Chapter Profile

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Ohio

The first letter sent out to form the Ohio Chapter of NAMGAR was mailed 26 June 1977. This letter was sent out by Diane and Steve Mazurek, who were originally Michigan Rowdies then living in Columbus, OH. Unfortunately, they had not met Barb and Dave Ream of Lancaster at the Michigan GT at Greenfield Village in the fall of 1976. The Ream’s iris blue coupe had taken first in class. Dave is still driving his coupe.

The first meeting was held in August of ’77 with 12 in attendance. Diane and Steve served as Chairpersons from that initial meeting until December of ’79.

The first issue of the newsletter “A-MEN” [who doesn’t worship “his” MGA?] was mailed September of ’77. We attended GT-3 and GT-4 as a club. The Ream coupe took home another first from GT-4.

One of our very successful shows was the yearly Northland Mall Show. We set up about a half dozen MGAs in the center of the mall with other British car clubs and greeted the public. I was amazed (and still am) at the number of people who had an “A” in high school or college. (Could that many of them been manufactured?) At another one of our meets, we saw our first completely original Alamo Beige MGA. Fred Lewis had just purchased the “A” from the proverbial “little ole lady” for a song. It had the original tool roll, all of the purchase receipts and windshield sticker and less than 14,000 miles on the odometer. Fred and Sue were considering a new paint job because it was so “ugly,” but after we drooled all over the Alamo Beige, he decided to preserve it. They still turn heads with this original “A”, even though it has turned over 20K!

Another highlight was the first NAMGAR Regional Buckeye GT at the Burr Oak Lodge,in the Hocking Hills of southeast Ohio. The Reams, along with many diehard Ohio

members, worked many hours with us and NAMGAR (Ruth Renkenberger and Stew Beatty) to organize the Get-Together. Not only was the weather perfect that September weekend in 1978, but we met so many (young) enthusiasts who became our close friends for years to come and also had a homecoming (Len Renkenberger’s word) with many others we’d met at previous events. We had a very challenging rallye that Dave Ream put together. He really confused the participants in a small, southern Ohio town that boasts two statues of soldiers – a Civil War and a WWI. The instructions said “turn at WWI soldier.” The first soldier was of Civil War vintage, and that’s where everyone (except Bruce Nichols who was paying attention) turned and drove in circles trying to get back on track. Good job, Dave! and Congratulations to Bruce and Shelley Nichols for winning that rallye! And then Martha Ludtke of Virginia was awarded a buckeye necklace - not sure why any more, but she was proud of her “nuts.” As Len Renkenberger summed it up: “Picture a quiet lake, a rustic lodge, and mile after mile of roads that would turn Ralph Nader into Stirling Moss.”

One highlight of our years in Ohio with the MGAs was when we were contacted by Automobile Quarterly magazine for an MGA layout. The photographer for this article happened to live in the area and obtained our contact information from NAMGAR. We contacted several members, washed the cars and made arrangements for the photos. The photos, with accompanying article entitled “Abingdon Modern - The History of the MGA” by Doug Nye, were published in Volume XVII, Number 1, First Quarter 1979 of Automobile Quarterly.: John A. Dunkel’s red ’56; William, David, and James Lee’s OEW ’58; Larry Wilson’s red ’58 Twin Cam; David W. Ream’s iris blue ’58 Coupe; Steven P. Mazurek’s OEW ’60; Steve Redman’s red ’61. These cars were also displayed on AQ’s poster which some of you may own.

On 6 December 1979 Jeri and Will Kennard of Newark became the second chairpersons. From that date the membership grew from 36 to 43 in less than 9 months.

Dave Ream of Lancaster served as Chairperson from 20 August 80 until 01 April 83. Jim Sutorus served as the fourth Chairperson from April of 83 until moving from Lorain to Raleigh in early ’85. Through the newsletter the Chapter adopted the nickname “BuckAyes” at that time. The Ohio BuckAyes arrived at GT-14 in Plymouth, MI, in a caravan of 16 MGA’s and 2 Detroit iron support vehicles. We returned with 5 awards, including the coupe of Jim and Cherie Sutorus.

Brent Reifsnyder from Bolivar served for four years from February 85. He provided our leadership through GT-13 in Marietta, OH. The membership grew from 47 to 63 after GT-13. Did you get ‘mugged’ in Marietta? Another remembrance was the silver MGA cowl vent pins. One evening was spent at the “Becky Thatcher Showboat Theater” on the Ohio River. GT-13 marked a record at that time 110 MGA’s were on field at the car show, which included a panoramic photo by Crabtree on the Marietta College campus. Along with Sue Lewis’ walking rallye of 200 year old downtown, there was a ladies’ parts board arranged by Jane Reifsnyder and Tina Sziriski. The car rallye was so much fun that first-timer Jim Parsons of Chicago convinced his driver to trade roles so they could drive a second time. Tom Ball’s Funkana required a blindfolded driver to listen carefully to the navigator. Richard “Hutch” Hutchinson hosted the “Stay Vertical” party.

Ron Bryant of Valley City was the Chairman through the nineties when the membership broke the 90 mark. Jeff Fields has held that position since.

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Last updated on May 30, 2013.