ve had that have worked,” Shaw stated.
SAIC has built around 300,000 MGs in the last two years. The brand currently exports to over 20 markets including Latin America and the Middle East. In the UK the company sells a number of MG 6 variants including one that pays homage to the company’s entry into the British Touring car Championship.
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An American MGB Association Queen B is the ’78 B of Barry Sandler. Here is his story:
It started back in 1963 when I bought a new Triumph TR-4 which I used for about 1 ½ years before I sold it when I got married. I loved that car and was sad to see it go. My love for sports cars then lay dormant for the next 49 years until a short time ago when, in a fit of passion, I bought an MGB.
I have had the car for a while now and it is a thrill to drive! I am constantly looking for any excuse to drive it instead of my Acura MDX. I hope the members of the club can see this beauty at a meeting or car show soon.
Editor’s Note: See complete story and more photos in the September 2013 issue of the printed Octagon.
If you were to look at the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings for 2013 without too much knowledge of the sport, it would be easy to assume that it was more or less over – both from a sports and a NASCAR betting standpoint – with Jimmie Johnson holding a thirty-point advantage over the driver in second place. However, unlike in some sports, such a lead is not enough to guarantee the NASCAR title for Johnson, with half of the season still to go – although it does make him the clear favourite with the bookies on 7/1. So if you don’t want to bet on the favourite, what other drivers could be worth gambling on?
Well although he is only fifth in the current NASCAR standings – and nearly a hundred points behind the leader – Matt Kenseth could prove a solid alternative bet. The key fact to note is that he has won three events this season, the same number as Johnson, and more than any other driver competing – which indicates he has the skill, and is driving a car with the speed, to make it possible he can overturn this deficit. Another option is to consider the driver currently second behind Johnson in the standings – Carl Edwards – who is ranked fifth by the bookmakers on 10/1. At these odds, and just thirty points behind, he is likely to be a popular bet with many – although just as many other still may choose to play motor sports casino games at www.gamingclub.org.
The availability of a slots game like Motor Slot Speed Machine is only likely to increase the numbers choosing this option – especially as the $50,000 maximum jackpot offered by this motor biking game is more than you are ever likely to win placing a NASCAR bet. Of course you might not scoop that jackpot, but with the speedometer reel icon filling in for any other missing ones on your reel, you have a very good chance of winning some sort of payout by playing the game. Furthermore, aside from the financial benefits of it, the motor bike racing bonus game will be perfect entertainment for any fan of motor sports, suggesting there is no reason not to at least give this game a test ride.
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An American Association Queen B is the ’71 B of Ed George of Anoka, Minnesota. Here is his story:
This is my 1971 MGB. It has 51,000 miles on it and she runs great. This was the first car that I always wanted. I used to dream about owning one of these a (1971 MGB Yellow) when I used to walk my girlfriend home every night when I was 15.
Well I finally got this one 35 years later. I have prettied her up these last three years and she is starting to look great!
26th Annual Chicagoland British Car Festival Delights Hundreds
Story by Jack Feldman, photos by Elliott Dudnick, Rich Ziolkowski, Stephanie Quirk and Steve Partman
Once again British car owners and enthusiasts were greeted by blue skies and gentle breezes. Owners displayed over 500 cars and motorcycles which were appreciated by more that 1,400 British car enthusiasts. The event took place on Sunday, September 9, 2012 at Harper college just outside of Chicago, Illinois. The Festival was sponsored by the British Car Union, a not for profit organization, made up of representatives of over a dozen Chicago British car clubs.
It was an ideal day to explore other marques and meet other lovers of British cars. Vendors came from all over the country selling everything from books to rare parcels for restoration. Entertainment was supplied by bagpiper Scott McCawley, and the graceful Thistle and Highland dancers.
A special traveling coffee mug was waiting for the first 500 registrants, and many automobile related door prizes were awarded. For the hungry enthusiast food vendors presented traditional delights.
The Donald M. Healey Memorial Rally on Saturday started the festivities. Awards for the winners were presented Sunday at the festival.
Mark your calendar for our 27th Annual Festival on September 8, 2013. Next year’s event will again be held at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois. It is an event you won’t want to miss. Be sure to watch our website at www.britishcarunion.com for the latest information.
Historic Natchez, Mississippi – home to American MGB Association Meet 2013
Meet 2013 will be held in historic Natchez, Mississippi on September 20 -21, 2013 in conjunction with the English Motoring Club’s Brits on the Bluff.
The show will be held on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River on Saturday with a pre-show get together on Friday night. Natchez is the oldest city on the Mississippi, the start of the Natchez trail and was a strategic location during the civil war.
The host hotel is The Vue Hotel (phone number: 888-946-4727) which has a block of rooms as the English Motoring Club.
Contact the American MGB Association at 773-769-7084, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.mgclub.org or in Mississippi: John Turbeville at 601-940-5288, email@example.com or www.msemc.org
The latest Queen B is the ’71 B-GT of Dennis Haag. Here is his story with photos:
I got the car from Michigan. When the car was unloaded from the carrier the brakes were not working. I have put new brakes, battery, alternator and have replaced the painted wires with some chrome wires I found locally. I have chrome air filters, an alloy valve cover and a steering wheel to be installed. Much is planned for this little car as the checkbook allows.
The 1973 MGB was a present from my wife in 2006. The 1972 I bought to drive and fix up. This turned in to a complete restoration.