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  • March 25, 2019 7:08 AM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    By Dwight Dawson, Photos by Greg Fleischer

    A road-trip to a part of Texas many of us had never experienced… it was a March event that exceeded expectations. The official start was breakfast at the Roadhouse in Tomball.

    Mike Woodward “borrowed” some routes and ideas from the Texas Triumph Register and refined a plan for our travels over a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It was about 500 miles total driving and moved us through some very rural territory. Our noon meal was “in the woods” at a place that provided very tasty nourishment. Every entree was $10 but we would have paid that much or more for their scrumptious apple dumplings. Larry Bruce Gardens is near Kennard and a dining establishment really worth the trip.


    By late afternoon, we arrived in Nacogdoches for a final stop at Toyland. In reality, it is a small warehouse full of toys from the ’50s and ’60s. Owner Randy Legler says, “I buy old toys and pedal cars.” As the photos attest, Randy has thousands of old toys that bring back childhood memories for most of us. It must be one of the largest collections of its type in the U.S. 

    Nacogdoches claims to be the “first town in Texas.” (There is evidence of Indians living there about 10,000 years ago.) The city of 33,000, home of Stephan F. Austin State University, has done a great job in preserving the past and providing a very comfortable small-town getaway with lots of history. As the sun set, we walked to a fine restaurant for a well-arranged group dinner. The bar back at the hotel provided beverages for easy sleep. 


    After breakfast on Saturday we traveled 65 miles back to Palestine in search of the Texas State Railroad. As we pulled into the parking lot we heard, “All Aboard!” With minutes to spare we found our assigned passenger “luxury car” for travel to Rusk, Texas, an hour and a half to our east. It was a comfortable Piney Woods journey, with lots of distractions on a mostly sunny day. In Rusk we enjoyed a pleasant picnic lunch by the lake as the ’50s era locomotive prepared for the return trip to Palestine. The road trip back to our hotel included many rolling, twisty country roads.


    On a previous driving event, Gordon and Angie Bard tangled with a deer. We all observed that it rearranged the front of the 1972 blue MGB a bit. As you could almost predict on this trip, another deer was dancing at the side of the road as it timed its crossing over. After Gordon came to an abrupt STOP, the deer bolted across the narrow roadway. “Hit me once, shame on you. Hit me twice, shame on me.” We watched it happen from behind but could not get a camera up in time for a picture. We are glad that no British metal or deer hide was damaged this time. 

    Back in the oldest town in Texas, we enjoyed a little time at a local brewery, a block from the hotel, along with other St. Patrick’s Day patrons. Then it was another short walk to a restaurant for fine Italian cuisine.

    With a leisurely start in the morning and a 10am rollout, we traveled west to our lunch spot, Jerry’s Cafe in Onalaska.  There, Shy Quiet Gordon, reconnected not with a deer, but a dear, that he got know while securing vintage motorcycle parts some years ago. Ahhh… small-town Texas. 

    Stuffed again, we all headed back to the Big City using a variety of routes dictated by exact final destinations. Once again we observed that overnight Club events are not only fun but most effective in promoting closer friendships among participants. We welcomed brand new members Peter and Maria Ferrer who were compelled to drive along in their late model Jaguar. Others who will recall the enjoyment of this LBC trip for years ahead are: Gordon and Angie Bard, Walter and Leona Bernard, John and Cindy Blum, Dwight and Candy Dawson, Greg Fleischer, Bob and Kathy Schroeder, and Mike and Stephanie Woodward. 

    As participants who had no choice but to drive “a lesser car,” we can encourage that you tag along on these trips without an MG if you must. It will be well worth some embarrassment and minor harassment.  

  • March 16, 2019 9:52 PM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    By Dwight Dawson, Photos by Greg Fleischer

    So what is an autocross? Several of us found a unique answer to that in an early March event organized by the Texas Triumph Register. Invited to play along were the Jaguar Club and the Houston MG Club.

    On the Houston Police Academy grounds in far northeast Houston, a challenging .81 mile course with 43 ‘gates’ was created by event planners. The diagram here was provided to participants.  To keep frequent drivers sharp, the exact course is modified each time the event is offered.


    A slow drive-through with an event volunteer was the first exposure to the track for most of us. “A sharp turn is required here…a slowdown is recommended at this corner to avoid drifting into the mud…on the first lap you must turn RIGHT, and then turn LEFT on the second round to begin the slalom to the end alley.” This prompted us to study the diagram more carefully before the first official run. The experts told us to make the initial run deliberately slower and focus on the route. But once on the course, it was difficult to hold back. Run the best line and hug the pylons and press for speed… or some-such strategy. With top speeds varying greatly between 20 and 35 mph, many cars were only in 2nd gear or maybe 3rd. Screeching tires around the pylons and full acceleration exhaust notes were common. Some mud was observed on the sides of racers. A few total spinouts drew “oooohhh”s from the pits. The elapsed time of each run was recorded via electronic timers at the Start and Finish, and the number of runs limited only by waiting your turn behind other racers. Only one car was on the course at any given time. 

    With the run-time being so brief, your turn came around quickly. The truly most difficult part of the event may have been putting on and taking off the required helmet that was borrowed from a supply at the Start line (or maybe mine was just too small).

    Bob Schroeder driving his 1957 MGA

    What a treat it was to press an aged sports car to the limit! The greater limitation was usually the Driver. In my case, I had five runs— two of these were DNF (did not finish) because I missed that damn LEFT turn on the first lap, and went directly to the final slalom run and end alley. Each of my three successful runs was faster than the previous. Gordon Bard said one of his runs was slowed a bit because he started with the emergency brake engaged. The run times that day ranged from 138 seconds to less than 80. The data was available from the Timer at his computer consul, once you dared to ask and compare to others. The day’s final results appear here:


    A time of 80 seconds means an average speed of 36.4 mph. On course, it seems much faster.

    The greatest fun was going all out through the slalom segments. I hit one pylon soundly, which scuffed up the right front wing a bit. (Involuntary curse.) A fun surprise, when the day was done in my convertible, was finding bits of road-rubber debris (‘marbles’) spread upon the passenger seat. That had to be evidence of real RACING!

    Who is that in the MGB wanna-a-be, it couldn't be Dwight, or could it?

    In attendance from HMGCC were Greg Fleischer, Bob and Kathy Schroeder, Gordon Bard, Ray Holtzapple, Dwight Dawson and former member Keith Ryder. Running the autocross is a MUST-DO for all MG drivers. There is no better way to enjoy and really understand your LBC. 

    Gordon Bard pushing his 1972 MGB around the track

  • March 10, 2019 8:19 PM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    By Mike Woodward

    If you are like most of us with LBC’s sooner or later you simply run out of storage space for the cars and their parts. One solution is to rent an off-site storage unit but this needless to say requires the payment of rent. Another option is to consider a storage lift as I did and store one car on top of another:



    Please be advised though that overhead clearance may be a problem requiring a solution such as this:



    Then comes the question of where to put the parts, such as a factory hard top. My solution, inspired by Dwight Dawson, is shown below:



    Should anyone need plans on how to construct this “hanging shelf” please pop me an email at mike.woodward@sbcglobal.net.

    Safety fast!


    Note from the Houston MG Car Club:  If you have a tech tip that you think would be a benefit to your fellow club members, please submit it to houstonmgcarclub@gmail.com.  We will publish it in the ROARS giving you attribution.  Photos are always helpful but not required.

  • March 02, 2019 10:37 PM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)


  • February 21, 2019 10:43 AM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    By Mike Woodward

    If you are like most of us your LBC is not your daily driver. As a result it can sit for a period of time over which the battery can drain down, so that when you want to go the car will not start as the battery is depleted. To solve this problem most of us connect a battery maintainer an example of which his shown here :


    However getting power from the maintainer to the battery usually involves connecting those pesky alligator clips to the battery posts, which if it is like my MGB LE, is under the back parcel shelf and seemingly next to impossible to get to.

    A simple solution to this situation is to connect an accessory power plug to the maintainer as shown below:


    Then simply plug the power plug into the cigarette lighter socket of your LBC.  If your car did not come equipped with a cigarette lighter outlet, it is a simple matter to add one as I did on my Morris Minor 1000 as shown here :


    If you are in any doubt as to how to perform these modifications please contact your local auto electrician for advice.

    Safety fast!


  • February 17, 2019 1:49 PM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    By Mike Gentry

    Your Houston MG Car Club has clarified and changed the annual awards for the Club and annual Car Show. The intent of these changes is to clarify eligibility requirements and provide a guideline on what awards are available and who is eligible to participate. All Club awards are presented at the annual Christmas Party.  

    First of all, let’s start with the HMGCC annual awards:

     Driver’s Award:  Awarded to the member with the most round trip miles (points) driven in an MG to a sponsored Club event. If no MG is owned by a member, miles (points) may be accumulated by driving another vintage (1980 and older) British marque vehicle. Timeline is November 1st through October 31st.

    Alan Rayne Memorial Traveling Trophy (aka “Broken Crankshaft”):  Humorously recognizes a Club member who incurs mechanical or other MG car breakdown issues to/from an official Club event. 

    Board of Directors’ Award:  At the discretion of the Board, given to any Club member who provided exceptional leadership or service to the Board during the previous year.

    President’s Award:  At the discretion of the President, given to any Club member who provided exceptional leadership or service to the President including:

    • Contributing articles to the website or ROARS
    • Organizing one or more events
    • Attending multiple events during the year.

    Presidential Recognition Award:  Recognizes a successful term as President of the HMGCC.   Given out every two years.


    As most members are aware, our Club hosts an “All British” Car Show in the fall of each year. This show is open to all British marque vehicles and is open to the public. A long-standing tradition for our Club, 2019 will mark the 30th annual event sponsored by our Club! The show this year will be held on Saturday, September 21st, 2019 and will be held in The Woodlands area for the first time in our Club history.  

    The “All British” Car Show awards are as follows:

    • Individual Class Awards: First, second & third class awards (depending on the number of vehicles registered). Voting is conducted by all registered participants.
    • Best in Show Award: Recognizes the vehicle that appeals most to registered participants. Voting is conducted by all registered participants.
    • Ralph Diebert Award: Award for the most popular MG marque vehicle whose owner is a current member of the HMGCC. Voting is conducted by all  registered participants.
    • People’s Choice Award (new):  Award for the British marque vehicle that appeals most to spectators and the general public, all of whom are eligible to vote.

    Additional details for the Club and Car Show awards can be found in the “ABOUT” section of our website: www.houstonmgcc.com. Thanks and please reach out to any Board Member or Club Leadership if you have any questions.

    Mike Gentry

  • February 11, 2019 12:38 PM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    1954 MG TD.     That's right one of the richest men in the world, more importantly the man who has defined American clothing style for more than 50 years began his love affair for cars with a 1954 MG TD owned by his brother.

    While on a flight for a business trip, I had the opportunity to catch up on reading past issues of AUTOWEEK Magazine.  The December 3, 2018 issue has an excellent story on Ralph Lauren's incredible collection of the world's finest automobiles.

    Lauren, born Ralph Lifschitz (I am not kidding, that is his birth name) did not come from a rich European family but from very humble New York beginnings.  Growing up he didn't even own a bicycle, there was no way he could have conceived owning one of the world's finest collections of rare automobiles.  As a young man, his first introduction to "exotic" cars was when his brother bought a 1954 MG TD.  He also recalls staring in to the front window of Fergus Motors showroom in Manhattan, at the Morgans.  According to the article, When Lauren was first getting started he couldn't afford much, but he bought a 1961 Morgan, British racing green with a leather strap across the bonnet.  He is quoted "It said something to me...it went with my style."  Even though Lauren own's everything from 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic to a McLaren F1 LM to Ferrari's, Porsche's and Mercedes, British cars hold a special place in his heart.  And yes, he does have LBC's in the collection.

    Go figure, once again MG's are at the heart of all things automotive.

  • February 03, 2019 1:51 PM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    The February monthly meeting was another smashing success as we received an update on the activities of the Houston Jaguar Club.  We have dedicated this year to strengthening the bond between the members of the Houston area car clubs that have a love for LBC's.  That is Little British Cars for those of you who may be reading this and haven't been initiated into the passion.

    Keith RyderThe presentation was made by Keith Ryder, a long time member and friend to the HMGCC. 


    Club members are paying close attention to what Keith has to say!


    President Woodward, is this new club regalia?

  • January 31, 2019 5:56 AM | Mike Woodward (Administrator)

    Dear Members,

    Below is the current standings for the drivers award. Thanks as always to Greg for keeping up with this.


  • January 27, 2019 9:03 AM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    By Dwight Dawson

    Our tech session on Saturday, January 19th was only worthwhile if you love and care for your MG and would like to keep it looking marvelous. The event with owner John Gray at Gulf Coast Auto Shield was the most advanced and useful session on auto paint maintenance and preservation that most of us had ever attended. A few members of the Jaguar club joined 10 or so HMGCC members for a detailed and generous sharing of tips, tricks and recommended products in support of the subject.

    John Gray, owner Gulf Coast Auto Shield, discussing how to properly detail a car with the members of the Houston MG Car Club

    John is very well-informed in this narrow niche of car maintenance and he talked at length about the methods, tools and materials needed to do it right. The clear shine on the 15 or so high-end customers’ autos in his shop, including a newish McLaren, was testament to the quality of his efforts.


    The pinnacle of service in this shop is the application of a ceramic finish that protects the paint job like nothing else can. Some products will even self-repair scratches with the heat of the sun. Though the cost of this protection is not insignificant, it must be very satisfying when the best outcome is desired on a precious vehicle.

    Many very practical tips were provided, such as:

    • Use 2 or even 3 water buckets when washing the car.
    • Use a “grit guard” at the bottom of the bucket to minimize the application of grit from the bucket onto your paint job.
    • Wash your wheels first and never expose your paint to wheel water or wash rags. Wheel debris does a nasty job on fine paint.
    • Use the various available microfiber cloths for drying, polishing, etc. Use a detergent especially for microfibers to wash used cloths, though some experts say use a cloth once and THROW IT AWAY.
    • One surprising tip was to use a 50/50 solution of 91 percent alcohol and water before waxing to clear any previously applied and remaining wax. 

    Endless practical tips for cleaning interiors, glass and tires were also given. Lots of information was provided on the need for a quality, long-throw, random orbital buffing machine. Trox was one name we saw; Porter-Cable was also cited as a worthy brand among others. We watched and participated in the use of a power machine and cleaning materials on the trunk lid of a late model Bentley. It looked basically clean to start, but the professional efforts rendered results that you could not only SEE but FEEL. 

    John invited any and all of us to bring our cars to his shop on a Saturday to make use of its interior space in pursuit of a really clean paint job and detailed vehicle (and lots of learning.) His contact information is:                   


    John Gray

    Gulf Coast Auto Shield

    http://gcautoshield.com

    832.264.0670

    9442 Summerbell Lane (near Hwy 59 and Bissonnet) 


Contact Us:  HoustonMGCarClub@gmail.com


Houston MG Car Club

PO Box 40711

Houston, TX   77240. 


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