British Marque Articles - 2020
LANCO MG CLUB (06/15/20) REVISED
The View from Behind the Wheel By Dennis Blevins
I know, I know. We are all frustrated with the restrictions placed on us because of this virus “pandemic”. We would like to get out and gather as a group but the governor’s “traffic light” (red, yellow, green) classification of our counties really puts a damper on what businesses, restaurants and even parks are “allowed” to do. And wearing face masks is so much fun! I don’t know about you but they’re difficult to breathe through and my glasses fog up. Just sick and tired of it all. But – a couple of consolation prizes; anything is better than getting seriously ill, and the old saw – we’re all in this together! My family took the plunge and went ahead with a preplanned week of vacation in Sedona, AZ. Empty airports, social distancing on airplanes, required masks, restaurants with take-out only, closed businesses, etc. And least the weather was great, and the red rock scenery was still beautiful.
So – we march on into the unknown and make plans for club events and then turn around and cancel them. We finally did hold a CCC at a new location (as Steve reports below). I understand that there are mixed reviews on that, but we’ll try one more time in July. Our annual August picnic at Rocky Ridge Park near York appears to be a “go”. And – unfortunately – we have had to cancel this year’s “Taste of Britain” car show and polo match. The polo club has cancelled the remainder of their schedule for this year and the local township owns that “park” and has kept it closed during the pandemic. There was just not enough time to try to make alternate arrangements so for now TOB is on for August 2021. I do personally plan on preparing a couple of driving events to be held during the next few months. River Road past our house has been full of motorcycles. If they can get out for massed drives, so can we.
Since all these events and plans are rather fluid watch our website and your e-mails for updates as we go along. It’s the best that we have to offer at this time.
Safety fast - while you stay at home,
June 2020 CC&C – and Ice Cream By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Skip Partlow
Since the April and May CC&C get-togethers were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions/concerns, a discussion was held as to whether or not to hold a June event. Our normal location at the Burger King in Columbia was a no-go because Lancaster County was still under “RED”. However, across the Susquehanna River, York County was scheduled to go “YELLOW” on June 5th. Club member Charlie Baldwin suggested that we meet at Jim Mack’s Ice Cream between Hallam and Wrightsville, where under “YELLOW”, outdoor dining was allowed – with the proper social distancing, etc. As many members where anxious to get out with their cars, a 10 AM meet at Mack’s was quickly organized.
Jim Mack's Ice Cream was established in the late 1950s. They still make the ice cream on the premises and have a menu that includes burgers, hotdogs, French fries and more. In 1984, they added a 24-hole miniature golf course, bankshot basketball, playground and arcade, which is known as Cones & Clubs. They also used to have a mini-zoo, but that’s another story.
The weather was sunny and warm on June 6th and, as a result, we had a great turnout. Twenty British cars and twenty-four people! Included was new member Joe Markle with his “slightly modified” MGB. After a two-month hiatus, there was a lot of “catching up” to do!
The “unofficial” decision was made to continue to meet at Mack’s during the upcoming “fair-weather” months. This decision, of course, is “subject to change”.
New CC&C Fair-weather Venue
The June Crew
Charlie added Flags
Planning the “British Job”
Masks On! (Next to Diane’s “New” Car)
Cars and Mini Golf
Upcoming LANCO Events:
July 4 - Coffee, Cars & Conversation – 10:00 AM at Mack's Ice Cream. - 5745 Lincoln Hwy, York, PA 17406. (Located on PA Rt 462 east of York, between Hellam and Wrightsville, PA).
August 1 - Coffee, Cars & Conversation – 10:00 AM at Mack's Ice Cream. - 5745 Lincoln Hwy, York, PA 17406. (Located on PA Rt 462 east of York, between Hellam and Wrightsville, PA).
Sunday, August 9 – Club Meeting/Picnic – 1:00 PM at Rocky Ridge Park, York, PA. . Bring a covered dish and/or dessert to share - https://yorkcountypa.gov/parks-recreation/the-parks/rocky-ridge-parks.html
Friday, August 14 - Sunday, August 16 – Carlisle "Import / Performance Nationals" - http://www.carsatcarlisle.com/
Saturday, September 5 - Coffee, Cars & Conversation – 10:00 AM at Mack's Ice Cream. - 5745 Lincoln Hwy, York, PA 17406. (Located on PA Rt 462 east of York, between Hellam and Wrightsville, PA).
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LANCO MG CLUB (07/13/20)
The View from Behind the Wheel -By Dennis Blevins
We’re told that we’re transitioning to the “new normal”. Folks – things are going to have to get a heck of a lot more “normal” for me before I can come up with something meaningful and applicable to our British car “hobby” to pass on to you each month. So, in the meanwhile you’ll have to suffer through my miscellaneous ramblings.
A couple of things happened to my wife and I over the last week or so that made me think about the core value of our hobby and what the future of the “Little British Car” hobby may be. Over the last many years, we’ve been hammered that we must get younger people involved. And that’s become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We relate to our little sports cars because they were part of our youth back in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. Today’s younger folks are rarely interested in those cars because they didn’t grow up with them when they were teenagers – they relate to an entirely different set of vehicles (if at all) – Toyotas, Hondas, Mitsubishis, Volkswagens (NOT Beetles), etc. And as we get older there is fewer and fewer people that desire to have an MG, Triumph, “original” Mini, etc. Just like the Ford Model “T”, “A”, and “B” market. You see those cars sit on the classified listings for months and months.
Now how does that relate back to what I started in the previous paragraph? It’s not all about the kids. It’s how we get or keep others excited and interested in our cars – quite often our friends, neighbors, and even relatives. The first of the two happenings mentioned above – Yep, were getting older – into our seventh decade – and getting, ah, slightly “larger”. Carol had a nice MG logo jacket acquired back when we were much younger and “smaller”. She had worn it maybe a handful of times – like new condition. She “passed it forward” to another club member that it would fit and would use it. That person was ecstatic with the “gift” and ready to wear it in the middle of July! Just one simple MG item going to see use in the future and not whiling away on a Goodwill rack. The other “happening” occurred during our local village’s annual community yard sale. We set up in the big garage. The Jaguars were under cover, but the MG Midget was not. Many of the yard-sale folks would ask about it – what it was, etc. and Carol started telling folks “it’s for sale”. (Many of you know of my on again-off again thoughts of culling my herd of vehicles – and the Midget was on the top of that list.) Sure enough, one young woman became interested. (Now, to me, anyone under 45 is young.) She asked for a ride. Off we went. She asked all the right questions. We talked a price. We exchanged telephone numbers. She left stating that she was extremely interested but had to mull it over for a couple of days. I said, “No problem, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon”. You got it – another young woman, one of our neighbor’s daughters who we hadn’t seen in years stopped by to chat and the topic of all of my cars that she remembered when she was a kid living next door came up and Carol said again “That Midget’s for sale”. That quickly turned into “How much.” And “I have to have it”. She brought her husband back a couple of hours later and the deal was done. (Yes – now I’m MG-less.)
The gist of all this? We don’t have to get the twenty-somethings interested in our cars and hobby – there’s our friends, neighbors, and relatives. Some may already be involved. Some may have memories of a neighbor down the street that had one of those “neat” cars. Take your grandchildren, nieces and nephews, neighborhood kids (ask the parents first!) for a ride. Give people happy thoughts. Start making memories in others!
(UPDATE - 7/25/2020!!) By the end of two weeks after the yard sale both young ladies backed out of buying the Midget. Deposits returned, seller's remorse cured. One's husband is 6' 7" and could not even ride in the car, let alone drive it. "At this point in our lives it's not right that we each have "toys" that we cannot enjoy together". After many conversations and texts the other said "It's a lovely car, but I'm not in love with it". So - the Midget is still here, and we have two new friends!
July 2020 CC&C – and Independence! - By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Steve Dellinger
The first Saturday in July was the 4th – Independence Day, so I didn’t know what kind of turnout to expect at Jim Mack’s Ice Cream. It turned out that (1) the weather was great - sunny and warm - and (2) everyone must have been dying to get out. At least 32 people and 21 British cars showed up! Was it in poor taste to have a British car get-together on the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain??
Oh well … lots of the usual CC&C Crew showed up, as well as some old and some new faces. Masks were worn (generally …) and the proper social distancing was observed (kinda …). Paul Miller drove the XKE, which is starting to look really good! Jim Harbold made an appearance in the MB, as did Rob Shingle in Jagger (the XK140 Roadster). New members Mark and Cat Litwin drove their ’73 red MGB. Among others in attendance were former member Eric and his son in the old red TD and Tod Brenner in his “barn find” and “under renovation” 1958 Powder Blue TR3A (with a 4-speed sync overdrive trans).
It was “ice cream weather” for sure - so Mack’s did a brisk business. As was the case last month, there was a lot of “catching up” to do. Next month’s CC&C is scheduled for August 1st.
The Litwins’ B
Mike and Tom talk cars!
Hi Al! (and Brooks)
Social Distancing in the Shade
Car is Looking Good Paul!
Past Member Eric’s TD
July Mystery Tour - By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Steve Dellinger
As President Dennis stated, “We’re all tired of being cooped up at home with our cars setting in the garage. Although things have loosened up a bit, we still can’t meet at a restaurant as usual – so - I’ve laid out a drive that we can take in lieu of our July meeting.”
On July 12th at 2:00 PM. we gathered at the K-Mart parking lot at Prospect Road and Columbia Avenue, near Mountville. Sixteen cars (14 British and two Other), twenty-seven people – plus Princess (our mascot) showed up for a drive! After Dennis held a brief drivers’ meeting and handed out directions, we all headed out in our cars for a "mystery tour" of southern Lancaster County. The drive took approximately 1-1/2 hours (longer for those who got lost) and covered 50 miles. [Note to self – don’t follow the old guy in the Mercedes!] The weather was sunny and WARM! We all returned to a location near our starting point (Scoops Ice Cream & Grill) where light refreshments (ice cream) was available. Social distancing and face masks were required when not in our cars – or eating. Hopefully everyone got home before the thunderstorms hit!
It was good to see familiar faces (behind their masks) and to meet new people, and “new “ old cars!
Drivers Meeting Impending
Princess is Ready!
MGs and MINIs
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The View from Behind the Wheel, by Dennis Blevins
You may remember that in last month’s column I related to you how our ’76 Midget finally came to be sold. Well – as Paul Harvey would say “Here’s the rest of the story”!
By the end of two weeks after the yard sale when the Midget was “sold” both young ladies backed out of buying the car. Deposits were returned and seller's remorse was cured. One's husband is 6' 7" and could not even ride in the car without his knees against the dash, let alone drive it. "At this point in our lives it's not right that we each have "toys" that we cannot enjoy together". And after many, many conversations and texts with the other young lady the final one was "It's a lovely car, but I'm not in love with it". So – much to our sixteen-year-old grandson Owen’s delight, the Midget is still here.
Now you must endure more of my semi-non-MG-ramblings…. Our annual LANCO MG picnic was held this past Sunday (August 9th). (More on that later from able-correspondent Steve D.) Upon talking and reminiscing between my wife and I and other club members, we concluded that most of us do not hold family reunions any longer. In our (much) younger years that was a given fixture of summertime. All the grandparents and aunts and uncles along with all the children would gather one summer Sunday afternoon at whichever family’s “turn” it was to host the gathering that year. Covered dishes were brought to share. The host family would often supply the meat course – fried chicken, etc. The kids would play all kinds of games in the yard or nearby meadow. Swimming in the pond was often included depending on the venue. And the older folks would kibitz while playing Pinochle, Hearts, or Canasta. And heaven forbid in the more organized groups, “minutes” of the various family occurrences over the past year were assembled and read aloud and OFFICERS were elected. You knew who had brought the best dessert (Aunt Mary’s secret recipe Black Walnut white cake with coconut icing), whose casserole to avoid (Yuck, double yuck - that seven-bean concoction! And whoever came up with Watergate salad?) It was a banner day if Dad was able to supply his bar-b-que chicken cooked over oak hardwood reduced to burning coals in his special racks on that cement-block pit.
So, what has become of us all? Sure, some families are far flung, but many are not. Are we that much of wussies that we must take refuge in our air-conditioned homes? (Come on – as comedian Bill Engvall would quip “When has it been this hot and humid in southeastern Pennsylvania? Ah – last year! Next year”!) Fortunately, LANCO MG’s annual summer picnic is much like a reunion for our local British Car group. We get to gather with friends – some we see often, some only occasionally. We have (too much) great food. And it’s always a great time to reconnect with our “family”.
In closing, with all the changing issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic be sure to keep up to date on club and other LBC events by checking back regularly at our club website: http://www.lancomgclub.com/
August 2020 CC&C, by Steve Dellinger, Photos by Steve Dellinger
Another great weather day (albeit a tad steamy) led to another great turnout at the August 2nd edition of Coffee, Cars and Conversation at Jim Mack’s in York. Several new faces and cars showed up this month.
Nice Mix Today
New member Lonnie Graybill showed up in his 2003 Morgan Plus 8. Gregg Swartley from Bowmansville saw the event online and drove down to check it out in his MG Midget (which has interesting LED headlights). And Steve Rineer’s Lotus was back on the road – and in attendance.
New Member Lonnie’s Car
Visitor from Berks County
As previously mentioned, the temperature heated up quickly and shade was in great demand. As the morning get-together was coming to an end, a classic American car drove by, made a U-turn and stopped into visit. It turns out that the owner of the very clean old Dodge also has a TR-3 at home! Here’s hoping for another good weather day on September 5th.
Chilin’ in the Shade
The German(?) Contingent
He also has a Triumph
August Meeting and Club Picnic, by Steve Dellinger, Photos by Steve Dellinger
The ongoing COVID-19 phenomenon definitely had an impact on attendance at this year’s annual Picnic. Masks and social distancing were in force and twenty-four members (and 10 British cars) showed up. Kudos to Gloria and Larry Ciarrocca for taking the reins to obtain the food and coordinate the setup for the picnic. Larry also assumed the role as head chef – and recruited Ralph Spayd (off the street?) to assist. Great care was taken to try to minimize the potential for the need of multiple people handling common food items and utensils. Hopefully everyone was comfortable with the arrangements. As usual. There was no excuse for anyone to go home hungry.
A brief Club meeting was held after lunch, where most of the discussion, unfortunately, was centered around all the cancelled events. Ralph Spayd has volunteered to organize and lead a Covered Bridge Tour of Northern Lancaster County on September 13th – the date that was originally scheduled for a Club Meeting. The Tour will start at the Donegal Middle School in Marietta and end at a location yet to be determined. Please check the Club website for updated information on time, etc. The annual Woody’s Crab Run to North East, MD. is still on for Sunday, October 18th.
During the course of the afternoon, we had two British car owners stop by – who noticed the cars and ended up filling out applications for membership! One was a MG TD (and Triumph) owner who was in the park taking photographs. The second was a MG Midget owner whose son saw us and went home to have his dad drive their park back to the park.
I believe that all those in attendance had a good time again this year. (And only one British car needed to be jumpstarted at the end of the day !!)
Who is that Masked Man?
Cor is Here!
Time to Eat
Time to Eat 2
You see the Strangest Things!
AACA Museum Car Show by Steve Dellinger, Photos by Steve Dellinger
On Sunday, August 2nd, the AACA Museum in Hershey, PA held what was dubbed the “Thanks for Giving – Reopening Cruise In & Celebration” - to celebrate the Museum’s reopening. Admission to the event was free, as was admission to the Museum. Those who registered early were also treated to a free catered lunch and a free limited edition Museum hat! Current, special exhibits in the Museum include the “Highlights of the Collection” exhibit and the “First Responders and Frontline Workers” exhibit.
While the turnout was dominated by American muscle cars, there were a few British cars in attendance, as well as a beautiful 1969 Jaguar XKE Roadster on display in the lobby of the Museum and a nice British Racing Green 1954 MG TF on display downstairs.
1954 MG TF
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LANCO MG CLUB (September)
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LANCO MG CLUB (10/12/20)
The View from Behind the Wheel, By Dennis Blevins
Now, for something completely different……. Instead of what has become monthly ramblings of my incessant thoughts, this month I’m going to write about something that I could take part in that was actually “car” related.
On September 20th the “Ironmasters Car Rally”, organized by LANCO MG members Rob Shingle and Jim Keener, was held. This rally – actually, more of a driving tour – was the Lancaster portion of the “Rally Across America”. “Rally Across America” provides a structure for regional and local ambassadors and car clubs to use their "rally-in-a-box" model to raise money for local charities in the absence of car shows and concours events during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning at Rob and Jim’s Meadow View Farm in the environs of rural Manheim, the route covered about forty miles of northern Lancaster County, the Cornwall area of Lebanon County and continued south through Lancaster County and ending at their garage on the Harrisburg Pike near Lancaster.
That short synopsis does little to adequately describe the top-notch details of the event. First off, the weather was wonderful – brisk and cool, but sunny. Perfect for top-down touring. Coffee and donuts were provided before the start in the magnificently restored barn on the farm. The route covered great country roads with plenty of views. And the “garage” at the finish would rival any other in the country, excepting for size. And a lunch of BBQ sandwiches, potato salad, coleslaw, drinks, and desert finished off the day. Approximately twenty-five teams participated in the tour driving everything from a Ferrari to an Austin-Healy Bug-eye Sprite. LANCO MG members taking part, other than Rob and Jim, included Jim Harbold and Bonnie in Jim’s Mercedes “Kompressor”, Kent and Chad Williamson with Kent’s ’63 A-H 3000, Mark and Cathyann Litwin with their ’74 red MGB, and myself with the ’94 Jaguar XJS 2+2 convertible.
In all twenty-five hundred dollars was raised for the day’s targeted charity – JDRS of Central Pennsylvania. (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.)
Great job, Rob and Jim. Can we do it again next year?
Lined Up and Ready to Go!
Jim and Bonnie
Kent and Chad
Mark and Cathyann
Some of the “Stable”
More of the “Stable”
The View from THE Backseat, September - Covered Bridge Tour, By Ralph Spayd, Photos by Steve Dellinger
Well since Dennis is driving the bus this year and is behind the wheel, I thought it appropriate to write an article from the back seat. Now as you know only the 2+2’s have conceptual backseats so imagine I’m sitting sideways……but maybe too much of a mental visual for most….sorry!! Since we’re always pressed for articles and I’m sure Steve will submit this I’m going to continue to ramble but promise I will actually finish with a report on the covered bridge tour. I’ve been driving LBC’s (Little British Cars) since 1967. I started driving when I was 3 so you can do the math on how old I am. Please no fact checks…….so you ask, Ralph what does that have to do with anything. Well, my point being, I understand convolution as well as anyone who has ever driven a British car. They are full of surprises and strange going on’s. But even with 50+ years of LBC training I was not fully prepared for 2020 and CV19. Now CV19 sounds like some kind of sports car model. Albeit, it does move fast and IS taking the world by storm. And by and large we were woefully unprepared and taken back by the onslaught. Wow, talk about drifting off point, but maybe not. So, what does all this have to do with a covered bridge tour? We’ve run these things for years and have taken it all for granted. First, I’ve learned to not take things for granted. We’re incredibly privileged to have the ability to enjoy these things. Second, getting out and about with friends is something I miss dearly. All this has reinforced for me the special bond we share as a car community at LANCO. Third, I’ve learned things about myself, my faith in humanity and my tolerance for risk. I came up short for quite a while in these categories. One of the most powerful things I heard about isolating and staying safe is we all need to evaluate our own tolerance for risk and develop our own “quaranTEAM”. Meaning the social groups we feel safe associating with again. Fourth, I learned there is no right or wrong answers to all this “stuff”, only what we as individuals feel safe adopting. Soooooo, back to the bridge tour. The tour for me represented a bit of normalcy during a very stressful time. That we can, by being diligent and observing the recommended safety rules return to some of the things that brought us together as a club. The tour was held on September 27th, with 15 cars. We had a great turnout and a great time. The weather was iffy, but didn’t dampen our spirit. Now, I looked and reviewed the directions and mileage 20 times and still had an error on the final sheet. But doesn’t explain why the first 4 cars took a right turn out of the parking lot instead of a left….you know who you are!!!! Just reinforces we’re not perfect, but human and full of character. The tour covered 8 bridges and is a very scenic drive. The “corrected” directions are on our web site. I could ramble on about the tour but won’t. For me the covered bridge tour represented what we can still do as a club during these strange times. We continue to run a very successful Coffee – Cars & Conversation on the first Saturday of the month. We’re still active and growing as a club and will continue to morph events as we move forward. It was a real privilege for me to coordinate this event and I thank all who participated. I guess all our collective understanding with convoluted LBC’s is finally paying off in a convoluted world. Stay safe and positive. Remember to check out our web site at www.lancomgclub.com and mark your calendars for the upcoming events.
Getting “Queued” Up!
Deb Made It!
Fall Carlisle, By Diane Maurer, Photos by Diane Maurer
Diane and Cliff Maurer showcased their 1953 MGTF 1500 “Maggie” on the stage at Fall Carlisle Meet during the week of 9/29-10/1. This was in conjunction with the AACA as a showcased group.
Cliff and “Maggie”
“Maggie” on Display
October 2020 CC&C, Photos by Skip Partlow
Another sunny, but definitely cooler, day for the October 3rd edition of Coffee, Cars & Conversation at Jim Mack’s in East York. Sixteen people and at least nine British Cars were in attendance. NOTE: Next month (on November 7th) CC&C will move to the parking lot at Oregon Dairy (2900 Oregon Pike, Lititz, PA).
Winter CC&C Location
Some of the Crew
Jack and Larry
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