eOctagon # 69
the American MGB Association's
Online Newsletter
 sent to members of the AMGBA
November 2013


 and www.facebook.com/americanmgbassociation


1st place Midget - '74 of Steve Whitlow 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 November issue of your newsletter.  Please continue to send us any comments and/or suggestions.  

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

(top photo:  1st place Midget - '74 of Steve Whitlow

- Frank Ochal, President

This issue contains:
Events Calendar
Classified Ads
MGBs of Jim Wines
Queen B - '
71 B of Marshall Moore
American MGB Association Meet 2013 Report and Photos
Technical Section - Questions and Answers
Club Website, Message Board, Blog, Photo Gallery and Social Networks
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

MARCH 2014

30     18th Annual All British Swap Meet & Autojumble, DuPage Co. Fairgrounds, Wheaton, IL. Jim Evans at 630-858-9192, swapmeet@chicagolandmgclub.com or www.britishcarswap.info .


21-25     Key West British Car Gathering, Key West, FL. Key West British Car Club, robincamblin@att.net .


7     28th 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.  No claims concerning the items offered and no responsibility for any transactions as a result of the ad are made. Email to events@mgclub.org.   

Classified Ads


'66 MGB 1966 MGB. $9,500. One family, two owners since pick up in London. Original sale documentation & owners shop manual. Garaged in AZ thru 2000, northern CA to present. No rust, excellent running condition, wire wheels, new rubber, tonneau, soft top. Tube shocks, electric fan, and alternator are only modifications. Interior and trunk have been redone. A real MGB jewel. Email: erhkko@aol.com .

1973 MGB-GT. 83,000 miles. For restoration, Located near Morris, Illinois $900.00. ErnieLindsay@aol.com .

1976 MGB 1976 MGB, new $5000 paint and body job, $1200 new clutch, new battery this year, top and interior good, runs like new, 55000 miles. Health reason cause for sale at $5500. Contact Joel Lucia at 440-357-5016 or 440-487-5100, or email at jrlucia@roadrunner.com . Painesville Ohio.

1979 MGB. Brooklands Green, new paint original color. 62,000 miles, no rust anywhere, body like new (have restoration photos), complete re-build including brakes, hoses, calipers and suspension. Weber carburetor, header, Monza exhaust, brand new Pirelli tires, brand new carpets – interior and trunk, newer top. AM/FM Radio with CD player. Everything works. Jim Farmington, james.foote@snet.net . Asking $7,850 OBO. CT *

1979 MGB. Runs well. 76,000 original miles. $4,200 O.B.O. Mike at 203-468-6277 or e-mail michael.b.enders@comcast.net . Southern CT **


1979 MGB engine, bellhousing, clutch, transmission. 61,000 miles. $10000.oo Ashton, Idaho 208-652-0160 or rod.jeanette76@gmail.com .

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://parts.mgclub.org. Also parts for all MGs and other vehicles! (in every issue)

MGB Christmas Card Colorful MGB Christmas cards, other makes available. See www.automainspecialties.com . 20 cards (same design) $22.95 postpaid. 2 or more $21.00. Larry, P.O. Box 1487, Conroe, TX 77305. 936-441-8209.

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


None in this issue.


John Twist has reopened University Motors and continues the path he chose so many years ago. 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 previous issues)

MGBs of Jim Wines

 MGBs of Jim Wines including one with a Rover V-8

MGBs of Jim Wines MGBs of Jim Wines MGBs of Jim Wines

Queen B -'71 B of Marshall Moore

This issue's Queen B is the '71 B of Marshall Moore. Here is his story:

Full Circle

All my life I have been a "car hound", attracted to just about anything with four wheels on it. Having grown up on a university town in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, I had seen sports cars around town regularly. I grew to know all the various marques from seeing them as well as reading every automotive journal I could get my hands on. After I got out of college and had been working for about a year, I spotted a gold 1972 MGB on the local dealer’s lot. It was just two years old and really caught my eye. Once I drove it, I was hooked so I worked it out with the dealership to trade in my one year old Toyota on the MGB. The B was fitted with overdrive, Ansa exhaust, driving lights and was a real joy to drive (when it behaved itself). It was, indeed, my first exposure to ownership of a British sports car.

A couple of years later, I moved to my first of 7 TVRs, a marque which would become a passion of mine for over 35 years. Then, about three years ago, after selling my last TVR, I decided to look for another MGB, or in essence, to come full circle back to where I started my sports car journey.

I first spotted a very nice MGB-GT out in the Midwest that was very attractive but was sold before I could get to it. Then a friend in the local British Car Club here in southwest Virginia told me about one he had just placed an ad for in our newsletter for someone in his town. It was a 1971, teal blue with black interior and top. The car was reasonably priced so I made the hour’s drive down to see the car. The top was in rough shape, and the interior needed a new upholstery kit. The car drove OK but obviously needed servicing and the front end was loose.

However, I was able to negotiate a good price for the car so I went back a week later with my trailer and picked the car up. I got a new Robbins top for the car and a new seat kit with new foam, etc and that began to really enhance the MG. I had it serviced. The car was grossly out of tune and ran enormously better once it had been properly tuned. The front shocks were worn out so they have been replaced with uprated shocks, the tie rod ends, bushings and steering rack boots have been replaced and the car drives like a dream now.

When I purchased the car, I was unaware that it, like my original 1971 B, was also fitted with overdrive. My mechanic made me aware of it, but it had to be reworked so it would function properly. And I just added a new Touring Trophy wooden 14" steering wheel to replace the 15" wheel that was original to the car. And finally, I went by our local British car dealer one day and inquired as to whether he might have a decent used tonneau cover to fit the car. He rummaged through piles of stuff he had in inventory since he had been a new MG dealer back in the day and found a new old stock, factory original, tonneau cover to fit my car for only $150.00!

Now, with winter finally gone, I can begin enjoying my B for many years to come. And, to top it all off, my 2 year old granddaughter’s name is Madison Grace, (initials MG) so perhaps this will be handed down to her when she is old enough to drive it.

 '71 B of Marshall Moore '71 B of Marshall Moore '71 B of Marshall Moore

AMGBA Meet 2013 and Brits on the Bluff, Natchez, Mississippi - Report and Photos
story by Bruce Magers, photos by Frank Ochal

AMGBA Meet 2013 and Brits on the Bluff 2013

The American MGB Association (AMGBA), a nationally recognized organization for MGB’s, MGB-GT’s and Midgets held it’s 36th annual meet on September 20th and 21st, 2013 in Natchez, Mississippi.

The meet was hosted by the English Motoring Club (EMC) of Mississippi which sponsors their annual Brits on the Bluff show each year in Natchez, Mississippi. Natchez is the oldest city on the Mississippi River and also the start of the famous Natchez Trail. Many antebellum homes have been carefully preserved which makes Natchez a "must see" if you are ever in the area.

The weekend got under way on Friday evening with an informal gathering at Bowie's Tavern located just across the street from the famous Mississippi river bluffs. This location provided an opportunity for this years show participants to greet newcomers and renew old friendships in a truly historic venue.

Unfortunately the "weather gods" interrupted the planned activities on Saturday somewhat and the "bluff" portion of the Brits on the Bluff had to be moved from the grassy (now muddy) field on the bluff to the parking lot at the hotel. The rain did stop at the proper time which allowed the days events to go on as planned. The British tradition of keeping a "stiff upper lip" prevailed and it all went on without a hitch. Kudos to all of the EMC members and their staff!!

The AMGBA officers were kept busy all day enrolling new members and processing renewals and selling regalia items.

The AMGBA wishes to thank Charles Durning, President and John Turbeville, Vice President of the EMC and all of their members for hosting this excellent event.

Information on next years AMGBA Meet can be found at www.mgclub.org.

Here is a list of the winners in the MG categories:

MGB Chrome Bumper:

1st - Clay Johnston, '72 harvest gold, Mt. Olive, MS
2nd - Blake Sonnier, '72 yellow, Lake Charles, LA
3rd - Richard Bishop, '66 white, Fairhope, AL

MGB Rubber Bumper:

1st - Grady & Donna Wilkerson, '78 red, Brookhaven, MS
2nd - Danny Varnado, '76 red, Denham Springs, LA
3rd - Armand Breard '74 red, Monroe, LA


1st - Jim Lynch, '74 blue, Jackson, MS
2nd - Jim Enzman, '74 yellow, Meadville, MS


1st - Steve Whitlow, '74 red, Jackson, MS

1st place Chrome Bumper MGB  - '72 B of Clay Johnston

1st place Chrome Bumper MGB  -
'72 B of Clay Johnston

1st place B-GT -
 '74 of Jim & Valerie Lynch

1st place Midget - '74 of Steve Whitlow

1st place Midget -
'74 of Steve Whitlow

1st place Rubber Bumper MGB -
'78 of Grady & Donna Wilkerson

2nd place rubber bumper MGB - '76 of Danny Varnado

2nd place Chrome Bumper MGB - '72 of Blake Sonnier

2nd place Rubber Bumper MGB -
'76 of Danny Varnado

2nd place Chrome Bumper MGB -
'72 of Blake Sonnier

Bruce Magers with English Motoring Club Vice-President and Meet coordinator, John Turbeville

Meet 2013 reception at
Bowie's Tavern in Natchez, Mississippi


Technical Section - 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, Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/americanmgbassociation 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 and Facebook group for immediate help from fellow members.


Q:    In June of this year I bought subject car a '70 B-GT from a man in Oregon. I picked up the car in Baltimore, Maryland and drove it home via Rt. 95 to Perryville, Maryland and then traveled back roads to my home in Cambridge, Maryland.

The steering is very stiff and after turning left or right I have to steer the car back straight, does not seem to have any toe-in, or something is preventing -the car to tend to center after a curve. I jacked up the car and with the wheels off the ground the steering is Very easy. This is my fourth MGB-GT, the last one was about thirty five years ago. The tires on this one are 185/70R-14. This is a lot wider than what was on the other cars, the tire pressure is 36/39 PSI, a few PSI over recommended to try to help the stiffness problem. While the car was on jack stands I took the boots loose, which were new, and inspected the rack. There does not seem to be wear that would cause the resistance and I did not see any metal "filings". There was only a trace of oil on the rack, I put the recommend type and amount in the boots and re-installed them.

I turned the wheels back-and-forth with my hands to see is something is wrong with the king pin assemblies. Once the wheels starting turning I needed to be careful that I did not push them too fast, there seem t be no resistance or "catching"

I discussed my problem with the previous owner, when I thought the problem was the rack and pinion, who lives in Florence, Oregon. He said he did not remember a problem, but to my surprise said he would pay for the rack and pinion assembly. I want to get the correct parts to fix my problem, but at this point I don't know where the problem is. So far I have only put about 150 miles on the car and, would like to drive more.

Any help or thoughts toward determining the problem and the fix will be greatly appreciated.

Tom Johnson

A:     Sorry for your trouble. It's a bummer to get a new car and find issues with it, but there are fixes and the previous owner seems willing to help.

There are any number of reasons that could be the cause of your stiff steering. The 185R70 tires are probably not it. Those have been the tire of choice to improve ride and handling for years. I personally have had them on my car for ages as well and really enjoy the improvement to the ride and handling. There's a bit more resistance at rest, but driving, they offer no appreciable difference to stock tires. Center return is as normal, not requiring any additional effort to return the wheel to center out of a turn.

The wider tires, however, combined with significant wear elsewhere may make things worse, though. I've found that steering shaft or internal rack wear would tend to be similar with the wheels off the ground as down on it. Looking for wear, you might be seeing may be something typical with this type of suspension when it is worn. It's similar to old straight-axle trucks that, as either or both the pin and the spindle bushings wear, they tend to bind, especially with the weight of the vehicle on them.

Jack it up so the wheels are off the ground and the resistance fades, just as you are seeing. This could mean wear in the king pins more than in the rack or other components. The tire on the ground forces the spindle to angle and bind on the king pin or upper trunion, especially if thrust bearings (washers) or the internal bronze bushings are worn. If they are, there should be some play (jiggle) in the spindle when the wheels are off the ground. Packed with grease, it might not be so evident, but grab the tire at the top and bottom (north and south) and see if it moves. If it does, there may be wear significant enough to cause the spindle to bind with the weight of the car on it

Loading it with heavy grease using an air grease gun can give some temporary relief, if just to see if it performs better when dropped on the ground again. There should be (3) zerk fittings on the spindle, so be sure to get them all.

Safety Fast!,

Art Isaacs

Club Store Items

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 message board which can be accessed 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:

www.facebook.com/groups/americanmgbassociation and www.facebook.com/americanmgbassociation
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.

If you do not wish to receive any more of these emails, please send an email to info@mgclub.org indicating you wish to opt out.

American MGB Association
P. O. Box 11401
Chicago, 60611 U.S.A.
Phone/Text: 773-769-7084
fax: 773-769-3240
mgclub.org or http://www.mgclub.org or www.amgba.com

Copyright 2013, AMGBA