ABCS Insignia

The March 2002 Newsletter

February 14 Meeting Highlights

C. C. Goodson

We had 23 members and 2 visitors in attendance. Our visitors were Ann P. Spann and Rickie Fields.

Plan for 2 car shows at Bean Station on Sunday, October 3, 2002. This show will be like the one Dick Williams and his friend held last year. We will have more on this show later this year.

If you missed the February meeting, then you will miss the first drive of the year to Norton, VA. Our drive chairman Randall Thomas has drive through southwest Virginia set up for the club.

Lee Seats had the program for the February meeting. Lee gave us the founding and development of the King Midget. In 1946 you could buy a King Midget for $270, then on receipt of the crate, you assembled the car. At one time the King Midget Co. was the 6th largest car company in the United States. The company went through 3 name changes and the last car was made in 1969. The program was very informative and we thank Lee for his time.

If you don’t have your name tag, please get one at the next meeting March 14th.

At the Board meeting, Herren Floyd told that he removed the engine from his MGB to be rebuilt. I wonder if that was the reason for good weather during January. No more smoke from his car!

Future ABCS Drives

By Randall Thomas

Having just completed our first Club Drive of the new year (see following article) I have thought about some other highways and destinations for us to check out as the year progresses. Since I was nominated for this position, I have assumed that the club wanted to do some driving close to my location, in the hills ‘n hollers of Southeast Kentucky and Southwestern Virginia.

That is why I chose the roads we drove on in Wise, Dickenson, & Russell counties in Virginia—lightly traveled twisty 2-lane blacktop, with some forests, mountains and creeks thrown in. I hope the good turnout was some indication that this road trip filled the bill. To me, the length of the drive might have been a little short (two and a half hours, roughly) but what else I figure in is the time it took to get to Norton from the Tri-Cities, and at the end how long it took to get from Lebanon on back home, whether home is Johnson City or Pikeville, KY. Nuff said on that, here are some drive ideas:

1) David Wallace suggested a return to Burke’s Garden, VA, near Tazewell.

2) Breaks Interstate Park, KY/VA going through Jenkins, KY and down Elkhorn Creek, and returning via Haysi, Fremont, and some of the roads we traveled on the first drive.

3) Benham and Lynch, KY—two old coal company towns, with a restored school building restaurant to eat lunch in, traveling over some challenging roads around and over Pine Mountain.

4) Ben Bailey suggested an overnight trip to Peaks of Otter, VA, on the Blue Ridge Parkway—I’ve been by there and looked it over, but never stayed there or eaten there—would like to give it a try.

5) Jenkins, KY and some Letcher County backroads to Whitesburg, KY and the Pine Mountain Grill Restaurant, return over Pine Mountain to near Wise, VA.

Then there are the annual club drives to Middlesboro to see the Glacier Girl, and the August trip to Grayson Highlands State Park. I think this list should give us plenty of top-down enjoyable motoring, and a destination or two worth remembering. By the way, unless everyone would want a different day, my plan is for the drives to take place on the last Saturday of each month.

Our First Driving Event of the New Year!

By Herren Floyd

Randall Thomas, our new Driving Events Chairman, led us along some winding, back-country roads in Southwestern Virginia on Saturday, February 23rd for our first drive of the year.

Herren & Otti Floyd had breakfast with Clarence Goodson at Hardees near Rush Street Grill before the Kingsport group meeting time of 9:00 AM. By that time, eleven people and six cars were assembled for the trip to meet Randy in Norton, Virginia at 10:30 AM at the Hardees where Alternate 58 intersects with US 23 ( the starting point of the drive). The others were Gerald & Becky Mitchell in their Jaguar, Ben & Natalie Bailey in their MGB, Allen & Margaret Calcote in their (SOB) Honda, and Jane Ogle and her friend, J.F. Workman, in her Jaguar. Clarence was driving his shiney black 1994 Jaguar XJS convertible, and Herren & Otti were in their (semi-British, semi sports car) Mercury Capri convertible.

We were joined in Virginia by our leader Randy, in his MGB and by our guests from Knoxville, Bob & Judy Reid, driving their Jaguar S-Type sedan. Bob is president (and also newsletter editor) of the Smokey Mountain Jaguar Club there. Eddie & Judy Penland (with their pet) in their (SOB) BMW, had joined our motorcade while on route to our starting point in Norton, and David Wallace caught up with us in his (SOB?) Mazda Miata shortly after we had started the drive. We were now seventeen people and a dog in ten cars.

We left Norton on US ALT 58 eastward toward Coburn, and from there took route 72 northward along Cranes Nest River and Laurel Creek winding between mountains to route 83 East and Clintwood where we made a pit stop for Jane to refuel and for others to have a rest room break at Pizza Hut. Leaving Clintwood, route 83 East took us to route 63 South which, along with the Clinchfield Rail Road, follows the McClure River between the mountains (deep in coal country) to Dante and then along Lick Creek on the way to Saint Paul. Back on US ALT 58 East, we drove southeastward and turned left to follow route 71 eastward toward Lebanon. Looking to the right (south) along this route afforded a spectacular view of the long, white-topped Clinchfield Mountain rising above and beyond the peaks of the nearby mountains.

We all stopped in Lebanon for a leisurely lunch and fellowship at Pizzahut from around 1 PM until about 2:30. Randy announced that the drive was concluded and pointed out that we were all now a lot closer to home than he was to Pikeville, Kentucky. We all applauded Randy for an obviously well-planned and enjoyable drive.

Behind the Smile

(Another Blast from the Past by Al Bradley – circa 4/97)

My Final Triumph

As I am sure I have told you many times in the past, my very first car was a Triumph TR-4 that I eventually gave away when Uncle Sam shipped me overseas. I went to Okinawa at first and became impressed with the little Honda 2- seater sports cars that were very prevalent there. Sports cars were a part of my life by that time.

From Okinawa, I went to Thailand. Thailand was a really very lovely country where there were no sports cars much (only water buffalo), so I renewed my subscription to Road & Track to keep in touch. Shortly before I was to leave that country, I hatched a plan to order a TR-6. I contacted a company named Nemet Auto International that arranged such things, and inquired about placing an order for U. S. delivery. I made the financial arrangements with my bank at home in Abingdon and placed my order for my new car.

Nemet and I corresponded back and forth a lot, during which I learned a few things such as that Michelin tires weren’t available without wire wheels (I didn’t want wire wheels) and there was an extra charge for wire wheels. The end result was that I bought the car, unwanted wire wheels and all, for $3,300.

The new TR-6 was “drop shipped” [that sounded ominous to me] to Norfolk in September 1971. My late brother picked it up in Norfolk and drove it to Roanoke, where he lived then, and later drove it to Abingdon, where it resided in my Mother’s basement garage (my Sprite lives there now). I was overwhelmed when I finally arrived home: British Racing Green paint, overdrive, tonneau cover, WIRE WHEELS, 8-track tape player and all the options were there. It even sported a set of English license plates which I still have. Apparently, the car was driven from Coventry, where Triumphs were made, to the shipping point, thereby requiring license plates for the trip. I still have photos of my Brother in the car and of the car itself that he took as documentation of the few faults that the car arrived with.

The one flaw in this plan was that the arrival of the car coincided with Richard Nixon’s infamous import surcharge. That cost another $300. I’ll never forgive Nixon for that and for a few other things.

The car was OK – not as genuine and lovable as my (t)rusty old TR-4, but OK. I made several trips with it and it was actually dependable transportation for a while. The first problem it exhibited was a burnt valve. I took it to States Motors in Bristol, then the area Triumph dealer. They agreed to repair it but the factory representative would have to examine both me and the car to determine if the warranty would cover the considerable cost. States Motors would hold the bill until the arrival of the factory rep and let me know ahead of time of his pending arrival. Well, that all actually did work as planned.

On the appointed day and time of my meeting with the Triumph factory rep. I encountered another TR-6 on Euclid Avenue in Bristol and we proceeded to get into a MINOR race down to States Motors. This guy was good, though, and managed to bottle me up in some traffic so that he arrived first. Then when called to meet the factory rep, it was, of course, the guy I had been racing with down Euclid Avenue!! We chatted for a while and he stated: “I like you, Bradley; we’ll cover the valve job.” The moral here, if there is one, is to be sure you let the factory rep win, if you want the warranty to cover your cost.

Another thing about that TR-6; it developed a tendency to burn up ignition coils, of all things. At first I thought it was a quirk. After all, most cars travel many thousands of miles before wearing out a coil. After the third coil, I suspected a trend. No one knew how to correct it, so I just carried a spare and spent many hours on the roadside replacing coils. Later, we would learn that all that was needed to solve the problem was to relocate the coil to the inside fender away from the heat of the engine. Simply, huh?

After two years of coil replacements, I traded My Final Triumph at Model City Auto Sales in Kingsport, TN for a new 1973 Fiat 124 Sport Spider and later bought an Austin-Healey 3000 for even more excitement.

Upcoming Events

3/24/02 7th Annual Missouri Rally in St. Louis, MO
Robert Rushing (314) 995-8664

4/12/02 36th GOF in Sebring, FL
Warren W. Maxxon (727) 736-1990

4/26/02 The Gathering in Winston-Salem, NC
Jaimie Palmer (919) 779-1224

5/4/02 British Car Gathering in Townsend, TN
Carolyn Henricksen (865) 984-8711

6/1/02 Marques on the Green in Louisville, KY
(812) 923-7349

7/3/02 Morgan MOG-32 in Staunton, VA
Ed Herman (410) 828-0818

7/17/02 NAMGAR GT-27 in Charlottesville, VA
Bruce Woodson

8/25/02 A Taste of Britain in Lancaster, PA
Sally Harbold (717) 292-0579

9/28/02 MGs on the Green in Davidson, NC
Pieter Korvink (704) 846-6606

10/18/02 “The Drive-In”, MG Driver’s Club in Greenville/Spartanburg, SC
Richard Miller (908) 713-6251

Exercise Tips

? It is well documented that for every minute that you exercise, you add one minute to your life. This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $5,000 a month

? My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. Now she’s 97 years old and we don’t know where the heck she is

? The only reason I would take up exercising is so that I could hear heavy breathing again

? I joined a health club last year and spent about 400 bucks. Haven’t lost a pound. Apparently, you have to show up

? I have to exercise early in the morning before my brain figures out what I’m doing

? I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me

? I have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them

? The advantage of exercising every day is that you die healthier

? If you are going to try cross country skiing, start with a small country

? I don’t exercise because it makes the ice jump right out of my glass…

ABCS Officers & Committee Chairs for 2002

President: Robert Hall, 423-262-0402,

Vice-President: Gael Bright, 423-239-4247,

Secretary: Clarence (CC) Goodson, 423-928-2023

Treasurer: Al Bradley, 540-628-4763,

Programs: John Hanlin, 423-239-5603

Driving Events: Randall Thomas, 606-432-5153

Newsletter: Jane Ogle, 423-282-5687,

Webpage: Herren Floyd, 423-239-5455,

Past Newsletters

February 2002

January 2002

December 2001

November 2001

September 2001

August 2001

July 2001

Jun 2001

May 2001

April 2001

March 2001

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

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March 2000

February 2000

January 2000

December '99

November '99

October '99

September '99

August '99

July '99

June '99

May '99

April '99

March '99

February '99

January '99

December '98

November '98

October '98

September '98

August '98

July '98

June '98

May '98