British Marque Articles - 2019
Behind the Wheel in 2019, by Ralph Spayd
In spite of all logic and reason, I actually volunteered to run for club president. I can assure you there was no Russian involvement comrades, I mean friends. Although some vodka might have been involved in the thought process.
Like most of us involved in the club, the club has a special place in our hearts and minds. I did enjoy my stint back in 2015/16 as the president so it really wasn’t a difficult decision. Which is a good segway into what the club means and the decisions we will be facing over the next several years? We didn’t have anyone officially run for office this year there was no election for president. Now I know the club has special meaning and we all enjoy the gatherings, drive and friendships developed over the years. So, it’s really quite a conundrum.
Is it just a sign of the times? Has the car club concept run its course? Are we all that complacent? Do we want to continue the club? The questions are endless, but time is not. We are facing change and need to determine what will give the LANCO MG Club longevity. Assuming that is what we all want.
For me 2018 was a real year of change. I lost my wife to cancer after a yearlong battle. We were married for 46 years and the change was anticipated but still not easy. I don’t bring this up to garner pity as I’m doing OK, but to make the point that, things, relationships, clubs don’t last forever in their original shape or form no matter how hard we wish they would. I was told a long time ago by a former manager that there are only two things you can do with change. Either manage it or be managed by it. Sage advice! What are we as a club going to do with the change facing the club? Just my $.02, but I plan to work on managing the change. The best thing we can do is to keep the club vibrant and active with a broad base of activities that appeal to the membership. Car shows, tours, events and gathering usually involving food or ice cream are a good start. I’ve started the 2019 calendar and it’s full of those activities to keep us busy driving our LBC’s. But, it’s not just my job to do this. I can hold some of the pompom’s but not all of them. It requires all of our inputs and involvement and that’s how we develop a strong base of member support to insure a continuation of leadership via membership involvement.
I also want to work closely with the other British marque clubs to foster cross involvement in our drives and activities. With that in mind, is it time to move toward a Central PA British Car Club and not marque specific? Hummmm, something to think about. It’s going to be a busy year and I look forward to 2019 and here’s hoping we’ll have a drier year. Remember to check out our web site at www.lancomgclub.com and mark your calendars for the upcoming events. We have some really exciting events planned for 2019.
Annual Banquet – December 2018 by Steve Dellinger, photos by Steve Dellinger
The annual LANCO MG Club Holiday Banquet was held at the Fireside Tavern, Strasburg, PA on Saturday, December 1st with approximately 50 members in attendance.
Time to Eat!
As the Club did last year, a donation was made to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
Service awards for the year included the following:
Years of service in the Club:
35 Years of Service
Gloria and Larry Ciarrocca
30 Years of Service
Jim and Sally Harbold
25 Years of Service
Tony and Rose Ann Sinkosky
20 Years of Service
Bob and Peggy McFarland
15 Years of Service
10 Years of Service
John and Joyce Westell
Gloria expressed recognition for last year’s meeting hosts, as well as for the numerous ”A Taste of Britain” and NAMGBR 2018 Funkhana Volunteers, Tech Session organizers and other Event and Club Volunteers. Special “thanks” were also given to the following members:
Board of Directors & Officers
Dennis Blevins – WEB Master
Skip Partlow – Photography
Ann Partlow – Photography File Manager!!
Larry Ciarrocca - Membership
Coffee, Cars and Conversation – Ralph Spayd
Taste of Britain – Larry & Gloria Ciarrocca
August Picnic - Larry Ciarrocca
October Crab Run – Gloria Ciarrocca
The annual “Enthusiast of the Year” Award went to Larry Ciarrocca. This year’s “Most Active New Member” Award went to Gary Trautman. The “Let it Rain Award” was shared by Deb Eckert, Charlie Baldwin and Cor Engelen for their “top down” dedication to the rainy A Taste of Britain show this year. A special presentation was also made by Dennis Blevins to Bruce and Sue Hurley for the periodic “experiences” related to their new house (and pole barn).
The festivities concluded with Joan Martin making a presentation related to limericks, Barry Herr and the LANCO group’s trip to Buffalo in 1997.
Another enjoyable end to a successful year!
“Enthusiast of the Year” – Larry Ciarrocca
“Most Active New Member” – Gary Trautman
“Let it Rain Award Winners” – Deb Eckert, Cor Engelen and Charlie Baldwin
Special Homeowners Award Winners – Bruce and Sue Hurley
New Officers Elected
By Steve Dellinger
Since the biennial elections for Club Officers and Board Members needed to be held this year, a slate of officers/board members for 2019 and 2020 was proposed by the nominating committee and distributed to the membership to vote prior to the annual banquet. There was no one on the ballot for the office of President, but Ralph Spayd stepped up to take the helm for another term. As a result, the officers and board members for 2019/2020 are as follows:
January 2019 CC&C by Steve Dellinger, photos by Gloria Ciarrocca
The January 5th (and first “winter”) edition of Coffee, Cars and Conversation was held on a cool and cloudy morning at the Columbia Burger King with twelve members in attendance. The dedicated “CC&Cers” included Mike Williams, Charlie Baldwin, Cor Engelen, Gary Trautman, Ralph Spayd, Gloria and Larry Ciarrocca, Joan and Tim Martin, Steve Rineer, Steve Dellinger and Deb Eckert (who drove the TC!). One and one-half hours were spent discussing numerous club-related (and numerous “not-club-related”) topics. After some discussion (and after talking to the restaurant manager), it was decided to hold all the future CC&C gettogethers at Burger King – instead of at the Turkey Hill Experience parking lot.
Some of the dedicated “CC&Cers”
January 2019 Club Meeting by Steve Dellinger
Returning President Ralph Spayd convened the first membership meeting of the New Year at the Centerville Diner in Lancaster, with twelve members in attendance. A snow fall earlier in the day probably contributed to the sparse crowd. Two new British Cars (MINIs) were also in attendance. Minutes from the November 2018 meeting were distributed, and the Treasurer provided a report on the Club’s current finances.
Most of the discussion during the meeting focused on the scheduling of events for the year. We will be holding our membership meetings at the Centerville Diner from January through April this year. Other club meetings will be held in the York and Adams County areas. In addition to regularly scheduled Club meetings and events, and the monthly Coffee, Cars and Conversation, several possible road trips were discussed, including a river tour ending at the Moon Dancer Winery, a trip to the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles, and a trip to the Classic Auto Mall in Morgantown. Other day trips and longer (overnight) trips are also being discussed. An outreach to other area British car clubs to arrange some joint activities was also discussed.
Sandy Spayd by Steve Dellinger, photo by Gloria Ciarrocca
LANCO member and friend Sandy Spayd passed away in November after a long, courageous battle against cancer. Sandy’s smiling face and friendly, outgoing personality was seen at numerous club meetings and car events over the past decade. We’ll remember all the good times … your gentle heart and your gracious personality … and we will all miss you!
Sandy and Ralph Spayd
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Behind the Wheel in 2019
By Ralph Spayd
Well it’s February and for me it’s the doldrums of winter. I had a sailboat for years and when you were in the doldrums or “in irons” without any wind nothing moved. That’s what February always feels like to me. Nothing moves, and we’re stuck with the cold, wet, snowy weather. It’s usually too cold to work on the car. You don’t want to drive your car on the salt packed road….nothing moves. But, but this week we had a 60-degree day and you start thinking there is light at the end of the tunnel. Actually, what helps me to beat back February is working on and planning the club’s calendar for the next twelve months. Looking out to warmer weather and thinking about events and drives to take in our LBC’s helps to diffuse the doldrums.
Well that provides me with a perfect segue to the next topic which is planning. We have most of the calendar planned and I’m linear enough to have booked all the meetings by January. That seems to confuse some establishments - that you’re calling in January for a meeting in November. But heck, I feel better and they’ll get over it!
Planning is the lubricant that will make any club run smoothly. Not just from an individual event stand point, but from a member involvement perspective. We need to aggregate our ideas from as many members as possible. Not just a few. When we don’t involve a good cross section of the membership we can become a one-trick pony. We might become too skewed in car shows or tech session or whatever. Just like our cars, we’re a diverse cross section of idea and individuals. If you have an idea for an event, project, or tour don’t keep it a secret. Share your thoughts. The more variety of events we can offer the better the club runs and the more members we can get involved. And that’s how we’ll continue to grow and enjoy our LBC. A club can only remain strong through membership involvement and a diverse offering of activities and I know we’re not short on ideas at LANCO. Speaking of ideas, well I was anyway; stay tuned for some non-traditional car club events for this year. Should provide some exciting venues to showcase your car and or participate at an event outside our car world.
Remember to check out our web site at www.lancomgclub.com and mark your calendars for the upcoming events. We have some really exciting events planned for 2019.
My Old MG By Cliff Maurer, Photo by Cliff Maurer
I was never known as a car guy. But, at an age when men are selling off their classic cars I bought one. My son and some of my friends asked; “Why did YOU buy an old car?” I thought about it, then sat down and wrote this answer.
The feel of the open road, the wind in your hair…… Yeh right! You get in your new car today and the 6-way electric seat adjusts for you, you set the thermostat in your automatic air conditioning system, the seat and the steering wheel are warmed for you, you set the GPS to your destination, set your streaming music from your iPhone and drive off on the expressway in cruise control. You get instant feedback of your gas consumption from the fuel control computer. You can change the shift pattern of the 8-speed automatic transmission on the fly from sport mode to economy mode. The car beeps you with a lane departure warning, it will slow down automatically if you get too close to the car in front of you. It has all the latest whiz-bang gadgetry.
And it has all the styling of a BAR OF SOAP!
But not this car! Look at it. It’s more art than mechanics. It has gorgeous sweeping fenders. It has a big chrome radiator grille. It has style somewhat Art Deco from the 30’s.
And it is primitive driving. Seat adjustment? Maybe 65 years ago when it was new. GPS? It’s an open roadster, look around you can see where you are! You don’t care where you’re going, the fun is getting there so take any road you want. Music? The music is the sound of the motor and the wind going by. Cruise control? YOU are controlling the cruise. You steer, you shift, you accelerate, you brake.
No power steering. That’s why the steering wheel is as big as the spare tire. No power brakes. It will stop eventually and just maybe the reason it has “suicide” doors is so you can put your foot out to help stop it. Air bag? The only air bag is the driver! It has no heater. But don’t worry, there is no insulation in the firewall between your feet and the motor, so your feet are always toasty warm (even in the summer). Rain and snow? Your exposed, you will get wet. But Grandma didn’t mind when Grandpa picked her up in his open Model T so why should you worry? And unlike that bar of soap you drive it is not all wheel drive and it doesn’t have a limited slip rear end, so you better know how to steer out of a slide and how to keep traction in the snow. You really don’t have to worry because it never gets out of the garage in the rain and snow. Oh, and did I mention it was designed and built in England where they don’t believe in sealing things that contain oil? So, when you park it don’t stop it on your mother-in-law’s spotless driveway unless you slip a mat under the motor. It leaves a mini oil spill that you should report to the Environmental Protection Agency. . See that steel box between the body and the spare tire. That’s the gas tank!! And Ralph Nadar thought the Corvair was “Unsafe at any speed!” But don’t worry, there is nothing back there to cause a spark except two little tail lights about as bright as a 5-watt Christmas tree light.
But it has rack and pinion steering that hugs the road like a slot car and a center of gravity so low it will peel chewing gum off the road. It has a little four-cylinder engine that is geared so low you could pull tree stumps with it.
So, get it out on a cool Fall afternoon and start touring down a country road with the Fall foliage in full bloom. Listen to that engine purr as you shift up through the gears. Up over the crest of the hill and down through the woods in a series of “S” turns. In the little village kids are raking leaves into piles and jumping into them. I didn’t think they still did that! They wave and give you a thumbs up yelling, “neat car!” Take that winding road by the stream and watch as the birch leaves fall into the stream forming a tiny armada of little yellow ships floating over the water. And here comes that old red covered bridge. Inside it smells of old wood and dirt. You don’t get to enjoy that in your filtered air bar of soap. Up the mountain with a view of the valley below. It looks like something from a Grandma Moses painting. Oh look, a winery. Let’s stop for a glass of Chardonnay and some cheese.
That’s not a drive, it’s a little peek into what heaven must be!!!!!
February 2019 CC&C By Ralph Spayd, Photo by Skip Partlow
We held our second CCC for 2019 at the Burger King in Columbia on February 1st with 10 hearty souls attending. Not a single LBC to be found. It was cold, and we were coming off a PennDOT sodium event!! The ground was white, but there was no snow is sight. I will admit, PennDOT is in a no-win situation. And it was wise to not drive your LBC. In spite of all that, we had a great time and I finally left at 11:30 after solving most of the world’s problems. I won’t let the cat out of the bag, but you need to ask Paul Miller about his Jaguar tribulations. It’s a painful story but did have a happy ending. Just to let you know how bad it was, Deb “I’ll drive in anything” didn’t even bring her LBC….yikes!
Great to see Jim!
Seriously, I think CCC is one of the best events LANCO has orchestrated. It a great time with good conversation and you eat breakfast. Might be one of the best investments you’ll make in 2019.
FYI – remember, we’ve moved all our CCC meetings to the Burger King. Weather permitting; we’ll meet in the back parking lot outside. Might be lonely out there Deb, as the rest of us fair weather types sit inside….
February 2019 Club Meeting By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Skip Partlow
Weather for the second membership meeting of the New Year wasn’t nearly as cold and nasty as in January. As a result, 27 members and at least eight British cars showed up at the Centerville Diner in Lancaster. Minutes from the January 2019 meeting were distributed, and the Treasurer provided a report on the Club’s current finances. Updates on the current club membership and the plans for this year’s “A Taste of Britain” were also provided.
The Brits are Here!
Once again, most of the discussion during the meeting focused on the scheduling of events for the year. Due to some scheduling “issues” we will also be meeting at the Centerville Diner in May. Post-Coffee, Cars and Conversation road trips are scheduled to “Diner Day” at the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles on April 6th; a trip to the Classic Auto Mall in Morgantown on June 1st; and a river tour ending at the Moon Dancer Winery on August 3rd. Other day trips, poker runs, and longer (overnight) trips are also being discussed. An outreach to other area British car clubs to arrange some joint activities was also discussed.
Larger Group than Expected!
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The View from Behind the Wheel By Ralph Spayd
We put February in the books and winter is struggling to hold on with random fits of snow and cold. But we’re way over the hump and ready to put a fork in winter for another year. Which is fine by me, as I have less of an appreciation for winter each year. Now I understand why my parents started going to Florida for two weeks then three weeks then, hey, we’ll see you in late March. They were getting out of dodge for the winter. Good move. Not me, I’m sticking it out, builds character….right?!
Hopefully, you’re working on your car “to do“ list to get ready for the coming driving season or at least struggling with the procrastination of the work to be done. In either case it’s on you mind and should drive you to get something done. Just don’t wait for the first drive of the season and have an O.S. moment. (I’ll let you guess what an O.S. moment is) Spring is near and today we sprung forward with the clocks, so we’ll have more daylight in the evening and that’s always a welcome event. Spring brings renewal and a restart to our gardens and us. A renewed time for growth and change and, I believe our club is no different. The good news is we don’t need to wait for spring to act on change. Growth is the key for our club or any club to succeed and prosper. We’re no different than any other club in that respect, but the clubs that recognize and design their own future will be the clubs that survive. So, what does all this mean? We’ll first we need to begin using the tools that are available to us. There are on line tools like “meetup” to schedule and host ad hoc drives and events. There are other programs for volunteer event sign up’s. All these tools make it easier to communicate within the club and allow us to become more spontaneous and active. But more importantly, they will allow us to spread the word to the other British car clubs. To that end, one of our LANCO Members Cliff M. represented the club at a cross over meeting with the Keystone and Lehigh Valley car clubs to share our calendars. For me, this is very encouraging as it’s a start with our individual clubs beginning to work together to share all the good things we do as individual clubs. Let’s keep growing, redefining and redesigning our club so we’ll be here for a long time. Just a few more items and I’ll be off the soap box. LANCO will be volunteering at the Central PA Foodbank on March 22nd to help pack food boxes. This is our first time doing this and I hope it’s not the last. This makes me incredibly proud to be a member of the LANCO MG Club as we reach beyond ourselves to help others. Spring is in the air and we’ve got a full schedule of events. Remember to check out our web site at www.lancomgclub.com and mark your calendars for the upcoming events. We have some really exciting events planned for 2019.
As a LANCO MG Club member, your club pays for your subscription to the British Marque Car Club News automatically out of dues. You can also get free copies of the On-line Edition of the Marque by going directly to the On-line Edition page of the Marque’s website: (http://www.britishmarque.com/britishmarque/bmhome.cfm) and requesting the On-line Edition.
March 2019 CC&C By Steve Dellinger, photo by Steve Dellinger
We held our third CC&C for 2019 at the Burger King in Columbia on March 2nd - with only three hearty souls attending – Charlie Baldwin, Mike Williams and Steve Dellinger. Not a single LBC to be found. It was cold, and we were coming off a week of miserable weather. Next month, on April 6th, we will be leaving Burger King around 9:30 AM to travel to Boyertown for Diner Day at the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles. With the price of regular admission [Adults $10; Seniors (60+) or AAA $9; children under 15 free with adult], guests are able to sit inside the Museum’s beautifully preserved Fegely's Reading Diner and enjoy coffee and homemade pie. Coffee and pie are available for purchase at 1938 prices--that means a nickel for a cup of coffee and a quarter for a slice of pie! The Museum website is http://boyertownmuseum.org/
March 2019 Club Meeting By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Skip Partlow
Weather for the third membership meeting of the New Year was almost warm (50s) and it wasn’t raining! As a result, 29 members and five British cars showed up at the Centerville Diner in Lancaster. In President Spayd’s absence (out of commission with a bad cold), Secretary Steve Dellinger conducted the Meeting. Minutes from the February 2019 meeting were distributed, and the Treasurer provided a report on the Club’s current finances. Updates on the current club membership (117 members as of the meeting date) and the plans for this year’s “A Taste of Britain” were also provided.
Good Turnout for the March Meeting
Once again, most of the discussion during the meeting focused on the scheduling of events for the year. Cliff Maurer attended to discuss joint club events with other clubs he is also a member of – specifically the Keystone MG Club and the British Car Club of the Lehigh Valley. Andy Schneggenburger dropped by “between trips” to provide information about a possible run to a new distillery in New Tripoli (do they have a tasting room??). Information was provided for those club members who are volunteering at the Central PA Food Bank in the afternoon on March 22nd. An Open House at the AACA Museum in Hershey is also planned for the same evening. More details were provided for the upcoming events at Triumph Rescue in Bally, as well as the road trip to “Diner Day” at the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles on April 6th.
A Couple of Older LBCs
As Well as some Newer Ones (and a Porsche)!
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The View from Behind the Wheel
By Ralph Spayd
We’ve had a really nice jumpstart to the year with several events. The first was our annual trek to the TR Rescue Tech session in Bally, PA. The next was our road trip after the April Coffee – Cars & Conversation to Diner Days at the Boyertown Auto Museum. Good jump start to the driving season as spring struggles to get its act together. Since it’s me writing the article, I’ll take a moment to take a side tour. Some of you may know I have the attention span of a squirrel when it comes to cars. I bought my first car in 1967 and it was a 1965 BRG, MGB. It was a really fun car to start my driving career. Well, at last count I’ve owned 36 cars since then. About half have been sports cars and the balance family types. Serious – it’s a hobby, not an addiction!! Well, my latest adventure is a kit car from Classic Roadsters built to look like a 1962 AH 3000. It’s all fiberglass with a Ford 2.8L V6 engine. The car was built in the late 1980’s and its bones are good, but needed some TLC. Got it on the road last week and it drives nicely, but stopping is more of a generalized concept. So, no road trips quite yet. I’m a car guy with a penchant for British cars, but cars in general. I’ve never been a real purist with my cars. I’m more neurotic that all things on the car have to work. And I’ve been known to fix things until they are broken….
Well, where in the world is all this going? There are lots of changes going on with our LBC’s and their owners. Last week at TR Rescue in Bally, PA we saw fuel injection conversions. Basically, it was a bolt on kit. Lots of AC installations, some V8 conversions, Miata seat installations, electronic ignitions and upgraded sound systems. The possibilities are endless. As owners, we strive to make our cars more modern and comfortable and try to extract a few more years of comfortable driving out of our cars. Remember, both the cars and owners are aging. Typically, the cars are aging more gracefully. Excuse me as I step up on the soap box. That’s better, I can see everyone now! Change, change, change is coming to our cars, our lives and our clubs. Just like comfortable upgrades to our cars, we need to be proactive with our club. Upgrade the way we communicate regarding events. Pool our resources and work closely with the other British car clubs. Make our club more comfortable to drive. I’m active in my church and not surprisingly we have challenges with an aging congregation. Sound like a familiar theme? Our leadership recognizes that small group activities and events are the future. Involve more people in more diverse activities. Hummmmm, we can do the same thing with the club by being proactive with software like “meetup”, “eventbright” or whatever else works and is appropriate for the club. We can spread the word for more ad hoc events and less formal activities. We can become more spontaneous and creative with our events. But it does take involvement and leadership by the membership. Only time will tell how we will fair, but I remain optimistic we can change. That’s enough for now. I gotta go, I think car number 37 is calling. Remember to check out our web site at www.lancomgclub.com and mark your calendars for the upcoming events. We have some really exciting events planned for 2019.
Triumph Rescue Tech Session Road Trip
By Ralph Spayd
Remember the song “Rescue Me” by Aretha Franklin? Well it has nothing to do with the road trip. Just want you to dust off some old brain cells. Assuming years of breathing exhaust fumes that are too rich haven’t killed off most of them. But I digress…six of us met at the Oregon Dairy on Saturday March 30th to car pool to Bally to attend the annual tech session hosted by Matt Bakes and his wife and crew. Cor, Mike, Steve, Charlie, Al and I were treated to a very gracious event hosted by TR Rescue. There were 100+ attending and Matt was getting nervous about becoming a victim of his own success. The event is quite poplar and for good reason. The information is interesting and helpful, mixing it up with old friends is always good AND the lunch is excellent. TR Rescue does really fine work and always has some interesting projects in progress. This year was no exception and we got to see some completed fuel injection projects. A very nice upgrade for your car to bring it into the 20th century! Not easy, but with patience, most seasoned shade tree mechanics could pull it off, or just call Matt and let them angst over the details. I would recommend if you haven’t attended in the past, join us next year for a really enjoyable event. Also, we did solve most of the pressing world problems during the ride home…we’re not just a collection of pretty faces. Thanks to Matt Bakes and TR Rescue for being such a gracious host and sponsoring a really fine event.
April 2019 CC&C
By Ralph Spayd
Our April 6th CC&C gathering served a dual fold purpose. First it was the usual assemblage of the faithful for our monthly gathering, but also the rally point for our road trip to “Diner Days” at the Boyertown Museum. As usual we met at 9 AM with a full house. I didn’t count noses but think we had at least 15+ attending. A great turnout for a day that started out cold and damp from the previous day’s rain event…how unusual!! At about 9:30 I sorta, kinda coaxed everyone who was joining the caravan to head out to their cars. Steve D. invited the Mini group via meetup to join us and the Mini’s outnumbered the LANCO crowd. Just a casual observation, when your marque is still in production it seems like people actually drive their cars on cloudy cool days. Getting there isn’t always half the fun without a heater and defroster. Just to drive the point home, I led the group in my Chevy Malibu! The museum didn’t disappoint and has expanded since our last outing there about 5 year ago with a great display of locally designed and built cars from Berks and Lancaster County and the surrounding area. The museum was packed as anticipated and we arrived just before 11 AM. It’s a great event as they offer $.05 coffee and $.25 pie (at 1938 prices). The pie was delicious, and I could go on and on and by the way, there were cars in the museum. Did I mention the pie was good? It was a really great day to be enjoyed with good friends old and new and will be an annual club event. The weather did clear for the ride home and warmed up nicely. Unfortunately, our LBC’s were safely snuggled at home in their respective garages. Our next jump off event from CC&C will be June 1st as we head to the Morgantown Auto Mall.
Chock Full 'O Nuts MGB pic
Photo by Mike Williams
LANCO members Cor Engelen and Mike Williams recently stopped by Bill Shield’s place to pick up some MG axle parts and ran in to an interesting "B" parked close to some walnut trees. Squirrels made a storage space of the trunk and filled it to the brim!
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LANCO MG CLUB (May)
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