The past year has been a good one for the ABCS. I enjoyed serving the club as President
and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the other officers who so ably worked
to keep things going smoothly.
Clarence Goodson took over in my absence, Ben Bailey planned some very good drives,
Al Bradley did an excellent job of editing the newsletter and keeping up with the finances,
Richard Williams made sure we had a program each month, and Margaret kept notes.
We have a good slate of officers to lead us next year and we look forward to seeing the club
continue to grow even better.
The past year has been a good one for the ABCS. I enjoyed serving the club as President and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the other officers who so ably worked to keep things going smoothly.
Clarence Goodson took over in my absence, Ben Bailey planned some very good drives, Al Bradley did an excellent job of editing the newsletter and keeping up with the finances, Richard Williams made sure we had a program each month, and Margaret kept notes.
We have a good slate of officers to lead us next year and we look forward to seeing the club
continue to grow even better.
The ABCS met on a cold January winter night. There were seventeen members and one guest present.
President Carl called the meeting to order. He thanked Jane Ogle for her first newsletter. The photo and addition of color were well received.
The drive on January 6 to Middlesboro was a big success. Herren Floyd reported they hope to fly the P-38 in the Fall of 2001.
Dick Williams reported that the Austin Healey Club is planning a trip to Rugby and the Sergeant York Mill in March. Dick has reserved the Panther Creek shelter for October 21, 2001. Put this date on your calendar. Another date to remember is the first weekend in May for the Townsend British Car Show.
The Club caps are available for $15 each. Sweatshirts will be available soon for $20 each.
The program was a video on Cooper and Lotus race cars and presented by Robert Hall.
Middlesboro, KY Drive By Herren Floyd
It was a beautiful January day for a drive but cool enough that no tops came down. Dick Williams, Ben and Natalie Bailey, Jon Whitt, and Herren Floyd met with members of the Austin Healey club about 9 AM for a liesurely breakfast at the Clinch Mountain Overlook Restaurant. Ben & Natalie left us after breakfast and the rest of us proceeded to Middlesboro, KY in our British cars to see Bob Cardin and Glacier Girl.
Herren left his semi-British, semi sportscar, 1991 Capri, at the restaurant to ride with Dick in his Jaguar XK-140. The others included Mark Whitt with son, Travis, in his Jaguar sedan, Bob Richey with Nate Patterson in Bob's Austin-Healey, Doug and Barbara Smith in their Austin-Healey, Jon Whitt's MGB and Fred Noe in his MG Midget.
Bob Cardin said he expects Glacier Girl to begin flying in the Fall of this year. He showed us an excellent new video, "When Lightning Struck", about P-38's in combat that included the story of Glacier Girl and will be shown on PBS TV on January 29.
The next stop was at Webb's in Cumberland Gap for peach or blackberry cobblers, etc. Some took leave from there but Bob Richey led the rest of us on a drive through some interesting terrain over some delightful roads including Tennessee 63 and then 33 through Sneedville and back on US 25E to the overlook for Herren to fetch his Capri after some six hours of fun!
Another Eventful Trip By Herren Floyd
My friend, Arnold Knott from Huntsville, AL, has been here for a visit. He has been on several ABCS drives with me including Middlesboro Airport and Panther Creek State Park. He wanted to see Glacier Girl again, so Thursday morning we set out for Middlesboro Airport in my semi-British, semi-sports car, Capri.
Climbing the mountain to reach our breakfast destination at the Clinch Mountain Overlook restaurant, we suddenly heard a new persistent whining sound from the engine. We made it up the mountain where we had a great leisurely breakfast after which we inquired about nearby service stations.
We drove down the mountain in the direction of Middlesboro and stopped at a service station with an auto mechanic next door. The oil pressure gage had dropped to a steady 30 pounds and the temperature gage held at 175 degrees. The mechanic couldn't find anything wrong and we couldn't get the engine to whine while he was present! It started whining again as we drove very gently on toward Middlesboro while speculating about whether we would get there.
We had a great visit at the Glacier Girl hangar including discussions, watching two video s and observing some of the restoration work being done. We left after a couple of hours feeling slightly optimistic about making it back home. We stopped for a while at the Cumberland Gap museum where I made a call home to report the possible car trouble. About five or ten miles after the tunnel, the whining sound stopped and a huge cloud of smoke began pouring out of our exhaust. The oil gage still held steady at 30 pounds and we continued on to the next service station, putting down a very effective smoke screen. Cars following us stayed back about a hundred yards!
We had consumed two quarts of oil so I bought an extra three quarts. We made it back to the overlook restaurant and calculated that we were getting about eight miles per quart of oil. We called my son, Carl, and settled down to a leisurely lunch while he came after us. We asked the restaurant people about leaving the Capri there. They said they didn't mind but that there had been a lot of vandalism at night after they close. We left it hoping the cool, rainy weather would keep the vandals indoors.
The next morning, I asked Steve Hightower, an ABCS member who is seldom seen, to haul it to his shop at home and repair it. Hearing the symptoms, he expects the engine turbo to the problem.
The Modern Pony Express By Sam Chandler and Al Bradley
In today's world of instant gratification, there occasionally appears a story of a more human nature that seems impressive. How long ago was it that people used to cooperate with their neighbors to raise barns, plant and harvest their crops and raise their children? This story could be one of those but with a distinctly MG twist. The participants are real people, some of whom you actually know. Here's the story:
In cyberspace, there exists a world known as "The MGB Experience". You can view the Bulletin Board at http://mgb.bc.ca/phorum/list.php3?num=1. Our intrepid fellow club member, Sam Chandler, frequents this particular part of the World Wide Web and discusses matters of import with other MGB owners. Among those owners is a man from Indianapolis, IN named Carl Scheib. Carl owns an MGB but also desired a hardtop for it. Sometime around Nov. 1, 2000, Carl found and bought an MGB hardtop in Locust Grove, VA. Locust Grove is located just West of Fredericksburg near where the great campaign of the Civil War known as the Wilderness was fought. Carl then posted on "The MGB Experience" bulletin board a notice of this fact and that he wished to find some way to transfer the hardtop from Locust Grove to his home in Indiana. Anyone who has ever dealt with a hardtop for a British car will tell you that the only good way to transfer one is attached to the car for which the hardtop was made.
IT AIN'T NECESSARILY SO here!
Carl, whose residence is not too far from Sam Chandler in Jenkins, KY, and several other cohorts got their collective heads together and figured out a way to transfer the MGB hardtop from Locust Grove to Indianapolis on the backs of various MGBs, which, as we all know, was the manner intended by Cecil Kimber and his ilk. This could have worked.
What actually transpired was not exactly the method preferred by Kimber et al - not even close. You see, the weather turned cold and snowy very quickly just as the Pony Express was to begin. Snowy and cold weather is anathema to all British car owners. No one wants to risk their pride and joy cars to the elements and other unknowns like sliding-out-of-control pickup trucks and highway salt. Meanwhile, the guys had the beginning and final ends of the Pony Express figured out. Charlie Owens, the owner of the hardtop, would take it from Locust Grove to nearby Fredericksburg, where "The MGB Experience" denizen and electrical engineer Ed Dudley would await it with his huge, covered pickup truck.
Sam Chandler was the next BBS member in line, but it is a LONG way from Ed's home in Altavista, VA to Sam's home in Jenkins and thence on to Sam's ultimate destination of Lexington, KY where he would meet Jerry Phares, newsletter editor for the British Sports Car Club of Louisville. Sam would transfer the hardtop to Jerry in Lexington and Jerry would complete the trip to Indianapolis where Carl Scheib, the recipient lives.
This is where fortune plays a part. On the 18th of November, there was advertised an auction sale in Christiansburg, VA at which an MG-TD was one of the featured old cars for sale. Al Bradley, former editor of the Appalachian British Car Club Newsletter, made notice of this sale available to many of the club's members and announced his intention to attend. AHA!
The ever-resourceful Sam Chandler inquired of Al's real intentions to attend this sale and found him wishy-washy but willing to do so. Upon further inquiry, Al revealed his plans to drive there in his Jeep Cherokee. Sam quickly arranged for his friend Ed Dudley to attend the sale. Ed was seriously interested in the TD anyway and wanted to attend.
That's when it all fell together.
The MGB hardtop was transferred from its owner Charlie Owens to Ed Dudley in Fredericksburg on 17 November as planned. Ed Dudley then drove fr om Fredericksburg, VA to his home in Altavista, VA and on to the auction where he met Al Bradley on 18 November. As luck would have it, who but Chris Bordwine, a longtime ABCS member, also turned up at the auction. Ed Dudley quickly found Al Bradley in a church parking area somewhat removed from the auction site in Christiansburg (British car folks just tend to gravitate to each other). The hardtop then underwent its second transfer from Ed's pickup to Al's Jeep, where a novel suspension arrangement was devised using bungee cords to suspend the top to prevent its resting upon the fragile rear quarter windows. Once secured, Al and Ed went over to view the auction. That's where Chris Bordwine turned up and found us. We looked the MG-TD over and found it to be in "original" (read criminally rotten) condition.
Chris admitted to having the foresight to bring along an old car value guide, so we walked to Chris' pickup truck to assess the worth of this sadly neglected vehicle. We discussed the condition of the TD as it related to Chris' value catalog. The ensuing plan of attack was that Ed should try to get the car for around $2,000 and to be prepared to bid up around $4,000 but not beyond that number. Ed, Chris and Al looked around at some of the other cars to be sold, some of which were rust buckets and some of which were in the same "original" condition as the MG-TD. When the auctioneer finally got to the MG-TD, someone OPENED THE BIDDING at $4,000 and the car sold for $8,000 plus very quickly. Poor Ed Dudley never got to say a word for all his driving! Chris, Ed and Al turned and left the new MG-TD owner to his very expensive prize with only minimal words of goodbye to each other in their disgust at the whole proceeding.
On Sunday, 19 November, 2000, Sam Chandler arrived as planned at Al's house in Abingdon, VA, a sister city of Abingdon, England where MGBs were constructed. The hardtop underwent transfer number three. The same suspension method using bungee cords with a stack of scrap wood as a backup worked in Sam's Jeep Cherokee and Sam drove the hardtop to Jenkins, KY. While in Jenkins, a curious thing happened. In Jerry Phares' words; "It is rumored that the top was briefly hijacked by a band of highwaymen who were demanding a ransom of stuffed pheasant, Old Speckled Hen, and other Epicurean delights. Bandits with good taste, hmm..."
Bandits aside, the following Friday, 24 November, 2000, Sam Chandler drove the top to Lexington, KY where he met Jerry Phares at Lynagh's Irish Pub and Grill. At the Irish Pub and Grill, the hardtop made transfer number four. It now found itself resting on its top inside of Jerry's Dodge Caravan for the leg of its journey from Lexington, KY to Clarksville, IN, where Jerry lives. Clarksville is located across the Ohio River from Louisville, KY.
On Saturday, 25 November, 2000, Carl Scheib, the new owner of the hardtop and popular highschool wrestling coach in Indianapolis, with one of his sons for company retrieved his long-awaited hardtop and made the fifth and final transfer of the hardtop to his van. After a short visit, Carl, his son, and the top hit the road for home in Indianapolis.
So there you have the story. Not an MGB was involved in the eight days and five transfers of the hardtop and therefore no MGBs were harmed in the making of this adventure.
You may ask why this adventure was ever undertaken from the outset.
Our resounding answer would be; "Why not?"