British Marque Articles - 2015
LANCO MG CLUB (06/16/15)
The View from Behind the Wheel - By Dennis Blevins
Spring has sprung and summer is (almost) here. At least car show season has arrived. Since the end of May we’ve already had the Delaware Valley Triumphs show just east of West Chester, the Original British Car Day at Lilipons in Maryland, MG2015 in Niagara Falls, Ontario, the show in Hellertown, PA., and the North American MGA Register’s “GT-40”. Our club founder, Gloria Ciarrocca, has taken first place with her 1970 MGB at the three middle shows listed here. An amazing fact about that - most attendees at these shows don’t know that this car is DRIVEN – not a trailer or garage queen. It looks and shows as well as the day that Bill Shield’s shop finished the restoration five years ago. Kudos to husband Larry for keeping the car looking that good. It just goes to show the rest of us what can be done in enjoying our cars AND keeping them nice.
The trip to Niagara Falls and Larry and Gloria’s heater water valve experience there (see that article) brings up another point about keeping our cars going. “Who’s making our parts”? Tim Studdard, publisher of the “Classic Motorsports” magazine addresses that topic in his July column titled exactly that. Most of us, having an MG – the most popular sports car in the world in its day – enjoy a great supplier support network for replacement parts. But, more and more, quality of those parts seems to be diminishing. Sure, you can argue that Gloria’s MGB heater valve was five years old – why wouldn’t you expect it to fail at any time? Back in the 60’s and 70’s Carol and I owned, one after the other, four different MGs and an Austin Marina (which sported the MGB engine). In all those years and all those cars, I didn’t even know (or at least think about) what controlled the hot water being supplied to the heater. Nowadays, as repeatedly told to us while replacing the one in Gloria’s car (twice), ALWAYS carry a spare in your travel kit along with the other spares that you know that you’ll need at some point. One fellow even said “Carry MORE than 2 – at least one of them will hold for a while”. Each and every one of the shops and people that we go to for repairs (or assistance and advice) keeps a list of what parts they won’t buy from which (or any) suppliers. Generally, sourcing parts from overseas suppliers is a far cry from what it was many years ago. Fifteen (or more) years ago my employer decided to source stainless steel metric bolts overseas. These were used in some of our end products that were to go to Europe. The U.S. suppliers had just become too costly. The engineering specs to our new supplier limited them to no more than 0.5 percent (one-half of one percent) bolts or nuts with thread defects. In the first order of about 2,500 152mm x 19mm (6” x ¾”) nuts and bolts, when the container was opened there was a plastic bag with about 13 pieces separated from the rest of the ones that were packed loose. When our receiving inspectors queried the supplier what these were, the response was “Oh – those are the bad ones”. And they were, every other piece in the container was good. Not any more – you can’t even be sure when your order will arrive. Three years ago the company switched back to a domestic supplier.
As Mr. Studdard points out in his column, this issue is not specific to MG or any other British marque, it is happening across the entire “old” car “hobby”. Perhaps it just affects us more because our cars were “foreign” to start with and one step closer to having replacement parts being off-shored faster than American models. Then there’s the on-going stigma of British car manufacturing quality during the last quarter of the 1900’s to begin with. (“Why do Englishmen drink warm beer?.........”).
What can you and I do about it? Let our suppliers know of every replacement part problem. Get them to push back on their suppliers. Don’t rag on your mechanic, it’s not his fault, and he’s the poor sod that has to listen to you AND do the work over. Purchase new old stock (NOS) or OEM parts whenever possible – be willing to pay the premium price. It will save you angst in the long run. (I know that’s difficult for us MG owners – we expect to get in an event for no more than five dollars, or buy a hot dog for fifty cents and expect change in return. Try it. Change is good).
Be safe out there.
LANCO MG attends MG2015 - By Dennis Blevins, Photos by Dennis Blevins and Larry Ciarrocca
The North American MGB Register (NAMGBR) held their 24th annual gathering (MG2015) on June 8 th through June 12th at the Americana Resort in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Jim and Sally Harbold (MGB/GT V6), Gloria and Larry Ciarrocca (1970 MGB), and Dennis and Carol Blevins (1970 Jaguar E-type) caravanned northward on the eighth, making an uneventful trip. Tuesday morning events included registration, meeting old and new friends and other LANCO members including Dale and Claudia Glatfelter, Rick and Judi Smith, Alan and Carol Tucker, and Scott and Laura Walter. Several of the group took advantage of the morning or afternoon scheduled double-decker sightseeing bus tours. MG guru John Twist held his legendary “rolling tech session” on Tuesday as well. From all the cars that went under John’s microscope, it appeared that carburetor adjustment and tuning was the hot topic of the day.
John Twist Hard at Work
Later on Tuesday evening while we were enjoying a great Italian dinner down the street, Gloria’s MGB heater control valve decided it was time to join the hereafter. As MGB owners know, the heater control valve sits directly above the distributer and when it fails, the water drenching the distributer leads to a barely running car. A less than stellar engineering design. Larry was able to get the “B” running well enough to limp the few blocks back to the host hotel parking lot. After a used control valve was found, buckets obtained from the hotel maintenance staff, select small wrenches and flashlights rounded up the impromptu parking lot tech session commenced. Once everything was back in place at 11:00 p.m. and the car was fired up, much to everyone’s chagrin, the replacement used control valve also leaked. Not as bad as the original, but enough to scuttle the plans for taking the pristine “B” to the show on the following day. Needless to say, Larry and Gloria spent a sleepless night. However, being an early riser, Gloria stationed herself in the hotel lobby on Wednesday morning determined to ask everyone that went by if they had a spare heater control valve. She was rewarded on just her second query with the “loan” of a new valve. A “tap tap tap”, “tap tap tap” on our room door at 6:45 awakened me to a request from Gloria for assistance in swapping out the valve again. At least it’s easier in the daylight and the second time around in less than twelve hours. This time – SUCCESS!! – and everyone is off to the show.
The Wednesday car show was held at Balls Falls Park, about twenty-five miles from the host hotel. The hosting club – the Toronto MG Club – put a great deal of effort into getting 260 cars off on time and arriving safely at the show destination. The Balls Falls park is a natural, preserved area with plenty of trees and many open areas with a rushing stream (with two bridges) separating the two halves of the park. Plenty of room for the twenty-four classes of MGs plus one additional for “other British”. The most interesting class for many of us was for the “Post Abington” cars including a MGB-RV8 and quite a few MG-F’s – certainly not what we see at every US British/MG gathering. Like almost every other day of the event, Mother Nature entertained with a thunderstorm during the show – on this day at noontime. Although the storm did not last long, the rain came down in buckets long enough to chase many attendees back to the hotel before the 3:00 p.m. close of the show. For those that signed up, there was a British-themed buffet dinner served at the hotel on Wednesday evening. Others patronized many of the local restaurants.
“All Other British”
On Thursday individuals or groups of cars took advantage of the open schedule to do things on their own – return to the Falls and shopping district of Niagara Falls for more sightseeing, taking a drive along River Road which parallels the Niagara River, go wine tasting (and shopping), or visit the charming picturesque town of “Niagara on the Lake” where the river empties into Lake Ontario. The Awards Banquet was held in conjunction with a professional magic show in a downtown dinner theater (much like the Dutch Apple venue, etc.). The awards presentations followed the dinner and the show. The Ciarrocca’s garnered first place in the twenty-eight car 1970 to 1972 class, Rick Smith took third place in the 1977-1978 class, and Dennis Blevins took third place in the “Other British” class with the E-Type Jaguar. Gloria was also awarded second place in the MG model car completion with a miniature model MGA that she entered at the last moment.
A First and a Second!
Third Place in the “Other British” class
Friday morning brought goodbyes and the long, hot drive home. The Jaguar suffered an open connection in the fuse box that prevented the brake lights and radiator fans from working. After a short roadside tech session with a short piece of wire supplied by Larry, we were off again on the seemingly never-ending downhill ride back to south-central Pennsylvania. (At least our drive home was a lot shorter than the folks that drove their MGs in from Kansas and Oregon!)
Once again, the annual NAMGBR convention reinforced MG as the “Marque of Friendship”.
LANCO Covered Bridge Tour - By Ralph Spayd, Photos by Skip Partlow and Charlie Baldwin
I’ll use the “bridge” as a metaphor for the event and just like building a bridge this event took planning and the help of many people. As designed, our bridge helped to connect our friends in the Central PA Triumph Club (CPTC) and the Austin-Healey Sports and Touring Club (AHSTC). My thanks go to both Rich Roenigk (CPTC) and Joe Spear (AHSTC) for their help to involve their respective clubs. Also we could not have pulled this off without the help of both Skip Partlow and Larry Ciarrocca from LANCO. Thanks, guys. Our plan was to involve the other clubs to have a larger turnout and it worked. The day of the tour we had 24 cars ready to go. Now there’s a model for future events! When we conceived the tour back in February, late May sounded like a pleasant time for a tour. The weather should not be too hot or uncomfortable at that time of the year. Well, we hit 90 degrees that day and humid….go figure … with a forecast for thunderstorms. My personal commitment after last winter is to not complain about how hot it is the summer, so I’ll stop there! Actually we did complete the tour without any major rain event and no one melted. The basic tour was from a set of directions that Skip had so we did some very slight modifications. We started at the Turkey Hill Experience in Columbia, PA and headed out the back roads of Lancaster County.
Getting Ready to Depart
We covered 5 bridges with a short stop for pictures at the last bridge in Manheim. From there we went to our finish point in Lititz at the General Sutter/Bulls Head Tavern. We covered approximately 25 miles and took in the Forry’s Mill Bridge, Siegrist’s Mill Bridge, Schenck’s Mill Bridge, Kaufman’s Distillery Bridge and Shearer’s Mill Bridge. It was a great tour and took about 90 minutes to complete. There was some friendly competition to see who had the most club members attending. The club with the least members attending was on the hook to plan the next group outing. Soooo … we’re all anxious to see what our AH friends have planned for us at the next group gathering. You can figure out who had the fewest members!!!! It was exciting to look back during the tour and see that long line of British cars.
Stopped for a Photo Op!
Bumper to Bumper
We generated quite a bit of attention and provided an opportunity for people to see and appreciate our British motor heritage. Involving the other clubs was an excellent idea and one we plan to keep on promoting for future events. When we advertised the event, we stated that British cars were not required. As has often been said, “Our cars bring us together, but the friendships keep us together”. I’m always much more interested in our members attending and enjoying an event then having angst over what car to drive or not attending because of a car. Our “bridge” was a success on many levels and we plan to make it an annual event. Remember to check out our web site at www.lancomgclub.com and mark your calendars for the upcoming events in 2015. Plan to join us at The British Invade Gettysburg (BIG) on July 12th and at our Taste of Britain (TOB) show on August 23rd in Rothsville.
One Lane Bridge
Some of the Bridge Tourers
Other Club Activities - By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Skip Partlow, Larry Ciarrocca and Steve Dellinger
We had a successful outing at the Carlisle Kit/Import show on May 16th and 17th. As we did last year, we shared a tent with other MG clubs. The most interesting car seen at the show was a 1957 Russian “Volga”
1957 Volga (not British)
MGs on the Show Field
Dale’s Mini is for Sale
The May 18th meeting/tech session and dinner was a success. Once again, Tom Hertzog from European Imports in Maytown for hosted the “tech” portion of the event. Tom presented information about Lucas electrics, wiring repairs, LED replacement bulbs, 5-speed conversions …. and more. LANCO member (and insurance agent) Trent Bentzel discussed collector car insurance options – think “guaranteed value” coverage!! The “ladies” made cards, as well as little gift bags with flowers on the front made out of cut pieces of colored paper, at their concurrent (non-car) craft session. Thanks to Tim Martin for allowing us to once again use the LEPCO offices in Marietta for our May meeting. We concluded the day’s events at McCleary’s Public House in Marietta for dinner and some libations.
Trent Talks Insurance
Under Car Chat
The third Coffee, Cars & Conversation on June 6th numbered seven cars. For a change, the MGs outnumbered the Triumphs! The next CCC event is Saturday, July 11th at 9:00 AM, with the British Invade Gettysburg (BIG) show scheduled for the following day at 9:00 AM.
The June 7th membership meeting was held at Gilligan’s Bar and Grill on Eisenhower Boulevard in Harrisburg, with twelve members/guests in attendance – everyone else was either at the Original British Car Day at Lilypons – or packing for the trip to Niagara Falls??
Original British Car Day at Lilypons
The June 14th Hellertown show was attended by Ralph Spayd, Scott Walter, Gloria and Larry Ciarrocca, and Andy and Kay Myers. Gloria Ciarrocca took a first place with her 1970 MGB.
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LANCO MG CLUB (07/14/15)
The View from Behind the Wheel - by Dennis Blevins, photo by Michael Dunmire
It’s difficult to believe that we’re already half way through July – seems like the driving season just started! We’ve wrapped up the 2015 version of our “British Invade Gettysburg” show – another successful effort. Chairman Bob Arlotto reported a record number of pre-registrations this year – 171, but 31 no-shows. Including the day-of registrations, we ended up with 202 cars lining “Main Street” of the Outlet center. Kudos to Bob and his entire team including his wife Margaret, their wonderful daughter who once again handled all the registration computer work, Andy Schneggenburger and the registration tent team, and Steve Dellinger and his parking crew. A great, well-orchestrated effort by all. The popularity of the event is evidenced by all the photos that are showing up all across the Internet and social media sites.
British Cars Line Main Street
Next up on the club’s calendar is our August “Coffee, Cars, and Conversation” on the first, our annual club picnic at Rocky Ridge Park in York on August 9 th, and then the twenty-sixth issue of our “Taste of Britain” on August 23 rd. If we don’t see you somewhere else out on the road before then, we hope to see you at these events.
Be safe out there.
B.I.G Recap. - by Bob Arlotto, photos by Skip Partlow
BIG 2015 is in the history books! July 12th, 2015 was a beautiful day for a car show. The shops were glad to see us, at least the ones we were in. The cars and drivers were all good - I didn’t see anyone sitting between the columns and the walkways in front of the stores. The leaking MGA Poster car was repaired with some pepper and the Austin pedal car made it into the gazebo without a lot of bother. One problem we encountered a couple times was someone didn’t get a Hagerty bag when they wanted one. Easily remedied!
A HUGE Thank you to everyone that had a hand in the day. The registration area went like a well maintained MG and the parking was well organized and controlled with all the vests filled. Great job!
We ended up with 202 cars on the Mall. There were 171 cars pre-registered with 31 no show cars, 6 drivers without cars, and 68 cars registered at the event. A good turnout; not the best, but good.
Thanks for all those who helped!!!!!!!
The Gates are Open
“T” Surrounded by MINIs
More Cars on Main Street
LANCO Club Members’ Row
The B.I.G. Gang (Most of Them)
Other Club Activities - by Steve Dellinger, photo by Skip Partlow
The fourth Coffee, Cars & Conversation on July 11th numbered nine cars, including Ralph Spayd’s Rover-powered “new toy”. For a change, there were lots of MGs in attendance! The next CCC event is Saturday, August 9 th at 9:00 AM, with the annual LANCO MG Club Picnic show scheduled for the following day at 1:00 PM in York.
MGs in Force !
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August 14, 2015
The View from Behind the Wheel, by Dennis Blevins
As I write this in mid-August our annual club picnic is just behind us and our twenty-sixth “Taste of Britain” car show and polo match is on the near horizon. That one will be in the books too by the time you read this. As reported elsewhere, the picnic was well attended. It was certainly nice to see so many family members joining us. It was also obvious that we have many great cooks among us – it’s truly amazing that any of us can still fit in our “little British cars”. (Or – perhaps that is part of the reason why some of us have been changing to “not so little British (or otherwise) cars” lately!)
There are still a lot of events coming up. September and October provide cooler weather and changing scenery, making it enjoyable to be out on the road. Be sure to check the calendar on the club website for events that you might like to do. One item that you’ll find there is a weekend trip to the “Hunt Country Classic” show in Middleburg, Virginia in mid-October. Our events coordinator, Ralph Spayd, is organizing this three-day outing. Ralph is extending an invitation to our Triumph and Austin-Healey compatriots to come along. It should prove to be a great trip. I’ve always wanted to go to that show based on the reports given by other members who’ve gone there before. I never could because of work commitments. This was to be the year now that I’m “retired”. Alas, it’s family commitments interfering this time!
Now for a bit of preaching…. Did you know that the United States is becoming a leading exporter of petroleum products and natural gas? Yep, it’s true. Many of us remember the days of only being able to purchase gasoline on alternate days, exorbitant prices for heating oil and natural gas, and the inception of the “Renewable Fuels Standard ” which mandated (and still does) the use of at least ten percent ethanol in gasoline. There are many reasons for the switch from being a major importer to a major exporter. As a whole we’re driving less, newer cars get much better gas mileage now, “hybrid” cars are becoming widely accepted and in use, transfers (not “imports”) of crude oil to our refineries from Canada and Mexico, and the various natural gas “plays” by hydraulic fracturing in deep shale deposits across the country, including our own Marcellus shale region in Pennsylvania. On one hand, this good for the country – jobs are being provided for those that lay pipelines, build refineries and deep sea shipping terminals and are employed to run them. And of course the “trickle down” economy to the supporting service and supply industries, housing, rents, etc., etc. What rankles me is why, with an economy and infrastructure so dependent on a hydrocarbon energy model and that being a somewhat finite resource; we are selling this to the world. Of course, that’s an easy answer – MONEY. Liquefied natural gas can be sold to Asian countries and others at four times the price that can be had for it in the United States.
One item on the plus side (to me) of these now abundant natural energy sources in our country is the move afoot to remove the corn ethanol requirement from the Renewable Fuels Standard. (Not that corn ethanol doesn’t raise a lot of issues on its own – lower gas mileage, damage to older engines and small engines, higher cost than gasoline without federal and state subsidies, the “hidden” costs to raise more corn – farm fuel, fertilizers and herbicides, higher consumer food prices, etc..) Senators Feinstein (CA) and Toomey (PA) introduced a bill to do so earlier this year. The state of Hawaii has already passed their own legislation on this and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Energy sub-committee has been holding hearings on the same topic.
Well, enough of this from me. If you want to know more about these topics, do some research and reading on your own. Let your elected officials in the state and federal governments know how you feel about it. It’s your right, and your duty, to do so.
As always - be safe out there.
Becoming More Civilized (Or how I’m trying to move out of the dark ages), by Ralph Spayd, photos by Ralph Spayd
I feel fairly well qualified to write this article. First, because Steve needs filler for the British Marque and second I’ve been driving MGB’s since 1967 and the current one I own is the 6th MGB in a long line of LBC’s. My first was a 1965, then a 1972, 1969 GT, 1970, 1970 GT and finally a 1978. You might ask, "Ralph have you become move civilized by owing a 1978 roadster"? Well not exactly, but after have owned 1969 and 1970 versions, a glove box is certainly a step in the right direction!! And a clock on the dash is a very nice upgrade. What has finally made my “B” experience more civilized and helped to move me out of the dark ages is that I purchased a 3.5L Rover V8 conversion with a Rover 5 speed tranny. The conversion was done by Glenn Towery some years ago and was very professionally done.
Now all the purists in the room, step back, take a deep breath and relax. This is not sacrilege, but progress as they were building these similar models in the factory. Looking back at the model run from 1962 to 1980 with the same basic engine was somewhat “stale” thinking at best. Especially, as the engine was de-rated in later years to meet the U.S. emission standards. The world had been changing but not so much for British Leyland. I’m convinced the Rover conversion is what the MGB should have been in its declining years. The car is a pleasure to drive, very responsive and keeps pace on the highway with any modern car. The 5 speed is geared well and is coupled with an MGC differential. The car is not “crazy” modified and has an older Carter AFB 4 barrel carburetor. Also no hood scoops, etc., etc. are required or added. It has an original MGB radiator that is inverted with a larger tank on the bottom to increase the coolant capacity. There are 2 thermostatically controlled fans on the radiator coupled to relays. Not cutting edge technology, but electrically logical! Standard brakes with cross drilled rotors provide more than adequate stopping. It still has original 14” Rostyle wheels that work well.
For all intents and purposes it looks like any other MBG only with more ummph….I have it registered as an antique so no inspection/emission required, but it is set up with a catalytic converter and I’m sure it would pass muster. My only upgrade was adding a home link garage door opener and hiding it in the center console. Now I’m talking modern convenience! I’m investigating adding cruise control to the car to make road trips even more pleasant. I’m very pleased with the conversion and am convinced this is what the MGB should have morphed into. Heck, maybe we could all be going down to our local car dealer to check out the 2016 MGB………not!!!!!! But do remember to check out our web site at www.lancomgclub.com and mark your calendars for the upcoming events in 2015.
Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix-July 17-19, 2015, by Steve Dellinger, photos by Gloria and Larry Ciarrocca and Bruce Bubeck
This year, six couples from LANCO ventured out to Pittsburgh for the annual Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. The group included Gloria and Larry Ciarrocca, Sue and Bruce Hurley, Edie and Jon Arendt, Kay and Andy Myers, Sally and Jim Harbold, and Dennis and Carol Blevins. Club Member Bruce Bubeck also attended the show and the vintage races.
The “Crew” (plus Larry)
LANCO members were once again well represented in the awards for the "British Car Day (BCD)" show:
1st place - "Late Jaguars" - Dennis and Carol Blevins, 1994 XJS
1st place - "Late Lotus" – Bruce Bubeck – 2005 Elise
2nd place - "Early MGBs" - Gloria and Larry Ciarrocca, 1970 MGB
Winners! (plus Bruce B.)
That Red MGB Again!
Vintage Racing Action!
Another Sunny Day for the LANCO Picnic, by Steve Dellinger, Photos by Gloria Ciarrocca
Once again, the weather cooperated, as the LANCO MG Club gathered on a beautiful sunny (and NOT “stinking hot”) Sunday in the “Pheasant” Pavilion at Rocky Ridge Park in York for our annual picnic.
At the Pheasant” Pavilion
Hamburgers, hot dogs and chicken breasts, along with rolls, condiments and sodas and water were provided by the club. Approximately three dozen club and family members brought covered dishes and other items to share – including many, many desserts! There were several MGs and many assorted other LBCs there as well. It was good to see Sue Wright in attendance (she was there with her daughter and grandkids). Bill Butler, his daughter Patricia and granddaughter Mackenzie also attended. The club welcomed new members Bill and Lynne Snyder from Enola – they drove their 1973 Gray MGB, and have a 1966 (disassembled) B as well.
Jeff Shank and Mike Lang reunited this year to perform the cooking duties of grilling the meats (and cooking the onions).
After stuffing ourselves (as usual) we had a brief meeting to catch up on some events past and present. Larry Ciarrocca updated the group on the preparations for A Taste of Britain. Club members reported on numerous car shows attended (and awards won) over the past three months. There also was a discussion of upcoming events, along with a 50-50 drawing (which, remarkably, Larry didn’t win!). The annual “guess how many pieces of candy are in the container” contest was expanded to two containers this year. The two winners were our two chefs, Mike and Jeff (we thought that they were cooking …).
“Prez” Dennis addresses the Crowd
Another 1st Place for the Red MGB, By Steve Dellinger, Photo by Gloria Ciarrocca
Gloria and Larry Ciarrocca attended the Pennypacker Mills British Car Day, held at the Pennypacker Mills Historic Site, on August 1st. They reported that there only approximately 80 cars at the event this year. Gloria once again took 1st in class with her MGB.
MGB’s on the Field at Pennypacker Mills
ATTENTION LANCO MG CLUB MEMBERS
In recent months, the following LANCO members did not attend a Club meeting and missed out on winning $$$ in the (somewhat) monthly “Name Tag” Drawing:
Trent and Suzette Bentzel
Matthew and Nancy Olcott
The next meeting is September 13th. You have to attend, but you don’t even have to be wearing a name tag to win!!
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The View from Behind the Wheel, by Dennis Blevins
As you’ll see by visiting our events calendar on the website, our next meeting – in October - which is more of a road trip and afternoon out, is our annual trek to “Woody’s” in North East, Maryland. Woody’s specializes in Chesapeake Bay seafood. Now, do I get some steamed crabs and share with Gloria or maybe a Rock Fish (striped bass) dinner? Decisions, decisions. After that, the schedule says we will return to York for our November meeting. However, a few of us are working on something different for that which should prove to be a highlight of the year. If it comes off, we’ll be moving our meeting/get together to the Dover, PA area. Stays tuned – and watch the website to see if that develops.
As always - be safe out there.
LANCO Volunteer BBQ Event - by Ralph Spayd, Photos by Steve Dellinger
Take me out to the BBQ, take me out…….well we didn’t exactly have any peanuts and cracker jack, but we did have a baseball game. It was The LANCO MG club's second annual volunteer and new member recognition night at Clipper Magazine stadium in Lancaster, PA on Tuesday, August 25th. We watched the cross river rivalry between the Lancaster Barnstormers and the York Revolution. The “exclusive” event was a chicken BBQ with all the fixins’ and the ball game. It’s an invitation only event and to qualify you need to meet the strict requirement of being a new member or having volunteered at a LANCO event during the previous year. Not to downplay the “exclusivity”, but it’s really, really, easy to get the invite! Just help out your club! (But you only get to be a new member one time for all you rule bending older members) The event was well attended by 31 club members and family. The evening got off to an exciting start as Larry “fastball” Ciarrocca got to throw out the first pitch and probably his back. We’re not sure which got to home plate first, the ball or some body part. But in true competitive spirit Larry took one for the team….The weather was great, the food was excellent and as usual the friends were terrific.
Awaiting Larry’s Fast Ball!
Did it Make it to the Plate??
The club can’t survive without the help of the volunteers who help produce our two car shows, BIG and TOB. The car shows are terrific events and allow members, friends and other British car enthusiasts to showcase their cars. But the real value of your volunteer effort is that it allows us to provide support via donations to the Central PA Food Bank, the C4Life project and sponsor an MGB at the AACA Museum. Last year your club donated over $3500 to these designated organizations. Our cars, friendship and shows are fun, but the real value of what we are and what we do is in supporting the community. Thank you all for what you do for both The LANCO MG Club and our community. What a winning combination and as a bonus we get to drive fun cars. It just doesn’t get any better that that!
Remember to check out our web site at www.lancomgclub.com and mark your calendars for the upcoming events in 2015 and join us on our road trip to the Hunt Country Classic in October.
26th "A Taste of Britain" Report - By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Skip Partlow and Steve Dellinger
Our twenty-sixth “A Taste of Britain” car show and polo match is now in the books. TOB Chairman Larry Ciarrocca ordered up a beautiful late August day for the event – no rain and not terribly hot. Despite the great weather and a record number of pre-registrations, we ended up with “only” slightly over 150 cars on the field. Not our best day by far, but certainly very respectable. The number of widely varied cars on display continues to amaze me. Where to all these fine examples hide at? Everything from some of the very earliest of our favorite Marques, up to a brand new McLaren. Add in some purpose-built racers, an English taxi, some new Bentleys and Jaguars. Plus always loads of MGs, Triumphs, Healey, Minis, and all the others – old and new. Just an amazing collection. Unfortunately, the home (Polo) team took it on the chin, losing to the visiting Delaware team by a 10 to 5 score. One player did take a hard tumble from his mount which caused a substantial time delay in the match. Thankfully, he was not seriously injured.
Ready for Cars!
The Field is Filling Up
Nice Mix of Cars
Ralph’s Bugeye is (finally) Done!
Action on the Polo Field
Other Club Activities - by Steve Dellinger, Photo by Skip Partlow
The sixth Coffee, Cars & Conversation on September 5th numbered about a dozen cars, including a TVR Tasmin. The next CCC event is Saturday, October 3 rd at 9:00 AM, followed by a ride through the country which will end at the Black Cap Brewing Company in Red Lion.
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LANCO MG CLUB (10/13/15)
The View from Behind the Wheel, by Dennis Blevins
On October 10th I had the honor of representing the LANCO MG Club at the “C4Life” picnic luncheon, car show, and auction fundraiser. “C4Life” is the shortened form of “Celebration for Life, Inc.”, a local group of folks whose goals are to “ Raise money for the fight against cancer and have fun doing it”. They “ inspire people to live life to its fullest while raising money to benefit cancer survivors and their loved ones”. Since 2000 they have raised over one-quarter of a million dollars toward this endeavor. Much of that money is used to support “Camp Can Do” which helps wishes come true for kids with cancer. This fall event is just one of their annual fundraisers. It includes a catered pig-roast picnic, an auction, and more recently, a car show. I presented them with a check of $500 from the LANCO MG Club at this year’s event. They were most appreciative and send their “Thanks” to all of you.
At this point, their car show is just getting off the ground. My MG Midget, a ’79 Mini Cooper S, and a very well restored ‘70’s Pontiac were dwarfed by a small sea of Porches. It would great to see more of our folks and cars attend. After all, the lunch (with drinks provided) is hard to beat – I sure didn’t need to find dinner later on that day!
Car Show Entries
However, forget the great meal, the possibility to win an award for your car, or the enjoyable afternoon meeting new folks - the real reward here is being able to help them with their cause. That is possible because of YOU. Our annual donations to organizations like C4Life come from the proceeds of the two car shows that we hold each year. Over the years we’ve supported the Adams and Lancaster County’s “Toys for Tots”, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, and also reached out to our brethren in Louisiana when that region was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Whether you attended, volunteered at, or just passed the word on about our annual British car shows, you’ve helped provide the funds that we have shared with these other groups.
Back in 2001, then LANCO President Joan Martin said “it’s the cars that bring people together, but it’s the people that keep them coming back”. And it’s since been added that “and the friendships made keep us together”. It is an honor, my friends, to represent you to these worthy organizations.
In parting – be sure to keep checking our events calendar on the website – we are still working on something different for our November meeting which should prove to be a highlight of the year. If it comes off, we’ll be moving our meeting/get together to the Dover, PA area. Stay tuned.
As always - be safe out there.
Put-in-Bay Adventure, by Charlie Baldwin, photos by Charlie Baldwin
On August 30 three LANCO members, Margaret Sultner, Cor Engelen, and Charlie Baldwin, along with British Car Club of Delaware member Liz Haines set out for South Bass Island, OH for the Put in Bay Race Reunion. Liz drove her 1977 MGB with Margaret navigating; Charlie was in his 1962 Austin-Healey 3000, and Cor followed in his BMW, deciding not to drive any of his antique cars, as he needed to get back early for another commitment. Put in Bay is the village on South Bass Island situated off the mainland in Lake Erie in northern Ohio near Sandusky. It is a small island and developed just enough to have all of the modern conveniences, but no unappealing development. It is an over 400 mile trip from York where three of us left from, meeting Cor on I-80 above State College. To get across the water to the island a ferry must be taken, which has a reasonable round trip price for taking cars and people over. The ferry trip is around a half hour, enjoyable, but not long enough to be boring.
On the Ferry
The race reunion is a gathering to celebrate the sports car races that occurred there on the island’s roads throughout the 50's and into the early 60's. The cars raced were generally small bore, with MGs being plentiful. Put in Bay was the last venue of the time period to have sports car racing on public roads. And the organizers are very adept in explaining the history of racing in Put in Bay, making for an interesting time of hearing stories of those races. This year MG and Turner were the featured marques. The non-racers and racers use the same form to register and go to the same events while there. Substantial discounts are offered in the registration fee for registering early and for bringing one of the featured marque cars. At first glance the registration fee seems high, but when all of the meals and events (for two people) are taken into account, it is actually quite reasonable. Around 100 cars were registered, and the event grows each year.
Interesting Mix of Cars
Since the event is Sunday through Wednesday, not over a weekend, the tourist crowds are not a problem, and the island is very laid back and enjoyable. Sunday had a wine and cheese reception scheduled which we arrived too late to participate in. From the pictures of it I’m sorry we missed it. Monday morning brought tech inspection for the race cars and then breakfast at one of the airport hangers at Ted Ericksen Field, the Put in Bay airport and current race course. Next is an orientation meeting to explain the event to racers and non-racers alike. One fun requirement was that all registered cars have a number on the sides of their car which incorporates the non-racers even more into the action. After breakfast some past racers and others who had memories of the original racing had a Recollection Roundtable as the airport was closed and the track set up with straw bales to define the turns. The racers then got to practice and familiarize themselves with the course. Later in the afternoon the non-racers were allowed on the course and encouraged to drive at a rapid pace. It definitely was a lot of fun. After that all of the cars, street and racing alike, were staged for a two lap parade around the original course. Even though speed limits needed to be adhered to, that was a lot of fun too. The roads were closed to other traffic and the residents lined the course to wave to all of us. After that there were rocker cover races scheduled and rock dedications. The rocks are large granite rocks marking the corners and other special places of the original course that are carved by a local artist to tell the significance of that particular site. A well informed local historian named Bob Williams gave a talk at each site. These folks are very passionate about the history of Put in Bay racing.
Tuesday we had qualifying and racing all day by the three classes and then the Put in Bay Cup race, open to all racers. Many MGs were racing, making it very interesting. For supper that night we had Burgers, Brats, Beers, and BS, and the racing awards. All was included in the registration fee. Wednesday brought the car show on a large grassy area at the edge of the village. All of the street cars and race cars were eligible to participate along with any island residents who had collector cars of any type. Then it was on to the farewell luncheon where car show and special awards were given out. Cor left for home during the car show, so he missed a very good buffet luncheon.
MGs in Formation
The organizers of the event, the Put in Bay Road Races Reunion Heritage Society, consisting of Manley Ford (often seen racing a very fast MG TD), Rich Hahn, Bob Williams, Linda Williams, and Jack Woehrle did a fantastic job of putting on a great event. Put in Bay is a very nice place to visit. It is a nice laid back island with enough tourist appeal to make it interesting, but no fast food, no big box stores, no shopping malls, and no condos. The four of us stayed in a rental house in a place called the Island Club, a small village of houses with stained wood siding. The house was modern, comfortable, clean, and reasonably priced. It had three bedrooms, two baths, and was set up to sleep eight.
I heartily recommend the Put in Bay Races Reunion. For more information and lots of pictures, go to www.pibroadrace.com . Scroll to the bottom for event pictures. For pictures and information about Put in Bay, see http://www.putinbayphotos.com/ and http://www.visitputinbay.org/ , or do a search for Put in Bay.
Mini Leads through the Corner
MGs on The Rocks Report, b y Gloria Ciarrocca and Steve Dellinger, p hotos by Gloria Ciarrocca
On Saturday, September 26th a large contingent of LANCO MG Club members traveled to Maryland to attend the 36th Annual MGs on the Rocks Car Show, put on by the MGs of Baltimore Club. The weather was great and numerous LANCO club members won awards:
Class 100 - MGB Roadsters - 1962-1967 - 1 st Jeff Shank - 67 MGB
Class 200 - MGB Roadsters - 1968-1974 - 2nd Dale Glatfelter - 72 MGB, 4 th Bob and Gloria Cook - 74 MGB
Class 300 - MGB Roadsters - 1974-1/2-1980 - 1st Rick and Judi Smith - 78 MGB, 3rd Carol and Alan Tucker - 80 MGB
Class 400 - MGB/GT - 1st Forrest Collier - 67 MGBGT
Class 700 - MGA All Years - 1st Tom and Melissa Ensminger - 62 MGA, 3rd Michael Swift - 62 MGA
Class 1800 Modern British - 3rd Bruce Hurley - 02 Aston Martin DB7
Class 1900 Healey Sprites - 1st Ralph Spayd Jr. - 59 MK-I Sprite
LANCO also won the annual Club Participation Award.
1 st Place MGB Roadsters - 1962-1967
2nd Place MGB Roadsters - 1968-1974
1st Place MGA All Years
3rd Place Modern British
1st PlaceHealey Sprites
1st PlaceMGB Roadsters - 1974-1/2-1980
3rd PlaceMGB Roadsters - 1974-1/2-1980
Stowe, Vermont Show Report, by Gloria Ciarrocca, photos by Gloria Ciarrocca
Larry and I left Wednesday, September 16th for Stowe, VT. We stayed in Bennington, VT that night. The next day we went to the VT store then continued north toward Stowe. We stopped at Ben & Jerry’s and Cold Hollow Cider, where we get the best Apple pies and warm cider doughnuts. Every time we stop, people talk to us about the car. There are a lot of folks with their own British car stories and still have the feelings of a young heart. Friday was registration, a get together at the show field and then the Main Street gathering where they block off the main street at 6:00 PM. All the British cars park and everyone walks around and there is a band playing Beatles and other British music on a stage in front of City Hall. Saturday is the car show. It was a beautiful day with lots of vendors, food and over 600 British cars. Jon and Edie Arndt drove their Jaguar from York. There were lots of cars in the ‘for sale’ area. Larry helped out Triple-C selling t-shirts. There were about 35 early MGB’s in my class. So many beautiful cars! I got 1st place in my class and a friend, Al got first in his class for his BRG MGC. Saturday night we all gather for a great meal at the house we rent. There were over 25 people who stopped by for supper. Sunday, we left about 8:00 AM and started the 10 hour drive home. Jon and Edie were heading to Maine to LL Bean and some other sightseeing. It was another great trip. (The round trip was over 1,000 miles.)
1 st Place Winners
Award Winning MG’s
Hunt Country Classic British Car Show, by Gloria Ciarrocca
What started out with six cars scheduled to go to the Hunt Country Classic British Car Show in Middleburg, Virginia quickly went down to only two cars - for health and other reasons. Gloria and Larry Ciarrocca and Andy and Kay Myers left Saturday around 1:30 PM and headed to Winchester, VA. After checking into the hotel we went downtown to the historic Winchester section and ate at a British Restaurant. Afterwards we walked around the closed-off street area and then headed back to the hotel. In the morning we drove to the car show. We had beautiful weather. Our Garmin sent us on the shortest route which took us on a stone, dirt and muddy, tiny road for three miles. It was so narrow, I thought it was going to wind up a dead end at some one’s horse farm! After arriving at the show field and cleaning the car, we checked out all the beautiful cars. Voting closed at 12:30 but the awards were not till after 3. Gloria won 1st place in her class. After the awards we headed back home and stopped in York for some supper. This show could even be done in one day. It is about 2-1/2 hour drive.
Other Club Activities, by Steve Dellinger. Photos by Skip Partlow and Steve Dellinger
The September Membership Meeting was held at the Lyndon Diner in York, with 23 members and nine British cars in attendance. Past shows and events were highlighted and future trips and meetings were discussed. Charlie Baldwin and Margaret Sultner recounted their adventures at the Put in Bay Race Reunion (see the article by Charlie). A possible change in the time and venue for the November 8th Membership Meeting was also discussed. Bill Butler’s name was drawn in the Name Tag Drawing – but he wasn’t in attendance.
Dennis Addresses the September Meeting Attendees
While most of the LANCO Club members were attending the Rocks show, Steve Dellinger and Ed and Sue Katz attended the 25th Annual Meeting of The Marques. The Meeting of The Marques is put on by the Susquehanna Valley Vintage Sports Car Club (a non-geographical region of the AACA). For the past three years, the motor show has been held in conjunction with the Harvest of the Arts festival in downtown Carlisle.
Steve’s Mini and Ed’s MGB Roadster
Cars from the Rolls-Royce Museum
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LANCO MG CLUB (11/17/15)
The View from Behind the Wheel, by Dennis Blevins. Photos by Dennis Blevins
As you read this in print, our 2015 club year will have come to a close. All the meetings, “Coffee-Cars-Conversations” get-togethers, shows, and driving events will be finished for the year. The Holiday banquet will be just around the corner. Many of you will have put your MG’s (and all the other British marques represented in the club) away for the winter. We’ve had a good time and the club has gained many new members. What a better time to say “Thank you” to all of the club officers and volunteers that once again made the year successful and enjoyable.
Speaking of putting our “toys” away for the season, over twenty club members and friends joined dozens of other folks at (former Lancaster City Mayor) Charlie Smithgall’s farm in southern Lancaster County on November 1st for the “cannon shoot” held there. This is an annual event put on by Mr. Smithgall and his compatriots that collect antique artillery items – cannons, mortars, Gatling guns, long rifles, etc. These guys are serious! – expending hundreds and hundreds rounds of ammunition over several hours firing at a used automobile, targets, and pumpkins - while maintaining a safe environment for all. In what other country in the world could such a thing occur?
Preparing to Fire
With all of the spectators watching and refreshments provided, it’s just an amazing atmosphere. This is their one last time to “play” with their “toys” before they’re put away for the winter. So, keep in mind that Charlie has about eighty historic cannons in his collection. That might be a good rebuttal the next time “someone” complains about the British car (or two, or three, or four) taking up space in your garage over the winter! Mr. Smithgall likely knows where you could pick up a cannon or two ………….
As always - be safe out there.
Other Club Activities, b y Steve Dellinger. Photos by Skip Partlow
On Sunday, October 18th was the annual crab run to Woody’s Crab House in North East, MD. Those who went to Woody’s included Gloria and Larry Ciarrocca, Dennis and Carol Blevins, Ralph and Sandy Spayd, Kay and Andy Myers, Tom and Mary Ann Naples, Jon and Edie Arndt, Charlie Baldwin, Margaret Sultner, Mike and Sandy Williams, Jim and Sally Harbold, Scott and Mark Walter, Bruce and Sue Hurley, Charlie and Carla Welt, Brooks and Andrea Thompson, Bob McFarland, and a new couple who were thinking about joining the club. The weather was nice and, as is always the case, everyone had a great time!
The November Membership Meeting was held on November 8th at the Lyndon Diner in York, with 22 members and six British cars in attendance. Since the last membership meeting was held two months ago, numerous past shows and events were discussed. There was also a discussion of potential events for next year’s club calendar. Tim Benedick’s name was drawn in the Name Tag Drawing – but he wasn’t in attendance to collect the pot.
Dennis Addresses the November Meeting Attendees
The Club’s proposed charitable donations for the year were discussed, and a motion made to contribute at the same level as last year. President Blevins announced that the meeting venue for January through April 2016 has been reserved – we will be meeting at the Centerville Diner in Lancaster County.
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