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The March 2001 Newsletter

February 8 Meeting Highlights

Allen Calcote

We had 28 members and 2 guests attend the February meeting. Guests were Mark Richardson and Al Parish.

The program was presented by Mark Whitt who showed us some examples from his tremendous collection of British Car Memorabilia.

A reminder of the drive to the Sergeant York museum was presented. The drive will occur on Saturday, March 17 starting at Exit 122 on Highway 75N at 10:00 AM. We will be met by the Smoky Mountain Austin Healey club members from Kingsport, Sevierville, and Knoxville. From there the group will proceed to Jamestown, eat a picnic lunch, and meet two of Sgt. York's sons who will lead us on a tour of the homestead and museum.

Other future dates are:

April 27-29: Walter Mitty Road Races, Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA

May 5: Townsend British Car Gathering, Townsend, TN

May 25-27: Spring Break, MG Gathering at Presbyterian College, Clinton SC

Oct 19-21: EURO 2001, Greenville, SC

Dave Berry will present the March program.

33 Reasons Why
MGs Are Better Than Women

(author unknown and printed without publisher's endorsement)

* MGs only need their fluids changed every 4,000 miles

* MGs curves never sag

* MGs last longer

* MGs don't get pregnant

* You can drive an MG any time of the month

* MGs don't have parents

* MGs don't whine unless something is really wrong

* You can share your MG with your friends

* If your MG makes too much noise, you can buy a muffler

* If your MG smokes, you can do something about it

* MGs don't care about how many other MGs you have driven

* When driving, you and your MG both arrive at the same time

* MGs don't care about how many other MGs you have

* MGs don't mind if you look at other MGs or if you buy MG magazines

* If your MG goes flat, you can fix it

* If your MG is too loose, you can tighten it

* If you MG is too soft, you can get different shocks

* If your MG is misaligned, you don't have to discuss politics to correct it

* You can have a beer while driving your MG

* You don't have to be jealous of the buy that works on your MG

* You don't have to deal with priests or blood-tests to register your MG

* You don't have to convince your MG that you're an MG enthusiast and that you think MGs are equals

* If you say bad things to your MG, you don't have to apologize before you can drive it again

* You can drive an MG as long as you want and it won't get sore

* Your parents don't remain in touch with your old MG after you dump it

* MGs always feel like going for a ride

* MGs don't insult you if you are a bad driver

* Your MG never wants a night out alone with the other MGs

* MGs don't care if you are late

* You don't have to take a shower before driving your MG

* If your MG doesn't look good, you can paint it or get better parts

* You can't get diseases from an MG you don't know very well

Well, now, I'm glad that's over . . . . . .

Three Flat Tires

Herren Floyd

I bought my MGB new in 1963 and drove it about twenty years with the spare taking up nearly half the space in the trunk but in all that time, never had a flat tire. I took the spare out of the trunk and drove without a spare for about another fifteen years without ever having a flat.

The odds finally caught up with me on the club's drive to Townsend last year. My apologies to the club for driving without a spare that day.

The flat occurred just outside of Newport. I borrowed an MGB jack from Bud. Allen and Margaret loaned Carl and me the use of their Honda, and they caught rides with other members who needed to proceed to Townsend in time to register to be in the show. Carl and I took the wheel and flat tire into Newport to be fixed. At the third shop whose machine didn't fit the wire wheel, we persuaded them to fix it with their hand tools. An automotive parts store across the street had a radial tube that would fit. We finally arrived in Townsend over an hour later than the others.

When I retired in 1997, I bought brand new chrome wire wheels and new radial inner tubes from Moss Motors and new Michelin XZX tires from Coker Tire through my local tire dealer, Grant Tire. About a year later I discovered in my garage that one tire had leaked down almost flat. A spot on the tube had worn through possibly because of some debris and the tube had to be patched. Then came the flat on the drive to Townsend, and not long after that, I had my third flat, also on a club drive, but this time I had my spare with me. Grant Tire told me that in each case a spot on the tube had been worn through maybe by debris coming from the plastic tape used by the manufacturer of the wire wheels to cover the spoke heads. I had them unmount all four tires, and I removed the plastic tape which was getting brittle and flaking off a few small pieces.

I called Moss Motors and was put in touch with RB Hart in their Technical Services department who asked me to send samples of the plastic tape. Eventually, I was called by Harry Haigh, a gentleman with a thick British accent and many years of experience with wire wheels. He named several possible causes but said he first wanted to eliminate the possibility of the tires being incompatible with tubes. He said to check for ridges or roughness inside the tire or along the bead. I told him that I had run Michelin tires with tubes on wire wheels for over thirty years and the XZX for most of those years without ever having a flat, but I promised him that I would consult with Coker and Michelin.

Steve, the Michelin buyer at Coker, said that the XZX was a tubeless tire and not recommended for tubes but that many of their customers were running tubes with wire wheels without much problem. Ken at Michelin was more emphatic about the XZX not being suitable for tubes. He said that my earlier XZX tires may not have been quite the same as the XZX made more recently but that Michelin tubeless tires made since 1985 are definitely not recommended for tubes. He also said that Michelin does not make a tire that would fit my wire wheels and that he could recommend using with a tube.

I discovered that my new XZX tires have ridges inside the sidewall spaced about every 2-1/2 inches all around the tire and every one of them has rubbed a groove on the side of the tube. The patch on the tube that I still have is located on one of the grooves and high enough that it probably could not have been caused by the wheel.

I love my Michelin XZX tires, and I love my wire wheels. I don't know what I will do now.

Dangerous Food

(author unknown)

A dietitian was once addressing a large audience in Chicago. "The material we put into our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us sitting here, years ago. Red meat is awful. Soft drinks corrode your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. Vegetables can be disastrous, and none of us realizes the long term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water. But there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all and we all have, or will, eat it." "Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?" A 75 year old man in the front row stood up and said, "Wedding cake."

Membership Dues

Check with Al Bradley, our Treasurer, to verify that your dues and paid and current. If, not get them in as soon as possible so we won't have to put your name under the Delinquent Dues column in the next newsletter!!!

Spotlight on Dick Williams

Dick Williams has long been one of our most faithful and active club members. This year he is serving as our Driving Events Committee Chairman. Here is Dick with three of his beautiful British cars!

Dick is well known to British car enthusiasts in our entire region. Last October, four British car clubs including ours gathered at Panther Creek State Park for a picnic and to honor Dick for his many years of participation in and enthusiastic support of the sport of owning and driving British cars. Mark Whitt presented him with a beautiful walnut plaque with a full-color British flag and an inscription commemorating his long-time participation. After the picnic, Dick led about fifteen of the British cars on a splendid drive over some of the winding back roads in the area.

Dick grew up with three brothers in Harrogate, TN near Middlesboro, KY where the P-38 "Glacier Girl" is now being restored. He studied at Lincoln Memorial University near Harrogate where his Father was business manager at the time. His work for Campbell Soup Company took him to Camden, NJ. His wife passed way in 1973 and he retired about four years later and settled near Bean Station where he now lives on Cherokee Lake.

He probably got the British car affliction because of his son Richard, who is serving this year as our club's Program Committee Chairman. In the summer of 1967 when home from college (LMU), while looking for a Triumph TR3, Richard found a 1961 Jaguar XK150 for $700. Dick helped him get it ready for school. Back at college, Richard got a letter from Dick telling him that he had bought his 1957 Jaguar 140 and that was just the beginning.

Dick is also a member of the Antique Automobile Club of America. He has done a ground up restoration of a 1930 Ford Pickup and built a street rod from a 1930 2-door Ford that he still owns. He does most of his own bodywork, painting, and mechanics. Richard enjoys doing automotive projects with his Dad. Richard likes to handle the left-handed situations and let Dick handle the right-handed ones!

Thanks, Dick, for all you do!

Past Newsletters

February 2001

January 2001

December 2000

November 2000

October 2000

September 2000

August 2000

July 2000

June 2000

May 2000

April 2000

March 2000

February 2000

January 2000

Past Meetings

May 2000

April 2000

March 2000

February 2000

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December '99

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