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It's all about the MG's - The British Sports Car America Loved First

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  • March 27, 2020 1:55 PM | Mike Woodward (Administrator)

    At the end of week 1 of the Corona competition we had three entries: "Just A Little Leak" from Chip Uricchio, "Hub-Centric vs Lug Centric" by Mike Woodward and "My First MG Drive" by Wayne Hardy. And the winner is :

    "My First MG Drive" by Wayne Hardy. - Congratulations Wayne !!

    Thanks to Dave and Linda for editing, judging and providing the cartoon.

    Safety fast!

    Mike.

  • March 27, 2020 1:49 PM | Mike Woodward (Administrator)

    My First MG Drive

    Corona Competition entry, week 1

    by Wayne Hardy

    My very first drive in an MG occurred when I was nearly 15 years old, living in Orange, Texas in 1953. I knew all about MGs from first reading Kings of The Road by Ken Purdy, and from reading a new magazine called Road and Track. I saved and hoarded and reread these things over and over. At one time a few years ago, I had every R&T published from 1955 through 2015. Anyway, I first spotted an MGTD on a used car lot in Orange and had been giving it the eye for several days. When I finally decided to go give it a closer look, I found the lot closed; but someone was there and opened the place for me. Now, Orange had a big Navy presence during the war and the base stayed open for a number of years afterward, so for the past few years we’d seen sporty European cars— Jaguars, Simcas, a big Lancia, a few VWs and several MGTCs and TDs—brought  home by Navy GIs. This was one of those cars, traded in on something else, American made.

    On that fateful day, I rode my bike downtown and parked it in an alley where it wouldn’t be seen from the car lot (I don’t know why, but I thought this would make me seem older, not a kid on a bike), and walked around the corner to the car lot. I sniffed around the car a bit and here came the salesman from the office. I asked if I could roll down the tonneau cover (the top was down) and look at the insides. No sooner did we do this than another customer came into the lot who had his attention for a while, working on completing a sale started earlier. When the salesman returned to me, I was sitting in the car studying the owner’s manual that was still in the glove box. Believe it or not, he asked me if I would like to take it for a drive. Oh yeah, I would.

    Now, I could drive and operate a clutch and gear box from driving the old ‘35 Dodge on my grandparents’ farm in the summers, and taking loads of grain into town towing a trailer. This was done all the time in the farming area of Indiana, and it was not unheard of for 10-year old kids to drive farm buggies around town to sell grain or hay to the CO-OP. Still, the MG was a different deal; but I had been studying the controls layout in the owner’s handbook and I was ready to go!

    I pulled the choke out a bit, pulled the starter and the thing fired up! Salesman said he was alone at the lot, but if I’d be really careful, he’d stay there and let me take it out by myself. Now remember, I’m 14 years old, no driver’s license and no insurance either. I took it by to show to a couple of school friends, and then by my own house to show my dad what a find I’d made and to discuss my car-owning possibilities for the near future. Not a smart move… He was all concerned that I had no driver’s license and no insurance, and pretty mad at the car lot salesman for turning me loose in a car without asking about either of those things.

    Of course we had to take it back immediately, but Dad couldn’t find the starter and I wouldn’t tell him where it was, either, so I got to drive it back to the dealer lot with him riding and my mother following in the car to bring him home. My bike was still safe in the alley, of course, being 1953 not today.

    Well, there were lots of discussions with my dad about what a foolish thing that was to do. Still, he recognized the fact that in the summers I drove around the farm and delivered loads of grain worth several hundred dollars into town five miles away, without incident. My Grandfather trusted me, and he should trust me too.

    No, we didn’t buy this car, but I did get a driver’s license before I was 16, and did buy a different MGTD in late 1956… followed by a TC, followed by a TF-1500, followed by an MGA, a Midget, MGBs, and 2 MG ZB Magnette sedans, mixed in with a TR-3, an AH-3000, a Jag XK-120, an MK1 Jag sedan, and 3 XJ Jag sedans (2 XJ-6s and an XJ-8 model).

    I still drive an MGB along with a nice older Corvette. But my very first drive in an MG, 67 years ago, was that black one with “apple green” leather insides.

  • March 25, 2020 4:07 PM | Mike Woodward (Administrator)


  • March 24, 2020 9:20 PM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    By Mike Woodward

    HUB-CENTRIC WHEELS

    Hub-centric wheels are designed for the hub center bore of the wheel to be a perfect match to the vehicle. This allows the wheel to be centered on the vehicle hub, which is the most accurate way to center the wheel. Most original equipment wheels are designed to be hub-centric because the manufacturer designs wheels specifically for each vehicle.

    LUG-CENTRIC WHEELS

    As opposed to hub-centric wheels, lug-centric wheels are centered on the vehicle using the lug holes. Most aftermarket wheels are lug-centric because this allows the manufacturer to make the wheels with larger hub bore diameters so that the wheel can fit a wider array of vehicles. Manufacturers make the center bore larger because a center bore that is smaller than the vehicle hub will not be able to secure safely to the vehicle.

    HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO MG?

    Most MGs use hub-centric wheels but the MGB LEs use lug-centric wheels that were also used on the Triumph Stag. This means that when you take your LE wheels to be balanced on a standard dynamic wheel balancer that is designed for hub-centric wheels and locates on the hub, it may not work! The solution is to use an adaptor that fits on the machine that locates the wheel in the lugs while it is being balanced. A typical adaptor is shown below and can be borrowed from Mike Woodward by any HMGCC club member.

    Safety fast!

    The second entry in this week’s Corona Competition, check back throughout the week for more entries.

  • March 21, 2020 8:11 PM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    By Francis (Chip) Uricchio M.D.

    Forty years ago I owned my first MGB. I was living in Philadelphia and going to school in Boston. Upon driving back to school up I-95 in MGB #1, I stopped at the Vince Lombardi rest area just south of NYC. When I turned off the ignition, the car saw fit to dump an entire oil pan of motor oil on the ground. I was aware that automobiles occasionally leaked oil, but this was unusual. I figured out that as long as the engine was running, the oil stayed put. So I turned around, drove back to Philly, and made other arrangements to get to Boston. I left the car with a mechanic friend who made the necessary repairs. As it turned out, the gasket on the mount that holds the oil filter away from the block failed and caused my difficulty. 

    This seems like a problem that only an MG could have. I laugh about it now, but I was not amused at the time!

    The first entry in the Corona Competition, check back throughout the week for more entries.

  • March 21, 2020 8:01 PM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    The first week of The Corona Competition is complete and we, your faithful editors, had mail! All of the submissions received each week will be published in The Roars and the winner of the breath-taking prize for that week will be announced after the final entry is posted. So, read on intrepid members.

    And as Dean Martin used to say, “…keep those cards and letters coming in.”

    Linda and Dave Renner


    Breath-taking Corona Competition Prize

  • March 21, 2020 3:06 PM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    The Texas MG Register announced earlier today that their 2020 Spring Gathering of the Faithful scheduled for May 7-10th has been cancelled.  The following is a letter from TMGR President Greg Poffenbarger.

    In response to COVID-19 and restrictions on gatherings, the TMGR leadership has cancelled the 2020 Spring GoF in Killeen, originally scheduled for May 7-10, 2020Eric Olson cancelled the hotel reservations for everyone who registered under the TMGR special price rate at Shiloh Inn Suites. If you registered individually without advising the hotel you were with the TMGR group, you will need to call the hotel and cancel your stay. The TMGR will be making full refunds to those who have already registered and made payments. 

    TMGR is also cancelling all other club sponsored events until further notice.

    Announcement of new Board Members will be made through BACKROADS, the TMGR website and Facebook. 

    We will keep everyone informed about future activities using these three forums.

    Please stay healthy and safe.

    “Safety Fast”

    Greg Poffenbarger
    President, TMGR
  • March 18, 2020 5:28 PM | Mike Woodward (Administrator)

    The Club wants to provide a fun, alternative event while all our normal activities are virus-limited.  

    To participate, Members are invited to submit an MG-related piece for our online newsletter, The Roars. Eligible are short stories, technical tips, interesting photos or other bits that celebrate our Octagonal World. Each week, a Prize Winner will be selected by our ROARS EDITORS. Send your email entries to David Renner at drenner@sbcglobal.net.  

    Dave and Linda will review the entries and notify our President of their winning selection. A breath-taking prize will be awarded to each Winner and the submission posted on The Roars page.   

    Have fun!  

    Safety fast!

    Mike.

  • March 10, 2020 2:35 PM | Mike Woodward (Administrator)

    Our long time member, Bob Crow, passed on a couple of articles from mgenthuisiast and Hemmings which we cannot publish due to copyright restrictions but we can point out the high points, from these articles in this reader's perspective which were :

    1. Before buying a classic car join the local club and get guidance as to how much to pay  and where to get your next classic car.

    2. Participate in monthly meetings to learn more about the cars, where to get them repaired, how to fix simple problems yourself and where to obtain parts etc.

    3. Meet other members and enjoy the social aspects of the club.

    4. Recommend guest speakers and topics for the monthly meetings and even consider being a guest speaker yourself and provide an interesting story about your involvement and introduction to this fascinating hobby.

    5. Above all get involved to appreciate all the club has to offer.

    Safety fast!

    Mike.

    p.s. I am always open to suggestions for monthly meeting topics, just send me an email through the club website. :)

  • March 08, 2020 4:16 PM | Mike Woodward (Administrator)

    On Saturday March 7 fourteen members of the Houston MG car club attended the Autocross co-sponsored by the Texas Triumph Register and the Houston MG Car Club. Ten of them then proceeded to don crash helmets and take to the track for an absolute fun experience.

    A picture is worth a thousand words so here is a taste what happened :

    After the event the results were published and here they are :


    Regrettably we had our first contender for the Broken crankshaft award when Pete Sandy's Pertronix ignition failed :(

    Fortunately this happened on Pete's last run and needless to say the "Mark Of Friendship" came through and a band of MG volunteers helped Pete get his car home.

    -Mark your calendars for the next Autocross so you too can enjoy this fun and safe activity.

    Safety fast!

    Mike.

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Houston MG Car Club

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Houston, TX   77240. 


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