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The Roars

  • February 03, 2022 11:00 AM | Scott Hardy (Administrator)

    The first driving event of 2022 got the year started in a big way. Organized by Bob Schroder with a big assist from Roger Sykes, the combination of good weather with the prospect of great food and viewing a large, private car collection proved irresistible to over 30 club members and guests.

    The event kicked off with a half dozen cars meeting at Willowbrook Mall at 11:00 am on Saturday, January 22. The sun shone brightly as the caravan set off for Lake Conroe via the back roads, led by Dwight Dawson. The MGs were joined by Jon Crocker and his diminutive 1955 Morris Minor, into which he managed to squeeze two additional guests who all became intimately acquainted on the hour-long drive.

    The caravan was joined by many other club members at Papa’s on the Lake, a large cabana scenically situated on the shores of Lake Conroe, where the signature muffulettas and plentiful bar food was enjoyed by all. Soaking in the views as well as their beverages, the group relaxed and chatted while getting ready for the highlight of the day.

    The club then travelled en masse to view the private collections, housed in two large buildings a short drive from the restaurant. The group was greeted by the owner, Larry Pizzino, who gave a brief introduction to his collections. Larry bought the land in the 1960s and placed the two buildings on the property. He built up the collections with the help of his sons, and they perform all the restoration themselves. The vehicles are either restored or presented in good original condition. His collection features about 90 mostly American automobiles and trucks.

    In addition to the vehicles, Larry has amassed a large assortment of collectibles and memorabilia, including gas pumps, toys, sports, tools, furniture, typewriters, juke boxes, lots of signs, and plenty of models and books. Most notable is the bar that came out of the famed Galvez Hotel in Galveston circa 1910-1920.

    Even though we had most of the afternoon, it was impossible to see and appreciate everything that went into this private collection that we were fortunate to have the chance to view. Larry was the perfect host and note that the HMGCC was the largest group he had hosted to view his warehouses. Our thanks to Larry and to Bob Schroeder for making the arrangements for the tour.

    If you would like to see a video from this event click HERE.

    • -       Contributed by Bob Schroeder, photos by Dwight Dawson

  • February 01, 2022 8:26 PM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    On Saturday, January 9th eight Houston MG Car Club members and a couple guests gathered at Rich Colwell’s house for a tech session on replacing the differential in an MGA.  One of the guests was Mike Rouse, a member of the local Triumph club and very, let me say it again, very knowledgeable about British car differentials.  He added much to the discussion and knowledge exchange.

    Following a few stories about the how and why of Rich’s desire to replace the differential in one of his two MGA’s, the work and teaching began.  But first let me share Rich’s story.  A while back he and Pete Sandy where on a drive where Pete’s MGA was cruising along at 70 MPH at about 3500 RPM, while Rich’s MGA was working hard at 4300 to 4400 RPM.  The engines in our MG’s are more than capable of handling the higher RPM’s but there is no doubt Pete was having a much more enjoyable/quieter ride.  After discussing with Pete why his car was cruising along so comfortably, Rich decided to make the swap, replacing his original 4.3:1 differential with a 3.9:1.  About 5 years ago, Rich bought a 3.9:1 diff. from Dave Griffiths (another HMGCC member).  It could have been an easy substitution, but the 3.9:1s' "sun gears" had 10 splines on them (for 1500 MGA), while Rich's MGA half axles had 25 splines (late 1600 MGA).  Thus, the sun gears, planet gears, and planet gear shaft from the 4.3:1 diff. (along with new bearings and thrust washers) were installed into the 3.9:1 pumpkin.  Saturday was the day to make the swap.

    So what did I learn on Saturday.

    1. That a differential is often called a pumpkin. (I suppose it is because it looks like one.)
    2. Our LBC’s are not only tough machines, all things considered they are pretty simple in design.
    3. A 1000th of an inch matters.
    4. Having the right tool can make all the difference.  And Rich has many, many tools. His garage is very well equipped, even with very unique and custom made tools he has had for years.  
    5. Also, Rich is now the keeper of the Club’s tool loan program.  One of the great benefits of membership is the ability to get your hands on those specialized tools.  For more information click HERE.
    6. A great garage with plenty of room to work is a blessing.
    7. There is a tremendous amount of knowledge in our club.  And the axiom that two minds are better than one is really true (Thanks again to Mike Rouse).
    8. If you have a problem with your MG or are thinking about an upgrade, don’t hesitate to ask fellow club members.  They are more than willing to share their knowledge and lessons learned.
    9. That said, it is always good to have an expert on hand who has years and years of experience.  I think Mike Rouse has made it his life mission to learn everything there is to know about the differentials of LBC’s.  His expertise was invaluable.  It also kept Rich from making mistakes.
    10. Having a shop manual and the knowledge to do the work is very different than actually being able to do the work.  Perhaps because it is written in British instead of English.  As often occurs, there is both art and science to making an MG hum.  
    11. Rich had to fabricate a special tool to tighten up/torque the flange nut to the input shaft.  It was comprised of two1-1/2" long 5/16" bolts welded to 1/2 angle iron.  With the bolts inserted into 2 of the flanges 4 holes, it provided a method of holding the shaft in one position while torqueing.  The car is now back on the road, and much quieter at freeway speeds.
    12. Rebuilding a differential properly takes up to 40 man hours.
    13. If the differential goes on my car, I am sending it to an expert to have the work done. I have pretty much determined that is the case for anything in the powertrain of the car.  Too easy for me to screw it up.

    Oh yea, one more bonus learning… MG owner’s really are the friendliest folks on the planet.  If you own an MG, actually even if you don’t but would like to, and you aren’t a member of the Club what are you waiting for?  And to those of you who haven’t renewed for 2022 don’t miss out, your membership will expire at the end of February.  

    To watch a video of this and our other tech sessions click HERE

    UPDATE From Rich: The modification works well.  We went out for a nice drive today. In fourth gear I am at 3800 rpm versus 4450 or so with the old diff.  While I feel a loss of acceleration in 2nd gear, it is easily overcome by higher revs.  For Houston roads, it is a nice trade off.  While at 4450 rpm, i know that i was not pushing the car, the new feeling is better, and i think on long trips will be more relaxing.

    PS:  my tool for torqueing down the diff. input flange nut, I topped out at 150 ft.-lbs., bending the tool.  But was able to achieve 10 in.-lbs unloaded, not the 12 asked for, but I am not going to worry about it.  At that level, it may be in the noise

  • January 28, 2022 1:44 PM | Scott Hardy (Administrator)

    The Texas Twisted Sisters Tour – the Best Sports Car Drive You Will Make This Year!

    If you bought your LBC to enjoy driving, you will not want to miss the Texas Twisted Sisters Tour (TTST), which we guarantee will be the best drive you will do this year (if you don’t leave Texas)! This memorable drive will take place April 8 to April 10, and in addition to the fabulous twisty roads, it features a great base hotel, excellent food, vintage motorcycles, and a bonus trip to Fredericksburg.

    What are the Twisted Sisters?

    The Texas Twisted Sisters are a trio of rural roads traversing some of the best scenery in Hill Country. Legendary in the motorcycle community, the confluence of Ranch Roads 335, 336 and 337 follows canyons and jagged hills and features twisted curves with a conspicuous lack of guardrails. The route crosses and follows several dry washes, creeks and rivers, including the Nueces River and Hackberry Creek. Altogether, the Sisters total over 113 miles of the best driving roads in Texas.

    Tell me about the TTST!

    The west Hill Country location of the tour makes the TTST best enjoyed by a multi-day weekend drive. The host hotel for the drive will be the Y.O. Ranch Hotel, a former location for the GOF. A block of rooms has been reserved with the possibility of adding more. The hotel features a ranch theme, a western saloon, and a famed steakhouse restaurant. Conveniently located off Hwy 16 near I-10, the Y.O. Ranch Hotel is 3:15 from Buc-ee’s in Katy and 2:15 from downtown Georgetown.

    We will gather at the hotel on Friday night and will meet for a driver's meeting at 8:00 p.m. at the Branding Iron Restaurant. Suitably refreshed, we will retire early and be ready to hit the road at 8:00 a.m. in the morning. Please have a full tank of gas because the Saturday drive will cover 225 miles.

    Turning south on Hwy 16, we will follow a surprisingly entertaining road to the small town of Medina, where we will join the first sister, RR 337, which we will follow over green rolling hills toward Vanderpool. We take a jog in the road and after an hour of driving we reach our first rest stop, the Lost Maples Country Store and Campground.

    From Lost Maples, we will travel 45 mins west to our next stop. On RR 337 we come across the first spectacular vistas of the day as we drive over ridges that afford amazing views. Our route continues through Leakey to Camp Wood, where we have our second rest at the Shamrock gas station. We will also take a short detour to get a scenic group photo shot on the banks of the Nueces River.

    Heading north on Hwy 55, we soon reach the middle sister, RR 335. This scenic road follows rivers and creeks as it winds its way north. Some of the best swimming holes in Texas are nearby in the Nueces River. After another 45 mins of driving, we will reach our third stop at the junction of RR 355 and Hwy 41.

    From the highway junction we get a chance to blow the carbon out of the cars as we head east on Hwy 41. We meet up with the final sister, RR 336, at the 13 mile mark. Arguably saving the best for last, be prepared for a work-out flailing your steering wheel as the road zigs and zags south through ranching country. Elevation changes and switchbacks are also a feature, so your leg will be well acquainted with your brake pedal. After 50 mins of driving pleasure, we will arrive back in Leakey and assemble at the Bent Rim Grill for lunch.

    The Bent Rim Grill caters to the motorcycle clubs that come in droves to experience the route you have just completed. They are accustomed to serving groups, so we can rest, relax, and unwind from our adventurous morning on the road. The Frio Canyon Motorcycle Shop adjacent to the restaurant has a large selection of Twisted Sisters souvenirs. If you are low on fuel, this is your best opportunity to top off the tank.

    When we have sufficiently recovered, we will head east on RR 337, re-visiting the road but headed eastbound, which presents equally impressive but totally different vistas. We will head to our next stop, the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum, which is about a 30 min drive. Located just south of the fabulous Lost Maples State Park, the museum features an eclectic collection of vintage motorcycles and gives us a chance to stretch our legs as we peruse the two wheeled vehicles.

    Our last leg of the trip takes about 50 mins to drive and has us heading north past Lost Maples State Park on Hwy 139. We turn right on Hwy 39, which features several picturesque river crossings as we wind our way back to Kerrville. Our final stop before dinner is the Southern Sky Music Café, situated nicely between the shores of Lake Old Ingram and the eccentric Stonehenge II, one of the quirkiest Texas attractions. At Southern Sky we can enjoy live music or sit out on the banks of the lake, putting to rest the miles we have traveled.

    After refreshing ourselves, we will have time to refuel and relax at the hotel before heading out for dinner at 6:30 p.m. Dinner will be held at the Lakehouse Restaurant in Kerrville on the shores of Nimitz Lake. Enjoy some fine Hill Country cuisine while experiencing the sun setting over the lake. If you can manage desert, you will be completely satiated before we head back to the ranch. After dinner drinks on the grounds of the Y.O. Ranch are a distinct possibility

    Sunday morning those who wish will gather for brunch at 8:30 a.m. The itinerary on Sunday is casual, and those who wish to depart may do so at any time. Those who are interested can head up Hwy 16 to Fredericksburg for some shopping and sightseeing, and maybe a winery or two before heading for home.

    Tour Notes

    • The TTST is a long and physical drive. Please make sure your car is in top condition and all the usual checks are performed before doing this drive.
    • Bring extra tools and consumables such as fan belts and fuel pumps if you have them. These roads are sparsely populated and far from any services.
    • While all roads on this tour are paved, do not expect perfectly smooth asphalt and road conditions. Your car may get wet crossing a stream.
    • Caravanning from Houston, Austin and/or Dallas is encouraged. We will let participants know who is coming from their area to assist in coordinating travel.
    • We will observe the speed limits, but if you have trouble keeping up with the pace, please bring your concerns to the attention of the tour organizers.
    • A mandatory drivers meeting will be held after the dinner Friday night to discuss safety and logistics.
    • Please bring FRS radios if you have them to aid with communication among the participants.
    • Ethanol-free gas is available at Mcbryde Oil Co, 220 Mcfarland Dr, Kerrville TX.
    • Please email, text or phone all questions to Scott Hardy,, 832-613-3664.

    Hotel Information

    We have reserved a block of rooms at the Y.O. Ranch Hotel, a former location for the GOF. The reduced room rate for the drive is $129. A link to reserve a room at the group rate is given below, or you may call the hotel directly to reserve using the group code. The rooms will be available at the group rate until noon on March 8, 2022, and additional rooms can be made available until the deadline. After March 8 the group rate will not be available and rooms will be subject to availability, so please book your stay before the deadline.

    Link for reservations:

    Reservations by phone: 877-967-3767     Reservation code: HOUSTO0422

  • January 13, 2022 1:50 PM | Scott Hardy (Administrator)

    Most HMGCC members love their LBCs, but few of them have any truly enticing history or provenance. But one of our members once owned a car with both historical significance and celebrity connections. Ray Holtzapple , who many of us regard warmly for his large MG collection and his willingness to share his encyclopedic knowledge with the rest of us, once restored a car with a storied past. Please click on the link below to see the story of his 1952 Allard J2 and the part that Ray played in its history.

    Photo from Mecum gallery

  • January 07, 2022 4:50 PM | Mike Woodward (Administrator)

    Thanks to Greg as always for this report:

  • January 07, 2022 4:48 PM | Mike Woodward (Administrator)

    As always thanks to Greg for this report:

  • January 04, 2022 12:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A message from Jeremy Holdsworth, MG2022 Vice Chair

    The organizing committee of MG2022 continues to work behind the scenes to ensure all our participants enjoy a memorable and fun-filled convention. Registration opened at the beginning of December and our team has been overwhelmed by the fantastic response we have seen thus far.

    At the time of writing this update, we are down to our last 10 convention rate hotel rooms. All this allocation at the Holiday Inn has now sold out and the remaining rooms are at the Best Western. Standard rates at both of those hotels are still available by making your own arrangements directly with these host hotels themselves. Peterborough also offers several other choices for accommodations including hotels, motels, traditional bed & breakfast, AirBnB and some excellent campgrounds in the local area.

    Our activities are also filling up fast. We kick things off on Sunday when registration opens at the Holiday Inn, followed by the NAMGBR Meet & Greet where you will be able to meet the organization’s officers and registrars.

    Monday will have a full schedule of programming including numerous Tech Sessions, Guided Tours, a Rallye and Funkhana during the day, followed in the evening by our Parking Lot Party at the Holiday Inn. We will also have self directed driving routes mapped out for those who wish to explore Peterborough and surrounding areas in their MG.

    Tuesday brings us another full day of activities including the famous John Twist Rolling Tech Session plus more Indoor Tech Sessions, Guided Tours and the Hagerty Driving Experience followed in the evening by our Group Dinner at Lang Pioneer Village and then later by our Pub Night.

    Wednesday is the day you have all been waiting for. The Car Show is the main feature of all NAMGBR conventions. We will have all the standard NAMGBR classes for MGB, MGC, Midget, 1100/1300 and Post Abingdon cars plus classes for MG T-Series, MGA, MG - Other and British - Other. You do not need to bring a NAMGBR sanctioned car to participate in our car show and we encourage owners of all MGs to consider bringing their cars to MG2022.

    This year’s show will take place at Nicholls Oval Park, only a short 5-minute drive from the host hotels. This was the site of the Car Show at the inaugural convention in 1992 and we look forward to making our return to this beautiful location and filling it with hundreds of MGs. There are washrooms on site, plus lots of trees for shade, a playground with splash pad for our youngest enthusiasts and a covered pavilion just in case of any inclement weather. We have lined up a DJ to play British Invasion tunes, some food trucks and British Car related vendors to offer a complete MG Car Show experience.

    The Car Show is followed by the Awards Banquet at the Holiday Inn. Ticket holders will be provided with a hearty meal and once the dinner has finished, we will open the Awards Ceremony to all participants. Covid restrictions might make it a bit challenging to fit all participants into the banquet facility, but we are working on finding a way of having the ceremony broadcast on a live feed into one or two of the hotel’s conference rooms. You will not want to miss our Guest Speaker coming all the way from the UK, Dr. Ian Pogson, who spent many years working on Post Abingdon cars for MG. His stories and tales from the modern factory are not to be missed.

    Thursday morning, we say farewell with a Pancake Breakfast to promote MG2023 in Calgary. We look forward to hearing more about MG2023 from the Calgary MG Club. I have personally visited the host hotel for MG2023 and can say it will be a fantastic location for another NAMGBR convention.

    As previously mentioned, our activities are filling up fast. Some are available on a limited/first come first served basis so please consider registering as soon as you possibly can at to avoid missing out.

    Safety Fast!

    Jeremy Holdsworth

    MG2022 Vice Chair

  • December 29, 2021 12:58 PM | Scott Hardy (Administrator)

    The season finale for the activities of the Houston MG Car Club is always the Christmas Party, where we take the time to share the spirit of the season and reflect on the events of the past year. And 2021 was indeed a memorable year for the club, marking the return of (almost) normal activities, registering a record number of members, and the achievement of reaching our milestone 50th anniversary.

    The Christmas Party was held in the accommodating and familiar surroundings of The Club at Falcon Point on Saturday, December 4. For those driving their MGs to the golf club, the weather co-operated by being comfortably warm and keeping the showers at bay. The Club was decked out in seasonal livery, adding to the warmth of the Christmas spirit.

    As is tradition with the HMGCC, donations of food were accepted for a local food bank, and club members were invited to join President Mike Woodward in an MG caravan delivering the considerable collection of donated food on the following Tuesday. Thank you to all the members who contributed to this worthy cause!

    The party started with friends gathering in the banquet room and sharing laughs and Christmas spirits with their friends. Many club members arrived wearing their seasonal finery and ugly Christmas sweaters, reminding us all that Christmas never goes out of fashion. Old and new friends swapped stories about the events of the past year and tales of tribulation with their vintage autos.

    Mike Woodward ably demonstrated his extraordinary range of talent as he acted as master of ceremonies, award presenter, activity director, and keyboardist during the course of the afternoon. The first award was the group presentation of the 500 Mile Club, recognizing those enthusiasts who use their car for more than just an objet d’art by driving them at least 500 miles to club events. The members of the 500 Mile Club for 2021 include Bob Chalker, Alex Laverock, Ken Evesson, Mike Woodward, Dwight Dawson, Gordon Bard, Joe Schrodi, Scott Hardy, Roger Sykes, Ray Holtzapple, Rich Colwell, Steve Session, Pete Sandy and Bruce Payne.

    After the first award, Club members enjoyed a fine Christmas feast served buffet style. As the guests patiently waited for their table to be called to the bar, those who were first served enjoyed a sumptuous meal featuring both fish and fowl, not to mention holiday treats for dessert.

    The presentations recommenced as the members finished their meals. The Club Officers for 2022 were announced, and thanks given to those leaving their positions.

    o          President – Mike Woodward

    o          Vice President – Tony Galt

    o          Board Member – Ron Redding

    o          Board Member – Bob Schroeder

    o          Board Member – Rich Colwell

    o          Board Member – Steve Sessions

    o          Board Member – Gordon Smith

    o          Webmaster – Bob Chalker

    o          Assistant Webmaster – Rob Ficalora

    o          Regalia – Alex Laverock

    o          Treasurer – Greg Fleischer

    o          Membership Chair – Rob Ficalora

    o          Secretary – Roald Lokken

    o          Event Coordinator – Larry Lovins

    o          Roars Editor – Scott Hardy

    One of the most anticipated yearly awards is the Driver’s Award, given to the club member who records the most mileage in attending club events in their vintage car. This year’s deserving winner was Joe Schrodi, racking up an impressive 2,945 miles in his yellow 1976 MGB.

    The Alan Rayne Memorial Award, better known as the Broken Crankshaft Award, is the trophy nobody really wants, because it memorializes a mechanical misfortune occurring during or driving to/from a club event. The trophy this year was presented by last year’s recipient, Gord Bard (who keeps himself in the running every year). The 2021 winner was Pete Sandy, for losing his distributor at the Autocross held in 2019.

    The Ralph Diebert Award goes to the MG that receives the most votes from club members attending the Houston All British Car Day, and this year was presented to the 1972 MGB of Bob Chalker. Bob was a double award recipient, also taking home the Board of Director’s Award for outstanding service to the club. Well done!

    The President’s Award is given to any club member who has provided exceptional leadership or service. Service can include, but is not be limited to: contributing articles to the website or Roars, organizing one or more events, or attending multiple events throughout the year in support of the club. Mike mentioned several people he considered for the award, and the plaque went to Larry Lovins for his exceptional job organizing and promoting club events.

    The Back Seat Driver’s Award is given to the spouse or partner of a club member who in the opinion of the Board of Directors made the greatest contribution to the Club’s success for the year. For 2021 this award was presented to Trish Hardy in recognition of her success in organizing past events.

    After the presentation of the awards, Mike assumed his activity director role and led the gift exchange aerobics. Door prizes were handed out to the lucky winners, and one person at each table went home with the table centerpiece.

    To wrap up the party and send everyone home in the festive spirit, the indomitable Oil Spots reconvened and regaled the crowd with their renditions of holiday classics. Our thanks and a tip of the fedora to John Bowyer, electric guitar and vocals; Rich Colwell, saxophone/flute; Mike Woodward, keyboard; Ken Evesson, drums; and Walter Bernard, keyboard.

    Our best wishes to all for a wonderful holiday season and a healthier and joyeous 2022!

    • -       Story by Scott Hardy, photos by Greg Fleischer

  • December 19, 2021 6:05 PM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    Autocross, Twisted Sisters, GoF, tech sessions, movies and many more driving events.

    The club has begun planning the schedule of events for 2022 and although it isn't yet official we have published a list of tentative events so that you can begin planning.  We encourage you to mark your calendar so that you don't miss out on the fun.  The list can be found on the 2022 Tentative Events page.  Once they are official they will be added to the Club Sponsored Events Page.  

  • December 18, 2021 9:17 AM | Bob Chalker (Administrator)

    For those of us who love our classics, this will touch your hearts.  Get your Kleenex’s ready.

    Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, may it be full of family, friends, love and peace.  Oh yea, and a bit of driving in your MG!

Contact Us:

Houston MG Car Club

10119 Hibernia Dr.

Houston, TX  77088

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