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21st Annual Polar Bear Run

December 26th, 2020

It was a beautiful, sunny, 28 degree morning as about 60 classic cars met for the start of the annual Polar Bear Run, sponsored by the Georgia Triumph Association.  The drive charity was the ALS Foundation.  Yes, I said classic cars, because represented were MG, Triumph, Lotus, Jaguar, Austin Healey, Austin Mini, Sunbeam, SAAB, BMW, Porche, Fiat, Pontiac Fiero, Corvair, and an early 2000s Ford GT (not so old, but a classic body style).  There were also a few modern cars with good heaters...

We met at the Starbucks parking lot on Alpharetta Highway in Roswell.  After donations to ALS, a raffle, and a driver's meeting at which they handed out a paper with driving directions and restaurant options, we drove in a variety of groups on back roads to Blue Ridge, Georgia.

Here are some photos:

2020 Polar Bear Run


10/23 - 10/25/2020

 Fall Tour 2020 1

MG cars from the Peachtree MG Registry of Atlanta line up in front of the Saluda Historic Depot & Museum on Saturday, October 24th. Members enjoyed a tour of the museum and also the shops and restaurants in downtown.

Although the situations surrounding COVID-19 have curtailed many activities for certain groups throughout the South, the members of the Peachtree MG Registry of Atlanta have a unique solution for getting together while social distancing.  Two-seat British sports cars provide the perfect opportunity to see the sights, continue relationships with friends and be more than six feet apart from your neighbor.


Since 1984 The Peachtree MG Registry has been dedicated to the enjoyment and preservation of all British automobiles regardless of age -- old or new.
Home to more than 140 British car enthusiasts in the Greater Atlanta Metro region and beyond, membership is open to anyone who has an interest in British cars. Their largest population is metro Atlanta, but also has members across Georgia and surrounding states plus members in other states from Connecticut to Texas.


Annually for nearly 20 years the members of The Registry get together in the fall to enjoy camaraderie, sight-seeing and of course touring in their cars to different destinations throughout the region. This year the group stayed at the Saluda Mountain Lodge for the weekend of October 23rd - 24th and enjoyed dinner in town at The Purple Onion and Azalea Bistro.


Registry members were also treated to an informative presentation about the history of Saluda as a railroad town and the facts about the Saluda Grade. Judy Ward and David O’Brian hosted the discussion which was enthusiastically received by the participants.

After the museum tour the Registry members visited Dad’s Collectibles at their new location at 53 Gary Hill Drive, suite 10 in East Flat Rock, NC. Owner Mark Ray opened his doors to the group who enjoyed shopping for model cars during their visit and were entertained with plenty of great car stories and local knowledge.

Fall Tour 2020, Day 1

Caffeine & Octane August 2, 2020  -  By Susan Magness Cheij and Joe Rushing


Many of us left our air conditioned homes VERY EARLY Sunday morning to attend the Caffeine and Octane Car Show at Perimeter Mall.  In fact, Mike Cook and his son, Matt, arrived at the show at 6:15 am. They were chosen to be in the “featured British Car” section for the actual TV Show!! 

We all had a great time walking around looking at all the different cars and fellowship time with our fellow car club members.

Among those PMGR members participating were:  

Joe Rushing – MGB-V6Jim McCrory – MG-TF,  Jay Franklin - MGA,  Phil Osborne,  Jack Orkin - Midget,  Dan Bosso – MGB-GT,  George Hussey - MGB,  Joe Geracie - Rolls Royce Silver Shadow,  AvivA Hoffman - MGB,  Oliver Hoffman - MGA,  Wally Carlisle - MGA,  Mike Cook - MGB-V8,  John Scheve - MGB,  and  Paul Flexner - Midget.

C&O 08-02-20



GREAT DAY FOR A GREAT DRIVE FOR A GREAT CAUSE!  We had great day on June 6th for the Three Square Meals and a Drive event supporting Aurora Day Camp, this year’s PMGR charity.  We raised over $1,000 to support the activities for the camp, which assists children with cancer and their families.   As part of the encouragement for people to make contributions, two prizes were awarded.  The winner for the most donations made in their honor was AvivA Hoffman.  The winner for the most cash raised in their honor were Abe and Susan Cheij. Congratulations to our winners.

Starting in Hickory Flats, we drove through East Ellijay to McCaysville and lunch at "Burra Burra on the River", where we were seated on the patio overlooking the Toccoa River.  After lunch and a tour around town, we stopped in Ellijay for sights and shopping before ending in Canton for dinner at "Local on North".  A very enjoyable day and one that we hope to repeat again next year!  Please enjoy some views of our activities, below.


3 Meals 2020

Break From "Sheltering In Place" - April 30, 2020.

Not exactly a proper monthly ORF, but nevertheless, 15 PMGR members who've had enough of "sheltering in place" met for lunch today at Don Carter State Park, north of Gainesville, GA -- site of the PMGR picnic currently planned for August.  Despite 50 degree weather, clouds, and wind, it was a great turnout with 13 British cars, a BMW, and a Chevrolet. 
Everyone brought their own lunch and we spent about 1.5 hours COVID19 "social distancing" and having a good time.
Some of the folks with car tops down got their faces washed on the way home.

ORF 4-30-2020

Brits in the Valley Car Show - Sept 21, 2019.

Heartfelt thanks to Jim Walton and all the members of the PMGR Columbus group for their dedication and hard work to organize the first “Brits in the Valley’ car show.  Not only did the show attract over 60 cars from Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, but Jim and his crew raised over $800 in local sponsorship to support the event.  Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Children’s Miracle Network.  I also have to thank all the members of the Peachtree Registry for both their attendance and help during and after the show. You put on a great show.  Also, thanks to Erick Starzinger for hauling the trailer to Columbus and Phil Clark for hauling it back. Further thanks to Mike Cook for managing the show field and acting as mentor to 12 students from Jordan Vocational High School. These kids worked very hard all day to support the show.  We heard their automotive instructor, Mr. Robert Harris, was planning a special class about carburetors the following week. 
Most of the Atlanta folks met Friday morning at the usual western meeting place, the Newnan McDonald’s, for the quick ride down to Columbus. There was a plan to do some museum visiting Friday afternoon, but with the heat, the pool became a better attraction.  Friday evening featured a number of impromptu wine and cheese parties throughout the hotel before dinner.  The hotel building was once a foundry and the “Tower” rooms have kept much of the brickwork and rafters.  Everyone was quite pleased with the hotel and the service and support were first class.  We had 40+ pre-registrations and figured we would get to 50 total registrations.

The weather cooperated with cool morning temps and broken clouds, making things on the show field comfortable in the morning. The show field is about 1 ¼ acres of flat field bordered by Columbus State University on one side and the Chattahoochee on the other.  With the help of Mr. Harris’s students, the show field filled quickly with over 60 cars. 

At 10:00 AM Glenn Lenhard, of Glenn’s MGs in St. Petersburg, FL, started a rolling tech session. Glenn’s approach is to teach car owners how to trouble shoot problems.  Once the problem is identified, he shows how to solve the problem.  During the day there was a lot of tire kicking and bling admiring as is normal. 

Mr. Harris’s students were given an education in cars that don’t have computers but do have distributors and carburetors.  One lucky young lady from the class was given a ride in Michael Ranieri’s McClaren Spyder.  The sun continued its travel to the West and the temps on the field climbed into the 90s, but there was plenty of natural and artificial shade around, so things weren’t unbearable and everyone seemed to be having a good time.  Finally, the ballots were counted, awards given, tents lowered.  The trailer was repacked to Tom Nadelhoffer’s satisfaction, and it was time to head to the pool and some Gin. 
The reviews for the event were excellent. People loved the venue, were impressed with Columbus, and felt the hotel was top notch.  All this speaks to the goals set forth for this event. The opinion was unanimous that we should come back in two years.  Again, thanks to everyone who came, showed their cars, and helped to make this show a success.

By Tom Nadelhoffer

The ORF on Wednesday, August 21 was well attended and included a visit to AristoCraft Boat Works in Dawsonville, a nice drive on rural, twisty roads and lunch at a Dahlonega tradition….The Wagon Wheel Restaurant!  The following PMGR members met at the Dawsonville, GA IHOP: Larry Norton (MGB), Steve Ratcliffe (MGB) Mike Cook (MGB) Tom Nadelhoffer and navigator Bob Hill (MGB),Wally Carlisle (MGBGT), John and Gail Tansey (MGBGT), Brad Dryden (MGA), Gene Westmoreland (MGA), Roy and Laura Oppidisano (Morgan), Jim Doran (Spitfire), and Erich Starzinger (GM pickup).

After breakfast, socializing and tire kicking, we headed off on our 20-minute drive to downtown Dawsonville, GA for our scheduled 10 AM tour of the AristoCraft Boat Works where Joseph and Mary Zagami, GTA members in their TR6 joined the group. Yes…there is a boat restoration, building and museum located in the old Dawson County office complex off HWY 9 on Howard Ave. Scott Turner and his father, Bill, are the owners of AristoCraft Boat Works and are very proud of their history and enthusiastic about the work they currently do. The following is copied from the AristoCraft Home Page :

A FAMILY TRADITION, Atlanta Boat Works began manufacturing AristoCraft boats in 1946 following Claude Turner’s return from service during World War II.  Production began with five employees at a downtown Atlanta location.  These early days saw the production of an open fishing-type boat which was replaced in 1947 with the models that AristoCraft is known for. 

In 1953, AristoCraft was also marketed through Western Auto and Montgomery Ward as the Wizard and the Sea King.  Although hundreds were sold, this was phased out by 1954 to be sold through dealers only.  Production during these years was at such a high, an innovative conveyor-belt assembly line was utilized.  Pulled by a chain, this system enabled a boat to be produced every 15 minutes.  Working around the clock, seven days per week, 20,000 outboard boats were produced.  The final wood model, the 15′ Matador was added in late 1957.  Quite unique in design, it had two round cockpits with a center driving pedestal in the rear of the boat.  Fins that lay almost horizontally gave a unique flair to this vessel, somewhat reminiscent of the 1959 Chevrolet.

So popular were the AristoCraft boats, that toy manufacturers were using the designs on their products.  The Aladdin Thermos Company produced a boating lunchbox series that featured the SeaFlash on its thermos.  The Haji toy Company of Japan produced a line of toys where the boats are copies of the originals.  Matched with a period correct car and trailer, these toy lines are quite collectible today. The focus on wooden boats for AristoCraft seemed to come to an end in 1959.  Even working 24/7, the boat plant was re-tooled to accommodate for the newer fiberglass boat productions. The 17′ Funliner was the first of the AristoCraft fiberglass boats, eventually being reworked through various models to the AristoCraft 19′ that continues to be seen on the water today.  Introducing to the industry a double-hull upright flotation with no wood was quite a change for the boating industry.  At under $1000, it was quite a family boat.  Three hundred employees were put to work to meet demands for this popular boat.

Production was stopped in 1980, as Claude Turner chose to retire.  With the main production ending in 1980, Bill kept the parts and restorations of the boats alive until he started building new boats again in 1987.  This was all done as a side hobby along side Bill and Gail’s involvement in ACBS.  As the popularity of the boats grew, this hobby turned into a business in the late 90’s when Scott started working at the shop.  By the early 2000’s Scott had come to work full time at the family boat shop, and production and restoration of the boats became a growing business.  With the move to the new facilities in Dawsonville GA, they were finally able to set up a proper museum, and have a larger workshop.  They are open weekly for visitors; just please give a call first to make sure they are not off enjoying their boats.  In addition to boats, the Turners have a large collection of antique outboard motors, a small collection of antique automobiles, several early single seat gyro planes, a 1960 USA Olympic rowing scull and other antiques/novel- ties waiting to be viewed.  We can’t thank Scott and Bill Turner enough for spending the morning sharing their facility and their passion for old boats with us.  

2019-08 ORF

After spending almost 2 wonderful hours at AristoCraft Boat Works, it was time to head to Dahlonega, GA for lunch at the "Wagon Wheel Restaurant".  As is the case with most of our ORF drives, we did NOT take the most direct or shortest route from Dawsonville to Dahlonega.  We opted for a route on curvy, twisty back roads taking us by places/ sights like Clay Creek Falls, which gave us a peek at a well hidden waterfall, Wash Rider Rd, familiar to many PMGR members as the site for many years of Chris Gore’s annual Spring Tour, and Stone Pile Gap to check out the progress on the roundabout construction utilizing Indian Princess Trahlyta’s stone pile grave marker as the center island.  After successfully extending what would have been a mundane, 15 minute drive to 45 minutes of discovery and memories, we arrived at "The Wagon Wheel Restaurant" at noon to enjoy their lunch buffet.  The Wagon Wheel has been in business for over 40 years and has tremendous support from the locals. My tossed salad, fried chicken, country vegetables, big old yeast roll, and sweeeeet tea were wonderful.  My resolve kicked in and I opted NOT to grab a bowl of homemade banana pudding or peach pie for desert.  Hopefully, those can be sampled on the next visit!  The weather, the roads, and the food were all out-standing.  Most importantly, we spent the day with a wonderful group of people sharing things we all enjoy doing!  I hope to see you onfuture ORF’s.




Thanks to Tom and Kathy George for organizing and leading the 2019 edition of Three Square Meals and a Drive, the Peachtree MG Registry’s annual progressive dinner! We had a great turnout, with 11 MGs, an Austin Healey Sprite, a Corvette, 2 SUVs, and a Miata – a total of 31 people, although some couldn’t do the entire venue, so they joined us along the route and others left us after lunch.

Due to increasing congestion and construction in the Mansell Road area, the meeting/starting point was changed to the Chick-Fil-A at 6114 Hickory Flat Highway, Canton, GA. This is actually in the unincorporated Hickory Flats, about 8 miles west of Roswell.

We had a brief driver’s meeting at 9:15 AM and depart at 9:30 AM, so folks could get a cup of coffee and a snack. There is a gas across the street for those who needed it, as some folks came a long way.

The group travelled west on Hwy 140 and crossed over to Hwy 20 on the outskirts of Canton, where we drove some great back roads to Hwy 411 North and our lunch destination in Varnell, GA at the “Blues Street Café”, which is north of Dalton. We enjoyed BBQ, Salads, Sandwiches, and Pizza along with a wide variety of craft, draft, and bottled beer, wines and other soft drinks.

There was plenty of time to shop the The Butcher’s Market afterwards, which is attached to the Café.  Some folks brought a small freezer bag to take home some of the delicious items available.  Ice was provided for those who needed some. The Butcher’s Market web site is: .

In keeping with the theme of the Georgia Old Federal Road and the Trail of Tears, we stopped after lunch at the Chief Vann House and Historic Site in Spring Place, GA.  This was the 1830s home of the leader of the Cherokee Nation, a prominent entrepreneur of the area and respected farmer.  Unfortunately, the federal government sought fit to remove the Cherokee to what is now Oklahoma in 1834-35, along what is now known as the Trail of Tears.


We visited the museum, watched a short documentary, took a walk on a local trail, and toured the Vann House -- all very interesting and the tour guide was very informative.

We then continued on the Old Federal Road through Chatsworth and on to the Jasper area for our dinner location at the
Last Catch Seafood Restaurant .  This is an area favorite with a wide assortment of seafood dishes sure to please all.  For the non-seafood lovers, there is steak, prime rib, burgers, and chicken, prepared with the same care and attention to detail as the seafood items.  This location has easy access to Hwy 515/I-575, Hwy 5/372 to Roswell and GA 400. So it was a short drive for most of us to get back home with full bellies and great memories.  
It was a fun group of folks, great weather, and beautiful back roads on which to exercise our LBCs  and no break-downs!

2019 3 Meals & A Drive

MAY ORF TOUR - Triumph Registry of America National Meet

Tom Nadelhoffer did a great job, as always, planning and leading the May ORF to the Dillard House, Dillard, GA to meet up with the Georgia Triumph Club that was hosting the Triumph Registry of America National Meet.  It was a beautiful, sunny, low humidity day as we met at IHOP in Dawsonville for breakfast prior to launch.  The Driver's Meeting took place on time at 8:45AM and, just as it concluded, Tom George and Tim O'brien arrived from Jasper, GA to join us for the drive.  We had 15 cars and 19 people (including 2 wives, which is always nice) on the drive.  We took the back roads toward Helen, GA and stopped at the "Old Sautee Store", which is a frequent favorite for trips in that direction.  Once we got Tom Nadelhoffer to quit blowing huge bubbles, we departed for Dillard and arrived without incident at about 11AM.  

2019 May ORF

We visited with the folks from GTA and the many "out of towners", which were the majority, talking about the beautiful TRs and Spitfires on the lawn.  It was amazing to see so many TR2s and TR3s at this meet, because we hardly ever see them at the many car shows we attend.  It was great visiting with that group.
We stayed at the car show for a little over an hour and then met at the favorite "Valley Cafe" in Dillard.  We always get good food there, so it's a frequent stop when in Dillard.
Although the temperature went up considerably for the trip home, we had a beautiful drive on a somewhat different route, through the lake Baxter area, and everyone arrived home without incident.  A great day with great people and fun cars!

MARCH ORF TOUR - Mountain Airpark 0GE5

Thanks and kudos to Jim Doran for planning and leading the March ORF to Mountain Airpark,located in Cleveland, GA.  Below is Jim’s article detailing the event:


This story starts with an antique Breuker Biplane (see photo of the Breuker with my friend Tom Hunter) modified for acrobatic stunt flying.  Tom’s relative, Zack, had just inherited the plane upon the passing of his father after a long illness.  Tom told me that the plane was based at Mountain Airpark, just outside Cleveland,GA. 
(  So, one day after a round of golf at Mossy Creek Golf Course, Tom & I took the 15 minute ride to the airpark to see if we could catch Zack at this hanger.  As luck would have it, Zack was there.  After looking over the plane, we talked about Mountain Airpark.  It’s one of those “fly-in” airport communities with some of the owners actually living on or near the airport.  Activated in 1960, over 60 aircraft are based here, many antiques and a fair share of kit-built planes.

After our visit, the thought occurred to me that this would be a nice ORF, so I reached out to Zack and asked him about bringing a group up for a visit.  Since Zack is a full-time corporate jet pilot, he suggested I reach out to Bennet Aiken, who spends a lot of time at the airport.  Bennet hosted our first visit in late 2017, so this week’s visit was our second.  In 2017, Bennet had acquired three (3) MGB’s with the hope of ending up with one car.  Fast forward to our recent visit, we found Bennet well on his way to completing the project, now spurred on by his desire to move on to a recently acquired Austin Healey 3000. 

Joining us on the drive was Tom Nadelhoffer, Larry Norton, Jim Doran, Tom Hoppe, Eric Starzinger, Wally Carlisle, Mike Cook, Ron Steffens, and Walter Brookbank.  As you can see from the photos, we had a rather eclectic mix of cars.  Upon arrival, Bennet began a demonstration of his powder coating prowess.  Bennet’s wife has a website selling logo items like coffee cups and apparel, which lead to his interest in powder coating.  After a lot of trial and error, he’s now powder coating all sorts of items including hardware for the MGB.  He showed us the process of chrome plating, using a steel plate as a sample.  Employing an electrostatic powder coat process, after coating the plate, it went into the oven for 20 minutes and “presto”, a hard chrome plate finish resistant to about any type of abuse.  The luster was not “bumper quality” but it’s great for door striker plates and all sorts of under the hood bits and pieces. 

Did I mention his antique Piper J-3 Cub?  Well he has one and he’s an avid flying enthusiast.  Along the way, Bennet acquired reupholstering skills and often reupholsters a Beechcraft Baron, a Piper Cherokee, etc. for his clients.  We had a chance to look over the diamond tufted cross-stitched door panels he’s installing in the B.  He is also big into RC planes, which I suppose is natural.  Going back to the 4-wheeled terrestrial type of vehicles, Bennet was competitive in SSCA racing starting with MGB’s and then graduating to 800+ HP Corvettes.  Lastly, Bennet informed us that he just picked up a new gig -- he is a listing agent for a yacht broker whom he met through an upholstery job!  What a resume eh?

GTA Polar Bear Run - Was a Blast!!
by the Georgia Triumph Club - Jan 1, 2019

Holiday Party - 2018
Approximately 57 PMGR members attended the annual Holiday Party at Parkers on Ponce on December 9th.

Theresa Gaffney received a special award from the North American MGB Registry for her article entitled "Driving Miss Eloise".  Kathy and Jack Orkin also won an award for being the "Champion of Useless Knowledge", an annual honor bestored on those who get the highest score on Mike Cook's trivia contest held each month at the monthly member meeting.  

The food was great, as always, and the company was excellent! 

2018 Holiday Party

November Tech Session

On Saturday, November 10, Reinout and Henneke Vogt sponsored MG Day with several activities for all, ladies and gentlemen, drivers of As, Bs, and T-Series MGs, and their navigators.  The day started at the Vogt's home in Decatur at 10AM.


Tech Session

We talked about the different types of car lifts and why Reinout decided on the four-post Atlas 408. We then rotated some MGs on the lift to check out any problems or just to inspect suspension, exhaust, brakes etc.  Barry Rosenberg, PMGR's professional british car expert, made some needed adjustments to cars, as well.

Tech Session, Nov.18, 2018


Some of the ladies made blankets for cancer patients of the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota.  Their neighbor and retired nurse, Annie, worked with the tribal health program for eight years. The community of incredibly strong and resilient people survives on one of the lowest income per-capita in the United States. Cancer patients frequently travel four hours to reach a facility for their chemotherapy.  A “comfort” quilt helps to keep them warm on the long trip as well as during the treatments, which may last several hours. 



The previous owner of the Vogt's house left a 50 yard zip-line in the backyard. Reinout installed a seat and a safety brake to make it safe for multiple thrill rides.

At about 12:30, we departed for a little driving tour.  
We took a direct route to Stone Mountain and worked our way back on some of the hilly and winding DeKalb County roads. There were a few challenges or questions along the way before we got to Avondale and our reserved parking spot in downtown Decatur. 



We had a late lunch and drinks at Victory Sandwich Bar at 340 Church Street, Decatur, GA 30030, 

MG Day was a great event and many thanks to Reinout and Henneke for a fun, useful day.

Fall Tour - 2018

Once again, Rick and Margery Hartlein produced a wonderful Fall Tour. For a change, we headed west to Lake Guntersville State Park Lodge near Huntsville, Alabama. The group increased in numbers after departing North Point Mall, as some decided to meet the tour enroute.  We headed west via Rt 140 to our lunch stop in Mentone, AL.

We lunched at a wonderfully funky Wildflower Café. After an enjoyable al fresco lunch in the back garden of the restaurant, we took time to browse around the town. . Mentone was, at one time, the home of the Mentone Springs Hotel, established in the 1880s around 3 mineral springs that promised healing powers. It is also the home of Camp Juliet Lowe founded in 1920 by the Girl Scouts of America.

We departed Mentone to continue our journey west through what is left of the Piedmont range in Alabama, giving us interesting 
roads and some wonderful Fall vistas. Perhaps the best part of the ride was traveling on Rt 67 along the east coast of the Lake Guntersville shoreline.  Although the State Lodge has been there quite a few years and Rick suggested we shouldn’t expect a 5 star hotel, we found our rooms neat and clean with a wonderful view of the lake shoreline.


We gathered at the hospitality room to munch on cheese and crackers and sip a brew or two before heading over to the Lodge for dinner. Dining at the Lodge was a raucous affair, as the room filled with families hunkering down to the “all you can eat” seafood buffet” while many of us chose to select from the menu. The food was enjoyable and the service was upbeat and filled with Alabama enthusiasm. Many of us returned to the hospitality room to kill more brain cells before drifting off to bed.

Reinout Vogt was in contact with Jeff Powers, in Huntsville, who recently purchased an MG-M and invited us visit his collection. With the Reinout's yellow Corvette in the lead, a small group of us headed to Huntsville on a sunny Saturday morning. An hour later, we pulled up to a non-descript building in the heart of Huntsville, the home of Jeff Power’s eclectic collection of cars. oup of us headed to Huntsville on a sunny Saturday morning. An hour later, we pulled up to a non-descript building in the heart of Huntsville, the home of Jeff Power’s eclectic collection of cars.
Packed to the gills in the converted service shop was a wide variety of British and micro-cars. The list ranges from his recently purchased 1934(?) M to a Lotus Evora with something of everything in between. Jeff’s approach seems to be to ac- quire cars that have both a meaning to him and a story to tell. As he lifted the dust cover from each car he told each story as a loving memory. Some cars have personal memories for him, others held a memory for him of the people he acquired them from.  It's a personal collection to warm the heart of all of us who love cars.

After lunch at one of the may brew pubs in the historic quarter of Huntsville we headed back to the lodge to get refreshed before Dinner.  Then we traveled as a group into the town of Guntersville for our evening meal at the Aqua, a seafood restaurant located on the main drag behind the Wyndham Hotel, overlooking the water.

Sunday, we broke into smaller groups to head back home via routes that best suited our varied destinations.  Many followed along the "Trail of Tears" historic route through Alabama and into Georgia.

Thanks again to Rick and Margery for another fine Fall Tour.

October ORF -
The ORF Tour held on Wednesday the 17th of October was well attended. Participants included, Larry Norton, Erich Starzinger, Jay Franklin, Tom George, Laura and Roy Oppendisano, Joe Rushing, Bruce Kosbab, Wally Carlisle, Tom Nadelhoffer and Joe Tew. We had 3 MGB roadsters, 4 MGBGT’s, 2 MGA roadsters, and 1 Triumph Spitfire in the group.

There was a light rain falling as we met at the Dawsonville IHOP for breakfast @ 08:30. The rain stopped after breakfast and just in time for our 09:15 tire kicking, lie-telling, and drivers meeting in the parking lot. Bruce was the only one who braved the elements by going topless. His MGA looked very sporty with the full tonneau cover in place.

We departed the IHOP parking lot @ 09:30 for our final destination of Chatsworth, GA. We negotiated some twisty back roads from IHOP to downtown Dawsonville. At the historic square in Dawsonville we picked up HWY 53W towards Jasper, Ga. After a few miles on HWY 53 we came to the newly installed roundabout where we picked up HWY 183 towards Ellijay. (Roundabouts appear to be the newest fad for the Georgia, as-well-as most of the local county DOT’s). After 10 miles on HWY 183 we came to the intersection with HWY 52. There was DOT construction taking place…..probably another roundabout!! We took HWY 52 toward Ellijay. This took us through Georgia’s “Apple Country”.  We were running a little ahead of schedule for our bio break in Ellijay so I made the decision to make an unplanned stop at one of the apple barns/shops along the way.  Everyone has their favorite apple barn/ shop to stop at and mine is Reese’s. They have a great variety/selection of apples to choose from and other apple products like apple stuffed pastries and apple donuts!

After a short shopping spree at Reese’s we saddled up and got back on HWY 52 for a scheduled bio-break in downtown Ellijay. We made a short stop in Ellijay, where Tom George joined the group, and we got back on HWY 52 for our lunch stop at the Village Cafeteria in Chatsworth, GA. HWY 52 between Ellijay and Chatsworth was a twisty, curvy route with numerous elevations changes taking us through parts of Gilmer and Murray counties, the Chattahoochee National Forest and over Fort Mountain which peaks at 2,850 feet. There are several overview pull outs that provide excellent views of not only the valley below, but also views of the Cohutta Mountain range. We reached Chatsworth, GA on schedule around noon for lunch at the Village Cafeteria.

The food at the Village Cafeteria is very good and the service is quick and friendly. They have ample seating for groups our size. In fact, they have just completed renovating and expanding their facility. This was our third ORF run to the Village Cafeteria with great results!! The group split up after lunch. While several participants headed for home, the rest of the group headed for Barry Rosenberg’s new shop located at 85 Oak Morris Ridge in Jasper, GA. After a short drive on back roads from Chatsworth, we picked up HWY 136 E which took us through Talking Rock, GA and on to Burnt Mountain Road in Jasper, GA and from there to Barry’s shop.

Barry continues to upgrade and improve his new shop. The most notable improvements this visit were a shiny new lift, a neat and tidy parts room, but probably the most appreciated improvement was the renovated bathroom with a working commode!! Barry had 2 TR6’s, a Bug-eye Sprite, a Triumph Spitfire and an MGB-GT in his shop in various stages of repair and/or renovation. 

Tech Session - Engine Rebuild by Barry Rosenberg

The subject engine had been previously prepped and made ready for assembly, as I knew time would not allow an entire rebuild in one session.

The engine had been bored .030” over and the rings fitted to the bores and pistons. However, the set of rings that came with the .030” pistons must have been for a set of .020” pistons because the ring gap was over .037” -- Correct gap is .012” to .017”. New rings had been ordered and installed although one was left off the piston to explain how to gap a ring. Cam bearings had also been installed as they are the first thing to go into an engine and their installation is very critical. If you get them in wrong, the rocker arm on the MGB engine will not get oil. I have seen this before.

I first installed the crank using petroleum jelly as my lubricant, explaining that it will stay on the bearings as long as the owner wants to let the engine sit. Then, a normally simple job, to install the crank thrust washers. I start off with standard size and measure end play. Knowing the end play I want is .004” to .006”, an easy calculation tells me how much oversize I need to go on thrust washers. Unfortunately, I could not get the standard set in.  45 minutes was wasted sanding new thrust washers to fit the engine and allow the crank to rotate freely. 

Next was piston fitment and a showing of different ring compressors. Again, petroleum jelly lubricated my bearings and the entire piston sides. Next came the camshaft, stock for an early MG engine with mechanical tach drive, but put into this later engine. Then the cam timing was set with the gears, timing chain and tensioner.

A new water pump was to be installed; but, first, I wanted everyone to see that the new water pumps are not like to original ones. The flange for the pump pulley to bolt to is in the wrong location in comparison to the old pump. Craig showed and fixed the pump to match the original unit. So far in this rebuild we had wrong rings with right pistons; incorrectly made thrust washers and a poorly assembled water pump.

One of the things I talked about is that I do not install my oil pump until the head is on and valves adjusted the first time. So, we installed the already assembled head. Two valves were left out for demonstration and pointing out the incorrectly installed hardened seats (set too deeply in the head). Then the lifters were coated with the proper cam lube and petroleum jelly then installed in the bores. They had been previously test fitted. The head was torqued and the valves adjusted.

Then, I talked about the modification I make to the oil pumps for better pressure, packed it with my jelly and installed it. We did not get the pan on that Saturday due to time management on my part. There had been too much talking and answering questions and not enough work being done. But it was supposed to be a teaching process and that requires me to answer all questions.

Sometimes during the day, Tom Nadelhoffer and Larry Norton became cooks and servers and made lunch of burgers, dogs, buns, beans and chips. Thank you for your help. Tom Bosko did a video of the session and after the second time doing so; I am still not comfortable working in front of the camera. I have no fear of the camera, but I fail to remember it is there and that it can show great detail when I am pointing out something small but important, such as the dot indicating the top side of the rings. Maybe by the time I do another tech session next year I will get better.

Ron Human, whose engine it was, came by Monday to finish the assembly and paint it. That went without any problems. The engine was painted a Damask red as original and left overnight to dry. And I must say, it looked great; pictures included I hope. You may not be ready to build your own engine but at least now, you know somewhat of what it takes to do. You can understand how long it takes to do it right. And there is never any reason not to do it right.

We pull the engine, take it apart, measure everything necessary, clean the parts not going to the machine shop, order the parts, take all items to the machine shop and make a return trip to get them when done, assemble the parts with the new pieces, assemble the engine, paint it pretty with a hardened acrylic enamel, install it, get it running, and then tune it. And, we only bill for 35 hours on a four cylinder engine. Sixes are slightly more. Those of you that came Saturday, know what I am talking about.


The monthly ORF today was another chilly one -- 18 degrees near Suches, where we stopped to join with Tim Gaffney and take a break -- but, the sun shone brightly and the view of the snow covered mountain tops was exquisite!  Unfortunately, at 60 MPH while running the mountain "twisties", it's difficult to manage a cell phone camera to capture the moment -- so nobody did.  We had 11 cars running the excellent route -- thanks again to Tom Nadelhoffer.  Additional ORFs were: Larry Norton, Mike Cook, Jim Doran, Jay Franklin, Jeff Adams, Manny Gil, Jim Unger, Wally Carlisle, and Steve Ratcliffe Our morning target was the Cajun Depot Grill in Ellijay, GA, where Paul Van de Walker joined us for lunch.. The Cajun Depot Grill is inexpensive and the food is good. It's definitely a "do again" place. With the temperature all the way up to about 38 degrees and the wind at 10 knots, we headed home at about 2PM through Dawsonville. Fun trip, good time!