Panhandle British Car Association: September 2002 Newsletter


THE BRITISH LINE

OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE

PANHANDLE BRITISH CAR ASSOCIATION, INC.

September 2002


President: Ron Newman
Contributing Editor: Tom Schmitz (251)961-7171

Annual Joint Picnic Slips in Between Thunderstorms

It rained all day Saturday, it rained until noon Sunday. But, at about 12:30 the skys cleared, the guests started arriving, the grills were fired up and the 6th Annual Joint PBCA/SABCC Picnic at the Schmitzs' was underway. About 75 hungry folks put away hot dogs, hamburgers and an incredible variety of baked beans, potato salads, deviled eggs, side dishes (some difficult to describe but, very tasty) and topped off by some of the most delicious desserts made specifically to destroy any diet for a month. Due to the rain, which commenced again later in the day just after the last guests headed home, only six LBCs graced the driveway. Actually only two were "little" British MGs, the other four were "big" Jag XJ6s with dependable wipers. Actually there were more LBCs in Tom's garage than on the driveway and some folks spent a good deal of the ultrahumid afternoon enjoying the A/C there.

At about 2pm, Prez Ron Newman called to order a PBCA business meeting which lasted about 8 minutes, an alltime record for brevity.

While the weather was more cooperative than the hurricane of several years ago, we hope that next year will be more conducive to bringing out the LBCs and we will again fill the front yard with British iron.

PBCA 2002 EVENTS

These dates are for your British Car activities planning for the remainder of 2002. Details will be published in the "British Marque", sent by email and US Mule and will be on the website, www.geocities.com/pbca1 . PBCA is very active, 10 meetings and 15 LOCAL CLUB EVENTS through the year. PBCA Club Events are in BOLD type. Other events and shows will be announced as we find out about them. Let us know if you know of others.

CONTACT RON NEWMAN, 850 492-9791, renewman@peoplepc.com or Tom Schmitz, 251 961-7171, tschmitz@ametro.net for details on any of the events below.

SEPTEMBER

  • 13-15th SOUTHESTERN MG CONFERENCE, DILLARD. GA.
  • 14th BRITISH CAR DAY, CHARLESTON, S.C.
  • 14th OPEN CAR SHOW, RIVIERA CENTER, FOLEY. AL (NOT RECOMMENDED, LAST YEAR WAS A BUST)
  • 16th MONDAY REGULAR MEETING, SEAFOOD SHANTY
  • 21th SATURDAY AACA SEVILLE SQUARE CAR SHOW
  • 21th BRITISH CAR CLASSIC MARK XIV, STL. AUGUSTINE, FL
  • 28th SATURDAY MONTGOMERY BRITISH CAR SHOW

    OCTOBER

  • 5th, SATURDAY SOUTH ALABAMA BRITISH CAR CLUB SHOW, FAIRHOPE
  • 11/12th FRI/SAT NATCHEZ, MS, BRITISH CAR SHOW. GREAT WEEKEND TRIP
  • 18-21th EURO 2000, GREENVILLE, S.C.
  • 19th NAVARRE BEACH CAR SHOW, NAVARRE HIGH SCHOOL
  • 21th MONDAY REGULAR MEETING, SEAFOOD SHANTY
  • 26th BRITS AT THE RENAISSANCE FAIRE, FLORENCE, AL
  • 24-27th S.E. VINTAGE TRIUMPH REGISTER CONV., JEKYLL ISLAND
  • 27th SUNDAY PROGRESSIVE DINNER

    NOVEMBER

  • 1-3th FRI-SUN MG JAMBOREE 12, HOMOSSASSA, FL
  • 1-3th FRI-SUN SBCC BRITISH CAR SHOW, CHATTANOOGA, TN
  • 9-11th SAT-MON FALL TOUR, PINE MOUNTAIN (MONDAY IS A HOLIDAY)
  • 19th MONDAY REGULAR MEETING, SEAFOOD SHANTY

    DECEMBER

  • 7th SAT. NITE PBCA ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY, P'COLA BEACH
  • 8th SUNDAY SUNDAY MORNING BRUNCH, PENSACOLA BEACH
  • 14th SATURDAY CHRISTMAS PARADE, LILLIAN, AL
  • The Saga of the Car Trailer

    By Pete & Norma Peterson (aka: Looney and the Chicken)

    (Eds Note: This is the fifth in a series of articles by members of PBCA)

    It all started one sunny afternoon in late June when a departing naval officer visited my office to ask if I was interested in his car trailer. We had talked about his various cars and trailers in the past, but had never really made any commitment to repair or purchase any of them. Well, it was time for him to make a decision, and he decided that the trailer had to go. So, off we went to see what he had and what could be done about it.

    We went to a former horse stable that was used during the North's War of Aggression against the South that has since been converted to a storage barn. There, sitting in the darkness, was a trailer with a car under cover on it. The tires of both the trailer and the car were flat, but, being a bit of an automotive nut, all looked well and usable. I expressed interest in the trailer, but was advised that if I wanted the trailer, the car would have to go with it. We sort of discussed this option, when the naval officer quoted a price that was totally unbelievable for what was there. We got out some flashlights (the storage area was not wired), pulled the cover off the car, and, to my complete surprise (well, not so complete; I knew what was under the cover) was a reasonably complete British car in pretty darn good shape. I asked for the price one more time thinking he had misstated himself, was told that the price he had quoted was fair as far as he was concerned, money changed hands, and Norma and I became the proud owners of a 1961 MGA 1600.

    Well, the tires on the trailer had been flat for some time and the bead was broken off the rim, so we jacked the trailer up and took the tires and rims to the nearest tire store to check them out and get them reseated. The tires had practically no miles on them, the tire store said they would hold air with no problem, they weren't weather checked (having been stored inside since 1983), so we pumped them up and put them back on, backed my Ford truck up to the trailer, hooked it up, and dragged it home

    The tires on the MGA were still flat, of course, but upon putting the air to them, three of them held overnight, while one of them was completely shot. Not to worry, there was a new tire on the spare rim in the boot, which still had the label. That one is still holding air. Anyway, after pumping the tires up, it was time to untie all the various ropes and chains that had been holding the MGA in place these many years and get the car off the trailer. A friend of ours was visiting from Atlanta at the time, so he helped try to push the thing off. But it would not budge. We double checked the transmission to make sure it was in neutral, we let the hand brake down to make sure it was released - ah-ha!! There's the problem. The hand brake had been on since 1983 and apparently the brakes had seized. So, we pulled the rear drums and the front calipers off, replaced the wheels, and started pushing. It came off the trailer a bit slowly, but off it came, and the MGA was now on the ground for the first time since 1983!! Hooray!!

    The next big job was to get the MGA into the garage. This didn't seem like much of a problem, after moving 5 motorcycles, a Triumph Spitfire, and assorted other stuff out of the way. Having cleared a path, the process of pushing the MGA into the garage began. Well, our friend from Atlanta tried and tried to push, while I tried to push and steer, but the car wasn't cooperating. Maybe my overall clumsiness and our friend's loss of a leg in a motorcycle accident a few years ago contributed to our difficulties. Finally, we hit on an idea: Take that piece of rope that was lying in the garage, tie it to the front of the MGA, then tie it to the frame of the BMW motorcycle, and pull the danged thing in. What a great idea!! We did all the measurements (actually, none were required), hooked up the car to the motorcycle, started the motorcycle, and in came the MGA just as planned. Until the smoke started coming from the BMW's clutch. No problem, just let it cool down a bit. Once again, the towing process began. The BMW took hold in an authoritative manner until a forgotten piece of cardboard got up under the back wheel and caused a slight spinning out, followed by more smoke from the BMW's clutch. But by that time, the MGA was properly positioned, the rope was untied, the BMW removed from the front of the car, and it was pushed the remainder of the way into the garage while the right rear tire of the MGA came undone and the tread fell off.

    Now, if you haven't seen tires that have been sitting around for almost 20 years explode, you haven't seen anything really exciting. The inner tube exploded, the steel belts in the tire broke, the tread came off, leaving a pile of tire stuff on the floor and shreds on the wheel. It didn't matter much, anyway, as the car was as far as it was going to go at that time. The next morning, the left front tire had started separating and the tube was bulging, so air was removed to prevent another explosion. The next tire to go was the left rear, but it was nowhere near as spectacular as the right rear one. Again, air was removed, but the tread still fell off.

    The MGA is now proudly sitting on stands in the garage with the wheels removed, the brakes being rebuilt, and all attendant things being repaired or replaced. The seller forgot where the title may have gone, but as always, there is an alternative and it is now titled in the State of Florida, after a two-month paper chase. And the BMW motorcycle? Well, it was scheduled to go on a trip to Canada the following week, but it made it up in a truck. The clutch held fairly well while loading it and unloading it, with only a slight burning smell. After putting 500 or so miles on it in Canada, it came back home to Pensacola and a new clutch was installed.

    We are working diligently to get the MGA up and running. It is complete (except for a top and frame, some chrome pieces, and a few other little things), but we are not easily discouraged and we figure it should be on the road within the next year or so. This should be different, as we have always messed with Triumphs (both cars and motorcycles). But we're always looking forward to a new adventure, which is where the names "Looney and the Chicken" come from (that's another story).

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