Report from the Kamloops Branch of the Victoria MG Club

Octagon Newsletter January 2002

By Ken Finnigan

Well it's been a long time since the last contact, of any kind, that I have had with the club and I will bring you up to date with happenings from Kamloops (the largest MG parking lot in the interior- when there is a visit from the Victoria MG Club). With a busy and trying time during the last three years, I have shook off the cobwebs and finished the '53 TD, that I started a long (too long) time ago. This revitalization was helped by the new woman in my life, Lorraine Iees, soon to be my wife. September 22nd, 2001 to be exact. With new inspiration and enthusiasm things are happening once again.

After finishing my year at the head of my fraternal organization this past April, I dug in once again on the TD. Sort of got it finished (are these cars EVER finished?) in time to trailer it out to Winnipeg to meet my future in‑laws before going on to St. Paul, Minnesota to the 2001 MG Odyssey. That part of the trip was uneventful, except for the passenger door flying open at freeway speed, breaking the door stop and continuing on to strike the rear fender and breaking the rear support of the side screen.

Also, a brake line decided to try my patience by breaking. Because of some emergency repairs I needed, I met up with a bunch of British Car club members, some of which were going to Minneapolis as well, so we travelled together and had a ball and now I have more MG friends added to my list. The event itself had so many highlights, it's difficult to know where to start. A thousand MGs all together are a little overwhelming. The oldest would be a 1930 MG-M and the newest were a 2001 ZS and a ZT-T estate car brought over by the MG‑Rover Group.

My biggest problem was trying to evaluate each car and of course chat with the owner. This would have taken a few months to accomplish, so the process had to be shortened considerably. There were about 50 TDs, a couple of hundred MGAs, a gaggle of TCs, TFs, MGCs and literally hundreds of MGBs ... and I thought I had a real rare car.

Each morning started off with a briefing of the days happenings and, as usual, you could participate in the events that struck your fancy, including a continuous 'swap meet' and commercial venders stalls as well as many interesting 'tech' sessions.

At this facility, there is a mile of paved racing oval that is no longer used. However, it was used at the event to demonstrate the racing capabilities of some twenty-five MG race cars. This proved very interesting, especially when three time SCCA National Champion (class 'G' production) Kent Prather of Topeka, Kansas put his 'stock' (?????) 150 h.p. MGA II through it's paces. Kent also gave one of the more popular 'tech' sessions on how to 'up' the performance of your MG.

With groups in our camp ground (same site) from Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, New York and yes, from St Paul, Vancouver and Kamloops, etc., things very lively to say the least.

Even with the small contingent of Canadians, we walked off with ALL the major prizes, including yours truly bringing home a wonderful 3 foot x 4 foot oil painting (reproduction) of two MG's being serviced out in front of a MG garage in a British setting. It looks great in our living room.

After five most interesting days, goodbyes had to be said, as we moved toward home.

Unfortunately our excitement didn't end there. We hadn't got two blocks from the meet site when the rear wheel came off the TD, which we were trailering on a two wheel dolly, and proceeded to overtake us. Most disparaging. But wouldn't you know, a couple of MG enthusiasts happened by within a couple of minutes, and within a half an hour, we were once again on our way. There is no way I would ever understand how the wheel came off, but we know we were being watched over.

A great job was done by the local Minnesota MG host club as well as the other BIG MG groups throughout North America. On our return home, we then had to get things in place in a hurry to get to North Vancouver for the annual Jaguar/MG club Heritage meet where we took a second in the MG group. Now it's time to do some of the refinements on the TD in preparation for a 'Honeymoon' trip on September 22nd.

Sorry we are unable to take in some of the upcoming events, as I think there may be a time conflict.

However, there is next year, as we plan to take in more events and, who knows, maybe we'll do the camping bit in our back yard again. Still great memories of that week end when the club 'graced' our landscape.

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