American MGB Association Meet 2014 – Stowe, Vermont

story by Bruce Magers, photos by Frank Ochal

The American MGB Association (AMGBA) held it’s 37th annual meet in Stowe, Vermont this year form September 19-21, 2014. The event was held in conjunction with the “British Invasion of Stowe” which has been going for the past 24 years. This show annually hosts 600 plus entries but his year there were over 700 cars on the field. It was truly a magnificent display of virtually every British marque produced over the years.

In addition to the wonderful display of vehicles there were some 20 vendors on hand to tempt the participants to purchase not only auto-related products, but also pure Vermont maple syrup to take home as a souvenir of the weekend.

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

Next years 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 years winners are as follows:

THE CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE – MGs:

  1. Bob Baker, ’72 B roadster, Groton, CT
  2. Michel Foti, ’94 B Rover V8, Montreal, QB, Canada
  3. Louis Morrissette, ’77 B roadster, St. Charles, QB, Canada

PEOPLES CHOICE

MGB- EARLY RUBBER BUMPER

  1. Michael Oliva, ’66 B roadster, No. Weymouth, MA
  2. Ralph & Donna Littlefield, ‘ 63 B roadster, Kittery, ME
  3. Rich Wagner, ’63 B roadster, Pittsfield, MA

MGB-LATE CHROME BUMPER

  1. Rachel & Richard Sugalski, ’72 B roadster, Spencer, MA
  2. Loie Mechetti & Paul Andrews, ’74 B roadster, Phoenix, NY
  3. Perry Reed, ’73 B roadster, Leominster, MA

MGB-EARLY RUBBER BUMPER

  1. Linda Lamontagne, ’74 B roadster, Scarborough, MA
  2. Jack E. Balonis, ’75 B roadster, Groton, MA
  3. Roger Bissonnette, ’75 B roadster, Blackstone, MA

MGB-LATE RUBBER BUMPER & LE

  1. Barry S. Humphrey, ’79 B roadster, Hingham, MA
  2. Ray & Joanne Smith, ’80 B LE roadster, West Rutgers, VT
  3. Don & Donna Weldon, ’79 B roadster, Princeton, MA

MGB-GT & MGC-GT

  1. Lloyd & Cathy Besaw, ’70 B-GT, Norwood, NY
  2. Colon & Lorna Wheeler, ’74 B-GT, Hebron, CT
  3. Charles Robbins, ’72 B-GT, Ridgefield, CT

MG MIDGET- CHROME BUMPER

  1. David & Cheryl LeBlanc, ’71 Midget, Nottingham, MA
  2. Roger & Crystal Treadwell, ’72 Midget, Deering, NH

MG MIDGET-RUBBER BUMPER

  1. Connie & Craig TerBush, ’79 Midget, Schenevus, NY
  2. Stephen & Virginia Slowik, ’75 Midget, Huntington , NY
1ConcoursMGs-72BBobBakerGrotonCTConcours d’Elegance Winner –
’72 B Roadster of Bob Baker, Groton, CT
1BGT-78BGTLloyd-CathyBesawNorwoodNY1st place B-GT – ’78 of Lloyd & Cathy
Besawof Norwood, New York
1BLateRubber-79BBarryHumphreyHinghamMA1st place B (Late Rubber Bumper) –
’79 B of Barry Humphrey of Hingham, Massachusetts
1BLateChrome-72BRachel-RichardSugalskiSpencerMA1st place B (Late Chrome Bumper) –
’72 B of Rachel & Richard Sugalski of Spencer, Massachusetts
1MidgetRubber-70MidgetConnie-CraigTerBushSchenevusNY1st place Midget (Rubber Bumper) –
’70 of Connie & Craig TerBush of Schenevus, New York
1MidgetChrome-71MidgetDavid-CherylLeBlancNottinghamNH1st place Midget (Chrome Bumper) –
’71 of David &Cheryl LeBlanc of
Nottingham, New Hampshire
20140920_111204AMGBA Tent at Meet 2014 – Stowe, Vermont 20140920_095800AMGBA Meet 2014 – Stowe, Vermont

’63 B of Dennis and Nannette Bakko

An American MGB Association Queen B is the ’63 B of Dennis and Nannette Bakko.

Here is the story:

As an Air Force pilot in 1972, I was assigned to a flying squadron over in the United Kingdom. My wife and I spent 5 years at RAF Alconbury, a U.S. Air Base about 60 miles north of London. As time went by, I became more and more interested in British motorcars. I decided to look for an MGB and bring it back to the United States.

In July 1975, I purchased this 1963 MGB for 200 British pounds (about 400 dollars) in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, a town on the outskirts of Northeast London.

The car was not in very good shape. It had already been painted twice and the floor boards were rusting. We then brought the car back with us to North Dakota in 1977. I drove the MG two or three times a year for the next 35 years hoping to restore it someday. Finally in 2012, we had it fully restored by an MG shop in Arizona.

We now drive it quite a lot while wintering in Arizona. We didn’t even buy a new top for it because the sun shines almost every day. The reaction we get from people to the red right-hand drive MGB has been amazing. By the way, the red paint we used is actually a Ferrari color.

Dennis & Nannette Bakko
Walcott, North Dakota and Chandler, Arizona'63 B of Dennis Bakko '63 B of Dennis Bakko '63 B of Dennis Bakko '63 B of Dennis Bakko

’71 B of Bob Noll at Wadkins Glen International

The photo is one of me driving the full course at Watkins Glen International during the opening weekend on April 12 – 13 this year. On both days 3 laps of the full course can be driven for a $20 donation to the Alzheimer’s Fund.

I am entering the “inner loop” or “bus stop”. It was a thrill and even though I visit the track many times a year it is quite different being on the track. Those tight turns, especially going onto the “boot” and around the “toe” of the boot come up in a hurry.

I won’t tell you my fastest speed since the rules are no passing and not to exceed 55 mph.

Bob Noll
Endicott, New York

71BBobNoll

 

 

’69 B of Dr. Dean Saluti

The MGs in My Life

By Dr. Dean Saluti, Director, Boston Area MG Club

r. Dean Saluti’s 1969 MGB, the “Red Jewel,” on display at the Boston Area MG Club Faneuil Hall British Car Day event. It was the summer of 1966. I had just graduated from high school and I lived with parents in Quincy, MA. My father had decided that I needed a car to commute into the city for my freshman year at Boston University. It was his idea to take me to a small used car dealership in East Milton, MA. He found a 1962 MG Midget. It was red, it was beautiful, and it had neat plastic windows that came on and off the door panels. I was fascinated. We dipped into my “college fund” that I had built up from working hard at a local supermarket, as a caddy at a local golf course, and as a paper boy. For $600, I became an instant MG fanatic.

About a year later, a friend of mine from high school asked me if I would be interested in buying his MGA. I had heard about MGAs, but knew no one who actually owned one. Well, it was blue with a red interior, and I quickly sold my Midget and “upgraded,” in my mind, to the A. The A was older, bigger, and faster. Thanks to my Midget, I had no problem with the removable plastic windows and the wire on the inside of the door panel that served as a “rustic” door handle. What a car!

As an ROTC Cadet, I was required to go to Basic Training during the summer between my junior and senior years at Boston University. Basic Training was to be at Fort Indiantown Gap in Pennsylvania. I decided that I needed a more reliable car for the long trip from Quincy, MA to Harrisburg, PA. Of course, my idea of reliable was to go back to another 1962 MG Midget. I felt that this Midget was more reliable because it was yellow. My father, a former WWII airplane mechanic and, at the time, an airplane mechanic for Eastern Airlines, helped me make the Midget even more reliable. He put a hole in the dashboard and inserted an 8-track player and put speakers in the doors. I was all set for the long trip – it was 1969 and 18-wheelers wouldn’t bother me; I could listen to the Beach Boys and the Temptations on my 8-track.

After graduation from Boston University and commissioning as a Second Lieutenant in the Army, I received my first Active Duty assignment. I was to go to graduate school to get a Master’s Degree. I begrudgingly accepted this assignment even though the alternative was Vietnam. My father, the WWII veteran, convinced me that I could go to Airborne “jump school” later. During graduate school, I upgraded yet again to my first MGB. It was blue when I bought it, but I made it better. First, I had it painted white and then, I bought a white top. My friends convinced me that I should put in red shag rugs that I bought at a local rug store. I installed them myself. My father was, of course, appalled at all of this.

r. Dean Saluti’s 1969 MGB It was at this time that I experienced my first “mechanical setback” with an MG. My MGB just wouldn’t start. How lucky was I to have an ace mechanic as a father? He took the entire car apart. The seats came out. The car was jacked up. The wheels came off. The engine came apart. He worked with this car for about a week. After he had disassembled the entire car, he came to the correct conclusion that his “idiot son” had run out of gas. Years later, my father was 88 years old and failing with Alzheimer’s. He was sleeping and I lovingly kissed him good night on his bald head. Suddenly, his eyes opened wide, he awakened, and yelled at me, “Dean, you idiot! You forgot to put gas in the MG!”

Over the years, I have owned 8 MGs. My 1969 red MGB, referred to as the “Red Jewel,” is my very best yet. It’s got a new Moss black rugged interior (not shag), new black leather seats with red piping, a beautiful top that has never been removed so that the plastic windows are perfect, Bluetooth, Sirius radio, and automatic door locks. Recently, I installed a badge bar for Lucas “flame throwers” with Lucas covers and several antique badges. What a car! My wife, Marjorie Cahn, and I are very proud of this jewel. But every time I get behind the wheel and we go off to a car show or an organized ride, I hear that voice lovingly bringing back the reality of my complete lack of mechanical ability – “Dean, you idiot! You forgot to put gas in the MG!” 

American MGB Association Meet 2014 and The British Invasion – Stowe, Vermont

BritishInvasionBanner

37th Annual

AMGBA MEET 2014

Stowe, Vermont
FOR ALL MGs

September 19-21, 2014

in conjunction with New England’s largest British Car Show – The British Invasion

A Weekend Celebration and Salute to the Great British Motorcar and British Lifestyle

the car show will be at the The Stowe Special Events Field

Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa at 1746 Mountain Rd, Stowe,  Vermont will offer special accommodation packages, phone: 1-800-253-2232,  website: www.stoweflake.com

Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa at 1746 Mountain Rd, Stowe, Vermont, phone: 1-800-253-2232, website: www.stoweflake.com will offer special accommodation packages

Contact:

the American MGB Association at 773-769-7084

or AMGBA, P. O. Box 11401, Chicago, IL 60611; fax: 773-769-3240

email: info@mgclub.org

website: www.mgclub.org  or www.amgba.com or www.americanmgbassociation.com

or in New England: Michael Gaetano, Phone: 508-395-6663, email: mgaetano@britishinvasion.com, website: www.britishinvasion.com

if you are planning to attend contact the above to
be placed on a mailing list for any last minute details.

The American MGB Association (AMGBA) was established in 1975 and has provided continuous services to owners of MGBs, MGB-GTs and Midgets throughout North America since then. National conventions have been held annually since 1978 from New York to California and Texas to Canada.

Membership in the AMGBA is not required to attend the convention but it is encouraged. For membership info call 773-769-7084 or write to:

AMGBA, P. O. Box 11401, Chicago, IL 60611 U.S.A.

Membership is $35 per year or $45 per year outside the U.S.A.

Press Release – AMGBA Meet 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: The American MGB Association at 773-769-7084, info@mgclub.org or www.mgclub.org

The American MGB Association’s 37th Annual Meet – AMGBA MEET 2014 – for the MGB, MGB-GT & Midget – Stowe, Vermont – September 19-21, 2014.

MG sports car production as we know it was discontinued in 1980 with the closing of the famed Abingdon-On-Thames works in the United Kingdom. But these modern day classics are being preserved forever here in North America by members of the American MGB Association.

Headquartered in Chicago, the AMGBA serves enthusiastic MGB, MGB-GT, and MG Midget owners throughout the USA, Canada and throughout the world. Each year, the AMGBA holds its National Meet.

The 1978 initial gathering was held in Chicago. In 1979 and 1980 the AMGBA National Conventions were held in New York state, in Ithaca and Glens Falls. The organization’s success led to renting the world famous Indianapolis 500 Motor Speedway in 1981 for the AMGBA National Convention. In 1982, the AMGBA held its National Convention outside the USA in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. In the years 1983 and 1984, the AMGBA went west for the first time in Lake Tahoe, California and Boulder, Colorado. In 1985, the AMGBA held two conventions in Santa Barbara, California and Abingdon, Illinois. In 1986, we visited Texas during its 150 year anniversary in San Antonio, Texas and in 1987 we visited the Saratoga Springs area of beautiful upstate New York. In 1988, the convention site was Kansas City, Missouri. In 1989, we visited the Great Northwest part of our country in Springfield, Oregon.

In 1990 the convention was held in Atlanta, Georgia which was a first for that area of the country. In 1991 we returned to the site of our first convention in Chicago and in 1992, we returned to the West Coast to the beautiful San Francisco Bay area in Palo Alto, California. In 1993, we traveled to New England at Keene, New Hampshire near the site of the Westminster MG Museum. In 1994, we went for the first time to the San Diego, California area at the Del Mar race track. In 1995 we went to Memphis, Tennessee, home of the blues and Elvis Presley. In 1996 we joined with all of the major MG clubs in North America for MG Indy ’96 in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Indy 500 track. In 1997 we were on the West Coast in the San Francisco area at Palo Alto, California. In 1998, we were in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Lake Campus of Davidson College. In 1999, we went to Los Angeles, California.

In 2000, we went to Armagh, Pennsylvania and joined with the TRF Summer Party and in 2001 we were in Houston, Texas for the Houston MG Club’s All British Motor Vehicle Exposition. In 2002 we again went to the San Francisco, California area for the Palo Alto British Car Meet. For 2003 we visited Florida and the Space Coast in Titusville, Florida. In 2004, we visited picturesque Cape Cod in Massachusetts for the Cape Cod British Car Club’s British Legends Weekend. In 2005, we were in San Diego, California at Fairbrook Farms in Bonsall for San Diego British Car Day. We were in Maryland in 2006 at the MGs on the Rocks Show and in 2007 we went to Charlotte, North Carolina at the MGs on the Green Show. In 2008 we were in Armagh, Pennsylvania with The Roadster Factory Summer Party and for 2009 we planned for a show in the Central Valley of California.

In 2010 we went to Sussex, Wisconsin for the British Car Field Day. For 2011 we were in Ohio for the first time at Dayton in conjunction with the Annual British Car Day at Eastwood Metropark. We went to the Jersey Shore in 2012 with the Annual Brits on the Beach Show in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. In 2013 we visited Mississippi for the first time to the oldest city on the Mississippi River in conjunction with the English Motoring Club of Mississippi’s Brits on the Bluff Show in Natchez, Mississippi.

For 2014, we will be at New England’s largest British car show at The 24th British Invasion in Stowe, Vermont.

It promises to be a great time and a memorable experience for all that attend. For more information contact the above, write to the American MGB Association, P.O. Box 11401, Chicago, IL 60611, call 773-769-7084, email us at info@mgclub.org or explore our website at www.mgclub.org .

90 Years of MG

90 Years of MG
from Auto Express
We celebrate MG’s special birthday in 2014 with a round-up of star cars old and new
It’s been a roller coaster ride for MG, but 2014 marks 90 years since founder Cecil Kimber registered the company as a car manufacturer. And what better way to celebrate than to bring some classic MGs together with the brand’s current cars, and see how far it has come?
It all started when Kimber was working as a sales manager at Oxford-based car dealer Morris Garages in the twenties. He turned his hand to upgrading the regular Morris models on the forecourt, and these proved so popular, he branded them as MGs through his newly founded company. In the years that followed, the MG badge became synonymous with sporty and affordable roadsters and saloons.90YearsMG
It’s suffered a rocky path, though, with a takeover by Morris Motors in 1935, before being absorbed into the huge BMC conglomerate in 1952. MG suffered in the seventies under British Leyland, and was taken over countless times, until the doors closed on the factory in Longbridge, W Mids, in 2005. But MG is back, with a new owner aiming to turn it into a global brand.
Nine decades separate Old Number One from the latest MG3, and while the 90th anniversary is the perfect opportunity to reflect on MG’s history, the company’s current owners are very much looking forwards.
Car assembly has returned to Longbridge, but perhaps more importantly the West Midlands plant is a hive of activity, with designers and engineers working to develop future MGs. Marketing director Guy Jones said: “Our long-term plan is to establish MG as a global brand. We have a development team at Longbridge because the UK has the talent that will allow us to deliver strong products.
“Having a leading manufacturer [Chinese owner SAIC] behind us gives us the resources to expand.” And development is progressing quickly, with the MG6 diesel already made more efficient, and new engines in the pipeline.
But this progress doesn’t come at the expense of MG’s traditional values, according to chassis man Andy Kitson. “I always liked Cecil Kimber’s philosophy that an MG didn’t necessarily need to be fast, as long as it handled well,” he said. “That’s what we’ve aimed for, and is why the new cars are developed on UK roads. The forthcoming SUV [opposite] will stick with this tradition.”
The company has the foundations for global expansion in the MG3, MG6 and SUV, so when will it return to its roots and build a sports car? It’s not on the cards yet, but is a definite consideration for the future. “Once we’re established, we can think about building a sports car flagship,” said Jones.

’76 B of Jeff Louis

An American MGB Association featured car is the Queen B is the ’76 B of Jeff Louis. Here is his story:

I purchased my 1976 MG in Santa Monica California in September 2009. It took a week long journey across the United States from California to Ohio. I am the third owner and the car was 100% original and rust free when I purchased it. It is a 50th Anniversary Edition finished in harvest gold with a black interior and black top. Only North America export MGs, manufactured between June thru December 1975, had the 50th Anniversary trim. This consists of “1925-1975″ Badge on the dashboard, gold & black MG Octagon emblems on the boot lid and front bumper and a gold background MG on the steering wheel hub. My MG was manufactured on October 3rd 1975; and the harvest gold is rare for my model year since it was discontinued in December 1975 and replaced with sandglow.

My restoration started with a complete strip down to the bare metal and a fresh repaint of the original harvest gold in a modern basecoat clearcoat process. My engine had almost 100K on the odometer and was equipped with the California Emissions package. I completely rebuilt the engine and replaced the single Zenith Stromberg carburetor with a Dual SU carburetor set up from a 1969 MG B donor car. I also equipped my MG with a Falcon stainless steel exhaust system. I also restored my interior with a new set of carpet and new foam for the seats. To add to the originality of my car, I added an original British Leyland Bendix radio I purchased on an on line auction.

I am very excited to have my MG B finished in time for the upcoming summer driving season. My MG B is a 50th Anniversary edition and we shared the same milestone in 2013. I celebrated my 50th birthday in July and I can’t think of a better birthday present than driving my harvest gold B.

'76 B of Jeff Louis '76 B of Jeff Louis '76 B of Jeff Louis  '76 B of Jeff Louis

2013 Chicago British Car Festival

27th Annual Chicagoland British Car Festival Delights Hundreds

Story by Jack Feldman, photos by Frank Ochal, Elliott Dudnick, Rich Ziolkowski, Stephanie Quirk and Steve Partman

British car owners and enthusiasts were greeted by threatening skies and strong breezes but that did not diminish the enthusiasm. 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 8, 2013 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 British Car Union cap 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 28th Annual Festival on September 7, 2014. 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.

2013 Chicagoland British Car Festival 2013 Chicagoland British Car Festival 2013 Chicagoland British Car Festival  2013 Chicagoland British Car Festival 2013 Chicagoland British Car Festival

for MGB, MGB-GT and MG Midget owners