British Sports Car Hall of Fame

Celebrating the history and heritage of British sports cars and the people that made them legendary.

The British Sports Car Hall of Fame was established as an
independent entity in 2016 to preserve and perpetuate the legacy and impact of these legendary vehicles and to honor the men and women responsible for their success. Induction into the Hall of Fame is reserved for those who have made a significant and lasting impact on the British sports car industry and hobby, making it a singular honor for a lifetime of achievement. By celebrating the memory of the dedicated individuals that played key roles, the Hall can serve as a touchstone for British sports car enthusiasts of all ages and interests, furthered by its various preservation and education initiatives. The Hall is supported by individual and corporate contributions.

More info at www.britishsportscarhall.org .

American MGB Association Advertisers – Insurance, Parts, Service

These are the people and services that help bring information to ourclub members by advertising in our club publication, the Octagon.  Please support them.

Insurance

J. C. Taylor Insurance, 1-888-ANTIQUE, www.JCTaylor.com
collector car agreed value insurance

Parts

Apple Hydraulics, 1-800-882-7753, www.applehydraulics.com
shock absorbers, brakes, carburetors

APT Instruments, 1-877-856-7103 (toll free), www.gaugeguys.com
Smiths instruments, gauges for British cars

British Wiring, 1-866-461-9050, www.BritishWiring.com
wiring harnesses, wire and terminals for all British classic cars & motorcycles

British Automotive, 415-883-7200, www.mgbmga.com
brakes, engines, suspension for MGAs and MGBs

British Car Specialists, 209-948-8767, www.BritishCarSpecialists.com
restoration, service, repairs, parts for British cars

British Car Part Restoration, 951-678-4182, Lake Elsinore, CA, info@british-car-part-restoration.com
restorations, parts and service for all British cars

Little British Car Company, 1-800-637-9640, www.LBCarCo.com
British car parts, their service puts them apart from the restClick here to visit Little British Car Co, LBCarCo

Moss Motors, 1-800-667-7872, www.mossmotors.com
parts, tech tips and more!

Northwest Import Parts, 503-245-3806, www.northwestimportparts.com
quality parts, knowledgeable and friendly service, same day shipping!

Parts for your MGB, MGB-GT and Midget, http://parts.mgclub.org
parts for all MGs and other vehicles!

SC Parts Group, +44(0) 12 93 8472 00, www.scparts.co.uk
parts for all British cars and the 123 Ignition

The Roadster Factory, 1-800-234-1104, www.the-roadster-factory.com
The Roadster Factory Will Pay Your AMGBA Dues!

Victoria British Ltd., 1-800-255-0088, www.VictoriaBritish.com
great prices on original equipment, reproduction and high performance parts and accessories

Publications and Literature

AMGBA Technical Sections, 773-769-7084 , www.mgclub.org/mgreg.htm
Volume I, II, III and IV.  Copies of technical topics published in the AMGBA Octagon.

Books4Cars, 1-888-380-9277, www.books4cars.com
books and manuals for all MGs

British Marque, 401-766-6920, www.britishmarque.com
car club news from clubs across the country and the U.K.

MG original sales literature, 315-432-8282, www.autolit.com
original sales brochures for most cars & trucks

Service

About Time Restorations, 860-301-8621, Essex, CT,  www.abouttimect.com/automotive-restoration-services.html, martin@abouttimect.com
30 years of experience in MG repair and restoration, they also buy MGs and other British cars

White Post Restorations, 540-837-1140, White Post, VA, www.whitepost.com
Sleeve and rebuild brakes: master, wheel, calipers, servo, slave, clutch cylinders and booster, reline shoes

’67 B of Timothy Sullivan

An American MGB Association Queen B is the ’67 B of Timothy Sullivan of Laguna Hills, California. Here is his story:

My Life with MG’s

I saw and fell in love with my first MGB back in 1966. I was in the ninth grade and had a paper route. My paper route ran through an apartment complex and one of the tenant’s there had a new, black MGB roadster with a black interior. I was mesmerized by it. I would stop and look at it everyday it was parked there while I was on my paper route. I dreamed about owning an MGB someday when I grew up and got my driver’s license – but that was a very long time off for a 13 year old.

I wrote a letter to the British Motor Corporation U.S. MG distributor and requested a brochure on the new MGB and sure enough they mailed one back to me along with a Retail Price listing dated June 1966. I studied that beautiful, full color brochure for hours and hours. In fact I still have that brochure and price list.

A few years later on, in 1970 when I was old enough to drive, my older brother Pat purchased a well used 1964 MGB painted a beautiful Iris Blue color. I remember one weekend when he was away I took his MGB out for a ride. It had a “glasspack” muffler on it that made it particularly loud and I loved blipping the throttle to hear that lovely engine run. What an incredible car! When I got our of the Service in 1974 I purchased a used 1971 MG Midget and drove it from Detroit, Michigan to Tucson, Arizona on a trip to see my older brother and his new wife. The car ran great because I always kept it well maintained and tuned up. I still have the factory Bentley Service Manual that I purchased for it back then and still consult that manual to this very day.

A few years more down the line, in 1977, when I was a starving college student I purchased a well used 1970 burnt orange MGB roadster. At the time I didn’t have two nickels to rub together but I was able to scrape up the dough because it didn’t cost me too much in light of the heavy body damage to the driver’s door and rear quarter panel. The door was bashed in pretty badly but I was able to fashion a driver’s door window out of clear plastic and good ‘ole duck tape that lasted awhile until I could afford to buy a used driver’s side door. That MGB got me through a couple of very cold and snowy winter’s back in Michigan and it ran great, never letting me down once.

Jumping forward more recently, during 2011 I purchased another MGB, a white 1962 roadster. It was a very early model MGB and was in relatively solid condition but I was reluctant to invest any money in it because I discovered that the manufacturer’s metal ID tag was missing and the Body Number tag was used as the VIN registration number on the title. Something just didn’t feel right even though I had a clear State issued title and current registration, so I sold it on in short order.

More recently I found a 1967 Primrose yellow MGB roadster that spent its entire life in California. I have the original black plates issued by the State of California for it and was able to get it re-registered with those original black plates. I have done a complete restoration of the interior including the dashboard, dashboard instruments, dashboard top, carpets, side card panels and seat upholstery. I replaced both the windshield and the windshield rubber seals because the windshield was deeply scratched. I polished the windshield chrome trim with special polishing compound and it came out great. Replacing the lower windshield frame rubber seal was a real pain taking many hours of painstaking labor sliding it ever so slowly into that tiny groove that runs the length of the windshield base.

I installed a new convertible top on a used top frame assembly that I purchased off eBay and took the engine and trans out so I could install a new clutch, pressure plate and flywheel and several new trans seals and engine gaskets. I had to replace the flywheel because the ring gear was bad and the old starter kept jamming on it. I replaced the old starter with a modern and conventional Hi-Torque starter and all of my starting problems were eliminated.

The car sat for many years and thus I had to go through the entire fuel system and replaced both the fuel tank and fuel pump, cleaned out the fuel lines and rebuilt the two carbs. In addition, I fabricated a new driver side battery compartment frame as I wanted to continue to use both of the existing 6 volt batteries.

One thing I haven’t changed or restored is the exterior body

or body color. The Primrose body paint is very rough and worn with numerous nicks, scratches and imperfections. But the body itself is virtually rust free having been in California its whole life and thus I’m reluctant to paint or otherwise refinish the body. Its looks old and worn but I just don’t give a darn. I like it just the way it is, warts and all.

With new tires and freshly painted wire wheels it runs great and is a true joy to drive and enjoy. I ended up having to get the wheels balanced at three different shops until I could find a shop that truly knew how to balance the wire wheels properly. Two different shops ended up sticking just a ton of lead weights on the wheels to no avail. Finally number three shop got it right with a proper support flange on the wheel balancing machine and ended up using a couple of very small weights on each wheel. What a difference it made to in getting the wheels properly balanced too, a vibration at higher speeds mysteriously disappeared!

And as you may know, I own a couple of other hobby cars that are much faster than my slow moving old MG but that doesn’t matter to me, I still enjoy the heck out of driving it as no other car comes close in the overall old school feel and touch of the car.

This MG I just might hold on to for a while, perhaps a long while.

Where do alfa romeos come on the scale of luxury?

Alfa Romeo is an Italian car manufacturer, known for their distinct and bold design as well as their policy of affordable luxury. They’re eccentric, sporty and oh so fashionable, which makes it easy to see why so many people love them. But, in the past there has been some disappointment regarding what these cars promised and what they managed to deliver.

For some time, Alfa Romeo has been known as a brand that wants to share luxury with as many people as possible. Alfas have all of the style, and grace of a real Italian sports car. But, when it comes to reliability and performance, there have been some models that were somewhat less than luxurious. They all had their strengths and weaknesses that left some people a little undecided about the brand. They had the look but lacked the ‘umph’ necessary to match up to the considerably more than cheap prices. But, that doesn’t mean that all Alfa Romeos have shared the same fate.

While some Alfa Romeos have been hit and miss in the past – good quality, but sadly trumped by their less expensive competitors – one of the latest models is the best there’s ever been. The Alfa Romeo Giulia completely raised the bar for the brand and conquered the road. While most other Alfa Romeo models promised luxury through and through, the Giulia managed to deliver and has outdone its hatchback brothers in terms of both form and function. This impressive executive saloon should be cause enough to have your faith restored in Alfa Romeo.

Unlike some other Alfas that can’t quite decide whether they’re a sports car or an everyday car, the Giulia knows exactly where it stands. It’s a confident everyday car that gives you something more. It gives you the comfortable and smooth handling you need to make driving easy, but it has the power and speed to make driving fun, too. It handles like a dream thanks to the innovative ‘Alfalink’ suspension and semi-virtual steering axis developed by Alfa Romeo. Nothing feels more luxurious than being completely in control of this stallion of a car.

When you sit behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo Giulia, you’re the one holding the reigns. The interior is all designed around the driver with the main controls all in easy reach and the push to start button to top it off gives you the feeling of sitting behind the wheel of a real Formula 1. Driving is a pleasure when everything you need is right there in your lap. The central infotainment system is also a real beauty and you can clearly see that Alfa Romeo have come a long way since their first design.

Overall, the Giulia is a car that gives you everything you could want – the best of both words. It’s practical and stylish; spacious and neat; powerful and svelte; comfortable and cool. When you’re looking for Alfa Romeo cars for sale , this should be the one to look out for. Whether you’re rushing to work or cruising down the Amalfi coast, this is a perfect, luxurious car to suit your needs.

Book Review: Making Cars at Longbridge

Making Cars at Longbridge

by Gillian Bards and Colin Corke

This book charts over 100 years of car making at Longbridge, near Birmingham. The Austin Motor Co. was founded here by Herbert Austin in 1906, opening its doors in early 1906, and it has been home to the British Motor Corp, British Leyland, Rover Group, and MG Rover. Its products include some of the most famous British models ever produced: the pioneering Austin Seven of the 1920s, the classic Mini, the Austin Metro, and in later years the MG TF and Rover 75. The factory was a major employer and integral part of the community since its foundation and its demise saddened many, but the areas will never forget its long and proud tradition of manufacturing.

 For 99 years, cars were made at Longbridge. Less than a year off its century, the factory closed and 6,000 people lost their jobs. The first cars to roll off the production plant were Austins, and the site has been a center of car manufacturing ever since. From the original Austin 7 of the 1920s to Rovers and MGs, there is a rich history of Longbridge that has been offset by the recent misfortune.

Gillian Bardsley is a social historian with a special interest in the rise and fall of the motor industry in Britain. She has been Archivist for the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust since 1990 and has contributed to many TV, radio, and magazine features. Colin Corke is the vicar of Longbridge.

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher:

The History Press (February 1, 2016)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0750965290

30th Annual 2016 Chicagoland British Car Festival

The 30th annual Chicagoland British Car Festival was held on Sunday, September 11, 2016 at Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois just outside of Chicago.

The show is organized by a consortium of British Car Clubs in the Chicago area. It has become the premier event for those interested in British cars.

Each year the show features hundreds of automobiles ranging from those in concours condition to just normal everyday drivers. This year was no exception as approximately 600 cars were gathered on the field representing virtually every marque produced in England. Door prizes and popular vote awards were presented to the lucky winners.

The weather was perfect – sunny and mild which obviously helped boost attendance. In addition to the vast array of stunning vehicles there was also a display of British motorcycles for those who “like their fun on two wheels”. A bag piper and traditional Irish dancers helped to put the crowd in a festive mood. Numerous vendors were also in attendance offering everything for the British car fan.

The American MGB Association (AMGBA) was on the field welcoming old members and signing up several new participants.

If you have not had the opportunity to attend this popular event be sure to mark your calendar for the 30th annual to be held on September 10, 2017 at Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois. For further information go to www.britishcarunion.com or www.mgclub.org.

   
’74 B of Jeremy Kinsey from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin ’79 B of Carol and Rick Lehman from Lake Zurich
   

 

’73 B-GT V8 of Joel Weinberger from Hinsdale, Illinois ’95 R V-8 of Dino and Lisa Perez from Lake in the Hills, Illinois
 ’74 1/2 B of Peter Neil from Plainfield, Illinois  ’68 B V-8 of Helen Kohn from Chicago, Illinois
   
’72 Midget of Pat Killean from Park Ridge, Illinois ’76-’79 B Limo of Dino and Lisa Perez from Lake in the Hills, Illinois

 

’72 B of Allison Pettis from Medina, Minnesota

An American MGB Association Queen B is the ’72 B of Allison Pettis from Medina, Minnesota. Here is the story:

Happy 16th birthday to my daughter Allie! Sweetie, I’m so proud of you and the person you’ve become. You’re confident, funny, strong, beautiful, and you have a soul for Jesus that shines outwardly! You have such a passion for life and love, it’s a beautiful thing. I love that you have a love and appreciation for old cars, and that you want to be a part of that with me. Enjoy your LBC (Little British Car), and enjoy the experience of being the caretaker of something that’s almost three times your age! Happy birthday sweetie! I love you, and I love being your dad!
Guy & Jenny Pettis to Allison Pettis

72allisonpettismedinamn-1 72allisonpettismedinamn-2 72allisonpettismedinamn-3 72allisonpettismedinamn-4 72allisonpettismedinamn-5 72allisonpettismedinamn-6

In The News! – Skinner’s Union: The Story Behind the S.U. Carburetter by Mike Harvey

Review by Malcolm Jeal

skinnersunionbook Members of the SAHB will already have had a foretaste of this book as a result of the impressive article on the early part of the company’s history that appeared in Aspects of Motoring History No 10. That outlined the origins of the invention of the SU carburetter in 1904 and those that brought this about, and traced developments through the next 25 or so years. In addition there were some fine full-page freehand technical drawings that showed the construction and workings of the different carburetters that were designed and made.

Now this book has been published we not only get the full story that sustains the tenor of the Aspects article, but we also have a publication that is of inestimable quality both in terms of presentation and content. Printed on high quality art paper and profusely illustrated in black & white and colour where appropriate to a high standard, it is an attractive book to handle and a pleasure initially to just turn the pages and savour what is to come. Once actual reading commences, it is difficult to stop so doing.

Inevitably there is technical information that some might consider to be rather daunting, but this is expressed in accessible language so that with a degree of mental application plus reference to the accompanying illustrations it is understandable. Along with this there are the biographical stories of members of the Skinner family and associates, whilst a chapter is devoted to the various sporting cars that family members competed with in the 1930s – and the subsequent histories and restorations of these vehicles.

Most of us will think of SU carburetters in connection with motorcars and so the section on the various aero engines that also made use of them, notably the Rolls-Royce Merlin and Napier Sabre power units during World War Two, add an interesting additional dimension to the story. And there is of course more – William Morris’ acquisition of the business in 1927 and subsequent developments being but one example – but this is a review, not a summary.

Visit www.sucarb.co.uk to purchase a copy – it does have a ‘Part Number’: ALT 9527.

AMGBA Meet 2016 and Shenandoah Valley British Car Festival

The American MGB Association (AMGBA) held its 39th annual meet in Waynesboro, Virginia this year from September 30 thru October 1, 2016. The event was held in conjunction with “The Shenandoah Valley British Car Festival” which has been going for the past 35 years.

The 2 day event began with a Friday night reception that had videos in the background and was an opportunity to get together with old friends or meet new ones. The Car Show on Saturday offered music, door prizes, and food. Waynesboro is the home of Fishburne Military Academy and is only minutes from the famous and scenic Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway. These are a joy to drive, and offered a beautiful view of the fall foliage. Thanks to Mike FitzGeorge and Mark Brown for their cooperation in organizing this event.

The AMGBA officers were kept busy throughout the car show with member inquires as well as signing up new members for the association.

Next year’s meet is still in the planning stage. Keep an eye on our web site (www.mgclub.org) or in future issues of the Octagon for details. This year’s MGB, MGB-GT and Midget winners are as follows:
CLASS K – MG Midgets/Austin-Healey Sprites

  1. Bill Krzastek, ’59 Austin- Healey Sprite, Waynesboro, VA
  2. Jorge Antezana, ’74 MG Midget, Corapeake, NC

 

CLASS N – MGB-GT/MGC-GT

  1. Craig Cummings, ’69 MGC-GT, Williamsburg, VA
  2. Gary Edwards, ’71 MGB-GT, Kernersville, VA

 

CLASS W – BEST IN SHOW

  1. Jimmy Harris, AC Greyhound, Middleburg, VA

 

CLASS P – MGB-CHROME BUMPER ROADSTER

  1. John & Cindy Hull,’66 MGB, Palmyra, VA
  2. Jim & Ellen Conley, ’69 MGB, Troy, VA
  3. Greg Hastings, ’71 MGB, Roanoke, VA

 

CLASS R – MGB-RUBBER BUMPER ROADSTER

  1. Greg & Donna Jones, ’80 MGB LE, Eagle Rock, VA
  2. Peter Kareski, ’77 MGB, Front Royal, VA
  3. Kenny Grandle, ’80 MGB, Unionville, VA
 1stbchrome66bjohn-candyhullpalmyrava-1  2ndbchrome69bjim-ellenconleytroyva-1
1st place Chrome Bumper MGB – the ’66 B of John & Candy Hull from Palmyra, Virginia 2nd place Chrome Bumper MGB – the ’69 B of Jim & Ellen Conley from Troy, Virginia
 2ndmidget-sprite74midgetjorgeantezanacorapeakenc  2ndrubber77bpeterkareskifrontroyalvamember-1
2nd place Midget – the ’74 Midget of
Jorge Antezana from Corapeake, North Carolina
2nd place Rubber Bumper MGB – the ’77 B of
Peter Kareski from Front Royal, Virginia
 2ndbgt71bgtgaryedwardskernersvillenc  3rdrubber80bkennygrandleorangeva-1
2nd place B-GT – the ’71 B-GT of
Gary Edwards from Kernersville, North Carolina
3rd place Rubber Bumper MGB – the ’80 MGB of
Kenny Grandle from Orange, Virginia
 1strubber80blegreg-donnajoneseaglerockva-1  3rdbchrome71bgreg-maryhastingsroanokevamember-4
1st place Rubber Bumper MGB – the ’80 MGB LE of
Greg & Donna Jones from Eagle Rock, Virginia
3rd place Chrome Bumper MGB – ’71 B of
Greg & Mary Hastings from Roanoke, Virginia

for MGB, MGB-GT and MG Midget owners