British Marque Articles - 2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LANCO MG CLUB (01/10/22)

The View from Behind the Wheel - By Ralph Spayd

Happy New Year to all and welcome to 2022. We concluded a very successful 2021 with new activities, club growth, meeting new friends and then finished the year with a wonderful Holiday banquet. Tough to top that, but I’m certain we can do it. I want to personally thank our Board of Directors and officers for their great support and counsel, their willingness to serve and be involved in keeping the club vibrant. Also, Dennis B, Steve D, Tony S, Larry C, Rob and Jim and a cast of hundreds. Any success we’ve enjoyed is only orchestrated by our team effort. Thanks to all. I also want to thank the CPTC and Rich R for their support this year. I’m looking forward to more “cross pollination” of the clubs. Pam P has taken the reins of the AH club and we’re looking to a good year coordinating and sharing combined events.

As you can tell, I’m excited about the coming year and new activities we have planned. January did start with a split decision. We held our 1st CCC on the 8th at the Burger King in Columbia. We met at 9 AM - no 10 AM – well, sorta at 9:30, but all future CCC’s do start at 10 AM regardless of the venue. No classic British cars were present, but three new MINIs did show up. 10 hardy souls did show.

The CC&C Crew

Only MINIs Today

As typical, we solved the world’s problems and left the planet in better shape. The high lite of the morning was Steve R. trying to describe/defend his pick of door prizes at the Banquet. He and Lucy had different ideas, but Dennis B did save the day. I’m guessing Dennis is now on Steve’s Christmas Card list!!! The January club meeting was cancelled due to an icing event. As I write this it may or may not have been necessary, but better safe than sorry. For the coming year we’ll certainly keep some of the old “gems” running but plan some new activities. We have two road trips scheduled. The first is MG 2022 to Ontario and in October we’ll caravan to Virginia to the Hunt Country Classic with a side trip to Winchester. We’re planning a service project with the Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development on June 25th. In February, we’ll greet a very special guest, but that’s all I’ll say about that right now! Keep your camera and car tuned up for a special contest. I guess I’ve dated myself with the camera reference as we’ll all use our phones, but nuff said about that, so stay tuned! Save the date for the Das Awkscht Fescht and August 7th. Cliff M. is coordinating a big British car showing on the last day of the Fescht (geeze Louise, that is hard to spell), so let’s dust off all our cars and help Cliff to make it a huge oil dripping success. The coming year will be chocked full of food, ice cream, coffee, oil, gas, camaraderie, friendship and Lordy who knows what else! So, it’s gonna be a big year with boundless opportunities for Cliff and Diane to pass on the ‘Brown Wire” award!! All that considered, remember to never, ever miss an event because of your car, it’s the people we’re interested in (yikes, hate to end a sentence in a preposition, but I’m stuck).

 “Brown Wire Award” Prominently Displayed!

As always, it’s time for the soap box and my cathartic ramblings. I need to relate something that happened recently. One of our members, Ben R, who is a TVR guy and knows I had a TVR turned me on to a 1986 280i located in the area. Ben knew about the car as both he and Bob the owner had 280i’s and swapped fixes. Bob was quite the car guy and did great work on his eclectic collection. Sadly, Bob passed away recently. I went to look at the car last week and met his wife, Mary. I reviewed the car, but spent time talking about cars, life and things in general. I may or may not get the car, but that’s not what mattered. I was given a brief glimpse into the lives of some very interesting people and their shared memories and passion for cars. I probably never would have met Bob and Mary if it weren’t for my connection with LANCO and Ben R. What a wonderful coincidence to receive that experience. Cars, people, shared experience just spinning around us constantly. I encourage you to go grab some of the experience spinning around you. Go grab 2022 by the collar and make the year full of new experiences.

Pay attention to the intricate patterns of your existence that you take for granted.
― Doug Dillon

Stay safe and positive and remember to check out our web site at www.lancomgclub.com and follow us on Meetup and Facebook. Mark your calendars for the upcoming events.

 

Annual Banquet – December 2021- 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 4th with approximately 57 members in attendance.

Pre-Dinner Conversations - 1

Pre-Dinner Conversations - 2

Pre-Dinner Conversations - 3

President Ralph

 Service awards for the year included the following:

Years of service in the Club:

35 Years of Service
Roberta and Jeff Shank
Ruth and Ray Emery
Randy Keeney
Louise and Al Little

30 Years of Service
Steve Etters

25 Years of Service
Andrea and Brooks Thompson

20 Years of Service
Kent Williamson

15 Years of Service
Margaret and Bob Arlotto
Ralph Spayd

10 Years of Service
Deb Eckert

Andrea and Brooks Thompson - 25 Years

 

Deb Eckert – 10 Years

Ralph expressed recognition for last year’s meeting hosts, as well as for the numerous ”A Taste of Britain” Volunteers, and other Event and Club Volunteers.

The annual “Enthusiast of the Year” Award went to Charlie Baldwin. This year’s “Most Active New Member” Award went to Greg Swartley. The “Brown Wire Award” went to Diane and Cliff Maurer – for a failed trip west on US Route 6, along with their subsequent adventures with AAA Emergency Road Service. 

“Enthusiast of the Year” – Charlie Baldwin

 “Most Active New Member” – Greg Swartley

The festivities concluded with the annual presentation by Joan Martin, Including a stand-up / sit-down exercise (for prizes).

Another enjoyable end to a successful year – in spite of COVID-19!

Working for Prizes

 

Was Ist Die Awkscht Fescht? - By Cliff Maurer

OH NO! Not another German takeover of a British car marque. No, it’s a car show! Those of you who are farther away from the Philadelphia and eastern Pennsylvania area may think of the “Pennsylvania Dutch” as those cute plain people driving buggies in Lancaster Co. In reality 90% of those people who came from the Palatinate region of eastern Germany in the 1700’s were not those plain pious people but rather either Lutheran or German Reformed. They were referred to by their pious countrymen as “the Gay Dutch”. And they didn’t all settle in Lancaster County. In an arc around Philadelphia from the Lehigh Valley in the North to Adams and Franklin Counties in the West the majority of the population were these German immigrants. Indeed, they spread south as far down as the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.

But this is not an article about cultural history. It’s about a car show in a little town in the Lehigh Valley named Macungie. (pronounced ma-KUN-gee). It’s not German it’s Indian. Post-World War II this little town needed a park. The town had no money, so a group of citizens formed a non-profit group and bought a potato field. As improvements were made, they decided to build a swimming pool and to fund it they held a 3-day car show. The show is always held on the first Saturday of August and is a real festival. Hence the name August Festival in Pennsylvania German. It grew to one of the biggest antique car shows in the East. At its peak over 1200 cars and 600 vendors per day. It is managed by the Ontelaunee (more Indians) chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA).

Each year a particular marque is featured. In 2020 it was to be Cadillac and 2021 it was to be British Cars. (now you see the connection). 2021 was the 60th anniversary of the introduction of the Jaguar (pronounced Jag-u-aar) XKE, the most iconic British Car ever.  What a setup for a British car celebration. We all know what happened---- NO 2020 Show. So, 2021 went to Cadillac.  But 2022 goes to the British Marques. This is the first time an entire countries marques are being featured.

Jed Rappaport and I, representing the Keystone British Car Club located in the Lehigh Valley are working with the Ontelaunee group to organize the British cars. We feel this is a great opportunity to put British cars in front of a large group of car enthusiast and we are working hard to make this event BIG and fun for everyone.

The reason for this article in the LANCO car club page is because in mentioning the Awksct Fescht  to the LANCO club many people were not familiar with the event. So, I volunteered to write an article for them about what is the Awkscht Fescht. As plans get firmed up, I will inform all the British car clubs via the Keystone British Car club page about what we are intending to do, it won’t be your normal car show. But put the date on your club calendar NOW. August 5,6,7 2022.

See you in Macungie. We will eat Funnel Kucha. Gut Esse!

 

Auto Accessories: From Accessory to Necessity - By Cliff Maurer

I was trying to find out why early cars had 6 volt electrical systems. I could not find out why the industry started with 6 volt but did find that the switch to 12 volt was caused by increased use of electrical accessories.  The only thing I could find is that a wet cell produces 2.1 volt per cell, so a 6 volt system has three cells. Two cells may not have been enough, and three cells were adequate, so we defaulted into 6 volt systems. But that’s my speculation. And then there was positive vs negative ground? That’s for another discussion. In trying to answer the 6 volt question I did find a lot of information about early auto accessories. Did you know that electric starters were the result of an accidental death of a friend of the head of Cadillac?

Early cars had no electrical systems other than a magneto and some sort of distributer to control the spark. Nothing else used electricity. No lights, no horn, no windshield wiper, no turn signal, and no cigarette lighter. Even the windshield didn’t exist. All of these were first introduced as an available accessory but soon became a necessity. Let’s look at the history of some of these “Accessories” that we wouldn’t think of buying a car without.

We will start with headlights. Early cars were quite literally horseless carriages. And if you wanted to drive your buggy at night you equipped it with the latest lighting technology. First candles and then kerosene lights and about the time cars were becoming popular carbide or acetylene lights were being used. Some of these lights were detachable and could be used as a work light while repairing the car on the road. The first electric headlight was introduced in 1898 by the Columbia Electric Car Co. Since it was an electric car access to the electricity was easy. These lights were brighter than the carbide lights and were soon adopted by the gas powered car builders. The lights were driven by early dry cell technology but soon were replaced by rechargeable wet cell batteries. The battery had to be removed from the car to be recharged. These lights were bright enough that they would “blind” oncoming vehicles. The problem was solved in 1915 by a third party accessory provider the Guide Lamp Co. They set the lights on vertical swivels. But you had to stop the car and lower or raise them manually. In 1917 Cadillac offered an “Automated” version. The lights were mounted on a bar that could be pivoted from the steering column. In 1925 the Guide Lamp Co introduced the two filament headlight bulb. No, the switch was not on the floor but on the steering column. In 1927 the dimmer switch was moved to the floor to the left of the drivers footwell. The last vehicle I had with a floor dimmer switch was a 1987 Bronco. For some reason every manufacturer went back to the steering wheel. Every once in a while, I find myself pounding the floor with my left foot to dim my lights!

Back to the electric starter. Attempts to start a car using something other than a hand crank were tried but never were reliable. The invention of the electric starter has an interesting story. In the winter of 1910, a woman in Belle Island Michigan (Detroit) stalled her Cadillac on a bridge. She was not strong enough to crank the car herself, so she was stranded until a good Samaritan came along in the person of Byron T. Carter driving his own Cadillac. Carter was a close friend of the head of Cadillac, Henry M. Leland. Curtis proceeded to start the car, but the lady forgot to retard the spark and the engine backfired throwing the crank up into Mr. Carters jaw severally injuring him.  The next people by the bridge was still another Cadillac (This is starting to sound like a story made up by the Cadillac PR Dept) carrying Ernest Sweet and William Foltz. They were two Engineers from Cadillac. They successfully started the car and rushed Mr. Carter to a physician. Mr. Carter died of complications a few weeks later.

Leland was devastated and charged a group of his engineers with finding a way to get rid of the hand crank. “The Cadillac car will kill no more men if we can help it!” he is quoted as saying. The engineers were unable to come up with a good design, so they contacted Charles F. Kettering of DELCO (this was 1910. GM had bought Cadillac the year before but did not acquire DELCO until 1916.)  Kettering had a solution. It was a combination starting motor and generator. It would start the car and then run as a generator to charge the battery. I had a 1974 CASE lawn tractor that had a starter generator. It looked like a generator because it wasn’t geared to the flywheel like a starter. It was belted to a single cylinder Kohler engine and was positioned like a generator. Kettering’s model was geared to the flywheel.

The starter was introduced in the 1912 model Cadillacs BUT the GM executives didn’t trust it, so it also came with a crank. GM enjoyed a sales boom. As the popularity of battery/generator/starters crew they soon replaced the old magneto systems and that allowed all sorts of new electrical accessories to be added. In 1911 only 19 manufacturers offered electric start. By the 1924 New York Auto Show 110 of the 119 vehicles shown were equipped with battery/generator/starter systems. Like the dimmer switch the starter originally was on the dash but somehow it found its way to the floor. Many of us can remember the starter button high and to the right of the gas pedal. It was an operation for a one man band. Right hand on the choke, left foot on either the clutch or the brake and the right heel on the gas while your right toe engaged the starter. Did you ever have to ask your girlfriend to move away from your so you could start the car?

Now that a system was available to provide reliable electric current a flood of electrical accessories became available, But that’s all for next time. In the meantime, if your antique car doesn’t have a crank and you’d like to try one. Come on over, my 1954 MG has one and I have the crank. No, I’ve never tried it, I like the way my thumb and fingers are attached! And now that I know about Byron Carter, NO WAY!

Next month we will continue with more accessories that became necessities.

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LANCO MG CLUB (02/14/22)

The View from Behind the Wheel, By Ralph Spayd, Photos by Steve Dellinger

February is off and running and LANCO is winning gold medals in several events. I apologize for that as I’m still in the thick of the Olympics. I love to watch the competition and spirit of the games. OK, back to the task at hand. We scrubbed the January meeting due to the weather but did squeeze in an ice cream night and a CCC event. (you’ll need the official LANCO lexicon to decipher my acronyms…sorry) February is busy with ice cream, CCC, a monthly club meeting and a just completed trip to the Simeone Museum to hear the History of British Racing Green. See, another gold medal month! At our February meeting, I’ll introduce a special guest, but more on that next month. We are kicking off a “Smiles – Miles and Pixels” competition for club members with the winner to be announced at the club banquet in December. The contest will run through October. We have a “Moons and Whips” event planned for March 18th which should bring out the beast in club members. Oops, I meant best, whatever. A civic project is planned with the Schreiber Pediatric Center in June. I’m still finalizing an event with the Lancaster Barnstormers for the opening day ceremonies in April and our car sponsorship celebration on April 3rd at the AACA Museum in Hershey. Hate to beat the same old analogy but sounds like a gold medal year for our club. Something for everyone and something for everyone to celebrate together as our year unfolds.

Now for my favorite part…”the soapbox”. I made the Olympic analogy in the opening remarks. I do love to watch the competition, but also the diversity of competition from curling to 70 m+ ski jumping. Quite amazing the difference in physical prowess, but all still one team. It made me think about our LANCO club and our team of 140+ members. We have 1st class mechanics in the group and some with no interest in what a spanner is or does. We have car owners and some who just like British cars. We have some who drive their cars in any weather and some sunny day only drivers. Some of our members are historians and some casual interest members. But what we have is one tremendous team of members keeping the spirit of British motoring alive and well doing more collectively than we could do individually.  We are a true team and that is what I enjoy most about the club. Today for me was just another reinforcement of that concept. I spent the day with Linda and several good friends looking at some great cars at the Simeone Museum while learning some history. Then we finished off the day with a fun meal at a British themed restaurant. What a team or cast of characters …. who cares where you fall on the club spectrum of interest or involvement, you’re part of the team. Just come on out to our next event and join in, you’re already a part of the LANCO team.

"Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life." – Amy Poehler

Stay safe and positive and remember to check out our web site at www.lancomgclub.com  and follow us on Meetup or Facebook. Mark your calendars for the upcoming events.

 

 

Ice Cream Night Discussion

Ice Cream Night Electronics Repair

Two MGs at CC&C

Multiple MINIs at CC&C

 

Road Trip to the Simeone Museum By Ralph Spayd, Photos by Ralph Spayd

Well we finally have it settled. There are now 5 club experts that can explain the history of British Racing Green as a national racing color for Great Britain. You may want to quiz any of the following: Steve R, Bruce H, Charlie B or Phil M. I’ll exclude myself as it wouldn’t be fair…We were all elucidated on Saturday, February 12th at the Simeone Museum by Greg Porter of Bonham’s. The museum is a must see if you’ve never been there. The displays are wonderful and chocked full of car history. We met at the Sheetz in Lancaster and caravanned to the museum. Linda my stalwart co-pilot accompanied us on the journey. As you might have guessed, I’m being somewhat factious at to understanding the mysteries of BRG as a color as there must have been 20 different shades of the thing. But Greg did a great job of explaining the history and development of the color scheme. And quite a scheme it was! My takeaway was that generally green was the chosen color and the shading was in the eye of the beholder. Green was chosen because the French claimed blue. The German’s grabbed white and the Italians red. So, what was left in the color spectrum but green! It clarified for me during the talk some of the default decision made by the British car industry and helps explain some of the creative engineering perpetrated. Actually, the choice was critical in identification during races for the spectators and participants. The hue or detail, I believe, was less important and became the choice of the respective manufacturer. All of which did speak well to the plethora of car manufacturers in Britain. So, there you go, Bob’s your Uncle!! We did finish the day with a stop at the Whip Tavern in Coatesville for some classic British fare and an adult beverage.  Thanks to all attending, it was a great day to be with good friends.

’34 MG PA and ’38 Jaguar SS100

Lots of BRG Cars!

Bruce Checks out the Morgan

Lotus!

Charlie, Steve and Bruce Talk Cars

 


Auto Accessories: From Accessory to Necessity – Part 2 By Cliff Maurer

Last time we talked about early lighting systems and the invention of the electric starter/generator/battery systems. All found in researching why early cars used 6 volt electrical systems. As promised, we will go on from there. Once gas powered cars had an electrical system all sorts of electrical gadgets could be thought up. But one accessary that even predated the electric light was the horn or Klaxon (comes from the Greek word “to shriek”). I don’t recall ever seeing a horse drawn carriage having a horn, not even a hand operated “OOGGA” horn. Even today driving around south eastern Pennsylvania with Mennonite and Amish buggies I see battery operated lighting systems but no horn. I suppose at the speed of a trotting horse “shrieking” to announce your presence isn’t needed. The first electric Klaxon horn in a car was 1908, just two years ahead of the Cadillac electric starting systems.

Two other lighting features that we all rely on are turn signals and brakes lights. Let’s start with turn signals. Most of us are old enough to remember taking Drivers Ed and learning to use hand signals for turning. In driving my MG, I still use them if I have someone behind me that seems to want to get so close, they are about to kiss my exposed gas tank!! The turn signal lamp in that car is a 5 watt bulb. That’s as bright as one Christmas tree light. The earliest mention of a lighted turn signal system was offered by a third party company, The Protex Safety Signal Co offered blinking turn signal lights in 1920. The first manufacturer to offer them was Buick in 1938 but only on the rear of the car. There was an interesting attempt to solve the problem in 1916 when C. H. Thomas of Norristown, PA wrote a letter to Popular Mechanics describing an electric light bulb attached to a glove so hand signals could be seen at night. Yes, I’m thinking about it.

Interestingly, Europe went another direction, Semaphores. The English Austin was the first to introduce this. When the driver turned the wheel, a small arm dropped down from the B pillar (the post between the doors of a car). Some were just the arm, and some had little flags. Also known as Traficators, they may still be used but the last one I’ve seen was an early pre 1960 Volkswagen that was built for the European market.

Strangely enough the federal government did not require turn signals until 1965! By that time almost all auto makers had them as standard equipment. But into the 50’s many cars did not have them, and I remember as a child riding in many cars that had third party turn signals. Brake lights weren’t needed when you drove down a rutted dirt road with no other car around. But if you’ve seen clips of early city traffic you can see the advantage.

The first brake light appeared in 1905 and by 1928 11 states required them. But these were a single light. Dual brake lights seem to have been widely introduced in the early forties, but I can’t find anywhere that states when it was required. One blog I visited said a 1949 Crossley had one light. The third brake light was introduced in 1985.

Bumpers were offered by third parties as early as 1922 They were advertised as cheap collision insurance. Within two to three years they were offered by American manufacturers. Windshield wipers were first developed by third parties. First, they were bolt on systems that were hand cranked. From there the system was mounted to the vacuum of the intake manifold.  All of us have had experience with those systems. Under a load you lose vacuum and the wiper stops! Why not electric? Perhaps here is a case of too much draw on a 6 volt system.

The rear view mirror. I have 5 of them on that old MG. (I refer to that car quite often but even though it’s a 1954, the level of technology in it is actually 1930’s. So, it can be used as an example) Most cars have at least three and now a backup camera. The first recorded use of a rear view mirror was in the first Indianapolis 500  race in 1911. The winner, Ray Harroun driving a Marmon Wasp could drive the car alone while other drivers need another person in the car to tell them what was happening behind them. In 1912 Marmon Auto Co. put rear view mirrors in all their cars.

And here is a list of first in the auto accessories:

    • 1914 Maxwell offered the first adjustable driver’s seat.
    • 1914 Studebaker was the first to offer an in-dash gasoline level
    • 1923 Springfield was the first car to offer a radio!
    • 1928 Studebaker had an optional windshield defroster and in 1937 offered a windshield washer.

 

That 54 MG does have adjustable seats but none of the other three features.

This could go on forever, but I’ll close with a list of accessories that never became standard equipment in a car.

  • Exterior Sun Visors – still see them on tractor trailers. They must have lowered your gas mileage by 2 MPG but at 10 cents a gallon for gas who cared?
  • Suicide knobs – When I grew up the local auto parts store had a 4-foot display of them in the window. Other names for this knob include, necker, granny, knuckle buster, and wheel spinner. Haven’t seen one in years
  • Curb Feelers – You just had to have them in the 50’s. Otherwise your ‘48 Merc wouldn’t look right.
  • Fender Skirts – Look out, they are coming back!
  • Continental Kits – Really big in the 50”. I saw a “57 Merc with a continental kit at a car show. I asked the owner how long the car was? He said 24 feet. That’s two feet longer than a normal garage!
  • Power radio antenna – Remember the ’60 dodges with those two big wing rear fenders each with a swept back power antenna. It just screamed MACHO. Today you get a hockey puck on the roof.

 

We have gone through the evolution of what we know as the automobile. This morning I read that car production is being hampered by a shortage of microchips. Remember that magneto ignition system? It’s been replaced by a Fuel Management Computer System. The springs and shocks have been replaced by a Ride Management System that not only offers suspension change options but can change the shift range of the 8 gears in the automatic transmission. It can park itself and now I see ads for a car that drives itself in and out of the garage! It’s not a car, it’s a Computer Controlled Electro-Mechanical Transport System. Maybe that’s why Maggie, the 54 MG, appeals to me. It’s simple.

 

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LANCO MG CLUB (03/14/22)

The View from Behind the Wheel, By Ralph Spayd

Winter just can’t seem to give it up quite yet! On Friday, Linda and I went for a nice 15 mile bike ride in 60 degree weather. Then the next day we broke out the snow blower and moved 5 inches of fine PA snow mush. I guess it’s all just part of the transition to spring. But not to be dismayed, the previous week we held our monthly CCC event at the Burger King in Columbia with 25 members attending. We did welcome our newest member Bill Logan. Bill is an MGA enthusiast and we welcome Bill into the LANCO fold. We’re chugging along thru winter with our ice cream nights and club meetings but looking forward to warmer weather and getting back on the road for some more serious events. We have a club meeting at the AACA Museum and a road trip to Proper Noise in Reading all happening in April. Our covered bridge tour in May along with the start of car show season will keep our wheels spinning. A service project in June along with MG 2022 will add some miles. Speaking of miles, check out our club contest “Miles, Smiles and Pixels”. Get your car and camera/phone out on the road and see how far from the “epicenter” you can travel. Check with Gloria and Larry to see what that means! A very busy, busy, busy year ahead loaded with lots of good memories and good times to be had. But the caveat is you need to get out, drive your car or just hang out with us. I mention transition in the opening comments and we’re transitioning our Taste of Britain (TOB) car show. The future was not certain, so your Board of Directors met to discuss the future of the show or any show we might sponsor. Gloria and Larry have chaired the show for 25+ years and were ready to transition. The Board met and unanimously decided we needed to keep a car show alive. We discussed renewing BIG, but TOB seemed the better choice and we’re back on for August 28th with some new captains at the helm. Very gratifying to see the LANCO Board step up and take over the event. Beside just being the right thing to do to promote British car enthusiasm, it allows the club to do donations, keep your membership cost low, provide the British Marque as part of the club dues and offset the cost of the Christmas gathering.  Thanks to Gloria and Larry for chairing and coordination TOB for years and to the Board for its strong leadership.  All of which leads me to my soap box and growth through transition. There is a quote in the club and I’m sorry I don’t know who to credit but it goes “the cars brought us together, but the friendships keep us together”. We continue to grow as a club, we transition our pillar events and are reborn though change. But we only accomplish all this through the friendship we’ve developed. Our cars rust and need to be renewed. Are we any different as people? Our individual restorations are completed through the friendships we have developed and continue to develop. It keeps us all strong and fresh and ready for the next great adventure. Keep restoring and renewing both your cars and your spirits!

Stay safe and positive and remember to check out our web site at www.lancomgclub.com and follow us on Meetup and Facebook. Mark your calendars for the upcoming events.

 

A Very Special Guest, By Ralph Spayd, Photos by Ralph Spayd and Steve Dellinger

What a special treat we had at our February club meeting. For several weeks, I advised/warned the club we would have a special guest attending our next club meeting. The speculation was an interesting study in the group psyche of the club. Now to protect the innocent or guilty, I won’t mention any names, but the speculation ran the gamut from John Twist attending or some other long lost members to a pole dancer. I’m still trying to figure out what that says about our club but may be best not to dig too deep!! This was not a causal event, but premeditation on my part. I had to make the arrangements, ensure the guest would arrive on time. Hide our special guest prior to the meeting and then viola, introduce our guest at the right time. It all came together perfectly, and the attached pictures really say it all. Our much advertised special guest was a cardboard cutout of the Queen that I purchased on Amazon. What a reaction and good laugh we all had. Although the “Queen” was somewhat one dimensional and had issues staying upright we did enjoy the visit. Sadly though, I did sense some members were disappointed the guest was not a pole dancer….but stay tuned as it’s still early in the year and who knows what other special guests we may have.

Special Guest!

The Queen and Her Court

 March Meeting Recap, By Ralph Spayd, Photos by Gloria Ciarrocca

We conducted our March general meeting on Sunday March 13th at the Centerville Diner in Lancaster. The Diner is a great central location and they are a very accommodating host. About 25 of the faithful attended - braving the last gasp of winter weather. We were lucky as Sunday might have been iffy with the snow. No “special guests” this month but keep an eye open at future events. Our meetings are really more of a social event then a business event. But we did manage to cover some key issues. The Board of Directors meeting was recapped with the major agenda item being our annual car show, Taste of Britain (TOB). The show will again be held on August 28th at Forney Field in Rothsville in conjunction with the Polo match later in the day. Ralph did review the calendar of coming events and the secretary and treasurer reports were heard. We had a request from Linda U. to review Maggie, her 1978 Brooklands Green MGB. Linda is selling the car after owning her “B” for almost 20 years. Steve D and I met with Linda on Monday the 14th to see and evaluate the car. We get a fair number of these requests from members and non-members when the time comes to move on with your car/driver relationship. They become like family members and it’s never easy to move on. Our infamous name tag drawing was another success….Greg S was oh so close to winning but did receive a part of a $5….ask Greg for the details, but NEXT month we’ll be up to $40 for the winner!! The round the table discussion is always entertaining and informative. And we had 2 cash winners in the trivia contest. Both winners had obscure knowledge of DST history.  For me the success of a meeting is determined by how long everyone hangs out after the meeting. Well it was a successful meeting as we were close to getting thrown out by our gracious hosts. Good job all!

 

 

 

 

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LANCO MG CLUB (04/11/22)

The View from Behind the Wheel - By Ralph Spayd

Spring is in the air and hopefully in your step, but more importantly in your car. Are you getting her/your baby/your nemesis/ your pride n joy ready for some drive time this year? We have some very exciting drives planned for this year, but more on that later. March was just a lot of fun with ice cream, our coffee – cars and conversation (CCC) and a well-attended club meeting. Sadly, we were so close to having a name tag drawing winner at this month meeting and Greg S. came up just oh so short. He was rewarded with partial compensation … emphasis on partial! Speaking of driving, the road trip to the Whip Tavern on March 18th was great. I can speak for all regarding the roads and quote Robert Frost “I took the one less traveled”, yep! So back to your car and getting it ready. I spent last week with my co-pilot Linda laying out the route for the Covered Bridge Tour. We’ve mapped out a 48-mile route thru southern Lancaster County. There are plenty of back roads to cruise with great scenery to enjoy. We’ll start and finish in Strasburg and to everyone’s surprise finish with some ice cream. OK, time to confess that I’m an ice cream addict and only use the club to feed (no pun intended) my habit. Whew, I feel better now.  April is still somewhat sedate with all the usual events and we’re still indoors at the Burger King for our CCC at 10 AM then we’ll kick off the season with the Covered Bridge Tour, Schreiber Pediatric event, our 2nd Drive-In Movie Night and some other road trips. So, get your ride road worthy OR risk getting the infamous Brown Wire Award. Well now it’s time for my favorite part, my soapbox missive. You might think I’d run out of material, but things just keep happening and provide “fodder” for me. It all started innocently enough as I was working on my faux AH 3000 Saxon kit car. The passenger door was almost impossible to open with the exterior door handle. I decided to take a look. I had to remove the door card to access the inner sanctum of the door. The car is fiberglass and most of the door card screw holes were stripped with an impressive mix of sheet metal and wood screws to attach the card. It just kept getting better as I dug through the mix. I was losing my “joie de vivre”. Had to walk away and curse the impressive list of previous owners. After some contemplation, I asked myself why I bought the car, to be a daily driver, no. I bought the car to work on, nurture, enjoy and bond with. If you have the British Car affliction, you understand the bonding analogy. You really do develop a relationship with your car. I cleared my head, fixed the door handle, epoxied the attachment holes and got it all back in good nick. Then in a bold move, I did the driver’s door. I did some drilling and tapping then reattached everything stood back and felt good about both the car and myself. Savoring that bonding moment I mentioned. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with problems or tasks at hand. As a SCUBA instructor I learned the acronym “SBTA” stop/breathe/think/act. That’s pretty good advice for above and below the water.

“The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it.”
— Chris Pine

Stay safe and positive and remember to check out our web site at www.lancomgclub.com  and follow us on Facebook and Meetup. Mark your calendars for the upcoming events.


Busy Week for LANCO - By Ralph Spayd, Photos by Ralph Spayd

March was very busy, but the week of March 13th was great! On Wednesday the 16th, we held our monthly ice cream night at the Dairy Queen on Columbia Avenue in Lancaster. The turnout was slight with seven attending, but the conversation was lively to say the least. We learned about the conception of the Morgan, not the car, but actually Mr. Morgan and that there was actually a sports car club in Alaska. We all kinda assumed they had about a 2-week driving season!! Check with Rich L. for the details and about his Morgan (not the man the car). We learned that Steve R. is still grateful to Dennis B. for the Holiday faux pas and Greg S. wants his $30 bucks ... Gloria!! What a night, we were in stitches and had some ice cream to boot ... pretty good night, I’d say.

Talking Morgans

Then on Friday the 18th, we took a road trip with 17 members to the Whip Tavern in Coatesville. If you’ve never been, it’s worth the trip. Just a heads up - the parking is interesting and probably best you don’t see the valets parking cars…Again, the food was great, the service was on spot and the conversations varied! I’m sensing a pattern here within the club involving food and conversation. Two occasions with the same result, hum a coincidence, I think not. The Queen did make an appearance around the table. But most importantly, what did we learn that night - Pam P. knows shortcuts to Route 30! You can drive for hours and not leave Lancaster or Chester Counties. All roads might lead to Rome, but not all lead to the Whip Tavern….and finally Kutztown, you know you can’t actually get there from here.

What a week, what a club, what a privilege to belong to such a great group of British Car enthusiasts.

“The Whip” Crew

 

Europa Machina Run - By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Charlie Baldwin

On Saturday, March 19th LANCO Members Steve Dellinger, Charlie Baldwin, Don Sechler and Paul Snell traveled to one of the finest automobile restoration facilities in Central Pennsylvania - Europa Macchina, in Lewisberry (York County) PA. Steve, Don and Paul are also members of Carlisle MINIs, who organized the event. All the MINI drivers first met at the Sheetz in Dillsburg and headed out for a one and a half hour long trip to the shop - on the roads less traveled (and more twisty)! Charlie, in his Subie, met us at the shop. Owned and operated by Dennis Frick and Lori Van Houten Frick, Europa Macchina, Inc. is a team of dedicated master craftsmen, each possessing a strong interest in the restoration and preservation of special interest cars and motorcycles. Their experience in repairing, racing and restoring European machines began in the late 1950s. Dennis and Lori agreed to open their shop for a private Saturday morning tour. They have won several national and international awards with their restoration work, including class wins at Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, Eyes on Design, St. John’s, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, and national Porsche events in Canada, Switzerland, Germany, and the USA.  Dennis and Lori gave us a thorough tour of the restoration shop – including the “remote location.” Lots of interesting (and unique) cars! After the tour the group headed to The Blue Sky Tavern for lunch. A great event. Thanks again Dennis and Lori!

MINIs en Masse

Morgan 3-Wheeler!

Nice Morgan!

1934 Bentley

 

One of Many Porsches

MGA “In Process”


April CC&C and Meeting Recaps - By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Steve Dellinger

The latest edition of Coffee, Cars & Conversation was held at the Burger King in Columbia, PA on April 1st. The weather was sunny, with temps in the low 40s. 17 LANCO members showed up, along with two of Steve R’s Lotus friends. British cars in attendance included an AH Sprite, MG Midget, Lotus 7, Lotus Elan and four New MINIs. Next month, we will be meeting at Jim Mack’s Ice Cream in York County. We will be at Rob Shingle’s house in June, and then back at Mack’s through October.

Spridgets plus Charlie

Elan in Town

Steve R’s Lotus

Some of the CCC Crew

 

On the following day, we conducted our April general meeting at the Centerville Diner in Lancaster. Morning rain cleared out prior to the meeting, so 23 of the faithful attended, along with four “old” and four “new” British cars. The Queen made an appearance again this month! President Ralph “got a better offer” so Jim Harbold ran the meeting. Time was spent discussing upcoming events – including the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, Das Awkscht Fescht, TOB, and more. A discussion was held on where to donate the proceeds of the MGB-GT auction held late last year. The donation suggestions will be discussed further at an upcoming meeting of the Board of Directors. More discussion was held regarding this year’s edition of A Taste of Britain (TOB), which will be held on August 28th at Forney Field in Rothsville in conjunction with the Polo match later in the day. The TOB “Committee” will be meeting to hammer out the details. Our infamous name tag drawing was without a winner this month – so next month we’ll be up to $50 for the winner!!

“E.T.” at the Diner

More British Today

 

 

 

 

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LANCO MG CLUB (05/16/22)

The View from Behind the Wheel, By Ralph Spayd

April was a great month for the club. Busy with our typical menagerie of CCC, ice cream and a club meeting, but we had a special night on Friday the 29th. LANCO coordinated with the Lancaster Barnstormers baseball team to supply the team with convertibles for their home opener. We gathered 14 cars, and each took two spins around inside the ballpark to deliver a player to home plate. I want to thank our volunteer drivers who took the time participate in the event. It was a fun night and a great marketing opportunity for LANCO to showcase our club to the public. Thanks again to everyone who participated. Events like that are unique and provide a great venue to promote our British Car passion/hobby. They are amazingly easy to set up so keep your eyes and ears open for other opportunities for the club. It’s just a great way to share with the public.

The year is really starting to unfold, and we have some great events planned. We have a new route planned for our annual covered bridge tour on May 22nd. The route will take us through southern Lancaster County over 4 covered bridges. June brings our Schreiber Pediatric event, the Lancaster Wheels n Wings car show and MG 2022. Also, the usual stuff - CCC, ice cream and a meeting at the Centerville Diner, but the highlight will be our CCC event on June 4th. Rob and Jim have graciously agreed to host the event at their “garage” on the 4th. I use the term garage only loosely. If you were fortunate enough to be there last year you understand that “garage” is an injustice!! I have a garage, they do not! In July, we will again be reviving our misspent youth at Drive in Movie Night on July 15th.  Something for everyone, don’t miss out!

Now, wait for it, wait for it……ready here it comes, my soapbox ramblings. Conservation of energy – Energy can’t be created or destroyed but can be altered from one form to another. Wow! - what a concept; I altered some of my energy just thinking about that! Why am I rambling about energy? Well, it all goes back to Friday April 29th at the Barnstormers home opener. The world around us is constantly “altering” our energy. For me, events like the 29th recharge my energy. There I was with Linda my partner, good friends and a car I absolutely love. Oh, and several thousand excited fans of all ages “altering” my energy, cheering and giving high five’s. I met two outstanding ball players, had a great conversation with them and just enjoyed the heck out of every minute. What I found most amazing is that as I was recharging, we as a club were giving back and sharing the energy with the crowd. I’m a firm believer that as a club we must have more meaning that just being “car” people. The 29th provided that opportunity to share not only our cars, but our energy, enthusiasm and smiles. Just can’t beat that. I’m truly grateful to have the opportunity through the LANCO MG Club to share and experience these energy “altering” events. I encourage each of you to go out and “alter” some energy and share your stories.

“Give out what you want to get back.” Anonymous

Stay safe and positive and remember to check out our web site at www.lancomgclub.com and follow us on Facebook and Meetup. Mark your calendars for the upcoming events.

 

Proper Noise Run, By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Charlie Baldwin

Thanks to the efforts of Cliff Maurer, on Saturday, April 23rd, a number of LANCO members made a road trip to Proper Noise – an automobile restoration shop in Mt. Penn (near Reading). Ten members (in seven cars) started out from the Sheetz on Oregon Pike, Lancaster and took the “scenic” (and sometimes twisty) route north to the shop, where they we met by a half dozen or so more. The shop is in a two-story brick building that was built in 1913 as an automobile dealership selling Chandler and Stanley cars. It later became a Chevrolet dealership.

Owner Ed Sweeney graciously agreed to open his shop for LANCO to tour and see what's in the works. Ed also provided coffee, donuts and bagels! Ed operates the shop with his wife, Melissa (the Business Manager) and his Dad, Ned, (who serves as the Machinist and does R&D), and several additional employees. They recently opened a trim shop in the lower level. The trim shop is manned by Rob, who serves as the full-time trimmer and upholstery specialist.

There were numerous cars in the shop – in various degrees of restoration. Several cars of note included a 1907 Packard Model 30 Runabout, a V-8 MGB conversion, and three (3) AC Aces. The Packard came into the shop with some issues (long story), which were successfully dealt with and the car left the shop in early May for a long road trip in California. The MGB, which was painted Glasurit Irish Green, is scheduled for the installation of a Ford 302 V-8 and C4 automatic. In the lower level fabrication shop area, the three AC Aces are in various stages of completion.

After the tour of Ed’s shop, several members of the group walked down the street to a garage where Jim Butt is working to restore a 1963 Lotus Elite. The Lotus was originally constructed as a race car and is powered by a 1.3 liter Coventry Climax FWE engine.

After the tours, seven of us travelled to the Mount Penn Family Restaurant for lunch, followed by a stop by the Lancaster-bound crew for ice cream at Boehringer's Drive-In in Adamstown.

 

Astor is Here!

1907 Packard Model 30 Runabout

Coffee and Other Goodies

Ed Talks about ACs

Ned leads the Discussion

Rob in the Trim Shop

Parking Lot Discussions

1963 Lotus Elite

 

LANCO Helps Celebrates Barnstormers Opening Day, By Ralph Spayd, Photos by Linda Muscelli

Take me out to the ballgame….well LANCO did just that on Friday, April 29th. We coordinated with the Lancaster Barnstormers baseball team to help with their home opening celebration. The club provided 14 convertibles to ferry the players around the ballpark and deliver them to home plate for their introduction. Thanks to all the drivers who participated in this celebration and made it a huge success for both the club and the Barnstormers. What a great evening and a great venue to promote our club. Our logo was displayed on the big screen while the announcer read the history and summary of our club. We had a wonderful eclectic mix of cars and were able to showcase our passion for British cars to several thousand spectators. The real value of the event besides promoting our club was to possibly pique the interest of some new “car people” by showcasing our hobby.

We all took 2 trips around the outfield, coming down the 3rd base line and dropping off our player. The kids were lined up and we all gave high 5’s as we drove by the crowd. What a fun positive evening. Thank you to Alek Ryan from the Barnstormers for working with us and supplying tickets to all the volunteers. The Barnstormers are interested in working with us for some future events and we’re anxious to help. Now I’m off to get some peanuts and crackerjack! [Editor’s Note: The Barnstormers defeated the York Revolution by the score of 23 to 7!]

Deb Leads the Way

Here comes some More


Ralph is having Fun!

Deb (again)


Pam in the Sprite

Jagger!

 

Kids love the 7!

 

Treasured Motorcars Run, By Steve Dellinger, Photos by Charlie Baldwin

On April 30th, at the suggestion of LANCO member James Bowders, James, Don Sechler, Steve Dellinger, Charlie Baldwin and Bruce Hurley attended Treasured Motor Cars’ 2022 Spring Open House and Car Show in New Freedom, PA. James, Don and Steve met for breakfast at the Lyndon Diner in York, and then headed down to New Freedom for the 9 AM Open House, where they met Charlie and Bruce. Owner Allison Griffiths and General Manager Jack Anderson have quite an operation! The company was started by Allison’s parents in 1980 in Northern Baltimore County and has grown considerably since then. They currently operate in a spacious, high ceiling location that can accommodate quite a few vehicle lifts! Lots of cars in various stages of restoration! The Car Show was attended by a wide range of nicely prepared and maintained cars – from old British to 544 Volvos to 1950s Chevrolets to Ferraris. At the conclusion of the event, James, Don and Steve travelled a few miles down the road to the Big Truck Farm Brewery in Parkton, MD for liquid refreshments/lunch and then had a nice drive back north for some Ice Cream at Sarah's Creamery in Dover, PA.

One of Bruce’s Cars

Nice!

“T” in Process

Lots of Lifts

Local MGB

Nice Mix of Cars

May CC&C, By Ralph Spayd

Spring showers may bring May flowers, but they don’t bring British cars. Well, that’s not exactly true. It didn’t stop Greg S. from driving his LBC! Yikes - a Deb driving clone, maybe but not a stunt double for sure!! It was supposed to be our 1st outdoor CC&C at Jim Mack’s, but we moved back to the Burger King for the gathering. In spite of it all, we did have nine hearty souls attending. Not sure how many if anyone went to Mack’s, but as I didn’t get any “what the heck” phone calls I’ll assume no one!!! If you’ve never attended one of our enlightening CC&C’s you are missing an intellectual cacophony. The conversations are as varied as the characters attending. It’s really quite an enjoyable Saturday morning. All that and you’re still home in time to tackle the honey do list or take a nap….your choice, well maybe not!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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