After lunch and a bit of investigation, Mike confirmed the only gear he had access to was 4th gear. The clutch engaged and disengaged properly, but the only gear the shifter could drop into was 4th gear. It appeared something was blocking access to the other gears. After a lengthy discussion about towing services and costs versus potential additional damages resulting from just driving home, Mike elected to give driving it home a go. I adjusted our route home in an attempt to minimize running too many curvy mountain roads and off we went. Frequent looks in the rear view mirror confirmed Mike was having very little difficulty keeping up with the group. He did have to feather the clutch at stop signs/lights, but the horsepower/torque his V8 puts out had little difficulty moving the 2600lb B from level/flat starts. Mike made it all the way from Chatsworth to his home in Roswell using only 4th gear. A feat most B’s would not be capable of. I understand from Mike the tranny is currently in a box headed for the North East to the vendor who rebuilt it. After all…..it was under warranty!!!
At Tom George’s recommendation, we scheduled a pit stop in Ellijay at a free public parking lot with plenty of open slots and clean restrooms. On most of my previous car trips through Ellijay pits stops were at service stations with cramped parking and one stall restrooms. Kudos to Tom for the improved pit stop location!!
Next we picked up Hwy 2/52 for our run up and over Fort Mountain towards Chatsworth. At the top of the mountain we stopped at an overlook that was not only able to accommodate all 10 cars, but provided very scenic views of Gilmer and Murray counties several thousand feet below. After a short camera shoot we resumed our run down the mountain. We ran into several delays while constructions crews painted the road stripes, but were able to roll into Chatsworth for lunch at the Village Cafeteria right on schedule at 1230. As we all began choosing our parking spaces, Mike Cook came down the street very slowing and with a dejected look on his face said “I’ve lost the tranny!”
JULY ORF TOUR
By Tom Nadelhoffer
The July ORF Tour, held on Wednesday the 26 of July, was well attended. Participants included, Jim Doran, Mike Cook, , Bruce Kosbab, Tom Nadelhoffer, Jeff Adams (+ guest Andy), Larry Norton, Wally Carlisle, Frank Richards, Tom George, Laura and Roy Oppedisano. We had 5 MGB’s, 1MGBGT, 1MGA, 2 Triumph Spitfires and 1 Pontiac Solstice. Bruce said he elected to drive the Solstice versus his very nice MGA due to the threat of rain…..RIGHT! In my humble opinion he is becoming way too fond of the modern suspension and +300hp performance of the Solstice. I know he sure smiles a lot when he’s behind the wheel of the Pontiac!!
The group started congregating around 0900 at the Dawsonville IHOP for coffee and breakfast. We were at full compliment at 10AM, so after a short drivers meeting, we set off on our journey to Village Cafeteria in Chatsworth GA. We headed for Hwy 9 north towards Dawsonville, where we picked up Hwy 53 west for several miles, and made a right onto Hwy 183 north and then Hwy 52 north towards Ellijay.
After a short stop back in Ellijay many ORFs made their way home via various routes as we were back at the crossroads of
many major highways leading back to the metro Atlanta area. As for me I was back “home” and got to avoid all the traffic hassles of driving my LBC next to 18-wheelers and the like. All I had to do was make a stop for some ethanol-free gas on the way home and be on my sofa in about 15 minutes. The upside/downside of living in the mountains is it is 15 minutes to everywhere. You can view this as a half-full or half-empty glass depending on your individual point of view, I suppose.
Anyway, it was a great day for the ORFs and I’m sure there will be another great run scheduled for October as well. I’m also sure I’ll be leading another one of these with Tom Nadelhoffer soon.
Until next time, SAFETY FAST!
However, we all managed to find spaces up and down Main Street for our cars, creating a little bit of a disjointed car show for passers-by. Surely some of the folks headed to court wished they could be riding with us instead. Even before our breakfast started we had one small problem as Tom Hoppe’s beautiful Corvette came down with a fuel ailment that prevented him from continuing. Tom’s MG is out of commission right now also, hence the Corvette for the day. I’m sure both will be back in action soon and he’ll be able to join us again.
Like Peachtree MG Registry on Facebook!!
Once in Blue Ridge, we ate lunch at the Blue Ridge Brewery: http:// blueridgebrewery.com/. Great food and an excellent variety on their beer choices. After lunch the sky’s remained cloudy but the rain and fog disappeared. We stopped by Free Time Hobbies to let our lunch, beer settle and view their large selection car, ship, plane and other models before the ride home: http://freetimehobbies.com/. Tom did his usual excellent job of planning and executing another great ORF!
MAYHEM IN THE MOUNTAINS
By Steve Ratcliffe
Southeastern MG-T Register (SEMGTR) held Mayhem in the Mountains at the Ridges on Lake Latuge, Sept 21 - 23. It was a great weekend and well attended by PMGR members. The weekend included a Color Show on Thursday evening in which everyone parked their car according to color, then a winner was chosen from each color group.
On Friday, following an excellent buffet breakfast, there were several drives available and a “rolling tech session” by Glenn Lenhard. In the evening, a BBQ picnic with multiple very creative games, and boat rides on Lake Latuge. Not at all untypical of this couple, Kathy and Jack Orkin accepted a last minute request to help with the games.
Saturday morning, after another wonderful buffet breakfast, the MG car show was held on a lovely grassy area beside the lake. Over 80 cars attended, including several from Florida, North and South Carolina, and even one car from Virginia. More scenic drives in the mountains were available in the afternoon, but most of the PMGR officers and members present attended a “Summit” meeting, hosted by SEMGTR. Prior to the event, SEMGTR has sent out a survey focused on ideas as to how British car clubs can stay viable. They were soliciting input on such topics as what types of events are most popular, how to get more people directly involved in the club meetings and activities, how to attract younger members and keep them engaged, and how to keep the clubs and vintage British cars desirable to young people. Approximately, 50 people from many different clubs attended and gave excellent input. This is a topic PMGR needs to address further with our own membership.
Saturday night there was an outstanding buffet and awards banquet in an environment with some of the most creative decorations I’ve ever seen at a car show event. PMGR did very well in the awards category, with Tim and Theresa Gaffney winning every event they entered. Following are the results. Only 1st Place awards were given in each class. PMGR winners were as follows:
Tim Gaffney - Red Car Color Show winner for his MGA Coupe.
Tim Gaffney - MGA Coupe
Jay Franklin - MGA Roadster
Jack Orkin - Midget
Steve Ratcliffe - MGB Rubber Bumper
Theresa Gaffney - MGB-GT
Heading north into Tennessee our drive took us along the Ocoee River and into Copper Hill; which is just across the state line from McCaysville, GA. The Ocoee becomes the Toccoa River on the Georgia side. The state line runs right through the building hosting our lunch stop, The Copper Grill. In fact, the main part of the restaurant is in Tennessee and the restrooms are in Georgia!
After lunch we headed back to Ellijay along part of the Ellijay River as it winds through the Whitepath area of Gilmer County. This area is named after Cherokee Chief Whitepath who was prominent in the area from the 1780s until the Cherokee were driven west from Georgia along the Ellijay and Coosawattee Rivers; The Trail of Tears. He died along the way and is buried in Hopkinsville, KY.
The subject engine had been previously prepped and made ready for assembly, as I knew time would not allow an entire rebuild in one session.
The engine had been bored .030” over and the rings fitted to the bores and pistons. However, the set of rings that came with the .030” pistons must have been for a set of .020” pistons because the ring gap was over .037” -- Correct gap is .012” to .017”. New rings had been ordered and installed although one was left off the piston to explain how to gap a ring. Cam bearings had also been installed as they are the first thing to go into an engine and their installation is very critical. If you get them in wrong, the rocker arm on the MGB engine will not get oil. I have seen this before.
I first installed the crank using petroleum jelly as my lubricant, explaining that it will stay on the bearings as long as the owner wants to let the engine sit. Then, a normally simple job, to install the crank thrust washers. I start off with standard size and measure end play. Knowing the end play I want is .004” to .006”, an easy calculation tells me how much oversize I need to go on thrust washers. Unfortunately, I could not get the standard set in. 45 minutes was wasted sanding new thrust washers to fit the engine and allow the crank to rotate freely.
Next was piston fitment and a showing of different ring compressors. Again, petroleum jelly lubricated my bearings and the entire piston sides. Next came the camshaft, stock for an early MG engine with mechanical tach drive, but put into this later engine. Then the cam timing was set with the gears, timing chain and tensioner.
A new water pump was to be installed; but, first, I wanted everyone to see that the new water pumps are not like to original ones. The flange for the pump pulley to bolt to is in the wrong location in comparison to the old pump. Craig showed and fixed the pump to match the original unit. So far in this rebuild we had wrong rings with right pistons; incorrectly made thrust washers and a poorly assembled water pump.
One of the things I talked about is that I do not install my oil pump until the head is on and valves adjusted the first time. So, we installed the already assembled head. Two valves were left out for demonstration and pointing out the incorrectly installed hardened seats (set too deeply in the head). Then the lifters were coated with the proper cam lube and petroleum jelly then installed in the bores. They had been previously test fitted. The head was torqued and the valves adjusted.
Then, I talked about the modification I make to the oil pumps for better pressure, packed it with my jelly and installed it. We did not get the pan on that Saturday due to time management on my part. There had been too much talking and answering questions and not enough work being done. But it was supposed to be a teaching process and that requires me to answer all questions.
Sometimes during the day, Tom Nadelhoffer and Larry Norton became cooks and servers and made lunch of burgers, dogs, buns, beans and chips. Thank you for your help. Tom Bosko did a video of the session and after the second time doing so; I am still not comfortable working in front of the camera. I have no fear of the camera, but I fail to remember it is there and that it can show great detail when I am pointing out something small but important, such as the dot indicating the top side of the rings. Maybe by the time I do another tech session next year I will get better.
Ron Human, whose engine it was, came by Monday to finish the assembly and paint it. That went without any problems. The engine was painted a Damask red as original and left overnight to dry. And I must say, it looked great; pictures included I hope. You may not be ready to build your own engine but at least now, you know somewhat of what it takes to do. You can understand how long it takes to do it right. And there is never any reason not to do it right.
We pull the engine, take it apart, measure everything necessary, clean the parts not going to the machine shop, order the parts, take all items to the machine shop and make a return trip to get them when done, assemble the parts with the new pieces, assemble the engine, paint it pretty with a hardened acrylic enamel, install it, get it running, and then tune it. And, we only bill for 35 hours on a four cylinder engine. Sixes are slightly more. Those of you that came Saturday, know what I am talking about.
AUG 26th - TECH SESSION
The focus was exploring and demonstrating ways to help waterproof an MG. Below is a list of areas we covered:
How to replace your header rail seal
How to use 3M Auto bedding & glazing on your windscreen to body seal, as well as several other places to use the sealant to keep the cabin dry
How to install wiper wheel box pads/seals
How to seal window washer jet assemblies
How to seal driver/passenger posts
How to check/clear the cowl vent drain
How to seal the holes in the firewall
How to install a teflon bicycle brake cable in place of the rusted throttle cable
We used Manny Gil’s MGB for the demos. Then Larry Norton showed us many of the modifications on his cars, Manny's car,
AUGUST ORF TOUR
by Tom Nadelhoffer
Monday August 21st, the August ORF Tour to Dillard, GA to experience the TOTAL Eclipse was very well attended by 18 members in 10 cars. Those attending were: Larry and Pam Ernst, Joe and Lyn Rushing, Manny and Mitzi Gil, Jay and Carol Franklin, Tom and Deb Nadelhoffer, Jack and Kathy Orkin, Mark Roundtree, Thom Bosko, Mike and Sue Cook, Larry and Gayle Norton. We had 9 British and 1 Korean car. The Korean car was Mike Cook’s since the Silver Lady is still laid up!
We met at the Dawsonville IHOP for breakfast and were on the road to Dillard around 8:45AM. We started out on the familiar Hwy 400 to Long Branch Road and then made a right on Hwy 52/115 towards Cleveland, GA. Just before Cleveland we made a left on the newly completed Appalachian Pkwy (Hwy 129 by-pass) and continued approximately 4.5 miles where we made a left on the Helen Hwy (Hwy 75). Just outside Helen we made a right on Hwy 17 for a couple of miles until we made a left at the Old Sautee Store onto Hwy 255. We continued for about 8 miles and made a left on Hwy 197. We stayed on Hwy 197 past Lake Burton until we reached Hwy 76. We made a right on Hwy 76 for three miles and then turned left on Persimmon Rd. After approximately 2 miles we turned right on Persimmon Creek Rd. This is where the road narrowed and the banjo’s started playing. In approximately another 2 miles we took the left fork onto Blue Ridge Gap Rd toward Wolffork Rd. There was an interesting restaurant on this road called The Farmhouse at Persimmon Creek that might warrant a future visit. http://www.thefarmhouseatpersimmoncreek.com/
We stayed on Blue Ridge Gap Rd for approximately 4 miles until it dead ended at Wolffork Rd. A right on Wollfolk Rd for another 4 miles and another dead end into Hwy 441/23. A right on Hwy 441/23 and a very, very quick left put us on Yorkhouse Rd. Yorkhouse Rd turns into Franklin Rd and in less than 3 miles we arrived at The Dillard House around 10:45. Most of you realize there is a much quicker route from Dawsonville, Ga to Dillard, Ga, however, our goal was to avoid as much Eclipse traffic as possible. Our circuitous route enabled us to avoid traffic, enjoy some twisty, curvy back roads and get settled into our reserved parking spaces by around 10:45-11:00. Thanks goes out to the Dillard House for waving the parking fee for the PMGR participants. We were able to secure a spot together in the middle of the Show Field we normally use for The Southeast British Car Festival. We set up tents, chairs, opened coolers, ate our lunches, had our NASA approved Eclipse glasses ready and awaited the spectacle. Every conceivable paved or grassy place at the Dillard House was being used to park cars. The Show Field where we normally park 100-130 cars for our show must have had 500-700 cars in it.
Larry Norton also showed us a great foam fire extinguisher he found at a motorhome dealer in Florida.
The advantage is not only how compact it is, but also the fact that it's foam instead of powder. Powder is almost impossible to clean up in an engine.
GOF South 2017
Peachtree MG Registry was represented by 10 MGs and 20 members at The Gathering of the Faithful - South, which was held at The Plantation Resort, Crystal River, Florida, April 21st thru 23rd. The group drove down from Georgia on Thursday, April 20th, with only one "problem child", Steve Ratcliffe's 1980 MGB that suddenly started running very rich and would quit at stop lights, then wouldn't start for 30 minutes or so when stopping for lunch or a rest break. However, thanks to Jack and Kathy Orkin's nursing the issue along the way, all arrived successfully after a 9 to 10 hour drive -- 487 miles for the North Georgia folks!
Bob Anderson, a long-time member of PMGR, retired to the Crystal River area last year and he hosted the group to a wonderful supper Thursday night at "The Freezer" restaurant and an excellent lunch on Friday at "The Crab Plant". During the interim on Friday, several worked on the "running rich" issue, along with some local MG experts, but to no avail.
On Friday evening, from 4 to 6PM, the host, Sun Coast Classic MG Club, held a "First Timers" car show for those who had never attended a GOF South before. The PMGR group comprised about half of the contestants. During the show, Glenn Lenhard, who owns an LBC repair and restoration garage in St Petersburg, FL, took a quick look at Steve's engine and spotted the issue immediately! It was a simple fix of a misrouted carburetor overflow hose. Following the "First Timers" show was a BBQ supper in a building that was right next to the show's parking lot. After supper, it was announced that Brad Dryden's MGA Coupe was the show winner!
Saturday morning, we drove on a cart path between two adjoined buildings onto the beautifully manicured show field, next to the Crystal River. It was a beautiful location, right next to the outdoor pool and Tiki Bar! The sun was hot, but the humidity was low, so it was a great day for a car show. During the show, Glenn Lenhard went from car to car with his wagon of tools, giving wonderfully detailed explanations of the various engines and their mods, while fixing and advising about the issues people raised. It was a very interesting and educational way to hold a tech session!
After the car show, at about 1PM, there was a drive for those who wanted to participate, through some beautiful roads in the Crystal River area. This is a region that is not on the interstates, so it is perhaps not well known, But, it's worth visiting if you never have.
Saturday night was the awards banquet and all but two of the PMGR cars won trophies:
Brad Dryden - 1st Place in the 1st Timers competition and also 1st Place in the MGA Class on Saturday.
Joe Rushing - 3rd Place in the Modified Class
Mike Cook - 1st Place in the Modified Class
Jack Orkin - 1st Place in the MIdget Class
Tom Nadelhoffer - 2nd Place in the MGB Rubber Bumper Class
Bob Anderson -1st Place in the MGB Rubber Bumper Class
Dan Bosso - 1st Place in the MGB-GT Class
Larry Norton - 1st Place in the MGB Chrome Bumper Class.
JANUARY ORF - 2017
Photos below: Ed Pancake, Larry Norton, Wally Carlisle, Jim Doran, Steve Ratcliffe, Photos by Tim Gaffney and masterfully organized by Tom Nadelhoffer
He rolled to a stop and clarified he’d lost all the gears save one. I suggested we all go eat lunch and investigate his problem after lunch. I can understand Mike’s dejection…he’d just returned from a roundtrip run to MG2017 in San Diego, CA where the Silver Lady won 1st place in the Modified Division. Almost 5K miles without any issues and now, on a little 150 miles monthly ORF, he has problems.
The food at the Village Cafeteria is very good and the service is quick and friendly. They have ample seating for groups our size. This was our second ORF run to the Village Cafeteria with great results!!
March Tech Session - Engine Rebuild by Barry Rosenberg
and Tom Nadelhoffer's car. This included such things as a GPS speedometer, cruise control, air shocks, improved air cleaner system for the carburetor, improved oil breather system, Saturn alternator, radiator flushing system improvement, braided hydraulic lines, and an extremely improved and clean-looking fuse and relay system that Larry designed and built using "off the shelf" parts.
Tech. Session at British Car Service on SU Carbs
On Saturday, Jan. 28, the Barry Rosenberg hosted a tech session at British Car Service. 34 people showed up on a very cold morning. Coffee and good donuts were served starting at 9:00 and the lesson began about 9:30. Barry began by separating the group into two, those wanting to learn stayed in the shop and those wanting to chat were sent to the office. After giving a quick explanation of the history of SU, he started taking apart the volunteered carbs. First was from an MGA and then an HIF from an MGB.
Before the tech session, Barry disassembled one each and cleaned it to save time during the session. He also installed the new throttle shafts in the MGA set, because someone had already started the process of installing new bushings. As this is a time consuming operation, I explained how it is done instead of demonstrating it.
Parts were laid out so everyone could see how many small parts are in a simple SU carb. Some special parts were passed around so individuals could see what he was talking about on wear and design. A quick explanation on how to repair floats was given as even new ones seem to be failing quickly. One reason floats fail is the temp change inside the float bowl. The gas goes from cold to hot as the car is driven. When parked, the gas cools off. This has the effect of heating up the air inside the floats and causing them to expand and contract, based on the temp. Eventually, this causes minute cracks to appear in the floats. When they get hot, the air inside them is pushed out these holes and, when they cool off and the air inside contracts, it sucks in gas until the float is full. On older brass floats, you drill a small hole in the float, drain out all the gas, let it sit overnight and then solder up the crack and the hole you drilled. Use as little solder as possible.
Later, plastic floats used to be sealed by dipping in good, two part epoxy. But, this is not good if you run gas with ethanol! You have to take your chance with a new one. Good luck.
Explanations and close-up viewing showed several aspects of carb rebuilding, such as the proper way to install a butterfly in the throttle shaft. Several people wanted to see close-up, the way the butterfly is angled on the edges. Barry gave a sampling of the different style float needles and seats; explained about the mixture needle, and how to fine tune the engine by changing needles.
The SU tuning kit was shown, as the jet centering tool was used to show how to replace the jet guide bushing in the carb body. Very seldom does this part need removing and, if left alone, the jet tube will fit back just fine. Time allowance did not permit a full description of how to tune the carbs. The rebuild of the HIF was also cut short by time. We were in class for over three hours with short breaks every hour or so.
All had a good time and learned something. Lots of questions were asked during and after. If you are attempting to build your own carbs and run into problems you don’t understand, give Barry a call and he will try to help. .
The monthly ORF today was another chilly one -- 18 degrees near Suches, where we stopped to join with Tim Gaffney and take a break -- but, the sun shone brightly and the view of the snow covered mountain tops was exquisite! Unfortunately, at 60 MPH while running the mountain "twisties", it's difficult to manage a cell phone camera to capture the moment -- so nobody did. We had 11 cars running the excellent route -- thanks again to Tom Nadelhoffer. Additional ORFs were: Larry Norton, Mike Cook, Jim Doran, Jay Franklin, Jeff Adams, Manny Gil, Jim Unger, Wally Carlisle, and Steve Ratcliffe Our morning target was the Cajun Depot Grill in Ellijay, GA, where Paul Van de Walker joined us for lunch.. The Cajun Depot Grill is inexpensive and the food is good. It's definitely a "do again" place. With the temperature all the way up to about 38 degrees and the wind at 10 knots, we headed home at about 2PM through Dawsonville. Fun trip, good time!
After breakfast and a quick stop in Ellijay to get rid of coffee, we headed northeast along Boardtown Road towards the foothills of the Cohutta Mountain Wilderness Area. There we would find the last of the paved remnants of Old
SEPTEMBER ORF RUN - A FUN DAY OF TOURING AND FOOD
By TOM GEORGE
PHOTOS BY: Tom Hoppe and Evan McElroy
As the newest member of the Old Retired Friends (ORF) I was honored to be able to lead the September drive of a group of about eight cars and a dozen ORFs from Jasper to Copper Hill, TN. We started by gathering for breakfast, coffee and lively discussion at the Carriage House Restaurant on Main St. in downtown Jasper. The restaurant is right next to the Courthouse, and as court was in session that day parking was a premium.
Georgia Highway 2; once the main route across the northern part of the state when you were as likely to see horses and wagons as well as other automobiles.
This section of Old Hwy 2 also runs through part of the Fightingtown Creek area, which is part of the Toccoa/Ocoee River watershed. It is a twisty drive that makes 30 miles per hour seem like you are flat-out in our LBCs. It is a great drive as well and worth the time it takes to get to this relatively remote area of Gilmer and Fannin Counties.
Tech Session at Bob Wagner Motorsports
It was a dark and rainy day -- actually a torrential downpour -- as 24 LBC’ers from the Southeast Region MG-T Registry and Peachtree MG Registry arrived at Bob Wagner Motorsports in Duluth on January 21st, 2017. They explored the fascinating projects Bob has currently in his shop while noshing on BBQ sandwiches and chips. Bob mainly focuses on vintage British race cars and has several in the shop under repairs and/or modification. The shop also has a treasure trove of used, but useable, British car parts. From a fit and quality standpoint, many of those parts are difficult to find in the after-market world.
To begin the Tech Session, Scott Sewell, who is a member of both clubs, introduced Bob. In response to the vast interest in a Jaguar XK 150 S that Bob is restoring to Pebble Beach concours condition, he discussed the level of detail required and the “tricks of the trade” in achieving such a high level restoration. It was a fascinating discussion that generated many questions from the floor.
Following the concours discussions, Bob talked about the differences in modifying an LBC for racing vs the street. He described some of the mistakes people make in thinking racing parts can make a “street” car better. Many of the questions from the audience were very specific and Bob handled them with his usual ease, no matter what make of car was referenced. He related the laws of Physics to the kinds of modifications work well on the street vs those that are only effective, and often mandatory, in the racing environment.
As usual, the annual visit to Bob Wagner Motorsports was a very popular and worthwhile educational adventure.
Now to the actual Eclipse…..the skies were a bit cloudy but we were able to see the start of the partial eclipse….just a small bite out of the sun. The excitement continued as the bite grew until about the ½ way point when cloud cover made seeing the sun difficult. There were quite a few sad faces as it appeared the cloud cover was going to last the remainder of the Eclipse. Quite a few non-PMGR cars left the field at this point. We thought we were going to have to settle on seeing a partial eclipse, when all of a sudden a huge break/gap in the cloud cover occurred right over the field. This break in the cloud cover lasted long enough to give us a full and clear view of the sun. We were able to watch from about the ¾ point all the way through the 2 minutes and 37 seconds of the total Eclipse. It was a pretty awesome experience.
We all stayed around watching the end of the partial Eclipse until about 4:00 when I made the fateful recommendation we all go to dinner. I called a restaurant in Clayton, GA I like named Rumor Hazit and was able to secure reservations for a party of 18 at 4:30pm. I have never been accused of being an optimist, but making a 4:30 reservation would normally not be a problem since Clayton is about 7 miles and 10 minutes away from Dillard. We quickly packed the tents, chairs, coolers and other belongings and off we went to Clayton for our 4:30 reservation. I will give Larry/ Pam Ernst and Thom Bosko credit for being wise as they elected to stay at the Dillard House and wait for traffic to die down before heading home. Unfortunately on our run to Clayton we found all the traffic we had avoided in the morning run. It took us over 2 and 1/2 hours to navigate those 7 miles. I cursed Mike Cook numerous times during this long, hot trek because I knew he was enjoying his air conditioned Korean car!! Needless to say we lost our 4:30 reservation, but we did arrive just in time to secure a 7pm reservation for a party of 12. We lost Jay/Carol Franklin and Manny/Mitzi Gill in the traffic along the way. After several adult beverages and a nice meal we were again heading south at around 8:30pm. Deb and I crossed the threshold at home about 10:00pm.
The ride home was one of the longest, hottest, most grueling and frustrating I’ve been on in quite some time. The only thing that would have made it worse would have been a mechanical breakdown…….I’ll leave it up to Tom Bosko to explain how that bit of bad luck added to his ride home!!!!!
MG 2016 by Penny and John Scarpucci
The group of 4 MGBs, 1 Midget, and a Kia congregated on a bright Saturday morning in Cartersville to begin the Peachtree MG Whiskey/ Bourbon Tour to MG 2016 in Louisville, KY. I had one panic moment even before we began with the MG failing to start at the Marathon station across from the McDonalds starting point. Turned out to be a faulty wire for the newly installed tach, so decided to run without a tach, and off we went.
We picked up Steve and Madell in Chatsworth to complete the group and headed Northwest to our first stop, lunch at Jenkins Grill in Athens, TN. The roads were very good except for my slow pace. But I finally figured it out, I think, and we started making a bit better time. One thing I learned was that there is a lag between one’s speed and what the GPS reads. Other GPS lessons will also be learned on this trip.
Jenkins Grill turned out to be a great stop for lunch. We were greeted in the parking lot by some of the staff who took their pictures and indicated they’d put them on their website (they didn’t). It seemed everyone was able to find something they liked; I was especially happy with the fried pickles. The memorabilia style décor was something of a treat. I wonder, could this be an ORF destination?
The temperature had climbed into the high 80s or so since we left Cartersville so everyone put their tops up, Sue Cook turned up the A/C in the Kia, and off we went to our overnight stop in Oak Ridge, TN.
We arrived hot and in good humor at the Oak Ridge, TN Comfort Inn. First stop: The pool (Did someone say gin?), after signing a waiver due to maintenance work. There wasn’t much shade but the water was ok. We met up with Ed & Donna Stanfield, Chris & Debi Powell and Vance & Robin Young from Columbia, SC while we splashed around. They were headed to Louisville from Oak Ridge so we couldn’t combine groups. Our group agreed to gather at 5:30 to go to the Atlanta Rhythm Section/Grand Funk Railroad concert held in conjunction with Oak Ridge’s “Secret City” Festival.
As we gathered in the lobby, we met two of the members of the Atlanta Rhythm Section. Dean Daughtry--keyboards, one of the original members, and Steve Stone--guitar. Since we aren’t groupies we didn’t ask for autographs, but Dean said he once had a B and wanted to have his picture taken with ours.
We have to congratulate the organizers of the Secret City Festival for the shuttle bus system to the concert. Once inside the park, we found a comfortable place for blankets and chairs and joined a lot of other old rockers/hippies for a night of Rock-N-Roll. What a hoot, I was really expecting to experience the effects of " Cuervo Gold and Fine Columbian" all around, but the No Bottle Rule and the presence of a lot of security stopped that in its tracks. One woman in front of us took out her lighter and waved it around, but, like many of us, no butane left. The music was great, the crowd appreciative, and the memories will be long-lasting.
We departed Oak Ridge with a Petrol & Prostate stop at Kroger’s then headed to our next overnight in Lexington. We missed an instruction and ended up in the boonies. We found a place to turn around in the parking area of a beauty salon. Lo and behold, we spotted an MGB in a garage with the owner on the front porch waving at us. Goodness knows what he thought when we all pulled into his front yard at 9:00 AM on a Sunday morning. Once we got back on course what followed was 57 miles of some of the best driving roads I've ever encountered, high fives and smiles all around ( hope Jack has some on video) as we took a morning break in Oneida, TN, the last stop for cheap gas before entering Kentucky.
We lunched at Mallards in Danville and then on to Lexington. We had planned to stop at Alltech Brewing before going to the hotel but the heat changed our minds, feeling pull of the pool stronger than the thought of craft beer and bourbon. Some of us did head over to the brewery after checking in. It's really nice when your dad buys you a brewery/distillery as a graduation gift.
Monday Morning we headed to Woodford Reserve for a tour and tasting. Most of the drive over was through Lexington, but as we got closer to Versailles it turned into real horse country with stables worth a lot more than our houses. We did pass Ashford Stud the home of Triple Crown Winner, American Pharaoh, to give you a sense of the money involved.
We decided to take the fast route into Louisville, afraid we'd miss registration, but arrived in plenty of time to get our registrations done as the Louisville group had a seamless registration process. We were in and out in 5 minutes. This was just the first instance of how well the whole event was organized.
The Monday night opening event for MG 2016 was held at Churchill Downs—and proved so popular that it sold out and was repeated on Wednesday evening. My back made it impossible for me to tour, but Penny loves all racing-- especially open wheel and thoroughbreds-- and took the tour. The Paddock is smaller than it looks on TV, but is surrounded by the names of every past winner—with gold lettering for Triple Crown winners. Winner’s Circle for the Derby is across the track from the usual one so the crowd gets a great view of that special moment when the roses drape the winner. From the paddock we walked through the tunnel which leads the horses to the track itself. suddenly we were in the heart of one of the most famous turfs in the country. Finishing up back at the Museum with special Derby exhibits and films, along with hors d’oeuvres and drinks made a great start to our time in Louisville.
Tuesday and Wednesday were "free days' and its many touring in the Louisville area. Penny and I took off to Lexington to visit some friends at the UK Markey Cancer Center who wanted to see the car. We hit a huge rain storm on the way back and found Maggibe to be very dry. I do have a problem with wipers stalling unless I remove one blade. Unfortunately we missed the dinner because of the weather slowing our return. Wednesday was our day for touring downtown Louisville. Found a great pub, Burgers and Mussels, try it if you get a chance.
Show Day finally arrived. I was out to the wash station early as Maggibe was showing the effects of Tuesday’s rain. The organizing committee provided excellent directions to the show field, but traffic going through town at that time of day made for slow going. Once we arrived at Riverfront Park things went smoothly and we parked along with the rest of the 73-74 Honeycombs. Wow, what a lot of cars. Each class was loaded with cars, and competition was tough. Word around was that there were close to 850 cars entered. I really enjoyed seeing the Pre-war class.
Temperatures started to climb so most of us got our voting done early then moved to the area under a highway overpass next to the show field to relax in the shade. A slight breeze now and then also helped. Penny and I found that the riverside benches enjoyed a nice breeze coming off the water.
Penny and I skipped the Awards Banquet to experiment with more of the local Louisville cuisine at a place called Hammerhead. Strange place, but good food. We did head back for the after dinner concert with “Captain Rat and The Blind Rivets”. This was 3 hours of nonstop rock and roll that brought back a lot of memories. This group puts on show that can’t be beat, they played it all with such energy that there wasn’t a hand or foot that wasn’t on the move. Gillson even danced with Janet. No one wanted to leave the place.
Sue Cook, 1st Photography
Jack and Kathy Orkin, 2nd Place in Class
Bill and Janet Gillson, 4th Place in Class
Steve Ratcliffe and Madell Dobrushin. 4th Place in Class
Time to head back home. One group decided to take the direct route home and do it in one day. Penny and I, Steve and Madell, and Paul and Barbara decided to travel together over 2 days with an overnight in Murfreesboro, TN and a visit to Pritchard’s Distillery on the way home.
Friday started out really cool as we headed south out of Louisville for our first stop in Glasgow, KY. We found a wonderful little local spot, The Fine Arts Bistro, once we navigated all the One-Ways. They serve breakfast and lunch, and we arrived at the crossover period not realizing we had crossed into the Central Time Zone. The food was excellent, made with local ingredients and served with a huge smile and good natured sense of humor. Once we figured out how to get out of town, we headed toward our next overnight in Murfreesboro, TN. Again, some really great roads. At our gas stop, Barbara Flexner saved one of a local customer’s car when his filler nozzle didn’t shut off while he was using the rest room.
Getting through Murfreesboro was a real chore. The temp was in the 90’s and most of the roads into town are under construction. The main drag, US231, is the busiest commercial road I’ve seen. Reminded me of Buford Highway without the Koreans. We spotted a homeward bound MGA from Georgia on the way in—beeped and waved, and off we went. We had an adventure finding the hotel, but finally checked in and headed for the pool. Once cooled off we could concentrate on dinner. Luckily there was a great Greek place across the street from the hotel and the beginning of our part in “Keeping the Marque Alive” experiences. Turned out our waiter was restoring an MG (Midget or B) with his father. We gave him all the common references and suppliers. I gave an old copy of the NAMGBR directory, and I thought he would burst into tears. I think we made his day with the info and advice we gave him.
Our last and longest day arrived as we headed home. We were headed to Pritchard’s Distillery in Kelso, TN. We arrived on time and had expectations of the typical tour and tasting. This is a tiny, family owned business. We were greeted by Connie Pritchard who explained their offerings and would lead the tour. We were quickly joined by Phil Pritchard who had seen the MGs pull in. Turns out he’s in the process of trying to barter for a running ’77 Midget. His side of the bargain are two Cadillac “project hulks” a ‘46 and a ’48, plus a certain amount of cash. This was our second “Keeping the Marque Alive” experience. We tasted and purchased and Paul got them to give us an autographed bottle of their biggest seller, “Sweet Lucy”. First we had to take the Sweet Lucy Pledge: “Raise your right and repeat after me,” Phil commanded as he handed us the bottle. “I swear. Never to give Sweet Lucy to any woman… I don’t want to see naked.”
We got a bit lost leaving Kelso, but thanks to Steve and Madell we were able to recover without the loss of too much time. We did a little research and decided to lunch at Payne’s Sandwich Shop and Soda fountain in Scottsboro, AL. This is a fantastic little diner and ice cream parlor. Another ORF destination I think. During lunch we learned that a family from Birmingham sitting near us was in the process of restoring an A. Once again we provided help and sang to the song or the glory of owning an MG. We headed out for the final leg of the trip, down through Mentone and around Rome to finally cross I75 and pretty much go our separate ways home.
It was a great trip, with plenty of good fellowship, lots of laughs, a certain amount of gin, and (thankfully) no rolling tech sessions.
Club News (The Newest entries are now at the bottom of this page)
Jim Doran planned an outstanding route for the December 21, 2016 ORF -- "Old Retired Friends" tour. We met at the IHOP in Dawsonville, GA. at 08:00. Joining Jim for breakfast were Larry Norton, Mike Cook, Wally Carlisle, Dan Bosso, Ed Pancake, and Tom Nadelhoffer. After all ordering different variations off the “55 and over“ Menu offerings, some lie telling and tire kicking we pulled out of the IHOP parking lot at 09:00 headed for our first destination, The Mountain Air Park in Cleveland, GA.
With Jim leading the way, we stayed on some very interesting and enjoyable back roads that I had never been on in previous treks between Dawsonville and Cleveland. Like it’s name conveys, The Mountain Air Park is tucked away in the North GA. mountains a little southeast of Cleveland. GA. PMGR Brag Dryden met us at the Mountain Air Park. Jim had arranged for a tour of a hanger owned by a gentleman named Bennet Aiken. In addition to having a really nice, fully restored 1954 Piper Cub in his hanger, Bennet also had 3 early ‘70’s MGB’s in need of restoration, several radio controlled (RC) model planes in various sizes and in us stages of flight readiness, an entire powder coating operation which he uses in a business powder coating Yeti mugs/cups and as if he didn’t have enough to keep him busy, he also has a business installing high-end leather interiors in airplanes. Needless to say our curious PMGR members had more to look at, touch and ask questions about than Jim had originally budgeted time for. Bennet also took the opportunity to ask us questions concerning restoring his MGB’s. As we were ogling all of Bennet’s toys. As if we didn’t have enough to keep us busy, another hanger owner named Ed Hatcher came driving up in a bright yellow Triumph TR6. The auto-vultures immediately converged on the TR6 like it was a new piece of carrion on the tarmac. After popping the hood it was discovered the TR6 had a very unique, almost one of a kind fuel injection system installed. After seeing how interested we were in his TR^, Ed invited us to his hanger to look at his car collection. Well of course….we all thanked Bennet Aiken for his hospitality and headed down to Ed’s hanger. Ed has a very eclectic car collection and is not a slave to any one manufacturer. In addition to the TR6 he has a big Bentley, several Mercedes, several Porsches, a Mustang, a Fiat 124, a Lotus, a Ferrari , a Corvette and I’m certain several other cars I can’t remember. I know! I know! Take a camera next time. In addition to all the cars, Ed still had room in the hanger for his plane, a Beechcraft Debonair. Take a look at the URL below for more info on the Mountain Air Park:
With all the interesting things to look at, it was a wonder we were able to pull ourselves away from the hangars and get on the road to our next stop at Shirley’s Sole Food Café in Toccoa GA. We stayed mostly on 4 lane highways on this portion of the tour. After all, we were running a little late, were all hungry and wanted to make darn sure we made it to Shirley’s before she closed for lunch.
Now from the outside, Shirley’s is not very pretty or welcoming. In fact, it was in an old, run down brick building with blue lettering on the windows. You might pass right by it as several of our group did. However, the inside of Shirley’s was neat and tidy and the food was outstanding. Shirley herself welcomed us and graciously thanked us for coming. It’s a meat, plus two veggies, corn bread or biscuits, with cobbler for desert kind of place. Good, old southern home cooking. Check out the URL below for more info on Shirley's.
The FEB ORF started as usual at the Dawsonville IHOP for breakfast. We had 10 LBCs driven by Larry Norton, Wally Carlisle, Jay Franklin, Jeff Adams (plus navigator Bill Bowden), Jim Doran, Rick Hartlein, Jack Orkin, Steve Ratcliffe, Mike Cook and Tom Nadelhoffer.
We drove NW through Dahlonega,GA in a light misty rain. North of Dahlonega on Hwy 60 up the mountain and over Woody Gap (elevations 3,160 ft) the misty rain turned into a thick, heavy fog. This was one of the few time I can recall actually maintaining the speed limit while on HWY 60 on our way to Suches. At the Suches General Store we were joined by Tim Gaffney. By-the-way, the Suches General Store is under new management and they now have 93 octane unleaded ethanol free gas for $2.99 a gallon. After a short break we were back on Hwy 60 headed to Blue Ridge, Ga.