The MGA With An Attitude
TECH SESSION at NAMGAR GT-35
Delavan, Wisconsin, July 27, 2010
I was there for Tuesday only, was planning to return Thursday, but "stuff" was interfering. I lucked out in that my tech session was scheduled same day as the car show. I arrived 9am and started the day by giving a Magnette a hand push to his display spot when the carb was overflowing fuel at the entry gate. After parking my MGA on the show field I had a great time browsing and chatting with just about everyone there. lots of old and new friends form all around the country. I cornered Kelvin Dodd from Moss Motors to chat shop for a while, even though he was there for vacation only. Near end of show (approaching noon) I got to exercise my 70-amp alternator to recharge the battery in one of the two Wolseley Six Ninety (neat BBC). Then about 35 Magnettes circled up for a group photo on the lake front as other cars were leaving the show field. This was followed by a tech session for Magnette door assembly, congregated under shade trees on the lawn.
By 2:30 I had my MGA back in the car park and found the room for Peter Caldwell's tech session on shock absorbers. He had for display a whole table full of shocks, assembled and disassembled, as well as a few cut-away units to show internal parts and how they work. One point of interest is that MGA front shocks are assembled "backward" from all others (and nobody seems to know why). Arm on the "wrong" end makes the shaft rotate opposite directions and oil flow opposite directions through the control valving. As such, you can't install an MGB valve in an MGA shock for upgrade, because the bump and rebound damping rates would be all wrong.
Click for LARGER picture
That picture is exactly what it looks like, one of my favorite little logging roads in Oregon. It was used by skip loaders and semi trucks to haul logs out of the forest. I was cautiously driving in the wide tire track on one side to avoid straddling the ridge. Even so we did catch one of the rocks under the car, and an hour later we were in Grants Pass getting a small hole in the fuel tank soldered shut.
At 4:00 it was my turn to present Bumper to Bumper Hydraulics. There was a bit of fiddling to get my computer connected and working on the net (thanks to some help from the hotel tech) and a big projector screen working, so we got rolling about 10 minutes late. Otherwise it went off without a hitch, discussing clutch and brakes, master and slave cylinders, functional problems and fixes, fluids and flushing, faulty parts, rebuilding cylinders and lots more. The last 15 minutes was open to Q&A, there were lots of Q's, all properly answered I think, and in the end lots of "more educated" MG owners.
When I had time to look I noticed the room was crammed with about 50 people, standing room only, nice to have so may interested people show up for my little song and dance show. No one left early, and we continued a little overtime until we were evicted from the room, and then continued on a while longer in the hallway.
After a bit of a break, 7:30 pm resumed the evening's entertainment with the crowd gathered for Natter 'n' Noggin, a sporadic continuing quiz show with each table of people being a team, and lots of raffle prizes (mostly donated by the vendors/sponsors). That broke up about 9:30, followed by more chat in the hallway. I had intended to join the traditional midnight tire-kicking tech session in the car park about 10pm, but all the cars were gone??? Wild guess, no hospitality suite at this time, so I suppose they all went off for a late dinner at local friendly spots.
Just as well to head out, arriving home about midnight to catch up with e-mail and BBS and find out what others have to say about the GT. All great people there, and I would have liked to stay the whole week. I guess being only two hours away made it too easy to go home.
Slide show of cars at GT-35 on YouTube (5:36)
Video of the Magnettes at GT-35 on YouTube (8:40)
Video of the Magnettes at GT-35 on YouTube (1:43)