SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016, VOL 42 NO 01

Photo for SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016, VOL 42 NO 01

GT-41 is now over and it was a great event. Walking onto the car show field and seeing all the makes of MGs was a sight to remember. NAMGAR had its area set up with both MGAs and Magnettes next to the MGBs.

In previous GTs I can remember how few Magnettes we've had. At GT-35 we had about thirty one Magnettes that were driven, pushed, or towed; it was the largest showing of Magnettes at one time in the U.S.A. Since that time, this car has become more popular and all the cars that were in garages, not working, are now being restored. At every new GT, I see more and more of these cars running and restored. When you go to the next GT, take a look at these orphaned cars as there are so few of them around. Someday I hope to have my Magnette on the show field.

If you have never been to a GT before, start planning for next year’s at Solvang, California. This small Danish style town is close to Santa Barbara. Solvang has very nice weather at that time of the year. If you enjoy mountain driving and testing your skills, this is a great area for both spirited and leisurely driving. Get your cars tuned and ready for a great adventure next summer. I'll be looking for you.

A week after this year’s GT I flew to London to meet up with a group of people for a cruise to the Baltic Sea. My wife and I came in a few days early to make sure there would be no problems and we wouldn't miss the ship. The weather during this trip was different as we never saw sunshine, just clouds and rain. We visited the port cities of Oslo, Norway; Tallinn, Estonia; Helsinki, Finland; Copenhagen, Denmark; and St. Petersburg, Russia. At most of the cities we had excursions and a tour guide to show us the highlights of their towns. We were also held prisoners in Russia. That’s right, you heard it correctly.

As I write this article I am a free man and out of Russia. What happened was the weather was bad with high winds and rough water. The ship has to go thru a narrow channel to get into St. Petersburg, but because of the weather the ship could not leave Russia. At most ports you can get off the ship and go for an adventure, eating or visiting sites you have not seen before. In Russia, in order to get off the ship, we needed a $200 visa (per person)! We did other things on the ship. This is the same group of people we travel with, put on by one of our MG vendors. Next year’s trip will be to England in September and will tie in with a British swap meet. If you are interested, please let me know.

The summer of 2016 is slipping away. Let’s get our cars out on the road and enjoy them. When I am out driving my car a lot of people will come up to me and ask what type of car it is, or they will say, "I used to have a car like that when I was younger." We get talking and I then mention NAMGAR, telling them about the register and trying to get them interested in us. We all seem to try to recapture our youth with things from the past. The worst insult that I get from people is, “What type of kit car is that?” I then have to explain this is the real thing and they take a different view about the car.

California coastal weather is always great for cruising. There are many activities we enjoy, even just driving down Pacific Coast Highway, also know as PCH. Evening weather is comfortable, not too hot and not too cold, so we can enjoy the drive and the stars in the sky.

In August I headed to Laguna Beach to see an event called the Pageant of the Masters. This is a show that re-creates paintings by the Old Masters with REAL PEOPLE. When you look at the portrayal, with special lighting, it looks like the original artwork. It takes place in an outdoor amphitheater and every year the event has a different theme. I heard people who had not seen the pageant before walk away saying, "WOW!" It's something to think about when you come to GT-42 next year. It's on the way to San Diego, site of the MGB show. Look up Pageant of the Masters and become a member for about $30, so you can order tickets before the general public. It's one more unique California experience and another reason to head west next June. I have been going with friends and family for over fifty years.

I hope you all have had a great driving season this year. I'll see you at next year’s GT and maybe even before then.

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Last updated on October 21, 2016.

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