“Earning the American Dream”

 A new interesting book “Earning the American Dream,” is about the introduction of foreign made automobiles into North America, back in the 1940’s and 1950’s, and the great success’ foreign cars enjoy to this day. During that same period, the U.S. totally dominated the world’s production of cars / trucks, tires, steel, locomotives, and aircraft. Unfortunately that domination is no longer the case.

Whitby’s unique experiences and well documented book reflects the rise of Britain’s and Europe’s largest automobile company, when Austin Motor took over the Nuffield auto group in 1952, forming British Motor Corporation (BMC) making it the fourth largest auto company in the world. Whitby goes into great detail on how BMC sports cars; the Austin Healey and MG, were so successful in America through the 1960’s yet BMC, old design, poor quality control sedans, failed miserably.

Whitby was invited to join BMC record attempts on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1956, 1957, and 1959, during which he became a good friend of Syd Enever, Chief Engineer and designer for the MG Car Co. Ltd. His direct communications with Enever, helped to improve the quality of the MG and Austin Healey cars. Many interesting copies of their correspondence spanning ten years are reproduced.

Car lovers will enjoy the great road racing photos, many in color especially those covering BMC Bonneville Salt Flats of 1956, 1957, and 1959 and will be amazed at the very successful endurance and speed records established by Syd Enever’s outstanding MG and Austin Healey sports car designed streamliners, all of which are well documented.

The book should also appeal to those that are interested in economics, especially as it relates to trade, manufacturing, and transportation, and in the demise, of so many British and American auto companies, over the years. Throughout the 338 page book, Whitby and BMC American dealers’ recommendation to have new modern designed sedans, quality control, more powerful overhead camshaft engines, and full synchomesh transmission, were totally ignored by BMC top management. This allowed progressive Japanese companies like Nissan and Toyota and later Korean companies to take over from the pioneering British with better designed and higher quality cars.

Whitby devoted 16 years with the British Motor Corporation in the US, 17 years as a sales executive of Nissan Motor Corporation in USA. and he finally completed his successful career as Vice President of Business and Finance for years where he guided a debt ridden and badly managed private university in Southern California to one of fiscal responsibility and success. There is a wealth of knowledge in this remarkable book that would be very difficult to find elsewhere. In addition it is a book well worth owning as an profits wiIl be donated to cancer research.

Author:     Gordon Whitby
Retail:     $50.00
Dimensions: 8.25″ x 10.75″
Pages: 340
Phone: 626-688-3554
Email: gordonwhitby@yahoo.com

From the Editor’s Desk – September 2011

by Frank Ochal

'79 B of Jeff DutkovicWelcome to the new members that have joined since the last issue.

We would like to thank Robert Crane, James Kasper, Lucy Hansen, Jeff Dutkovic, Ted Schneider, Larry Youngblood, Jonathan Knowles and all of the other contributors to this issue of the Octagon. Also thanks to Art Isaacs for his continued work in answering members’ technical questions and answers. Be sure to send in photos and stories so we can include them in future issues of the Octagon.

The 34th Annual American MGB Association Meet 2011 was held in Dayton, Ohio in early August. A report of the show will be in the next issue of the Octagon.

As requested by our members, Tech Sections Volume III in now available in printed format as well as CD format. It previously was only offered on CD. Pricing can be found on the regalia/store page and is priced the same as printed volumes I and II. Combos of more than one volume are also available.

In addition to the items found in our regular club regalia / store, more store merchandise including tote bags, caps, sweat pants, shorts and other items can be found at our Fieldhouse Club Store located at www.fieldhouse.com/amgba.

We now have member grille badges and key fobs. Technical Sections Volume III is now available which continues the great tradition of practical tech advice started with Volumes I and II. In keeping with the times this one is available only on CD for PC or Mac. Another new item in the store is a complete copy of the past ten years of the Octagon available on CD only for PC or Mac.

American MGB Association members receive the Octagon, now published in March, June, September and December and the eOctagon, published in February, May, August and November.

We offer a 3 year membership or renewal rate which includes a free t-shirt or tech volume III CD. The rate is $95 or $125 for members outside the USA. We also have a 3 year eMembership for $65 which also includes a free t-shirt or tech volume III CD. Save money and get a t-shirt or tech CD!

The club has a Message Board at http://board.amgba.com , a Blog located at http://blog.amgba.com . The sites are available to all but American MGB Association members are able to place ads and access more tech info.

The American MGB Association Photo Gallery is located at http://photos.amgba.com . The same login is used for the Gallery as the Message Board. Members can place their car photos directly at this location.

Send us your email address so that we can send you the eOctagon. The eOctagon is sent via bulk email so if you are blocking this type of email you will not get it. Please send in your stories and photos to be used in the Octagon. You will receive a credit toward renewal or regalia.

Send in your list of spare parts that you have for sale as we send out all lists we have received during the year to members that request lists of spare parts available. These lists are also now appear on our web page in the “members only” section!

You need an ID and password to access the “members only” section of our website at www.mgclub.org. You will find the ID and password on page 3 of the OCTAGON. These change with each issue so be sure to use only the ones listed in the latest issue. Also now you can to create your own id and password for the members only section. Submit the form on the members only page to do this.

See you at the shows this season including Meet 2011 in Dayton, Ohio!

Top Photo: ’79 B of Jeff Dutkovic