’71 MGB of Jack Wheeler

An American MGB Association Queen B is the ’71 B of new member Jack Wheeler. Here is his story.

This is the third MGB I have owned. The first was a 1973, which I bought in 1976 when the car was basically new. Then in the early 2000’s I came across a 1972 ‘barn find’. Literally, it had been stored in a barn for many years. The owner died, and I bought it from the estate, and did a complete, but quite easy restoration.

I have been primarily a Triumph guy since I bought my first TR-3 while I was in college. Then later, I raced a TR-4 in SCCA for 25 years. But, having had 2 MGB’s, this latest one caught my eye a few months ago. It is a 1971, so it is similar to the 2 previous cars I have had. This car came out of Texas, and I believe it spent most of it’s life in the South, so it is very solid. While it does not need any body work, it needs some TLC to get it back to original condition, so I am enjoying searching for the missing and broken parts (mostly electrical and trim). I’m hoping the club can help me with finding some of the rare parts I will need. While I have been driving it quite a bit in the mild North Carolina weather, I look forward to the spring, when I can put the top down and do some ‘top down’ touring.

The person I bought it from had owned it for 20 years, and in that time had only put about 8,000 miles on the car. He finally decided to sell it because he was no longer driving it. It was stored inside all of that time, but I don’t know much about it prior to that, except that the previous owner bough it in Northern Virginia.

71 B of Jack Wheeler 71BJackWheeler2 71BJackWheeler3 71BJackWheelerseats

2014 Chicago British Car Festival

Story by Bruce Magers, photos by Frank Ochal

The 28th annual Chicagoland British Car Festival was held on Sunday, September 7, 2014 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 motor cycles 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 you calendar for the 29th annual to be held on September 13, 2015 at Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois. For further information go to www.britishcarunion.com or www.mgclub.org .

'72 B-GT of Jack Feldman of Downers Grove at 2014 Chicago British Car Day '80 B of Terrill Janssen of Barrington Hills, Illinois at 2014 Chicago British Car Day
’72 B-GT of Jack Feldman of Downers Grove, Illinois ’80 B of Terrill Janssen of Barrington Hills, Illinois
'70 B of James Brennan of Palatine, Illinois at 2014 Chicago British Car Day '72 Midget of Pat Killlen of Park Ridge, Illinois at 2014 Chicago British Car Day
’70 B of James Brennan of Palatine, Illinois ’72 Midget of Pat Killlen of Park Ridge, Illinois
AMGBA Tent at 2014 Chicago British Car Day

American MGB Association Meet 2015 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

The American MGB Association’s 38th Annual Meet – AMGBA MEET 2015 – for the MGB, MGB-GT & Midget – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – October 3, 2015

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 which 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. In 2014, we were at New England’s largest British car show at the British Invasion in Stowe, Vermont.

And for 2015, we will be in South Carolina for the first time at the Grand Strand British Car Club’s Britfest in Myrtle Beach on October 3, 2015.

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 .

MG GTS Crossover Will Be Built in China by SAIC MG

by Mircea Panait at autoevolution.com

As many among you already know, MG Motor UK Limited is nowadays just a subsidiary brand of a Chinese company called SAIC Motor. Only recently, the state-owned Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation finally decided to unveil the MG GTS, a crossover that looks similar to the Renault Koleos.

Its proportions, glasshouse, even some creases intended to beautify the bodywork resemble those of the Renault Koleos, which is not exactly a looker nor a commercial success for the French automaker. If you peer over those similarities, you’ll notice a few details that make the MG GTS crossover likable.

As SAIC MG highlights on its official Chinese website, the MG GTS uses the brand’s new SSA vehicle platform.

If Google Translate is not mistaken, all-wheel drive and an active rollover protection feature come as standard on the high spec model. In terms of grunt, the best the GTS can do is a 2-liter petrol-fed turbo.

Apparently, this mill coupled to the all-wheel drive system translate to an 8-second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph). MG’s 2-liter turbo powerplant is said to return 220 horsepower and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) of twist. Mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic, the powertrain isn’t too shabby by all accounts.

In the near future, a 1.5-liter turbocharged petrol will also be offered, pumping 167 horsepower and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque. Slated to premiere in the first half of 2015, the MG GTS will be built and sold in China, with no confirmation whether MG SAIC will import the new model in Western European markets.

MG GTS Crossover

MGB Timing Adjustments

Q:     I am a new AMGBA member and I have a tech question. I have a 1977 MGB with twin HIF carbs and pertronix ignition. My question deals with timing. When I got the car (my 4th MGB) the vacuum was not hooked-up . I was advised to hook it up. When checking the timing with a light I found it to be 10 degrees BTDC @ idle with approx 30 degrees @ 1500 RPM. I reset it to 13 degrees idle.

My issue is when I hook the vacuum advance, the timing will advance to about 45 degrees idle and even more @ 1500 RPM. Back in the day when I had cars with a vacuum advance, I set the timing and hooked up the vacuum and did not look to see what happened. I looked at the B to insure the advance worked and it did. Is this normal or should I not use the vacuum. The car runs fine without it but if it works better with it I would use it. What do you think? Thanks.

Chuck Gonyeau, Island Pond, Vermont

A:     Your car has been modified, so the manual does not exactly apply. I am not sure, but there may be some things that you are doing that can effect the timing.

First, when you disconnect the vacuum tube, it should be from the distributor side and you should plug it before attempting to set the timing. The car should be warmed-up and at idle (800-950rpm).

Being that your car has a twin HIF4 and you are saying it has a Pertronix conversion, you should have either a 25D or 45D4 distributor, not the stock electronic unit. I can make some suggestions based on that.

To begin with, the vacuum advance would be necessary with this set-up. And failures of the advance systems, mechanical and vacuum, are fairly common on the 25D4 and 45D4 distributor.

From what you are saying, the timing advances too far as soon as you connect the tube, even at idle. It sounds like the vacuum advance is working, but the rapid advance at high idle may show something in the mechanical system. Weak or broken springs will cause the mechanical system to advance too quickly, but don’t jump to trying to find replacements for those before looking at the more method related possibilities.

For one thing, the mark for this set-up should be about 8 degrees BTDC at idle. This is more typical of the older set-up. I have a 73 with twin HIFs and a 25D4 that this works well with it.

I also connect the vacuum line to the intake manifold, not the carbs. The photo below sourced from the web shows the stock position and the alternative pick-up. I’ve always had it hooked up to the manifold since removing the AIR smog system the car years ago. May not make too much difference, but I know it works.

These are no cost changes, so I’d suggest you start there and see what happens. Let me know how you make out and we can take it from there.

Safety Fast!,

Art Isaacs

’80 MGB L.E. of Jeffrey Schroeder of Watertown, Wisconsin

An American MGB Association Queen B – the ’80 MGB Limited Edition of Jeffrey Schroeder of Watertown, Wisconsin. Here is his story:

Here are some photos of my 1980 MGB Limited Edition with 54,000 actual miles. It has a rebuilt engine and transmission.

I do all my own work and it has the original interior. Please note I took our the cigarette lighter and installed a voltmeter in that location. Perfect fit.

This is my 5th MG. I have had 3 MGBs and 2 MGB-GTs.

I would love to see this in the Octagon. I think it would be cool!

Editor’s Note: Here are your photos and story in the Octagon. I hope you think it is cool!

80BLEJeffreySchroeder (1) 80BLEJeffreySchroeder (2) 80BLEJeffreySchroeder (3) 80BLEJeffreySchroeder (4)

MG Returning To Its Roots – Developing Two-Seat Roadster

NewMGTFfrom Motor Authority

For a whole generation of drivers, the name ‘MG’ conjures images of two-seat British roadsters. They might not have worked every day and leaked like a colander when it rained, but when they worked they were a load of fun. MG might finally be returning to those days, with rumors that the now Chinese-owned company is working on another two-seat roadster.

Auto Express describes the car as a spiritual successor to the MG TF, a mid-engined sports car sold in the 1990s and 2000s that for a time out-sold the Mazda Miata in the U.K. Speaking to the British magazine, an insider confirmed that MG bosses have discussed a return to the roadster market, and intend to produce the vehicle once the brand has re-established itself under Chinese ownership.

MG has not revealed a timeframe for the model just yet, as it’s keen to develop its existing range of vehicles and put several other volume models on the market first. One of these is likely to be a compact SUV based on the CS concept unveiled in Shanghai last year. The other, badged MG5, will compete against vehicles like the Ford Focus. Whether either of those models will find their way to the U.S. is unconfirmed.

The company is also hard at work developing new powerplants for the MG range, led by a team at SAIC’s U.K. technical center.

Top Installation

Q:     I am installing a new Robbins top on my ’77 MGB. There are no instructions included. How is the loose material hanging at the rear window attached to the moveable frame bar? Any other tips will be much appreciated. Safety Fast!

Don Boudwin
Clayton, Delaware

A:     A trick taught me on changing my ’73 top was to leave that rear bar loose and not attach it to the top. It leaves some slack in putting the top up, making it easier (after it’s up, you then move the bar into place and it tensions the top nicely). And gives the same in taking it down.

It also reduces creases and allows you to fold the top own that reduces damage to the plastic back windows and top itself. It involves pulling the top back flat on the boot and using 3 beach towels in stowing it. Takes a few minutes extra, but my AMCO vinyl top (considerably cheaper than a Robbins) is almost 20 years old and the windows are clear and unscratched and it is only now starting to show some wear at the attachment points at the rear.

Using Velcro also gives you the option on how to handle that bar. The way I do it is to put a towel on the boot, lay-out the top flat onto the boot, lay a second towel on top of the center window, fold the side-panel windows at the cloth divider (between them and the center pane) and one more for good measure on top of the folded windows. I fold the ends of the towels such to keep them from falling off in handling and further protect the plastic windows.

This covers all the clear plastic, ensures none are creased and protects them from the frame. The last part (partially done simultaneous with all the above) is to bring the frame back and down, draping the opaque part of the top partially into the well below the frame and just the window portion, now cushioned in towels, draped over the front top bar.

The window section now hangs mainly behind the seats and is mostly hidden by the front of the boot cover or the front of the tonneau cover when put behind the seats once opened.

The photos will make it clearer. Safety Fast!

Art Isaacs

QA_Side_window_Folded_on_Divider,_2_Towels QA_Top_Up,_Towel_on_Boot QA_Top_Up QA_Towel_on_Boot,_Rear_Windows_Flat

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

for MGB, MGB-GT and MG Midget owners