Vintage Viewpoint Vol. 42 No 8

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1   2   3, and in their newsletter, Driveline.

Minutes of the Meeting

of the

Vintage MG Car Club of Chicago

Since there was no July meeting, I have no minutes to contribute to the August newsletter.  However, I find the following enlightenment about Lucas systems to be much more entertaining than my minutes.


Win Gould, Secretary

The Truth About Lucas Electrical Systems

Positive ground depends upon proper circuit functioning, the transmission of negative ions by retention of the visible spectral manifestation known as “smoke.” Forget all that nonsense about magnetic fields and flow of electrons along a conductor, for it is just that: nonsense – a myth put about by auto electricians to support their lavish lifestyle at your expense. Smoke is the thing that makes electrical circuits work; this can be verified repeatedly through empirical testing. The wiring loom in your car carries smoke from one device to another, pumped around the system by the dynamo or alternator; the starter motor requires lots of smoke to work properly, so it has a very thick wire going to it.

When the wiring springs a leak, it lets all the smoke out and everything stops – and when the smoke escapes from a specific electrical component (e.g., a Lucas voltage regulator), it will be observed that the component stops working.
The battery stores up lots of smoke dissolved in the battery acid, which is why they were once called accumulators. Naturally, if you try to dissolve too much smoke in your battery it will escape through the little holes in the top; this is why the new-fangled batteries with sealed tops explode when they get too much smoke in them.
But why are Lucas components more likely to leak than, say Bosch, Ducellier, or Nippon Denso? Because Lucas is British. British things always leak: British engines leak oil, British sports cars leak rain, British hydraulics leak fluid, and British governments leak secrets. So naturally, British electrical components leak smoke!
Courtesy of Hemming’s Sports & Exotic Car

2008 VMGCC

President’s Picnic
Sunday, August 17th

(Rain date Sunday August 24th)

From Vice President, Doug Clark:

This year’s Picnic will take place at the Chicagoland Orphan Car Picnic on the east bank of the Fox River in Aurora (1020 Aurora Avenue on Illinois route 25 between Indian Trail and Illinois Avenue). Hours of the Picnic are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
We will be sharing the grounds with owners of other old cars, many of which should be interesting. Other car clubs are likely to be present. As we have been unable to get confirmation that we can get a reserved spot for our Club, it is suggested that we arrive early to stake out our turf.
More information about this event and venue (including map with driving directions) – which is organized by the Chicagoland Corvair Enthusiasts – is available at their web site:
In the event bad weather is likely on August 17th, check the CCE web site to see if it will be postponed to the following Sunday (August 28th).

Back in the saddle again!

By Ric Maitzen

It had been a long, dry spell, but Scarlett was finally back on the road. Nancy was suggesting that we go to the GoF in Auburn, Indiana. I don’t know if she really wanted to go, or if it was just a ploy to get me working on the car again. In any event, it worked. After a few marathon weeks we were ready. I took a couple of trips around the neighborhood. We then hit the back roads to Wisconsin on the 4th of July weekend. Nancy followed me just in case. I was keeping the speed down to let the engine break in. Nancy was a good distance behind me, so she got the angry glares for holding up traffic.
Thursday morning we left (in one car) for the GoF. We took the Tri-State Tollway. The construction zone speed limit allowed me to take it easy, and where there was no construction. I just stayed out of everyone’s way. The Borman Expressway in Indiana is no fun at best. And in a T-type, surrounded by semis, you just want to close your eyes and hope for the best.
I wanted to make a couple of side trips so we took SR 30. We stopped in Koontz Lake to surprise Judy Specht. We were surprised because Duane and Jane McCart were already there. After a quick visit, and an invitation from Judy for everyone to stop by on the way home, we were back on the road.
Auburn sure has changed. When we were there a few years ago for a Spring Tour, there were only two motels on the west side of town. Now there are six, a Wal-Mart, lots of stores and restaurants, and traffic. The first timers show was in the parking lot. The quality of the restorations just gets better and better. For dinner that night a group of us went into town and ended up at a brew-pub. There were a lot of T-types parked nearby. Other MGers had the same idea. The food and conversation were great.
Friday morning, at 8:30, early by some standards, was the drivers meeting for the rally. As it turned out, early was a good thing. There wasn’t much traffic and it got hot later on. It was a beautiful route of about seventy miles over mostly quiet county roads. The route was clearly explained, so no one got lost. But some of the clues we were looking for were really tough to find. We didn’t do very well.
There was a lot of free time to explore the area. Several people went to a car and truck museum (not the ACD museum), a WW II museum and an airplane museum. We went into town to do some antiquing. We met a woman whose favorite car was an MGA. She said she had a brand new body for one in a barn.
The hospitality room was a very popular place to hang out in. The beer keg didn’t start to float until much later in the day. Wine, pop, and snacks never seemed to run out. For dinner we drove about 10 miles west of town to a historic hotel/restaurant/ banquet hall. The food and the service were very good.
Saturday morning we woke up to rain – not a good thing for a car show. The hard core people, eager to show their cars, drove to the other side of town, to a beautiful city park. (I think the organizers had some pull with the mayor.) Those of us who were less eager, lingered over breakfast. The rain stopped and we were off to the car show. After walking around, looking at the cars and catching up with old friends it was time for lunch. Some of us went to a nearby bar. The hot item that we had heard about was their pork tenderloin sandwich. Unfortunately our sources weren’t specific as to which pork tenderloin sandwich to order. The one we ordered was flattened out, breaded, deep fried and served on a bun. The best part of the meal was the presentation of the sandwich – the poor little bun on top of this huge piece of “cardboard.” In the meantime the vendors had set up inside the conference rooms of the motel because of the rain. There was a lot of good stuff.
The highpoint of the weekend was the banquet. We had the Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg Museum all to ourselves. Just imagine, cocktail in hand, piano music in the background, walking among some of the most exciting cars ever produced in this country. Very cool. After an hour and a half we filed into the banquet room for a delicious buffet dinner. The after dinner program included a history of the City of Auburn presented by none other than the mayor himself. Afterwards pictures of the cars and the car show were shown. The awards presentation followed. Our club did well, but I don’t recall the particulars.
We called it an early night. We had to get an early start to get home. This time we took the Indiana Toll Road and the Skyway – much better. (I think most people were planning on stopping at Judy Specht’s on the way home.)
Thank you Olde Octagons of Indiana. You are to be congratulated. It was a fun, well thought out and organized event.


The VMGCC President’s Picnic will be held at

The Orphan Auto Picnic in Aurora, IL
Contact Doug Clark, VMGCC Vice President, for more information

773-281-2016 or email:

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