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  • October 18, 2022 12:49 PM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    Bear with me as this is a story that covers more than 2 years, or possibly decades.  In February of 2020 we were contacted through the club’s email by Paul, a gentleman in Aberdeeneshire, Scotland who is a car enthusiast.  He had received a box of parts and found within them two grill badges from our very own Houston MG Car Club.  As an enthusiast he knew the value of helping the badges find their way back home to the club they represent.

    Paul shared with us that the parts came from an older gentleman’s collection that was stored in a shed owned by one of Paul’s co-workers.  They became available when the prior owner passed away a few years back. As a fun fact, the shed is located in Ballater which is very close to the Balmoral Estate where Queen Elizbeth stayed when she was in Scotland.

    Recognizing how great it would be to have these in our possession I immediately reached out to Paul thanking him for contacting us and expressing our interest to have them returned to the club.  Then the fury of the COVID pandemic hit.  In addition, Paul works offshore, interesting enough for a Houston based oil & gas company, and we both had issues with emails being lost in our spam folders.  With all these disruptions it took more than two years before we made the proper arrangements to have the badges returned but they are safely in the archives of the club.

    I am pleased to report that one of the badges is being put to good use.  It is the centerpiece on our newest club award trophy – The Kimber Spirit Award.

    The Kimber Spirit Award recognized the club member family who attends the most club sanctioned events each year.  You can learn more about this and our other awards on the ABOUT page of our website.


    The second grill badge is also interesting, stay tuned to learn more about it in a future post….


  • October 05, 2022 11:11 AM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)



  • September 06, 2022 10:23 AM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    The September monthly meeting was held at the Butler House (home of the 2022 Houston All British Car Day) with a great turnout of members and friends.  We had the porch area all to ourselves, the burgers where hot and the beer was cold.  

    You may have heard of aroma therapy, well Ron Redding and Mike Woodward presented on fluid therapy for our LBC's.  Their recommendations for the fluids to be used on our cars are:

    • Engine Oil - Castrol GTX 20W50 Classic
    • Gearbox - MGT's 80/90 weight gear oil; MGA & MGB's Castrol GTX 20W50
    • Rear Axle - 90 weight gear oil
    • Front Suspension - Multi-purpose lithium grease
    • Propeller Shaft - multi-purpose lithium grease
    • Steering Rack - white lithium grease
    • Brake & Clutch reservoir - Dot 3 or 4; or upgrade to Dot 5, but requires a complete flush and brake system renewal.  Do not mix Dot 5 with Dot 3 or 4.
    • Gasoline - use an additive for long term storage - Stabil
    • Coolant - 1 part coolant & 2 part water for best performance or 50/50 premixed coolant to make it easy.  Also recommend using a super coolant such as Rislone's Hy-per Cool.  Will lower the temperature by 10 degrees.
    • Carburetor dampers - SU's Zenith Damper Oil or 20 weight oil.  For older carbs 30 weight oil.  non-detergent.

    And after a hard day of renewing your cars fluids top it off with a cold beer of your choice.

  • September 01, 2022 4:48 PM | Mike Woodward (Administrator)

    Our thanks as always to Greg for keeping up with these:


  • August 29, 2022 4:16 PM | Mike Woodward (Administrator)

    As always, many thanks to Tony Galt for all his work on this report:





  • August 27, 2022 10:29 AM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    Details of this fall’s Gathering of the Faithful are slowly being released.  The event will be held November 3-6th in and around the small town of Clifton, TX.  

    The format is similar to what we have experienced in the past beginning with a reception at Valley Mills Vineyards on Thursday Night.  Friday afternoon will find us at the Bosque Arts Center for a British Tea and private showing of the art museum hosted by our own Peggy Schrodi and friends.  Friday night will be a pizza & dance party at the Safari Ranch.  The car show will be held on Saturday with great lunch options.  The weekend wraps up with the Saturday evening Awards Banquet.

    You can find the registration form in the September BACKROADS.

    The TMGR has posted room booking options on their website.  Note that it doesn’t appear that there will be a host hotel, but there are several different options for housing including several very nice locations on AirBnB. 

    Looking forward to seeing a strong showing from Houston at this year’s GoF!

  • August 21, 2022 9:23 AM | Mike Woodward (Administrator)

    As always many thanks to Tony Galt for all his hard work putting this together.

    Safety fast!

    Mike.


  • August 16, 2022 7:42 AM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    Per the request of the organizers the following is the latest on the Texas All British Car Days....

    31 Years of the Largest British Car Show in Texas!

    The 31st Texas All British Car Days will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday September 23, 24 & 25, 2022.

    Save the date and join us at the All British Car Show you love!

    Online registration and mail in registration will be open soon.

    We're planning an exceptional show this year celebrating our 31st year!

    TXABCD is the largest gathering of British cars in Texas and a great place to see the cars you grew up with like Triumph, MG and Mini and to see exotic British cars you may not have seen before like Jaguar, Aston Martin, Bentley, Morgan Rolls Royce and more.

    The Sunday show will again be at Centennial Plaza in Round Rock. This is a very nice plaza which will make our show a lot of fun. 

    Please plan to join us for the last weekend of September. See you there!


    Hotel Information

    Discounted rates are available using the link below.

    Hotel Contact Information

    Homewood Suites
    2201 S. Mays St
    Round Rock, TX 78664
    512-341-9200

    The hotel is just a 5 minute drive from Centennial Plaza, where the show will be held on Sunday. Click the link below for more information and our discounted rates or to make a reservation.

    Reserve a Hotel Room

    Click  here to reserve a room.

    Tentative TXABCD Show Weekend Schedule

    Note that this is TENTATIVE and may change!

    A more detailed schedule is avalable on the Schedule tab at www.txabcd.org.

    Friday - Sept 23

    Meet and Greet at The Brass Tap in Round Rock.

    Saturday - Sept 24

    Mid Day - Registration and hospitality suite.

    Afternoon - Rallye, details to be announced. Ending in Salado.

    Evening - On your own to meet with friends after the rallye in Salado.

    Sunday - Sept 25

    The big car show at Centennial Plaza in Round Rock!

    Volunteering

    This is a big job and we're always in need of help! If you have some time to contribute we have jobs that can be done before the show and jobs that we need help with the day of the show. If you are interested in helping out in any way, please email info@txabcd.org.

    Thanks!

     


  • July 30, 2022 9:41 AM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)


  • July 28, 2022 11:50 AM | Scott Hardy (Administrator)

    This article and photographs were contributed by club member Rob Ficalora, who we thank for the interesting story.


    I’ve never written an article for the ROARS, but I’ve decided it’s time that I start – for two reasons.  First, to share a little about a great group of British car enthusiasts and our semi-annual gatherings, and second, to share how much fun I had making the trip this year with my older son, Andrew.  I hope it will inspire some of you to do similar vacation trips with your family and/or friends.

    It would probably make sense to tell you a little about what the British V8 is - or maybe more accurately, what it is not.  The British V8 is not a club.  There are no dues and no car shows or trophies.  Rather, it’s just a group who like to enhance and drive their British cars.  The name itself, British V8, is even a misnomer.  While it is true that most of the participants have V8 converted MGB’s or other British cars and the group does cater to that community, they also welcome anyone and everyone - no matter how many cylinders their car may have.  We regularly have participants with just about every power plant imaginable - including stock MG motors (this year there were two participants sporting their MGB’s with OEM 1800 cc motors).  We also regularly have participants in non-British daily drivers just to enjoy the camaraderie and often to learn for a potential project of their own.

    The meets are planned and hosted by volunteers from the group.  They usually hold the meet near their homes to make their planning and coordination easier so the location of our meets changes every year.  This year, it was in Wytheville, VA.  Wytheville is such a great venue with beautiful scenery, cooler temperatures due to the altitude, and some amazing driving roads with twists, turns, and elevation changes, that this was our second meet here (hence the “2.0” in the logo).  The meets are always characterized by driving events and tech sessions and often include visiting local attractions, which range from automotive related, like visiting vehicle museums and private auto collections, to simply interesting, like riding a steam locomotive once used in coal mining.

    Our adventure this year started with my older son, Andrew, and I heading out for Virginia at 7:30 pm on a Friday with both of our V8 MGB’s - his running worse than it had since we completed the engine swap just a few months earlier.  Actually, it was running fine; it was just getting progressively harder to start.  But he had sacrificed most weekends and worked on it diligently for the better part of a year and I didn’t want to disappoint him, so believing we could fix it once we figured out what was going on, we headed out that evening.

    We only made it 32 miles to Trinity, TX before it died coming to a stop and wouldn’t restart.  We worked on it for a couple of hours before we got it running and did the same a couple of hours later when we stopped for gas.  We finally rolled into our planned stop for the night (Shreveport , LA) at 3:45am; we should have been there by 11:30pm!  We were plagued by that pattern of the car not wanting to start, but running fine once it did start for the rest of the trip to Virginia.  But we figured out a pattern that made restarting it easier – even if it didn’t make sense at the time and it suggested a more catastrophic engine failure could be on the horizon.

    Luckily, Andrew and I both seem to feed off of technical challenges, so while we were worried we might not make it to our destination, we actually had fun trying to diagnose the problem, discussing and agreeing on potential courses of action.  We even called ahead to some friends who we knew would have parts and asked them to bring them with them to Wytheville just in case we needed them.

    By the time we got to Wytheville, Andrew spotted oil starting to drip from his ignition coil, a coil we both erroneously thought was solid state based on the “Blaster SS” branding.  With that smoking gun, we sourced a suitable replacement and his car has run flawlessly ever since!

    With that fun (and admittedly some stress) behind us, we were able to enjoy the British V8 meet.  This meet, like them all, included an opening pizza party at the host hotel and plenty of time to catch up with old friends, meet new friends, and check out everyone’s cars.  The next morning started with a beautiful drive to Big Walker Lookout where five states can be viewed from their 100' tower. 


    We continued on to a nearby town where Dr. Michael Crews shared his extensive collection of British and European classics with us and we  had lunch at the town’s Railroad museum.  Dr. Crews sponsored the lunch featuring Pepperoni Rolls, which we learned was a staple for the coal miners as a filling meal that didn’t require refrigeration.  After lunch, we broke into smaller groups with options for the return route.  Andrew and I connected with a few others to tackle the “Back of the Dragon” with its 438 curves of spirited driving. That evening, like every evening, consisted of a few drinks, stories, and tire kicking in the parking lot.

    The next morning started with tech sessions on hydrolysis (did you know your coolant can carry voltage and be used to find bad grounds?) and testing brake fluid before a fun caravan of about 40 British cars to the Elizabeth Brown Memorial Park in Wytheville where we were treated to a catered BBQ lunch and a welcome speech from the town’s Mayor.  Andrew and I followed that by joining some friends for a drive on the Marion Loop of the “Claw of the Dragon” with me as passenger in his car for this one.  The Claw of the Dragon is a set of five loops, each with twisty, curvy roads.  Of course, we reminisced in the parking lot that evening about the drives!

    The final day began with an hour long drive to Sparta, North Carolina where we had tech sessions on vehicle detailing hosted by Trilogy Detailing and another on understanding and changing the distributor advance curve for performance and idle characteristics. 

    Those tech sessions were followed by a visit to Eclectic Rods and Restorations, hosted by owner and fellow British V8’er, Ken Nicks.  Andrew and I snuck off to a tire shop to get two tires for his car.  He had some  turbine style aluminum wheels and between their negative offset, the spirited driving without a panhard bar, and the extra weight Andrew was carrying, the tire sidewalls rubbed and got cut up on the rear wheel opening lips.  I say it was from all the tools, but Andrew insists it didn’t happen until I was in the car with him!  Back in Wytheville, the evening consisted of a banquet and auction of donated items used to help fund the next year’s meet, followed by an extended evening of visiting over a few drinks in the parking lot.  No one wanted the event to end so that night ended up being the longest!

    The next morning we slept in a bit, then headed out for our return.  Thankfully, the drive home was uneventful.  We even surprised my wife by showing up the evening before she expected us (I didn’t tell her we were coming home in two days instead of three just in case something went wrong again!)

    I’m glad Andrew convinced me that we could handle both cars.  We probably got a year’s worth of sorting out on his car completed over the week.  His car is now completely reliable and more fun now as a result!  And we got to spend some great father/son time together!  I encourage you to find a friend or family member and do the same!  Maybe make plans to join us at the 2023 British V8 meet in Monticello, IL hosted by Pete Mantell.


Contact Us:  HoustonMGCarClub@gmail.com


Houston MG Car Club

PO Box 40711

Houston, TX   77240. 


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