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



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



  1. Jimmy Harris, AC Greyhound, Middleburg, VA



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



  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

In the News! – British Leyland Motor Corporation 1968 – 2005

BrLeylandBook This book tells the story of the constituent parts of British Leyland, later Rover Group, from the merger in 1968 to the end of production of the last MG Rover in 2005. The story has been told before, but this account is different. It is told by three people who were part of it, in senior roles, with the opportunity to observe and understand what happened and why. It is not another neat analysis by journalists or academics, using facts in the public domain and fitting them to a theory. The story is a complex one and the authors’ views are not necessarily those held by academics and previous commentators. There is still much that is relevant in a re-telling of the path leading up to this, for economy and society today.

Mike Carver, the author became Group Executive Director in charge of strategic planning. He was responsible for setting up the relationship with Honda and was awarded the OBE for services to the motor industry in 1986. Nick Seale joined Ford as an engineer, moving into finance. Later he returned to engineering, heading up the Rover Power Train under BMW. At Land Rover he ran concept engineering of future products. Anne Youngson started in sales and marketing at Longbridge, moving to Pirelli Tyres, but returned to work on Honda. She moved to project management for Land Rover and Rover and was the only woman at this level. Her final position was head of Land Rover Special Vehicles Operation.

Paperback: 160 pages

Publisher: The History Press (June 1, 2015)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0750961449

ISBN-13: 978-0750961448

’69 B-GT of John Briggs from Fayetteville, North Carolina

An American MGB Association Queen B is the ’69 B-GT of John Briggs from Fayetteville, North Carolina. Here is his story:

When I graduated from medical school in 1969, I wanted a sports car. My first choice was an XKE, but alas I could not afford it so I bought an MGB instead. I picked the GT because I needed the cargo space. The car was black with wire wheels. I drove that car as a daily driver for next five years until it was damaged beyond repair in a wreck. After losing the MG, I had a series of Z cars, vintage Mustangs and Corvettes over the years. In February 2014 while looking at classic cars online, I found a MGB-GT exactly like the one I bought in 1969 with only 34,500 miles on the odometer. The photos of the car were fantastic.

The car was located only 150 miles away so I hopped in my Corvette for a trip. When I first saw the car, I thought it looked as if it had just rolled off the assembly line in Abingdon. I had not driven an MGB since I lost my first one but it did not take me long to get back in the groove. A few hours later, I had my new old MGB.

In addition to the excellent condition of the car, one of the things that attracted me to the car was the extensive historical record that came with it. The car was manufactured in Abingdon between April 17th and April 22nd in 1969 and exported to San Francisco, California on May 7, 1969. The first owner bought the car on June11, 1969 in San Francisco for $3731.00. He kept the car for the next 36 years, He kept all sales documents, titles, registrations for 36 years. He even kept the business card of the salesman. The second owner acquired the car in 2006 in California. The third owner bought the car in 2011 and transported it to Virginia where I purchased it in March of 2015.

The car is in amazing condition. Every owner has taken extraordinary good care of it. It has been protected from both rain and sun its entire life. Over its life span of 47 years, the past three owners have put only on an average of 750 miles per year on the car. The car numbers and equipment all match the BMIHT factory records. I am exceedingly happy to have an MG back in the garage. It is great fun to cruise around town in my new old MGB-GT. I plan to attend many MG events. My first was be the American MGB Association Meet 2015 in Myrtle Beach which is 90 miles from home, but I was unable to make it.

69GTJohnBriggs 69GTJohnBriggs2 69GTJohnBriggs3 69GTJohnBriggs4

In the News! – MG GS SUV

by Art Isaacs

I am in China and was reading a new posting in “Just British”, the on-line enthusiast magazine, about the MG GS SUV undergoing cold-weather testing in Detroit when one passes me in traffic on the streets of Huizhou, China. It’s a poor shot, but you can see in the attached picture the big Octagon on the center back and there’s a matching one on the front. This MG was even the same color as the car in the article.

Unique in its grille and tail lamp treatments, with large MG Octagons center at each end, from the outside it’s an otherwise generic SUV roughly the size and shape of a Chevy Equinox/Cadillac SRX, though the scalable AWD platform it’s on is supposed to be a new development. It’s nice enough looking, in a Nissan Murano sort of way, but it is reportedly under-powered, with only a 1.5L power plant available. The article notes the UK market is looking to get a 2.0L motor, presumably the one they’re testing and what might come to the US, if that’s in the cards.

The article also goes on to say the test car was spotted on the street in Detroit undisguised and wearing manufacturer’s tags. Considering the strong partnership of MG’s parent company, ShanghaiMGSUV Automotive Industries Company (SAIC), with GM (they build all the GM products sold in China, as well as own MG/Rover) and that the Europe-bound GS will use a GM sourced driveline, it is not unreasonable to expect them to help test the cars here, but why? China has more than it’s share of cold weather climates and if traffic is the concern, you need only see what goes on rush hour in any major Chinese city to know that they have that covered as well. So it is from that the speculation is born that they are considering a launch of the marque in the US again with this as a first foray. It would be the first to wear the Octagon since MGB departed in 1980. And with SAIC building and distributing Buick, Chevy and Cadillac in China, GM returning the favor here has some plausibility.

Those of us hoping the first MG back on these shores would be a new sports car may be disappointed, but a second article in the same magazine, even more speculatively, sees a new MG and Opel sports car being jointly developed with Opel based on an Opel GT concept model. Opel is quoted they have no plans for production, needing scale to support European sales. China and US distribution of modern MG (dare we say B) roadster and coupe models based on the same platform could certainly afford that scale. And GM does have that Kappa platform gathering dust that had underpinned the recent Saturn Sky, Pontiac Solstice and Opel GT (as well as an RHD Vauxhall version in the UK), the rumor mill does have fuel….

We can all dream, can’t we.

Safety Fast!

Art Isaacs

39th Annual AMGBA Meet 2016 – Waynesboro, Virginia


September 30 thru October 1, 2016

in conjunction with THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY



Fairway Lane Staunton VA, 1-855-809-3505



Bells Lane Staunton VA, 1-855-799-6859


Baker Lane Staunton VA, 1-866-599-6674


the American MGB Association at 773-769-7084

or AMGBA, 5433 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60640; fax: 773-769-3240

email: info@mgclub.org

, website: www.mgclub.org

or in Virginia:

CarShowChair@svbcc.net or website: www.svbcc.net

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

Celebrating its 35th year, the Shenandoah Valley British Car Club has the distinction of running one of the oldest annual British car festivals on the East Coast. This year’s show is presented by Crown MINI of Richmond with generous support from Mike Gassman Automotive – British Car Specialists.

Open to British marques in any condition (and occasionally some motorcycles) gather from more than 12 states beneath the massive trees of Ridgeview Park in Waynesboro, Virginia.

From show winners to daily drivers to even the “I-barely-got-it-running”, all British cars are welcome at this fun family event celebrating British automotive design and the people who drive these Little British Cars.

Awards, based on voting of the participants, will be presented at the Saturday night banquet. Door prizes will be awarded on the field to pre-registered participants. Pre-registration fee is $25, registration at gate is $30. So register now!

We are very happy to be again featuring The Holiday Inn Staunton Conference Center as our host hotel – site of the Friday night reception and the Saturday night awards dinner. The hotel is conveniently located near the intersection of I-81 and I-64, in historic Staunton, Virginia.

Our Friday night reception has proved to be very popular, so please add it to your schedules. We will have a special room available where you can purchase drinks, bar food/snacks, or a full meal. With videos in the background, this is an opportunity to get together with old friends or meet new ones. If you have not participated in this event before, you may want to make it a priority this year!

The Car Show on Saturday offers music, door prizes, and fabulous food on site. Waynesboro is the home of Fishburne Military Academy, and the Moss Museum and is only minutes from the famous and scenic Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway. These are a joy to drive, and offer a beautiful view of the fall foliage.

Come join us for a wonderful time and a chance to see many exciting British cars and meet the people who love them! Please note preregistration cutoff is 9/25/16 and this is a rain or shine event so registration fees are non-refundable, and banquet fees are only refundable on request up to the cutoff date of 9/25/16.

Event details:

Friday, 9/30 at 6pm: Pre-show get together at Holiday Inn, Staunton, Virginia

Saturday, 10/1 from 9am to 2pm: Car show at Ridgefield Park, Waynesboro, Virginia

Saturday, 10/1 from 7pm till late: Awards Banquet at Holiday Inn, Staunton, Virginia
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 MEET 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.

for MGB, MGB-GT and MG Midget owners