July-August 2016

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OOOI Chairmen:
Greg Peterson
OOOI Treasurer:
Kathy Kubick

Hoosier A's President:
Steve Hully
Hoosier A's Treasurer:
Dave Walter

HMGBC President:
Tim Macsay
HMGBC Treasurer:
George Galyean

Editor: Tim Macsay
Webmaster: Bill Gallihugh


    Wow!! What a show at Louisville, KY. MG2016 had a sea - no, make that an ocean - of MG's on the waterfront at car show on Thursday. I was told by another member that was from 800 to 900 MG's at the show. All I can say is "that was a bunch of cars". As I walked about the field cars I started checking out the license plates to see where people came from. My count was 31 from United States, 4 from the Canadian Provinces, and one group came from Australia. The MG's from Australia were an interesting group of fellows. Seems they are touring the world - that's right, "the world" in their MG's. They drove their cars from South America last summer, flew home and wintered their cars in Canada. Upon returning to Canada they decided to drop down to MG2016 before continuing their journey across Canada and parts unknown.
    The cars came from all points of the United States. They ranged from Oregon, Washington, & California on the West Coast. Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Georgia, & The District of Columbia on the East Coast. Not to forget the Mid-West, we had cars from Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado & Kansas. The Gulf Coast gave us cars from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi & Florida. I left out many other states but you get the picture.
    The car show site was beautiful with a great view overlooking the Ohio River. The cars were parked on the grass over a large area of Riverside Park. At one point we were treated to the blast of a steam whistle from the Louisville Belle paddle wheeler as it steamed up the river. The weather was perfect, sunny and cloudless with the temps being a bit high. Overall you could not have wanted a better day considering the days prior to the car show that were filled with rain.
    We had 25 Hoosier MG Members (43 people) at the car show and other scheduled events associated with MG2016. The accommodations at the host motel were great and there was ample parking available for all. Tech Sessions, driving tours & bus tours were provided throughout the week, and a shuttle to downtown Louisville ran daily. The man of the day was John Twist and his rolling tech sessions. On Thursday he started the session at 9:00 in the morning, took lunch, and when I last looked out the door at 5:00 he was still working on cars. Amazing! Our hats off to this man. If you were not able to make it, you missed a great time. Maybe next time. Tim Macsay - Editor

Hoosier MGs Tech Session At Strohm Automotive- May 14

    Carl Strohm, Hoosier MG club member and owner of Strohm Automotive on Harding Street in Indy, graciously opened his shop, on a day the shop is normally closed, to present an MG tech session for Hoosier MG club members. He was ably assisted by his son, Josh who is also an expert and experienced MG mechanic. The session was well attended, with more than 20 club members attending.
    The instruction began with Carl demonstrating, on an attendee's car, how to properly aim/adjust the headlights. After measuring the distance from the floor to the middle of the headlamp, he then placed tape on the garage door, 20 feet away at the same heights as the headlamps. He then demonstrated the proper steps to see if the headlights were aimed correctly and how to make required adjustments.
    Next, Carl demonstrated, on the workbench, how to properly install ignition points and condenser in a distributor and how to set the points. He recommended that when performing this task, the distributor be removed from the car, as he had done, to make the job easier.
    The distributor demonstration kept everyone's attention and generated many questions as he worked through the procedures. The instruction was very detailed and well presented to ensure that we all understood this critical task.
    When questioned about whether breaker points or electronic ignition modules were preferred, Carl & Josh said that although they prefer electronic ignition in their own MGs due to low maintenance requirements, it is really a personal decision.
    After the distributor instruction, Carl demonstrated on an attendee's car how to properly check and adjust the engine timing. When he checked the timing on the car, it was significantly out of adjustment. This provided a good opportunity for Carl to show how to adjust the timing when it is off. Many heads were under the hood watching the action!     Once the final demonstration was complete, Chef Tim Macsay rolled out the grill and cooked burgers and dogs for everyone.
    All in all - an outstanding tech session. We want to give special thanks to Carl for opening his shop and giving up his and Josh's day off to help make us all a little smarter. And we need to recognize Tim Macsay for coming up with the idea for today's session and for getting it all set up. Great job all around. For more photos of the Tech Session Click Here - Bob Lewis

MG-Triumph Run - May 21

    Every once in a while, the gods smile and the stars line up, and the result is a perfect MG driving tour. Such was the case for the May 21 MG-Triumph Run.
    The group assembled in Kokomo that Saturday morning under perfectly clear blue skies, and temperatures that were made for top-down driving. Tour organizer and host Dan Patrick (brother of Dwight Patrick) then lead the group on an 80 mile jaunt across north-central Indiana - along winding roads with impossibly green scenery, and through more woodlands than one would have throught ever existed in that area of 'farmland'. After stops at historic Adams Mill (with a tour guide arranged for by Dan), and at a number of places of historical and British car interest along the Wabash River valley, the convoy eventually arrived in Logansport for a great (albeit late) lunch at the Old Style Inn.
    All in all, a highly memorable and satisfying day in the MG - traveling along that endless 'open road'. The only sad note was that only 5 cars bothered to show up - 3 Triumphs and 2 MGs. While that did make keeping the tour together a joy (no waiting after each intersection for stragglers), it would have been nice to show Dan more appreciation for the super job he did in setting this up. Maybe next year...


    Mr. Robert Connell, or, as we all know him, 'Bob', is the owner of Connell's MG Service Ltd. Why so formal a beginning? Very good question, as I had the pleasure of interviewing Bob along with his trusted helper 'Bill.' Bill is a big black lab that has captured Bob's heart and keeps him in check.
    So why the Robert? I feel that Bob has earned the respect of all the MG drivers he has come in contact with throughout the years and the Mr. seems appropriate. He really just prefers to be called 'Bob' though. Bob opened his business on April 1st 1990 in Indianapolis. He says it was a 'hobby that turned into a business' and he has been going strong ever since.
    His love for MGs started when he was 5 years old when he rode in an MGTC and that love for the MG Marque continues to this day. He did some SCCA auto crossing in the 60's with the 1964 MGB Roadster he still owns today. That roadster was the very first new car and also the last new car he ever bought. Bob also said he had to do some minor repairs on the MG when he stopped the auto crossing. Go figure. He started working in an auto parts store, moved on to an auto parts manufacturer traveling about the country selling their wares. Later he started repairing MGs at a friend's shop and people started bringing in more MGs for him to fix. Over the years his knowledge of MG service grew and he also spent a couple of weeks working with John Twist at his shop.
    His first shop was on 38th Street near Keystone Ave in Indianapolis but he didn't stay there long. Bob bought the property the current shop is on and the rest is history. He said that after a lot of renovations to the buildings he was ready for business. Bob is also the local Distributor for Moss Motors and may have the parts on hand you need or can order them for you. Bob currently owns his first 1965 MGB Roadster, a 1977 Roadster, 1980 Roadster and 1974 MGBGT. When asked which one was his favorite he said the 1964 Roadster with the 1974 MGBGT coming in second. He has saved many an MG driver by having the part you need now. I for one am very thankful that we have Connell's MG Service so close. Oh, did I mention he also has great coffee.

Jack and the EX-181

    Seems we have an interesting story about one of our Club members that needs to be told. Jack Kurkowski, who founded the MGA club in the Indianapolis area and became the basis for the Hoosier MGs, shared his experiences with me that took place in 1979. The MGAs were having their first official meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway which included a drive around the famous track. There were 30 plus MGAs present for the event. In the picture provided here Jack's 1959 MGA was first in line at the start finish line. Now here is where it gets interesting. Seems former Hoosier A's member Lyle York had arranged for the famed MG Ex181 land speed record holder to be brought from England and put on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
    I tried to obtain additional information on what was the exact purpose of the MG Ex181 being at the Museum but was unsuccessful in my search online. When the car was shipped to the United States in 1959 for the land speed record, special crates were made to hold the car and avoid damage to it. So shipping the car here again was not an easy matter and costly as well. To have the car at the Museum and on display was indeed very special. The plot thickens. Seems Jack was able to get into the driver's seat while the car was on display at the Museum and the picture below shows young Jack Kurkowski's head & shoulders in the vehicle. Jack and one other member had their pictures taken in the MG Ex181. In the group picture in front of the MG Ex181 from left to right is: Jack Kurkowski, Lyle York, Joe Dennis & Larry Williams. More information can be obtained about the MG Ex181 at: Thank you for sharing this experience with us Jack.


Upcoming Events - A busy July event schedule: First, there's the rescheduled Moonshine Run beginning in Mooresville on July 2nd, then after the Monthly Dinner/Meeting on July 14th, we leave for the annual London-to-Brighton Run on July 16th. Later in the month, we have the greatly anticipated (first) annual Hoosier MG's Swap Meet at Strohm Automotive. And then on the next week end we have another annual event - the "Day at the Lake" at Dave and Carol Walter's cottage on Lake Lemon. And don't forget the Hoosier MG Challenge (prizes to be won!) that runs from May 1st through September 1st. You'll want to get in on this for some great MG windshield-time finding exotic sights around Indiana. Check our website calendar for more information and event flyers.

MG Breakfast at Emmy's - The weekly MG gathering for breakfast at Emmy's in Avon is still going strong. On June 1st (see photo) we had 12 people present for breakfast - with 10 MGs present, 5 MGAs, 4 MGBs and 1 MGC-GT.

Hillman in Mayberry - Olde Octagon Member Tom Wilson driving "Aunt Bee" at the Mayberry in the Midwest parade in Danville in his newly restored Hillman.

    As a Postscript to this, here's a little background on the Hillman from Tom: "The Hillman was sent down to Strohms, where Jason and Carl resurrected it mechanically. Less than 13,000 miles since new, and the car looks it. I just finished making and installing a new interior (color matched original almost exactly), and in August I will make the new top for it (again matching original material/color). It's a hoot to drive - slow, geared low, little power. But it's easy and fun. 4 speed on the column, semaphore turn signals. It shares a lot of parts with TDs - brake hydraulics, Lucas parts, etc. The Hillman Register told me this was one of a handful of Hillmans delivered to the US completely assembled - uncrate it and drive away. They believe it was the car Hillman used for the 1950 New York Motor Show. It then went to St. Louis and was sold by a dealer there. I don't know it's history between 1950-73; the prior owner bought it in '73 at the Auburn auction from someone who needed more cash to pay for what he'd just bid on." - Tom Wilson

That's why they call them floor "boards" - Did you MGB guys know? I'm sure the owners of the MG "T" and "A" series cars know this, but I was surprised to learn that their cars have wooden floors and front and rear inner plates. The seats are bolted right to the wood with no extra wide washers or plates and the wooden floor is bolted to the frame. Whew! I am sure glad I have a "B" with steel flooring. - ed.

Member News: - Seems we had two members very busy during the month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fred Ulray is a Yellow Shirt ad drive's fans around in a van during the Speedways events. Got to ride with him last year during the Vintage racing at the track. Way to go Fred.
    Heather Coyle also works at the track. This past May she was working with her mother keeping the Hulman Terrace Suites neat and tidy. They work for a group called Maid to Order. She hopes to be able to watch some of the race because the view of the track is terrific up there.

This Man drove the same car for 78 years! - Mr. Allen Swift: Born: 1903 - Died: 2005. This man owned and drove the same car for 78 Years. Can you imagine even having the same car for 78 years? Mr. Allen Swift (Springfield, Massachusetts) received this 1928 Rolls-Royce Piccadilly-P1 Roadster from his father brand new as a graduation gift in 1928. The young man was passionate about his green-over-green soft top convertible, not only driving it on a regular basis, but maintaining it meticulously over the decades (the two door received a complete body-off restoration and engine rebuild in 1988). Over the years, Mr. Allen Swift put 170,000 miles on it, and drove it until October 2005 when he died at the age of 102.
Rolls-Royce acknowledged Mr. Swift in 1994, awarding him a crystal Spirit of Ecstasy award for his length of ownership. By 2005, Swift had logged more than 170,000 miles on its analog odometer and he was recognized as the oldest living person to have owned a car from new.
    But the story doesn't end there. Swift left the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History a $1 million gift to create a new exhibition to care for his roadster and tell the story of Rolls-Royce manufacturing in the Massachusetts town. Today, Mr. Swift's beautiful Piccadilly-P1 Roadster is prominently displayed in the museum's Transportation Collection.
    That's British engineering of a bygone era. They don't make them like this anymore.

Parting Shot

MG2016 side note: When Bob Lewis and I were chatting, he informed me that a participant from Ohio was looking for me. I sold him an MG Midget transmission several years ago and later in the day we met and talked about his car and the transmission. Later as I was walking about, I noticed a small group of men speaking French. When I inquired where they were from, they said Quebec Provence. Seems One of the gentlemen had a fond memory of Bob Lewis at the Stowe, Vermont British Invasion and inquired if I knew him. When I replied that I did he said that Bob had given him a radiator hose for his car when his went bad. He was surprised that Bob had a radiator hose in his car and that Bob refused to take any money for the hose. Sometimes our MG world is not as small as we like to think. - ed.