British Marque Articles - 2019
June CCC Run to the Classic Auto Mall by Steve Dellinger, Photos by Charlie Baldwin and Steve Dellinger
The sixth CC&C for 2019 at the Burger King in Columbia on June 1st began early - with twelve LANCO members and guests and four British cars (plus a Porsche) in attendance. Shortly before 9:00 AM, the group left Burger King, with Mike Williams in the lead, to travel to Morgantown to visit the Classic Auto Mall. According to its website, the Classic Auto Mall is “ … a world class consignment house located in southeastern Pennsylvania with indoor showroom space for up to 1,000 collectable and special interest vehicles offered for sale.” The entourage made it safely to Morgantown and met three more LANCO members and two more British cars there. We spent several hours inspecting the cars available for purchase, along with the Mall owner’s extensive (400+) collection of “barn finds” on display. The Auto Mall website is https://www.classicautomall.com/. The most expensive car for sale was a 1964 Shelby 289 Cobra for $925K, followed by a 1958 Lister Jaguar Race Car for only $815K. The barn find collection included several British cars, including a 1929 Austin Seven Chummy Roadster, a 1936 Hillman Magnificent Convertible Coupe, and others. The barn find that got a lot of attention (and comments) was the 1923 Chevrolet Weadman Motor Home – which boasted “the original slide out”! To my knowledge, no deposits were placed during our visit!
Made it There
$32 K - Cor’s just Looking!
Shawn and Healey Check out the MGs
Big Bucks Here $$$$
Time to go “RVing”!
June 2019 Club Meeting at EMMR by Steve Dellinger,photos by Charlie Baldwin, Skip Partlow and Steve Dellinger
The sixth membership meeting of 2019 was held at the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing (EMMR) near York Springs, PA (http://www.emmr.org/) on Sunday, June 2nd. 17 members and five British cars showed up at the Museum. Treasurer Steve Dellinger conducted a short Meeting. Minutes from the May 2019 meeting were distributed, and upcoming car shows were also discussed. Kudos to Museum Volunteer Judy, who set us up with a meeting space and coordinated with the restaurant regarding the numbers and timing of our post tour arrival!
Steve Conducts a SHORT Meeting
Following the meeting, we had an extensive – and very informative – tour of the Museum that was conducted by Museum Volunteer Rick Mandelson. Rick is a now retired 8-time SCCA Champion, who enjoyed a very successful career in road racing, including a stint as a Porsche factory driver. In addition to sprint cars, sports cars and Formula cars, Rick also enjoyed success in drag racing, motorcycle racing and even stock car racing. He was also a driving instructor, whose past students included Paul Newman, among others. Check out Rick’s website at https://www.rickmandelson.com/.
A Great Tour Guide!
Lloyd Geib, Jr.’s MGA Hillclimb car is currently on display at the Museum, as is the Soap Box Derby that was donated years ago by Sally and Jim Harbold.
Lloyd Geib Jr’s 1959 Hillclimb Car
Lucy’s ready to go!
After the museum tour, most of the group reconvened at Rocco's Pizza, in York Springs for some great Italian food. Next month, on July 13th, we will meet at 3:00 PM at the Rich Trexler’s historic farmstead in Marietta for a meeting – and a picnic (see information below).
Italian Food at Rocco’s
Other Adventures by Steve Dellinger, photos by Skip Partlow, Charlie Baldwin and Steve Dellinger
Several LANCO members attended the Carlisle Import and Kit Car show on May 17th and 18th. Some of the members who attended on Saturday included Rick Smith, Skip Partlow, Charlie Baldwin, Pam and Bob Preston (there with the AH Club and the Carlisle MINIs), Jeff Small, and Steve Dellinger (also there with the Carlisle MINIs). I’m sure that other LANCO members attended the show at some point over the weekend.
MGs and MINIs/Minis on the Showfield
The Saturday LANCO Crew
Bob and Pam Sharing Time
On Sunday, May 19th, numerous LANCO members attended the annual Lancaster County Covered Bridge Run, which was organized and run by John Holtzapple from the Volvo Club. Several representatives from the Carlisle MINI group also participated. The run started at the Donegal Intermediate School in Marietta, traversed nine covered bridges (and visited one), and ended in Lititz. Registration refreshments were provided by Swedish Motors. And, the nasty weather held off until most everyone got home at the end of the day!
Sign-In for the Covered Bridge Tour
Cliff and Diane Ready to Go
Mike’s Car is on the Road!
On May 25th, Charlie Baldwin, Skip Partlow and Jon Arndt attended the Susquehanna Valley Jaguar Club held its 12th Concours d 'Elegance at Sunset Lane Park in York, PA. Lenny’s Classic Cars also brought a trailer full of cars from the Museum in Altoona.
MGs at the Jaguar Show
Jon was there
Lenny’s Classic Cars is Here
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The View from Behind the Wheel - by Dennis Blevins
The more observant of you may have noticed a change in our masthead here. Our “volunteered” President, Ralph Spayd, had come to the realization that it was time to reconnect with his far-flung family rather than commit the time to our club. Apparently as a last resort the Board members looked my way and asked if I would take over the position. In a weak moment – I believe it was heat-stress induced – I said yes. After all, the club meetings and major events were set for the remainder of the year. However, I forgot about the monthly duty of writing this missive. We will certainly miss Ralph’s enthusiasm and organizational skills and hope to see him back in our fold later on.
On to other things ... Take a look at our calendar on the website. You’ll see that there are lots of activities that you can participate in over the remainder of the year. LANCO highlights are our picnic and Taste of Britain show in August, MGs of Baltimore “MGs on the Rocks” in September, and our annual trek to “Woody’s” in North East, MD in October, plus our monthly “Coffee, Cars and Conversation” the first Saturday morning of each month. Truly something for everyone. Hope to see you at some of these events.
Speaking of seeing you at an event – Carol and I have been remiss about attending club meetings and CCC all year. We’ve only made it to a couple. And I suppose our reasons are like everyone else’s. Work schedules, grandkids, vacation trips, illnesses and injuries – you name it. Possibly more like excuses, rather than reasons. Which brings me to another observation. This year’s North American MGB Register (NAMGBR) annual convention was held in Traverse City, Michigan – the cherry capital of the world. As I understand it – a beautiful location in northern Michigan and pleasant weather to boot. Only one (excepting the Tuckers who attended as MGOB members) LANCO MG team attended this national convention this year - Jim Harbold, with Scott Walter navigating, made the trip in Jim's B/GT. I can’t say the driving distance was the reason – many intrepid LANCO members have travelled to Minneapolis, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, and Ontario, Canada to attend the NAMGBR conventions in the recent past according to my memory. Why not this year? All the reasons listed above plus serious illnesses, advancing age, and possibly the lack of someone to be the organizer and driving force. Again, an old saw, but get involved with your club.
In closing, I’m not going into the trials and tribulations finding the cause and repairing the exhaust leak on our Jaguar e-type coupe until that has been completed. Just say that I still have not learned my lessons in preventing injuries to myself. This time minor burns, being too impatient to wait for things to cool down before sticking my hands and arm into tight, hot crannies. I can only say that I must be proof to the rule as to why women live longer than men.
An after-thought...... If Traverse City is the cherry capital of the world, why were the cherries that were for sale in the local grocery store from Washington??? Hmmmmm................. (Thanks, Alan.)
Lancaster Rotary Club Show - by Steve Dellinger, Photos by Skip Partlow and Charlie Baldwin
On Saturday, June 22nd a large contingent of LANCO members attended the Lancaster Rotary “Wheels and Wings” Festival at the Lancaster Airport. The weather was NICE – not torrential rain like last year or stinking hot!
The LANCO assembled at the nearby Sheetz and motored onto the field as group. Approximately two dozen LANCO members and at least 17 member cars were on the field. Those who attended included Larry Ciarrocca, Skip Partlow, Rick Smith, Cor Engelen, Steve Dellinger, Rob Shingle, Bill and Karen Gerth, Paul Miller, Chris Hofmann, Bruce and Sue Hurley, Deb Eckert, Andy and Kay Myers, Dale and Claudia Glatfelter, Charlie Baldwin, Margaret Sultner, Emery DeWitt, Russ Vollmer and Bart Sheaffer. Rich Trexler came to the show in his Porsche but didn’t enter the show field. Steve Rineer stopped by Sheetz prior to the show.
As in past shows, there was a large and varied mix of vehicles from antiques to muscle cars to street rods. I don’t think that any LANCO members won a trophy – but we had a good time anyway!
LANCO Crew – Part 1
LANCO Crew – Part 2
Rare Honda S600 Coupe
July 2019 CC&C - by Steve Dellinger, Photos by Skip Partlow and Charlie Baldwin
The seventh CC&C for 2019 took place at the Burger King in Columbia on July 6th - with 18 LANCO members, five nonmembers, 17 British cars (plus a Porsche), and numerous “lookers’ in attendance. It was hot and humid, so most of the group started out with coffee (and breakfast) inside the air-conditioned Burger King, before venturing out into the heat. (Although the Turkey Hill Experience building next door did provide shade for the cars that got there early.)
Chillin’ in the BK
There was a nice mix of cars – ranging from the oldest (Deb Eckert’s MGTC) to the newest (a MINI JCW). In between were several MGTDs and MGBs, a MGBGT, a MGA, a Midget, a Classic Mini, an XKE, a TR6, a Lotus Turbo Esprit, a Lotus Evora and a TVR Tasmin.
Great Turnout Today!
The Rest of Them
Car on the Left is FAST!
Independence Day in Red Lion - by Charlie Baldwin, Photos by Charlie Baldwin
Each year Red Lion Borough in York County has a car show on our country’s Independence Day on July 4. Some LANCO members regularly go. This year we had Brooks Thompson, Tom Ensminger, Margaret Sultner, and Charlie Baldwin, along with another couple British cars, a bugeye Sprite owned by Phil Matte, and a vintage Mini Countryman owned by Terry Barnes. It was the first time out for Brooks’ ’74 MGB that he is just finishing up the restoration on. Tom had his beautiful MGA Mk. II, and Charlie had the '52 TD.
July 4th in Red Lion
Probably one or more of the above got a trophy, but since the black clouds were rolling in, Margaret and I decided we should leave before getting drenched. We got no further than Yoe before the rain started. And it came down with a vengeance. We took refuge under a porch at an elementary school where only a small car would fit and waited out the storm.
And a “B”
The highlight of the show was seeing Andrea Thompson who has been out of commission with medical issues since last August. We all wish her continued success in her battle.
Other Adventures - by Steve Dellinger, Photos by Charlie Baldwin
Charlie Baldwin is well on his way to winning the “Most Car Shows Attended during the Year” Award – if there was such a thing. Since last month’s edition of the Marque, Charlie has attended - and chronicled in photos - the following: June 8 (Pullman Auction at the York Expo Center); June 9 (British Motor Gathering in Hellertown); June 15 (AACA Museum Car Show in Hershey); June 22 (Lancaster Rotary “Wheels and Wings” Festival); June 29 (BritFest 2019 at Timonium Fairgrounds, MD); and July 4 (Roarin’ Great Car Show in Red Lion). We look forward to next month’s travelogue!
Pullmans for Sale
T’s at Hellertown
Brits at the AACA Show
MGs at Britfest 2019
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LANCO MG CLUB (08/12/19)
The View from Behind the Wheel - by Dennis Blevins
At the time of this writing – August 11th – Carol and I are vacationing near San Diego with our daughter and her two children. It is certainly nice to have escaped the mid-Atlantic’s typical July and August “triple H” – hazy, hot, and humidity – if only for a week. As comedian Bill Engvall answers to “When has it ever been so miserable? I’m sweating so much I’m going through three changes of clothes a day”. Huh---“Last year. Next year. Yesterday”. And that was how it was when I was putting the front exhaust manifold back on the Jaguar – twice! The first time was for what was thought to be a bad gasket (and it was), but it still leaked and sounded worse than a Harley Davidson. And the second time was after the warped manifold was machined down. (By the way – have you tried to find a good machine shop lately – one that does not have a half dozen multi-axis CNC machines that require a “new” program and a special holder for a one-off job? It’s as bad as finding a competent, working, living British car mechanic.) Incidentally – the only “neat” vehicle that I’ve seen so far here in California has been a ’59 Chevy El Camino. Oh, the fins! Makes seeing all the “jellybean” cars of today all the more depressing.
So, being away on the 11th – I’ve missed the annual club picnic at Rocky Ridge Park. I’m sure a good time was had by all and no one went home hungry (and didn’t need any desert to eat for the following week!). And, by the time that you read this LANCO’s thirtieth “Taste of Britain” show will have come and gone. Speaking of “LBC” activities be sure to keep checking the calendar of events on our website. As Charlie Baldwin keeps finding them, I keep adding them to the list. Charlie seems to attend two or three every week. He must be manning a campaign to be the default winner of our “Enthusiast of the Year” award. (And there’s a rumor going around that Steve Dellinger is a shoo-in for the “Brown Wire” award because of his trials and tribulations with his “fleet”.)
And a closing note – something that should be self-evident – our meetings and events are “social” gatherings – sharing discussions about our cars, travels, and the friendships that we have developed by sharing a common interest. Everyone has, and is entitled to, their own views on any number of topics – religion, politics, whether the moon landing fifty years ago was a hoax, whatever. In our current divisive world, we are bound to have extremely different stands on any number of these topics. Please leave them at the door for a few hours so we can all enjoy our hobby and each other.
July Club Meeting and Picnic at the Trexler’s - By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Skip Partlow
On July 14th, Club Members Victoria and “Trex” Trexler invited the Club to a meeting and a picnic at their historical house in Marietta, which was built in 1762 by Revolutionary War Colonel Alexander Lowrey. Food and beverages were provided by the hosts, and included brisket, turkey barbecue, spinach pie, Caesar salad, Texas sheet cake, tea, coffee, beer, and wine. Numerous side dishes and desserts were brought by the attendees.
There was a short club business meeting, followed by a guided tour of the house that was built by Lowrey, who was a Donegal Springs Presbyterian Church founder, Indian trader, maker of peace treaties, colonial statesman and leader of the Lancaster County Militia that fought in the Battle at Brandywine. Members also toured the garage to check on the restoration status of Trex’s MGTC.
A spontaneous tech session also occurred, as a result of the ignition switch on Steve Dellinger’s classic Mini deciding to operate only sporadically!
Thanks again to the Trexlers for their hospitality!
Classic Cars and Historic House
Cars on the Green
Cars on the Green 2
Chris and Brooks
Time to Eat!
Chilin’ in the Shade
Prez Dennis conducts a Meeting
Three-Club Picnic at the Maurers - By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Charlie Baldwin and Liz Haines
On July 27th, LANCO MG Club members, along with members of the Keystone Region MG Club and the British Car Club of the Lehigh Valley, met at Diane and Cliff Maurer’s home near Kutztown for a multi-club picnic (Diane and Cliff are members of all three clubs). LANCO members attending included Charlie Baldwin, Margaret Sultner, Cor Engelin, Steve and Lucy Rineer, Steve Dellinger and, of course, the Maurers.
Prior to the picnic most of the group went on a short drive to tour the Hudson Auto Orphanage Museum (Old Spokes Auto Museum) three miles down the road in New Smithville. The Museum complex consists of two buildings. The Old Spokes' Hudson collection includes many great examples of Hudson, Essex and Terraplane automobiles and is housed in a building that started out as a Maxwell dealership. The second building was a Ford Dealership for decades. It was in everyday working condition and has since been restored for use in repairing and displaying the cars.
The Brits are Here!
Lots of Hudsons!
After the tour, everyone reconvened at the Maurer’s for an amazing picnic lunch, which featured “bangers”, Italian sausages and ham barbeque – plus all the fixings, sides and desserts. Old Speckled Hen beer and wine was also available, if needed! After the food, the British Car Club of the Lehigh Valley held a short club meeting, which included a discussion of the planning for a British-themed presence at the Das Awkscht Fescht in Macungie, in 2021. The afternoon ended with a “brain buster” game and the opportunity to take advantage of the Maurer’s swimming pool. Thanks to the Maurers for hosting the event and giving LANCO an opportunity to socialize with the two other British Car Clubs!
Back from the Tour
“T” Parking Only!
Time to Eat
August 2019 CC&C - By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Skip Partlow
The eighth CC&C for 2019 took place at the Burger King in Columbia on August 3rd - with fourteen LANCO members, several nonmembers, eleven British cars (plus a BMW and a couple of Porsches), and several “lookers’ in attendance. Melissa and Jake Poff drove over from York in their recently- purchased Classic Mini. Future members??
Axis and Allies
Shortly after 10 AM, with a chance of thundershowers in the forecast, an adventurous group headed out from the parking lot, over the old Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge, and then north on an approximately 30-mile run laid out by Charlie Baldwin. The caravan included Charlie Baldwin and Margaret Sultner in the lead in the MGTD; followed by Cor Engelen (in a bicycle-equipped Volvo); Deb Eckert in her MGTC; Steve Rineer in his Lotus and Steve Dellinger in his 2011 MINI. Attractions along the route included the historic Accomac Inn, the historic Codorus Furnace and the (not) historic Springettsbury Township Wastewater Treatment Plant (it’s a long story). We ALMOST made it to Jim Mack’s Ice Cream/Restaurant near Hellam – the rain started within two miles of our destination. Sorry … no pics of us eating ice cream. Note to Steve R. – don’t drive and eat ice cream!
August Club Meeting and Picnic- By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Skip Partlow
Brits found the Shade
Das Awkscht Fescht - By Charlie Baldwin, Photos by Charlie Baldwin
The Macungie car show, formally called Das Awkscht Fescht, a three-day show, was held the weekend of August 2,3,4 at the Macungie Memorial Park in Macungie, PA. It was the 56th year of this car show. Macungie is on PA Rte. 100 in Lehigh County, roughly 10 miles south of US 222. From York, the trip took a bit over 1 1/2 hours.
The way the car show works is that different groups are included each of the three days, though antique cars and trucks are allowed anytime. Friday is the day for street rods to attend, along with tractors, antique engines and equipment. Saturday and Sunday no street rods are allowed. On Saturday cars are parked in classes by age with free registration for cars 100 years or older. There is a class for future classics from 25 years old to the present. Sunday is called car club day with 40 clubs that one can register under. The British Car Club of the Lehigh Valley is the sanctioned club for British cars. You need not actually be a member of the club that you register with. There were approximately 30 cars parked with that club with a few others scattered with the Foreign cars. One British car, a very interesting and unique 1951 Ford Pilot V8 woodie, was with the National Woodie Club. And a Nash Healey was parked with the Nash/Rambler club. Within the British cars there was a good cross section of marques, with an Allard being the most uncommon. MG, of course, had several representatives with TD, TF, MGA, MGB all attending.
Besides the cars on display, there is a car corral, and some parts vendors also. There are also several food vendors. Live music is provided throughout the day. No day of show registration is allowed, and preregistration needs to be done early, with a cutoff around July 1. A discount is offered if registration is done the prior year up until December 31. There is no judging and all registrants get a participation award along with a dash plaque.
Each year has a featured "marque" with this year's being Mopar. Margaret wondered what Mopar meant, which is Chrysler Corporation's version of MOWOG. It actually stands for MOtor PARts according to Google. A large tent is provided for the featured marque with the overflow, which is most of the cars, being parked in rows adjacent to the tent. 2021 will have British cars as the feature. This should be an official LANCO MG club event and promoted continuously until then.
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LANCO MG CLUB (09/09/19)
The View from Behind the Wheel, By Dennis Blevins
My goodness, we’re well into September already and seriously looking at the remainder of the year! I hate to say it, but the end of this year’s top-down driving season is well upon us. However, if you look at our events calendar, there’s quite a few great things scheduled around the region in October. Just a reminder – if you do attend any events please take some photos and send them along to Steve (firstname.lastname@example.org) with some text about the event so that he can use that for our British Marque submissions.
For myself, I recently helped with putting on the “Chester County Road Rally”. This is one part of the three-day “!00 Cars of Radnor” concours event. Think of it as a mini Amelia Island show – except “only” 100 cars are invited to be shown and judged. It is held at the Radnor Hunt club grounds near Malvern. The rally is open to all teams willing to cough up the $185 entrance fee. Yes – that’s steep for us LBC folks but it includes breakfast, a gourmet lunch and over-the-top awards. This year’s entrants ranged from a 1924 Stutz to a 2019 Lamborghini Huracan and everything in between. Included in the eighty-seven teams there was a Morgan, an Austin-Healey 100 and one Jaguar. The concours show and judging is held on Sunday. Aside from the show cars (and “antique” carriages!), which would turn on any motorhead’s brain, local higher-end auto dealerships have their models on display, and many will allow you to take a test drive. Where else can to do a side by side comparison of a top end Audi, BMW, Maserati, Jaguar, Mercedes, Porsche, Ferrari, Acura, Alfa Romeo and others?
On another note, I recently ran into something that many of you likely already know – in Pennsylvania you can put a “year of manufacture” license plate on your classic or antique registered car. I found this out while “upgrading” the registration on our Jaguar to “antique” from “classic”. I just could not accept putting the state’s standard “antique” plate which includes a silhouette of “horseless carriage” on the XKE. Both registrations are permanent (no annual fee) but “classic” requires the annual state safety inspection to be performed where “antique” does not. A couple of caveats about this process – you must have the “year of manufacture” plate and it must NOT include tag information (letters and numbers, including “vanity” combinations) that is currently registered to any other auto in the state. All of the forms required and a page where you can check for active tags can be found on Penn Dot’s website. Old plates as well as the little annual year “stickers” can be found and purchased from any number of places on the internet – including eBay. And if all else fails you can have a new plate made at Licenseplates.tv (https://www.licenseplates.tv/usa-state-plates.html) or others found on the internet. At any rate – the e-type now wears a 1970 tag.
A Taste of Britain – 30th Edition!, By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Skip Partlow and Charlie Baldwin
Our thirtieth “A Taste of Britain” British vehicle show and polo match is now in the books. TOB Chairman Larry Ciarrocca ordered up a “nice” mid-August day for the event – no rain but “kinda (i.e., 97 degrees)” hot! Although we had a large number of pre-registrations, the excessive weather kept away some of our “pre-registereds” and may have kept down the “day-of-shows”. We ended up with exactly 100 vehicles on the field – including a 1957 Matchless motorcycle. Down from two years ago – but WAY better than last year’s monsoon! Nearly one-half of the cars were MGs. Renting a fest tent has been worth the expense the past few years – either as cover during the rainy days or shade during the sunny days.
Something new this year was the Proper English Cat Contest. The contest was free to enter, and a prize was awarded to what was judged the best/most hat for both the ladies and gentlemen.
One of the most interesting vehicles was trailered to the show - because it does not yet run. It was a 1967 Austin Mini Moke that started its life in British Honduras (now Belize). The owner’s father bought the car when he lived in British Honduras. In the 1970s, he decided to move to Pennsylvania and towed it all the way here! The car sat in a barn for some forty years before his son decided to pull it out and try to restore it. We hope to see it driving onto the show field sometime in the future!
Registration is open for business
Lots of MGs
Regalia and English Hats
Proper English Headwear
Nice Mix of Cars
Visitor from South of the Border
September 2019 CC&C , By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Skip Partlow and Charlie Baldwin
The ninth CC&C for 2019 took place at the Burger King in Columbia on September 7th - with thirteen LANCO members, including one brand new member, ten British cars (plus a Mercedes) and several “lookers’ in attendance. Ralph Spayd made an appearance (in the MB), as did Kent Williamson in his MGB-GT. The new member is 18-year old Cory Schmoyer from Linglestown, who arrived in a 1977 MGB. The car was acquired by Cory‘s late grandfather to restore. He used his autobody shop expertise to clean up the car and repaint it (Porsche red). Cory (an aspiring auto mechanic) and his father (a working auto mechanic) worked to complete the restoration. We look forward to seeing Cory and his car at future LANCO events.
BGT and TC are Here
Cory and his ’77 MGB
September Club Meeting By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Charlie Baldwin
The weather for the ninth membership meeting of the New Year was partly cloudy, with temperatures in the high 70s. 21 members and eleven British cars showed up at the Centerville Diner in Lancaster – including Gary Trautman’s Maxwell. Steve Dellinger’s E.T. has been repaired (long story) and also made an appearance. President Dennis Blevins conducted the Meeting. Minutes from the August 2019 meeting were distributed, and the Treasurer provided a report on the Club’s current finances. Updates on the current club membership and a report on results of this year’s “A Taste of Britain (TOB)” were also provided.
Old Non-British Car in the Background
E.T. is back on the Road!
Pam’s “New” MINI
Family Project By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Steve Dellinger
Here is Chapter One of the story of the Wardell Family Midget, as recounted by Ron’s wife:
“When our son was 15, my husband purchased a 1971 MG Midget. It was for a fun project for the two of them to do together. And they did have so much fun. Fully restoring the car, rebuilding the engine, new paint, seats repaired, etc. As our son got older, graduated, got a responsible job, he needed a more reliable car. With regrets they sold the MG. Other kid in college, no room for more cars, all the usual problems.
Now that son is turning 50. Still talks about the MG. So many regrets for letting it go. He and his dad keep talking about who will get one first and have the fun of restoring and driving it. The dad is now 76. The story of the MG and the regrets are topics of conversation when the whole family is together. They all never miss the Rothsville Polo Club show. Inspect every car with great envy. This year for the 50th birthday, the grandsons bought their dad another 1971 MG Midget. A project car for sure. They now have the engine running, still in the garage. BUT the body and frame and floor are all in bad shape. Good news is that all the details of the car are there.
The car is currently in our garage (the grandparents). I am not sure who is having more fun and is more excited about the prospect of restoring this little car. It belongs to the son, but the boys who bought it are just as enthused. Of course, the grandfather is out in the garage way more than he should be. When we bought the first 1971 it was only 13 years old. Now the same year is almost 50 years old. Needs lots more help.”
UPDATE: The Midget made it to Rothsville for A Taste of Britain this year! Next step – find a new body!! Stay tuned for Chapter 2!
The Wardell Family Midget
Much Yet to Do!
Cars and Coffee in St. Michaels, By Charlie Baldwin, Photos by Charlie Baldwin
I promised Steve a short account of the St. Michaels trip. I had been getting emails from the organizers for a couple of years about the Cars and Coffee in St. Michaels, MD on the Eastern Shore, and had hoped to drive down for it at some point in either the TD or Healey. I knew it would be a long ride for a one-day trip in either car as neither is nearly as comfortable as a modern car. Both, however, have the capability of the highway speeds necessary to go there the fast way. From York that would be south on I-83, around the Baltimore beltway, then to I-97 heading toward Annapolis, then east on US 50 to cross the Bay Bridge and on to St Michaels. That is around a 2 3/4-hour trip according to my GPS. The Cars and Coffee runs from 9 AM to 11 AM, so leaving early was imperative.
The reason I picked the weekend that I did was because an invitation arrived for a picnic from the owners of an Austin-Healey restoration shop, who have a house south of St. Michaels on Tilghman Island Road. So, it seemed to work out as far as the timing was concerned. I asked if they minded if I brought an MG, and they didn't mind at all. So, since the Healey is laid up currently, I drove the TD. With its Volvo engine and D type overdrive transmission, the TD does quite well on the highway. It got me there around 9:15, the third car to arrive.
For a while I hadn't realized that the Cars and Coffee was at the car museum, but eventually I figured that out. I had hoped to see Bob Little, another TD owner who has fixed his car up to resemble a Cream Cracker MG trials car from the 1930s. He is the one who told me about the museum last year at MGs on the Rocks, when he brought his MG there from St. Michaels. Alas he didn't show up, but another TD did. Inside the museum were two more MGs, a TC, and a YT, along with a Ginetta race car, and other cars of varying interest to me. There are around 20 cars in all.
So, I hung out at the Cars and Coffee, and then was allowed to leave my car there while I walked through St. Michaels as far as the Maritime Museum. If I had more time, I would have gone through that. Figuring I would arrive at the picnic around noon, I made my way back to the museum and headed south on Tilghman Island Road, which just so happens to be the main street in St. Michaels.
I was the second to arrive at the picnic, the first old car. A while later, four Austin-Healeys showed up, most from Delaware. We had a good meal. The Healey folk got a bushel of steamed crabs, though I thought better of eating any since proper etiquette requires drinking beer with them and I had a long drive to get home again.
The drive home was uneventful. The fact that the weather was perfect made it a great trip. Perhaps other LANCO members would consider going to the Cars and Coffee, and also both museums in St. Michaels. A two-day trip would be better and give us time to see some sights while there and eat some good seafood. I would also recommend a more leisurely drive down the eastern side of the bay. It takes around an hour more, but the speeds would not be as high, and traffic would be less. That's a trip to plan for next year!
Cars at the Museum
Four Healeys - and a MG
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LANCO MG CLUB (October)
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