eOctagon # 62
the American MGB Association's
Online Newsletter
 sent to members of the AMGBA
February 2012

'73 B-GT of William Powell The AMGBA is North America's oldest and largest club for all MGBs, MGB-GTs and Midgets. A nonprofit organization which was founded in 1975 and offers magazines, emagazines, technical advice, member recommendations on service, body and parts sources, registration of your MG, a tradition of service and FREE member classified ads that appear in the Octagon magazine AND on the AMGBA website (http://www.mgclub.org or www.amgba.com or www.americanmgbassociation.com ).

Welcome to the latest edition of the eOctagon.  We suggest printing this out for ease of reading and for reference.  This is the February issue of your newsletter.  Please continue to send us any comments and/or suggestions.   I hope you have a great upcoming holiday season!

Please note: The next issue of the printed Octagon (March) will be mailed in February to our members that receive the printed version.

(top photo:  '
73 B-GT of William Powell)

- Frank Ochal, President

This issue contains:
Events Calendar
Classified Ads

Chicago British Car Festival
Queen B - '
73 B-GT of William Powell
In the News!
Questions and Answers
Club Website, Message Board, Blog and Photo Gallery
Club Information

The Roadster Factory Will Pay Your AMGBA Dues!

Click here to visit Little British Car Co, LBCarCo

 (Check the ad rates section of our website for details)

Events Calendar


26     16th Annual All British Swap Meet & Autojumble, DuPage County Fairground, Wheaton, IL. Jim Evans at 630-858-9192, swapmeet@chicagolandmgclub.com,www.britishcarswap.info .


24     22nd Annual New Orleans British Car Day at Delgado - City Park Campus, New Orleans, LA. www.bmcno.org . Rick Huber at 225-571-7064 or mlandrick@gmail.com .


15     13th Annual Williamsburg BCC British Car Show, Chickahominy Riverfront Park, Williamsburg, VA, www.wmbgbrit.com , Roy at rgavilan@verizon.net , 757-220-4774.

21-22     Kimber Festival, Northeast Classic Car Museum, Norwich, NY. Speakers addressing MG topics. More info at www.nemgtr.org .


6     4th Annual Dover Days Car Show, Dover, DE. Registration form and info at www.doverdaysfestival.com or call 1-800-233-5368 or 302-734-4888.

19     16th Annual Triangle British Classic Car Show, Raleigh, NC. www.ncmgcc.org , trianglebritishclassic@gmail.com .

30-June 3     First ever National gathering of British Cars and British Car Clubs will take place during British Car Week in Hot Springs National Park, Hot Springs AR, kabarrett1@sbcglobal.net  or www.britishcarweeknationalmeet.org .


8-10    60th Annual Rallye Glenwood Springs, CO. Steve at 303-985-2763, or stephen_hart45@msn.com , www.mgcc.org .

17     British Car Field Day in Sussex, WI. Contact: John Stockinger at 262-521-1072 or 414-550-9492, jstockinger4@wi.rr.com .


17-19    University Motors MG Summer Party on August 17-19, 2012 in Grand Rapids, MI. John Twist, ph.: 616-301-2888, www.universitymotorsltd.com  .


9     26th Annual Chicagoland British Car Festival at Harper College, Palatine, IL, www.britishcarunion.com .

Please submit news of your event. Events appear on our website at www.mgclub.org, on our message board at http://board.amgba.com, in the printed Octagon, in the emailed eOctagon and on Facebook and Twitter.  Email to events@mgclub.org.   

Classified Ads


1970 MGB, project, great shape, lost interest, always garaged, aftermarket hardtop, all parts, can send pictures, sell cheap. Chattanooga, Tenn., suprdav259@comcast.net .

1973 MGB 1973 MGB. Well maintained original, always garaged, owned since 1976, 60,000 miles, front suspension rebuilt, like new top plus tonneau and convertible top boot, runs good! $6500. Contact John at 502-384-4234. Louisville, KY.

1977 MGB 1977 MGB. Medium blue, black interior and top. Car was purchased by a friend in 1987. He had the body work done, car repainted and a new top put on. I got the car in 1999. I put in new carpet, door panels, seat, head rest covers and padding. Extra parts. Garage keep. 88,500 miles. $4,900. Call Ed 708-751-0528.

1979 B 1977 MGB. $9,750. 58,000 miles, runs great; always garaged, excellent condition, no rust; wire spoke wheels; tonneau cover, bra, spare spoke wheel; NEW: carpet (floor and trunk), top, boot, radio, clutch, water pump, and fuel pump; rebuilt dual SU carbs. cmooney@law.upenn.edu .

1978 MGB 1978 MGB. "frame off" restoration in 2005 with only 544 miles since. Stored in an environmentally controlled garage since restoration. This MGB has to be one of the best available on the market. NADA values this car at $ 18,000. Asking $ 14,900. Call 225-362-7998.


MGB Seat Set. New custom upholstery installed over new foam and webbing on refurbished frames. Includes new teardrop style head rests. Black with Red piping. $1125.00 plus shipping. Roger at 763-420-8159 or rljlolson@embarqmail.com .

Four synch overdrive transmission removed from MGB that was converted to 5 speed. I drove the car before conversion, everything great, quiet, good synchros, overdrive works fine. $550. Lehigh Valley, PA. Mike, 610-346-9293.*

MG Original sales brochures: 1965-62, $35; 1963-68, $25; 1969-70, $18, 1971-80, $15. $4.95 shipping. Specify year, model. Have other MG models plus most cars/trucks, worldwide. Walter Miller, 6710 Brooklawn, Syracuse, NY 13211. 315-432-8282. fax; 315-432-8256. www.autolit.com . (in every issue)

MG Official shop manuals: $20-$42; parts manuals; $30-$48; Owners manuals: $19 Purchase & restoration guides: $19-$38; other books also. Ph: 206-721-3077, www.books4cars.com . (in every issue)

Parts for your MGB, MGB-GT and Midget at http://partssearch.mgclub.org. Also parts for all MGs and other vehicles! (in every issue)

OCTAGON ADVERTISERS (including Insurance, Parts, Publications, Service)


None at this time.


John Twist has reopened University Motors and continues the path he chose so many years ago. 2012 should prove to be exceptional an exceptional year. The MG Summer Party Reunion will be on August 17-19 and it will feature the pull handle MGB (62-64) in conjunction with the VSCDA and MG Vintage Racers. Contact him for all your MG needs at 616-301-2888 and www.universitymotorsltd.com .

Swap meet ads are free to AMGBA members.  Ads appear on our website, in the printed Octagon, in the emailed eOctagon, on the club website message board and on Facebook and Twitter. For others and for commercial suppliers the rate is $15.00 for 35 words or less.  See more info in the AD RATES area of our website.  (* appeared in last issue, ** appeared in last 2 issues)

Chicago British Car Festival
Story by Bruce Magers, photos by Frank Ochal

The 25th annual British Car Festival was held on Sunday, September 11, 2011 at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Illinois just outside of Chicago.

The show is organized by a consortium of British Car Clubs in the Chicago area. It has become the premier event for those interested in British cars. Each year the show features hundreds of automobiles ranging from those in concours condition to just normal everyday drivers. This year was no exception as approximately 550 cars were gathered on the field representing virtually every marque produced in England. Door prizes and popular vote awards were presented to the lucky winners.

The weather was perfect—sunny and mild which obviously helped boost attendance. In addition to the vast array of stunning vehicles there was also a display of British motor cycles for those who "like their fun on two wheels". A bag piper and traditional Irish dancers helped to put the crowd in a festive mood. Numerous vendors were also in attendance offering everything for the British car fan. The American MGB Association (AMGBA) was on the field welcoming old members and signing up several new participants.

If you have not had the opportunity to attend this popular event be sure to mark you calendar for the 26th annual to be held on September 9, 2012 at Harper Community College in Palatine, Illinois. For further information go to www.britishcarunion.com or www.mgclub.org .

2011 Chicago British Car Day in Des Plaines, Illinois 2011 Chicago British Car Day in Des Plaines, Illinois

2011 Chicago British Car Day in Des Plaines, Illinois 2011 Chicago British Car Day in Des Plaines, Illinois

2011 Chicago British Car Day in Des Plaines, Illinois 2011 Chicago British Car Day in Des Plaines, Illinois

2011 Chicago British Car Day in Des Plaines, Illinois 2011 Chicago British Car Day in Des Plaines, Illinois

Queen B

This issue's Queen B is the '73 B-GT of William Powell. The photos tell the story.

'73 B-GT of William Powell

'73 B-GT of William Powell

'73 B-GT of William Powell

In the News!

Last Production MGB Makes Return to Town of Its Birth
by Gerald Ferreira of 3D Car Shows

The very last MGB Roadster made, which rolled off the MG Car Company’s Abingdon production line on October 23, 1980, made a dramatic return to its home town today on December 1, 2011.

The property of the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, it has been placed on indefinite loan to the 17th Century Abingdon County Hall Museum. And, due to the practical limitations imposed by the picturesque Grade One listed building, the car had to be ‘posted’ on its side through the arched windows of the first floor, with just inches to spare.

The task of first stripping the MG to its bare shell, fitting that to a specially designed cradle, masterminding the pair’s delivery into the building via a gigantic 30 ton scissor lift, and finally rebuilding the car for public display, fell to Witney-based British Motor Heritage (BMH), which also sponsored the ambitious project from start to finish.

Said BMH’s Managing Director John Yea: "As the only manufacturer of original-quality replacement panels and complete bodyshells for the ubiquitous MGB, we felt we were the appropriate company to help bring this challenging task to fruition for all concerned. 2012 is the 50th anniversary of this perennially popular sports car, and it is very fitting that a representative example will be proudly displayed in the town where over 500,000 were built; a high percentage of which were exported to America."

MGB Returns to Town of its Birth

MGB Returns to Town of its Birth

Questions and Answers

Please note: Questions and answers and Upkeep and Performance Hints are provided for information and advice purposes. No liability either express or implied is assumed by reliance on the information presented either by the writers or the AMGBA.

Some or all of the below is from our message board at http://board.amgba.com and website in the technical section at http://mgclub.org/mgtech.htm and this is just a part of what appears there and in the member magazine.

Also be sure to see our message board on our website for immediate help from fellow members.

Q:     Not really a mechanical question but since you are a fellow New Jersey resident ... I just acquired another MGB, a '72 without a title. It has an inspection sticker for 1990 but the state could not identify it and want me to query Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York. The engine is not original and apparently a crate engine based on the serial number . Wasn’t there a web source at one time that one could title in the VIN and received the MGB history? Do you know if that still exists? This car needs major restoration but it is drivable and the engine runs good. I hate to junk it. Thanks for your help .

John J Roberts

A:     British Motor Heritage Trust runs a program to track the history of all British Leyland/BMC produced cars. There are also private title search firms that might help.

Doing an investigation like this yourself can be long, costly and might ultimately lose you the car if an owner with a valid title turns up and wants it back. I do not know who you got the car from or how they got it, but find out some history before you go this route.

The process of determining if the car is legal to register in New Jersey is involved. The last time I checked, the New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles asked that you run a "found" ad in area papers for a period of months (3, I think) for the car asking anyone with a title or proof of ownership to come forward. Supposedly this demonstrates you earnestly attempted to find the original owner before petitioning the State for a new title. You may potentially find someone coming forward and claiming the car that is representing a bank (not likely on a car this old), an insurance company (if the car was claimed stolen or otherwise lost and the insurance company now holds the title), a shop or storage facility (if the car was left unpaid for and they filed a lien against it) or Police/Department of Motor Vehicles of another State (again if it is listed as missing or stolen car or that the title was surrendered on, permanently removing it from the road).

I am not sure the process after that, but it does involve the courts and a judge before going back to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Check this out thoroughly before you do anything or invest in the car you just got.

You may find it cheaper and easier to find an inexpensive donor car of a similar year ('71 - '74 cars, for your example, are nearly visually and mechanically identical beyond the grilles and upholstery) with a clear, valid title to use as a basis to rebuild with yours. Using just the paper, VIN and other number plates only from the donor car is more than technically illegal, but using the body of the legal car (or most of it) and then transferring enough components of the other car to create one from the two is. There are still MGBs to be had for $300-$500 that do not run, but are complete enough with a decent shell and clear title that would serve this purpose and be cheaper than any other re-titling route.

I hope that help you.

Art Isaacs

Q: Please help me out with this. I have a 1980 MGB and it has not been driven now for 15 years. We are now thinking about getting it back on the road and getting back to the car shows that we had previously gone to.

I am wondering about what to do with the gas that is in the car before we do anything else. Thanks for any help.

Ed & Flo

A: 1980 cars had more closed fuel systems because of the catalytic converter, so if the tank was near full and the gas cap on tight, with the car sitting even a couple of years, the gas should still be good. Longer than that, I would advise draining the tank. Some tanks had drain plugs, but most did not.

Running the pump with the line disconnected from the carb is slow, could damage the pump and does not completely drain the tank. The best way then is to either remove the fuel pick-up/level sender on the near side of the tank and drain the fuel out or drop the tank and remove entirely to pour the gas out.

Art Isaacs

Club Store Items

Additional merchandise including the following can be found at our Fieldhouse Club Store located at www.fieldhouse.com/amgba .

Men's Women's Youth Baby & Toddler
 Dress Shirts  Dress Shirts  Dress Shirts  Accessories
 Jerseys  Jerseys  Jerseys  Onesies
 Outerwear  Outerwear  Outerwear  Outerwear
 Pants  Polos  Polos  Tees
 Polos  Shorts  Shorts
 Shorts  Sweatpants  Sweats
 Sports Shirts  Sweatshirts  Tees
 Sweatshirts  Tees
Bags Headwear Accessories Big Deals!
 Backpacks  Baseball Hats  Gift Cards  New!
 Briefcases  Other Headwear  Novelty  Top Items
 Duffel Bags  Youth Headwear  Blankets  Seasonal Items
 Tote Bags  Towels

American MGB Association Grille Badge

American MGB Association grille badge, 3 color with chrome background, with mounting brackets. $35 plus $5 S&H. Available from the AMGBA by ordering on the website at http://orders.amgba.com or on the order form contained in each issue of the Octagon.

AMGBA Grille Badge

American MGB Association Key Ring with Logo

AMGBA key ring with logo. $5 includes shipping. Available from the AMGBA by ordering on the website at http://orders.amgba.com or on the order form contained in each issue of the Octagon.

AMGBA Key Ring

Technical Sections Volume 3 (Now available in CD or PRINTED format)

A complete copy of all the Technical Sections, topics, questions and answers published in the OCTAGON from 1997 to 2007. Available on CD-ROM for PC or Mac (can be emailed with no shipping charges) or in printed version. It is indexed by category such as electrical, suspension, etc. for easy reference and accessibility and contains over 300 pages.

Available from the AMGBA by ordering on the website at http://orders.amgba.com or on the order form contained in each issue of the Octagon.

The CD version is $20 plus $5 S&H. It can be purchased as part of a 3 volume combo that contains Tech Sections Volume I, II & III for $70 plus $10 S&H.

The printed version is $30 plus $5 S&H. It can be purchased as part of a 3 volume combo that contains all 3 printed Tech Sections Volume I, II & III for $80 plus $10 S&H.

Technical Sections Volume I and Technical Sections Volume II are also available from the AMGBA. See the Club Regalia/Store area of Each volume is indexed by subject for easy reference and each contains over 300 pages and over 600 articles, topics, questions and answers.

Octagon Issues on CD

You can have the last 10 years of the Octagon easily accessible on your computer. Indexed by issue. These publications, which are no longer in print contain numerous and diverse articles and photos. Enjoy all the entertaining and informative stories that you can no longer get anywhere else and at a reasonable price.

Available from the AMGBA by ordering on the website http://orders.amgba.com or by using the order form contained in each issue of the Octagon. $15 plus $5 S& H.

Club Website Message Board, Blog, Photo Gallery and Social Networks

Club Message Board at http://board.amgba.com
Club Blog at http://blog.amgba.com
Club Photo Gallery at http://photos.amgba.com

The club has a new and much improved message board. This is something that many of our members have wanted for a long time. Be sure to check it out. You can access it through the club website at www.mgclub.org  or directly at http//board.amgba.com . We have a members only section of the message board. Members can request club membership to the Message Board by making the request in the form of a reply on the message board or by email to us.  This allows you to access the MEMBER ONLY QUESTION & ANSWER and UPKEEP & PERFORMANCE HINTS area.  It also allows you to post items in the FOR SALE and WANTED sections as well as post photos in the MEMBER PHOTOS area. You must first register for this Message Board site.  Be sure to include your membership name along with your membership number if known.

American MGB Association Message Board

The club also now has a Blog located at http://blog.amgba.com . Members can publish items to the Blog by making the request in the form of a comment on the Blog or by email.

American MGB Association Blog

The new American MGB Association photo gallery is located at http://photos.amgba.com . The same login is used for the gallery as the Message Board.

American MGB Association Photo Gallery

Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/americanmgbassociation and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amgba.

Club Information

Remember the main AMGBA website (at http://www.mgclub.org) always contains the following items which are updated after each eOctagon is sent out:

Club Message Board at http://board.amgba.com
Club Blog at http://blog.amgba.com
Club Photo Gallery at http://photos.amgba.com
Classified ads are located at: http://ads.amgba.com
Events listings are located at: http://events.amgba.com
http://members.amgba.com) including tech staff contact info, spare parts listings, member recommendations on shops and complete copies of the Octagon.

You can also renew or join (http://dues.amgba.com) or order regalia or store items online (at http://orders.amgba.com).

The eOctagon is sent to members of the American MGB Association as an additional benefit for members that have given us their email address. Each member should notify the club of any changes to their email address.

American MGB Association
P. O. Box 11401
Chicago, 60611 U.S.A.
(773) 878-5055
FAX: (773) 769-3240
mgclub.org or http://www.mgclub.org or www.amgba.com

Copyright 2012, AMGBA