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Editor TOM KIRKLAND Home: 011 391-3459 Cell: 082 445 6770 Fax: 011 391 3459 ask for fax. E-mail:

Chairman WILLIAM KELLY E-mail: Vice Chairman CLIVE WINTERSTEIN Home: 011 476 7182 Cell: 083 795 0000 E-mail:

Communications Co-Opted Member KEVIN LOADER Home: 011 678 3762 E-mail:

Register Secretary NORMAN EWING Home: 011 728 5536 Cell: 083 654 5433 E-mail:

Regalia To be announced shortly

Membership Convenor JEANNE ERASMUS Home: 011 888 5364 Cell: 084 261 4427 E-mail:

Secretary CLIFFORD SMYTH Home: 011 462 0322 Cell: 082 898 9772 E-mail:

Marketing PAUL HUGHES Office: 011 465 6456 Cell: 083 320 5249 E-mail:

Treasurer/Membership Secretary TONY MAYBANK Home: 011 678 9267 E-mail:

A Natter & Noggin is normally held on the first Thursday of each month at 8pm. The Old Edwardian Club, Houghton For more details see Motoring Calendar in this issue of “Thumbs Up!” Club Runs, are normally held on the second Sunday of each month. AFFILIATED TO THE MG CAR CLUB - ABINGDON-ON-THAMES - ENGLAND



ThumbsUp!!! CONTENTS Your Committee




“The Chairman Chirps”


Overview of the YP over the past 3 years


Norman Talks - The Return of the Registers


The “Young Seniors Racing Project”


Bloodhound - Rolls Royce Supplies Jet Engines


MG MMM Magic - Gathering in Franschhoek


Rand Easter Show Classic Car Display


The First “M” and “T” Register Meeting


Norman Talks - The Joy of a J2 or J4


My Big Disapointment - ZT RWJ 291


Calendar Page



Well, what can I say, last month it was my computer. Even the new one is not performing very well yet, but I am able to get by. But then on the 26 April Martie had a serious stroke and has been in ICU for the last 3½ weeks. We are very hopeful that she will recover. So I have not had much time to deal with the Magazine this month but I think it is better than last, as I did get more copy - and on time. As a trial run, we put the Magazine on our website recently, but sadly nobody has made any comments about it. May I ask what do you think about it? Is it there to stay? Or what is your opinion? We would like your genuine reaction!! Does it take the place of a Magazine? Do you read it from cover to cover now, as you did before? And, importantly, would you save it, and go back to it in the future? As for MG matters, Show Day is the major issue of the day. We are really hoping to get more than 100 cars out on the day. Our congratulations must go to Terrence and Geoff, for their extremely courageous adventure, and managing to complete their trip to Coventry in the UK in that little Hillman Imp. Hopefully we will get a report back at one of our noggins soon. The Zimbabwe tour is now in progress, but they too have had a few mechanical problems to contend with, but so far nothing very serious. Also, the Maritzburg Cars in the Park has taken place, and by all accounts it was another successful adventure. The Scottburgh Classic Show takes place on the 21st of July. I have booked again, but may have to cancel due to Martie’s illness. Hopefully I will have more time to spend on this again next month.

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The Chairman’s Twitter William Kelly It’s been a hectic month and a quiet one at the same time. There is so much on the go within the Club at the moment, that if you end up bored you have only yourself to blame! We have runs and tours and noggins - no one can say we’re a quiet Club. 30 June is Combined Centres Showday and now listen up! I don’t want to hear tales of woe and dread about how bad your car is. It is about pitching up, sticking it in Tops Only, and having some fun with it. If you think about it, you’re getting a bunch of other people to slave away over your hot car telling you what could make it better, for free! Plus the kudos of entering. Seriously. We are a CAR Club, and showing our Cars is part of what we do. For the Concours Class - again, this is such an important part of the Club - keeping our old bangers in this kind of condition takes serious effort, hard work and it should be recognised. So please enter your cars. Chat to your register head and let’s go to Pretoria, kick some butt and have some fun there whilst we are at it - our Combined Show day is all about MGs, millions of MGs! In respect of past events, my thanks in particular to Mke Brett who regaled us with the tails of what it takes to get up to Cairo in an MGA (!) at the last Noggin. As I said, I’m not sure if he has encouraged or dissuaded me from attempting his trip one day, but he certainly made it look exciting, interesting and very much a trip of a life time! I am also pleased to announce that your club did in fact win the Inter Club Quiz being held at the current Noggin. To accept defeat is simply beyond the limits of my imagination, so should we not have smited the other Car Clubs with zest, zeal and valour I would be most grateful if you never mention it again. The Youth Project by the time you read this, will hopefully have exhibited itself at the Gauteng Motor Show held at Zwartkops June 1 and 2 on a stand that we managed to obtain for free, gratis and for nothing. We’re actively recruiting youngsters as the like of Nick and Roger have more work for them than hands to go around. We need a YP Press Secretary, a

Photographer, a Membership Secretary, a Marketer and a general Beer Fetcher for good measure, amongst others. It’s not just all about cars within the Programme. There is plenty to do outside of grease, steering wheels and general abandon on the track. In this issue you will also see that Clive is talking about the concept of a new programme for racing for those of us who no longer qualify for the Youth Programme, with hopefully much fanfare, adulation and scantily clad bikini wearing hotties. Talking of naming it FOPP - Flippe Old Peoples Project has been relegated to where it belongs, and the name is now up to those who choose to sign up for it. Personally I would like to see it named something like the KYWBWSSSR Project, and I think it’s a bloody marvellous addition to the Club. I have duly put my name down, as soon as I obtain permission from my wife. As always, funding for the Youth Project is an active item on their agenda. We have some breathing room thanks to the Club’s generous R20k contribution - rest assured it is money well used. Piston Ring is coming up again and those of you that have old bits and bobs you no longer need please contact Clive or me, and we will come to collect. Every little bit helps! At the time of writing this our thoughts and prayers are with Tom Kirkland, our Editor, who is putting this together whilst Martie is seriously ill in hospital after a stroke. Indications at present are positive that she is making a recovery. I ask you all to keep them in your thoughts and prayers. It is also Bon Voyage, I understand to Heather and Graham Forbes, who are winging their way to Oz. We’re going to miss you guys, very much, and hope that anyone who comes over to Oz will find their way for a natter and a catch up. It’s the MG way after all friends all over the world are to be celebrated and cherished. You know you have multiple homes here at home when you choose to come to visit home..... From home........ Over there....... Clear as mud? Enough waffle from me now. . DON”T FORGET SHOW DAY!!

In Milan, traffic lights are instructions. In Rome, they are suggestions. In Naples, theey are Christmas decorations. Antonio Martino, Italian Defence Minister. 5

Youth Project

By Dave Holt

Overview of the past Three Years As you all know our centre has been pioneering youth development via our racing programme. We’ve thrown some money at the project with an initial R60k being put in 3 years ago to build the programme Since then the project has been self funding with various sponsors helping us out, and members of the Car Club doing their bit to help keep the project on the road - Roger (EmGee), Nick, Dave, Les, Glen, Clive - the list is endless. At the last noggin the youngsters presented a over the place. feedback session that knocked everybody’s We also have the start of more involvement socks off. They put together a team effort that between the car club and the project and the talk reflects exactly what has been going on behind of an Old Farts effort to match the kids on the the scenes, and I think those at the Noggin were track is becoming somewhat less hot air, and blown away. The kids rocked it and I think we all more concrete. Congratulations to the got a sense of what this project means to them. youngsters and may we swell their numbers The result is that we now have team of confident continually. up and coming future MG Car Club members that What about calling the seniors section by a more we can be rightly proud of. We now have young dignified name, such as “The Jerryatric Brigade” (!) Ambassadors for MG that have joined, and left or the “MG Seniors Group” - Much less degrading the programme in the natural course of events, and more dignified. Think about it. and better yet, we have ongoing interest from all

So I’m not the best behind the wheel. But if you don’t like the way I drive, stay off the sidewalk! Joan Rivers __________________________________________________________________________________

A Chilly Scene! We received this note from Paul Hughes saying he would not be attending our event on Sunday 19, saying that the ‘snow gods’ had been very generous, and there is a mountain of fresh snow, which is causing havoc with their alterations in the Lesotho mountains. I need to go do some manual labour this weekend to get everything finished before the proper snow actually falls. (This picture shows just how much snow fell at Afriski over the past few days!)


Norman Talks

The Return of the REGISTERS It has been agreed that the register functions be re-instated. When the Club was founded, it was formed on the same lines as the “Mother Club”, in England with someone voted in to look after the needs of Triple M and T, MGA, MGB owners. Randal Everson and Bruce Dixon have agreed to step in as register captains of MMM&T and MGB registers respectively for which I thank them, whilst I will handle the needs of MGA owners. The idea is to re-introduce technical ideas, hints and generally share in the joy of their particular models. To get the ball rolling a MMM&T get together was announced at the noggin for Wednesday 15 May, and as this was short notice an SMS was sent out to announce the event. We are going (or will have been, by the time you read this) to inspect the progress on a 1933 J2 supercharged special - the woodwork body was produced by Bob Wilmot and the metal sheeting by my long standing friend Pierino Scal. The object of this exercise is to show just what is involved in starting from scratch. I started this project seventeen years

ago, and along with Brian Wallace, I bought ash to be cut from drawings. I had amassed most of the body bits, when we found the J2 for Bob Wilmot so to speed things up, as I had enough on my hands, I gave him my wood on the understanding that when finished, he would build me a doorless body, which he did magnificently. Sadly neither of us made it to the Triple M event in April at Franschhoek. Nora Costa and Ralph Clarke ensured that all the Phil Castas cars were there including Hoodoo! If you are interested, it is on the Northern Centre’s internet magazine, brilliantly written by young Steven Grover fantastic! By the time you read this I will be winging my way to Scotland for my sisters seventieth, and a J2 shopping trip in Shrewsbury and Silverstone. So - enjoy the Quiz Evening and Showday! . Octagonally,



Will there be a

“Young Seniors Project” on our

Historic Racing Circuits soon? At this time of changing seasons of falling leaves and influenza there is a new sickness that seems to have found its way into our lives. The carriers are the youngsters in the Youth Programme. They apparently have got a few of us “oldies” fired up and running a temperature with a great desire to also build a race car from bits. Mention has been made to the committee as to why it is only the young’uns that are having all the fun, they too want to do the same. It has been discussed in committee, and the feeling is “Why not?” Seems their presentation had a major impact! There are many MG Car Club members who do actually own and drive an MG race car, but need place to keep the car, and it always needs money. The proposal, not etched in stone, is that we can put 6 such members together, each pay say R10 000 into a kitty giving a total of R60 000, to undertake the project, you will finance and manage and work on the car. Nick and Roger will take them under their wing to assist, advise, criticize, shout etc, to get this car race worthy. While all of this is happening, training will be given to those who ant to drive the car. The finer details will be worked out once we know if there are 6 such people in the club who would, so to speak, “put their money where their mouth is”. The share in the car would probably be tradeable and best of all, forget about your bad golf, or having to endure garden parties. Do something you will enjoy and at the end of the day actually achieve success with help like this, who can fail? Please contact me (you are not under any obligation). If you are interested, we will set up a meeting. Clive Winterstein 083 795 0000

You do not just avoid the Suzuki Wagon R. You avoid it like you would avoid unprotected sex with an Ethiopian transvestite. Jeremy clarkson



Rolls Royce Supplies Jet Engine Source:

Rolls-Royce has announced its support for The Bloodhound Project, an international education initiative focused on 1609km/h land speed record attempt in South Africa. A Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine will be used in the custom hybrid rocket to propel the car to more than 1600km/h (the official target is 1000mph) or 1.4 times the speed of sound. The automaker will also provide financial and technical support for the bid to make a car faster than a cruising jumbo jet. Rolls-Royce director of engineering and technology, Colin Smith, called for the UK to do more to inspire young people about science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

while two Spey 202 turbofan engines, as used in a McDonald Douglas F4 Phantom, enabled Wing Commander Andy Green to become the first, and so far only, person to break the sound barrier on land in Thrust SSC at 1227.986km/h in 1997. The company did not officially sanction and endorse any of these activities, however. In 2008 Rolls-Royce became an early adoptor of the project, formally deciding to provide the programme with essential engine support which in turn enabled the Ministry of Defence to loan three redundant early development EJ200 jet engines once the Eurofighter Typhoon flight development programme had been completed. WHEN WILL IT HAPPEN? Nobel said: “Building the car is a mammoth task with more than 3000 specially designed and about-to-be-made components. There is a huge volume of activity, and the Bloodhound engineering team is absolutely determined to have the car on its wheels with the EJ200 engine running by October 2013 and we all came to the conclusion that this is achievable. “By the end of 2013 crucial components such as the tailfin will still be in manufacture, and it’s quite clear that we won’t be in South Africa for December, as hoped.” So when will the project be completed? Nobel said: “We felt strongly that we should avoid deadline creep; we should set an achievable date and deliver. So it’s second quarter (April/May/June) 2014, but there’s one more important point - this is turning into a truly tremendous team, and we are going to try to beat that. “See you on Haksteen Pan in 2014 - if not before.”

WORLD-CLASS BRIT ENGINEERING Smith said: “Cutting edge engineering keeps Rolls-Royce, and the UK, at the forefront of global business. We understand the fundamental importance of inspiring young people about STEM and know that more needs to be done. Sponsoring Bloodhound gives us an opportunity to showcase world-class British engineering and invest in our future.” Richard Noble, Bloodhound project director said: “Rolls-Royce’s support is invaluable. Its highly motivated ambassadors will help us reach many more schools and youth groups across the country. Their experience of working within a first-class aerospace company makes them perfect role models for aspiring engineers”. In its moral role, the EJ200 jet engine generates 9071kg/90kN of power the twin-engined Eurofighter Typhoon combat aircraft. In 1983 Nobel used a Rolls-Royce Avon 302 1983 in Thrust 2 to set a record of 1019.47km/h


MMM Magic The MG MMM Gathering at Franschhoek By Steven Grover, Northern Centre

Other Midgets, were more specialised and included the C-type and Q-type cars, which were developed specifically for racing. The Magna range included the F-type and L-type cars, both powered by 6 cylinder engines with capacities of 1271cc and 1086cc respectively. Finally, the K-type and N-type cars made up the Magnette range. The Magnettes made up the ‘top-ofthe-range’ for MG sports cars, with the K1 and K2 being introduced to justify the production of the infamous racing K3. The K3 went on to win it’s class in the 1933 Mille Miglia, and dominate it’s class over the next two years. The N-type was the final development of the overhead cam powered range, powered by a 6cylinder engine incorporating much of the development from the racing cars, as well as more defined chassis than used previously.

The Caspari rig departed from Johannesburg very early on a cold wet Thursday morning. We were heading down to the Franschhoek Motor Museum for the first national gathering of as many of the South African MMM MG cars as possible. Franschhoek, of course, was over 1400km away as I hastily threw my bags into the back of our tow vehicle. Before heading down to the gathering, I had dug out my copy of “Maintaining the Breed” by John Thornley and “The story of the MG sports car” by Wilson McComb, to refresh my memory of what a MMM car was... For the uninitiated, it seems worthwhile to provide a bit of background to the MMM cars.

“The history lesson” MMM refers to the overhead cam cars designated Midget, Magnet, and Magna, produced between 1929 and 1936. Over the relatively short period of 7 years. MG produced no less than 11 ranges of vehicles, with multiple specifications in each range. Where the Midgets were powered by 4 cylinder engines, the Magnettes and Magnas were powered by 6 cylinder engines. Many of the cars were raced in that period and many were supercharged, giving them more speed. MG’s first MMM car, the first mass produced MG sports car, was the M-type, which was followed by the D-type, J-type, and P-type and replaced by the TA, powered by a less sophisticated pushrod MGJP engine, and subsequently replaced by the XPAG.

Ralph Clark in his R-type.

Also classified as MMM car is the famously short lived R-type, featuring fully independent suspension which promised to be a very successful race car. I’m sure that many members will remember Ralph Clark’s blue R-type - a car which I am very disappointed that I never got to see. Unfortunately, before the R-type could be fully developed funding was cut and MG was sold by William Morris to Morris Motors. What followed was a period of rationalisation of the model line-ups, alignment to the Morris range of vehicles, and as a result the end of the OHC cars.

“Our P-type” The P-type, car number PA-0810, has belonged to 12

some very special drivers, including Mike Alison, Manual Fangio, Paddy Hopkirk, Phil Hill, and Andy Green. I recently felt very privileged to be involved in the endeavour to get the car down to join its kin. The car had been standing for some years, and required a little bit of coaxing to get her going again but go she did. This wouldn’t have been possible without the insistance of Heyns Stead and the assistance of Gary Chapman and Raymond - and of course Pepi’s never ceasing enthusiasm.

“The Journey” History lesson, background to the car, and thanks out of the way, we are on our way, we are on our way to the Cape with a 1935 MG on a motorcycle trailer behind us. Fortunately the weather had cleared by the time we hit the Kroonvaal 1-stop for the first of many cups of “Wimpy coffee, strapping check, and driver changes”. I took over the driving from Kroonstad - the rig was towing nicely, and I have the image of the front end of a P-type bearing down on me from behind permanently etched into my mind. A good day’s drive followed,

Covering 1250km, and finally ending up in Matjiesfontein for the night. After parking the rig the P-type was started, just to check, and she started on the first turn. Staying in Matjiesfontein was a surprise, and turned out to be a great place to stay. Certainly more reasonably priced than I imagined the historic “Lord Milner” hotel would be, the beds were comfortable, the food was good, and the accents appropriate for the Karoo. We spent the next morning going through the museums, and made a mid-morning getaway, ready for the 2 hour drive into Franchhoek. Having never driven into Cape Town this way, it really was most spectacular.

“The Event” Arriving at the L’Ormarins, and driving up to the museum was quite a feeling for the two of us, with Pepi having spent so much time in getting the P-type up and running, and I just not being able to believe that I was here. A “Meet-and-Greet” followed, with getting to know some of the folks that we had seen on the road, and we did a quick tour of the museum. 13

The museum is certainly a must if one is ever in the Cape Town area, with incredible cars in very well laidout displays. The display in hall three included 5 MGs , a J2, TD, TF, A and C. Curiously, the TF formerly belonged to Heyns, a Northern Centre member, before being sold and ultimately finding its way into the collection. Seeing two of my childhood dream cars the Mc Laren F1 and Ferrari 288GTO in the flesh was a highlight for me. The P-type was unloaded at the museum and off we departed for our guesthouse, close to the museum, but some distance from Franschhoek - where most people were based. On this short trip the P-type began to object to the many years of slumber. After running well down L’Ormarins Drive, she began to miss and lose power on the road towards the guesthouse, ultimately stopping due to fuel starvation. After coaxing her into the guesthouse a bit of fault finding yielded dry float chambers. After a phone-call to Gary, the needle and seat were cleaned up, and she seemed to be running well. We then left for the town for a dinner all involved at Dutch East. However, all was not well, and after running the float bowls dry again and the sun was beginning to set, we towed her into town. Certainly, towing a car of that value and rarity with mechanical brakes on a short rope is one of the most stressful things I have done. On arrival “Brain’s Trust” agreed that we would certainly sort out our P-type in the morning. Surely if the folks here couldn’t sort out the car - then there was no hope! A great informal dinner followed, with my stories about MGs and MMM cars being told around the table. It was very interesting to get the background of the cars, many of which have been with their owners for many, many years. Saturday’s plan was to meet at the Franschhoek Protea hotel, where most participants were staying, and from there head out to Zorgvliet wine estate for lunch. This was the first opportunity to have a good look at some of the cars, with their covers off. There certainly were some exquisite cars, and incredible restorations. The “Brain’s Trust” gave our P-type a once-over and suspected dirt in the fuel lines. The lines were blown back with compressed air, and she seemed to be

well once again. We opted to put some more fuel in, and I had my first experience behind the wheel. The sensation of pure driving, the mechanical involvement and the thought that needs to go into all of your actions in a vehicle like that was incredible - and addictive. Without synchromesh on any of the gears my double declutch technique was most rapidly developed, and the satisfaction of getting it right was immense. Unfortunately the smooth running was to be shortlived. On the run to the wine estate she began playing up again, and a ‘strategic decision’ was taken to leave the car at our guesthouse, and press on in the support vehicle. We met a P-type, which had also been off the road for some time, on the road with the same problem, we offered our portable compressor, and promptly cleared those lines and they were on their way again. Very rewarding. Lunch was good, and following a conversation with Ralph Clark, a plan was hatched to sort out our P-type. Returning to our guesthouse a fix for the P-type was the order of the afternoon. A 2-litre Sprite (making our P-type part Austin-Healey!) Bottle, a length of fuel hose, cable ties, and some insulation tape resulted in a temporary fuel system - free from years of contamination. The journey into Franschhoek was then attempted for the second time. This time more progress was made, about 4km, before she drew to a halt. Disappointed, as I was thoroughly enjoying driving the old-lady, we decided that perhaps discretion was indeed the better part of valour and turn around to head back to the guesthouse - parking her up overnight and hoping for the best for the run to the museum on Sunday. Saturday night was spent at a formal dinner hosted at the Protea Hotel. What a wonderful evening. The evening was hosted by Rodney Green, and we were regaled by Ralph Clark with stories ranging from his racing endeavours in the 1940’s to the rebuilding of his famous MG R-type, which recently won its race at the Goodwood Revival. Ralph followed his anecdotes by presenting all of the participants with copies of a book which he had prepared, entitled “MMM tales”. A fascinating account of the 60 years during which he has been “playing” with MMM cars. Sunday was the Big-Day where all the cars were to gather at the museum. Since some participants owned more than one car, and given that the

cars belonging to the Costa Trust and the Franschhoek Motor Museum’s J2 had not been taking part in the events thus far, this was the opportunity to get all the cars together. The P-type drove there under her own power - impromptu fuel tank and all. What an incredible sight. 20MMM cars lined up on the lawns. Below is a list M-type Midget x 1 K1 Magnette x 1 C-type Monthery Midget x 1 PA Midget x 5 J2 Midget x 6 PB Midge x 2 L1 Magna x 2 NA Magnette x 1 Following consistent pressure being applied to the curator of the museum, who had spent considerable time with us over the weekend, for the “test-track” between the halls to be opened, he finally relinquished. Oh what fun! The noise from the cars being driven around the track together is something that all enthusiasts who were there will remember for a very long time. The image of Ralph Clark driving the C-type Road-racer, affectionately known as Hoodoo, around the track will remain with me, I think for always. I also managed to get around the track in a sweet running PB and supercharged J2 - so that at least I have an idea of what a sweetly running car should feel like! Following that, the weekend was gradually closed, without ceremony or fanfare. After a few house visits on Monday morning, Pepi and I hit the long road back to Pretoria. An overnight stop at Beaufort West, and off before sunrise, we were back in Johannesburg by midafternoon on Tuesday. What an incredible four days!!!

“Reflections” I returned knowing more about SU fuel systems, knowing how to use a synchro-less gearbox, having a practical understanding of the value of fuel filters, with a box of wine under my arm and with my enthusiasm for MG cars at an all time high. Now all I need is a MMM car - anybody have one lurking in the garage, or under their bed??? Finally, I must say a massive thank-you to Pepi for the opportunity to join him at the event, and allowing me to drive the car. I am very grateful, and it is something that I will remember for a very long time. “Thanks to the Northern Centre for allowing me to reproduce this fascinating experience. Ed. Jhb.”


Rand Easter Show Classic Car Display Article by Cliff Smyth, Pics by Kevin

When asked to arrange for 15 MGs to be displayed at the past Rand Easter Show was not quite plain sailing. With 16 members having excused themselves for not being available, I thought of backing out altogether. Kevin then stepped in and sent out an urgent appeal. By 3pm on the afternoon before the event replies came flooding in, so we had 15 entries + the two Project Cars. Obviously we were very grateful to those who participated.

Rachel Jurenka and grand daughter in front of her restored MGA: this was it’s 1st real outing since the Restoration.

The cars were well cordoned off and were safe and secure. During the days, the Youth Project members manned the stand all weekend. Our thanks to them. Should this be required of us next year, we should get more time to plan the Show efficiently and even if you will be away for the weekend, please allow us to display your cars, so that we can get to have a variety of interesting MGs on display. Let’s make next year a Bumper well Organised Event.

Cliff Smyth, Hendrik Verwoerd (motoring journalist) Larri (Kevin’s sister from Australia), Peter Knight and Jenny Loader take a break in the Motoring Hall.


The New Youth Project Season Begins The Youth project is in Winter Mode at the moment, as racing is only picking up again in a month or so’s time. Nonetheless work is being done on both cars, as well as a rebuild on an MGA that will be offered as an extra drive on race days for the youngsters. We have cars, we need kids! Additionally Nick Parrott has very kindly offered a near complete Alfa Sud Race Car for free, gratis and for nothing to the Alfa Club in an effort to spur some youth development on their front. Watch this space - we’ll keep you posted as to

whether they are going to take him up on it or not. Either way, a tremendous gesture from Nick. Whilst we’re relatively quiet at the moment, rest assured that behind the scenes the Youth Project is continuing on its way. We hope to have some new recruits into the Programme soon. Please remember Piston Ring is always a useful way for us to raise money, so old parts, bits and bobs you no longer have any use for are all gratefully recycled and converted into tyres, petrol and race entry Fees!

William 15

A very good turnout for our First Register Event On arriving at Old Eds on Wednesday to escort those interested members to the First Register Outing which Norman had arranged, I was surprised to find about 23 people waiting. At the venue we found a display laid on by Norman, to show us the progress of his J2, which is now in the process of being assembled with the aid of his friend Pierno Sealco, an expert in metal work and building classic cars. Norman soon had us gathered around telling us about his trials and tribulations in securing the necessary parts. He aims to have it completed in 18 months’ time. I think is a tall order. Pierno’s workshop is most fascinating and very well equipped. He is building a full blown Sports Car; presently the metal body is near completion. He is actually copying the shape and design from looking at a Dinky Car model - Most interesting! Thanks Norman for arranging this, the first of our new “Gegister Gatherings”. It has been most interesting and enjoyable.

Pierno with Norman

Norman’s Fiat 500

Nigel Stokes, John Meiring, John Mack & Pierno

J2 spares

Pierno’s Ferrari Special

Cliff Smyth John Mack peering down at Normans J2 chassis


Norman Talks

The Joy of a J2 or J4

Although I saw my first J2 in Keith Burton’s garage in the early seventies - it was incomplete and awaiting restoration and did not cause pangs of desire. That happened in 1980 when I took 36 members to the UK for the tour of Britan. A young German had a really super car - I had seen others in ‘74 at the National Gathering in East London, and Tommy d’Arcy’s was out for Showday. But in 1980 was special and I returned home and bought all of Keith Burton’s spare bits, chassis, block and bits of body, wheels and tank. I then bought all Tommy d’Arcy’s left overs. Pat’s face when I brought it all home was a picture. Where was I going to put it all, as I already had a TF in a thousand pieces? This was the start of the “Great Move” - first to Esra’s farm - then to Joe Tex in Primrose, before moving to Bob Jones and Arnald Sommer out in Carltonville. All this caused many bits to wander off at the end. All the while, I had bought wood with Brian Wallace and Bob Jones - and my then boss Terry Burns, a dab hand at woodwork, provided a wonderful wood kit from Bob Jones great drawings. On every overseas trip from 1980 I began buying any little J2 bits I could find that were not already in my growing pile of bits. In 1982 at Silverstone, a Norwegian family arrived in a corrugated French police Renault converted as a camper van with pipe cots and ramps, and lo and behold out reversed a J2. I was overawed - that, I felt, was the ultimate holiday transport. I started collecting bigger bits - a Volumex Supercharger, a Phoenix crank and Correlli rods, Brooklands Wheel and screens with skirts. I had driven J2s in Canada, SA, France, UK and Australia, and the fact that on a couple of occasions doors flew open, put me off doors. When I found a J2 for Bob Wilmot, he saw the brakes were wrong - ones I had looked at for years. I had the correct ones and we did a swop.T o get him going on a total chassis up re-build, I

gave him my wood kit with the proviso that he would build me a body once he had rebuilt his J2. Eight years later I had my body; now it had to be sheeted - and as a good friend of many years, Pierino, was very ill, this was not possible. But two years later he undertook to not only build me a body and twin scuttle tub - but also a grille and radiator bits. Robin Clarke kindly laser cut all the special radiator brackets I needed. Joe Tex completely rebuilt the gearbox and my now doorless body took shape. On a trip to my friend Phileppe Douchet, I was told my two blocks were Wolseley and Morris and sent me the proper block with the French team who came to the 2000 Indaba. To get the registers going we decided to do a J2 party. I honestly expected at short notice to get a handful of people interested. Then eleven phoned to give their apologies. I was overwhelmed when 26 people showed up to see the J2 and Pierino’s FANTASTIC home made P2 FERRARI. To Sonya and Pierino for opening up their home, my ever grateful thanks. Octagonally,

Norman _______________________________________________

Some Ideas for Club Activities How about finding folk to organise Wid-week Events Ladies Lunch outings, Observatory YP Track Day outing Horse Races Naviscat Steam Engines War Museum An Agricultural Show Noggins: Life and times of an Auctioneer - Clive Noggins: Terrance Tracey - Hillman Imp Experiences Runs: BMW/Nissan/ Ford Factory Tours Runs: Muscular Dystrophy Fund raiser Beestekraal Runs: Cable Car - Hartebeestpoort + Lunch at Mill Runs: Centurion remote controlled event + Picnic Runs: Historic Motor Cycle Museum - Deneysville Runs: Gilroys Brewery - tour and meal Runs: Monte Casino Bird Show + Many others Please let us know which you would like to go to!!!


The MG Family Tree Like so many of the better things in life, the marque MG was the brainchild of one man, whose vision and determination, aided by the loyalty and dedication of a small, highly skilled team, brought a dream to reality.

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MOTORING CALENDAR MG CAR CLUB -- JOHANNESBURG CENTRE WHAT Natter and Noggin Inter car Club Quizz WHEN Thursday 6 June 2013 WHERE Old Edwardians, 4th Avenue and 11th Street, Houghton

William Kelly 082 886 7114

WHAT Showcase of pre 1945 cars, (Bring your picnic or Braai meat, WHEN Sunday 9 June 2013 fires available. Refreshments on Sale) WHERE POMC, Keuning DR, off Watermeyer St (M14) Meyers Park, PTA.

Alex Duffey 012 333 7891 Albert 082 453 7240

WHAT Combined Centres Show Day Northern Centre WHEN Sunday 30 June 2013 8am to 13h00. Entrance in an MG R10.00 Non MG Cars R24.00 WHERE Pretoria Botanical Gardens N1, take Lynwood exit, turn E, 150m turn E. onto Meiring Naude, 3km At T junction turn West on Cussomia Rd. Then 300m turn into gate. WHAT Natter and Noggin Stewart Cunninghame telling stories about the DJ Run WHEN Thursday 4 July 2013 William Kelly 082 886 7114 WHERE Old Edwardians, 4th Avenue and 11th Street, Houghton. WHAT Monthly Run, Visit Zwartkops Air Force Museum WHEN Saturday 6 July 2013 WHERE Meeting Point to be advised. WHAT Trip to Scottburgh for the Scottburgh Classic Car Show WHEN Friday19 to Monday 22 July 2013 WHERE Departure plans to be announced later

Bryan Van Der Schyff 082 576 2427

WHAT Scottburgh Classic Car Show WHEN Sunday 21 July 2013 WHERE The Country Club, Airth St. Scottburgh. WHAT Historic Racing, Youth Project (Club Members Welcome to attend) WHEN Saturday 27 July 2013 WHERE Zwartkops Race Track WHAT Natter and Noggin Subject TBA WHEN Thursday 1 August 2013 WHERE Old Edwardians, 4th Avenue and 11th Street, Houghton.

Peter Fielding 039 976 1995

Dave Holt 083 675 0632

William Kelly 082 886 7114

This is a Renault Espace, probably the best people carrier. Not that that’s too much to shout about. That’s like saying, “Oh Good, I’ve got syphylis, the best of the sexually transmitted diseases.” Jeremy Clarkson

where I can socialise with all my MG friends. Strangely enough he drove me very slowly to the Ultra Shell on the N1 N and left me on my own, while he had breakfast inside. I could see him there... I was watching all the cars coming and going, and was very excited when some Cobras arrived, but did not stop near me! Then a couple of Lotuses turned up. I then thought we were in for some Real Excitement today... A few other exotic vehicles came in. Then, there was a gathering of drivers, and off they went, on their way up the N1 leaving us behind. My Boss got rather anxious, looking at his watch. By 9.30 a Mercedes arrived next to me. I got a little agitated when he walked around me taking pictures, but perhaps something was going to happen soon. An MGF turned up and also parked next to me. My Boss and the other two drivers got talking but I heard them say “that due to a tour to Zim, and another to Martizburg, there was unlikely to be any other MGs coming out today. What a disapointment for me. He just got in my drivers’ seat and raced up the N1 in a very unusual manner, but soon calmed down and again drove at his usual “Sedate Manner” He then took me to the Sunninghill Hospital and we visited My Boss’s wife instead. We found her in better spirits for the first time in 3 weeks. So that made our day. MG ZT RWJ 129 GP

MGA Roadster 1958, Old English White, red interior, wire wheels. Chassis up profesional re-build, and insurance evaluated Mint condition throughout. Concours class winner Piston Ring; Tops up class winner MGCC Showday. Reg No 000 MGA GP. Digital photos available. Very reluctant sale due to home downsizing. R270.000. Alan Farndell 011 849-7355 or 082 875 5446 __________________________________________

My Big Disapointment Do you know that for several weeks I have just been left in the garage, slowly gathering dust. My Boss (I call him that, it just makes him feel better), has been using that little red thing in the other garage. I could never understand why, but I new he would be back one day. Then it happened. He raised the door, the light shone on me revealing all the dust - muttered something then rubbed me down with a dirty cloth! My tyres got a wipe and the windows were cleaned. There is something going on here, I thought. Even my innards under the bonnet were looked at. I really got excited, and was eager to find out what. I do so much enjoy being out on the road - just showing off my MG Strength and Power to all those other freaks out there. My Boss muttered about being hungry AH! I thought, that means we are going out to eat and after that there is usually a large gathering of MGs all rearing to go on a long drive to some interesting event

__________________________________________ Cliff’s Exciting ‘Find’ Before I went to Old Ed’s to meet those going to the MG Register meeting, I went into an electronics shop to order some Radio Ham equipment. A fellow asked if I was into old radios. He said he had some old transmitters and receivers that he was about to throw away. They had been used in a Lancaster Bomber during WWll. He and I are now presently negotiating, with the intention of returning them to the various Museums in the UK. So with Norman’s J2, and the old radios, the Brits are again reminded that in and around Johannesburg, there is still a lot of Gold to be found.


Thumbs Up June 2013  

Thumbs Up June 2013