Saturday, July 21, 2018

Beck TD, Part 27: The Driving Season

Beck TD and I have had our first year anniversary! It was just a year ago that I first met the members of the LANCO MG Club, at the Rotary Club Wheels and Wings show at the Lancaster (PA) airport. That's when I first met Charlie Baldwin and Cor Engelen, saw their Volvo-powered TDs, and started the process that has led to a year of steady work, not a little expense, and a good bit of fun!

Beck has progressed to the point where it is driveable and safe, and I have celebrated by participating in a few car shows, beginning with the one-year-later version of the Wheels and Wings show at the airport. I even volunteered to be the point person in the club to recruit drivers and cars for the event. Ten cars signed up, but when the day came, there was a forecast for heavy rain.

Even though Beck doesn't have a top fitted (the roll bar is in the way), I stubbornly persisted and was at the meeting place at the appointed time:

I was feeling pretty lonely, but eventually another club member showed up in his very sharp, nearly new Lotus Evora:

We waited a bit more, and made our two-car convoy onto the grass show field. The weather had scared away most of the other entrants as well. In 2017, there were around 300 cars there. This year... maybe 70. Cor Engelen did show up a bit later, in his Volvo P1800. Better to bring a closed car in the rain! I put Cor to work right away - he tuned my carbs a bit.

The rains came about mid-morning, and I put a nylon cover over Beck. The Lotus left at the first drop, and Cor left soon thereafter. I stuck it out until about 12:30, and headed for home. Later, I learned that I had missed a treat - Beck TD was awarded a trophy for Best Exotic! When I picked up the trophy the next week, the judge conceded that Beck is not an "exotic car" as we usually define it, but he said, "It's a neat car, and we wanted honor you for bringing it out in the rain!" Whatever, it's probably the only trophy I'll ever get, it's mine and I'm keeping it!

The next show event was "Wings and Wheels" at the Bethel Airport. They have a neat collection of vintage aircraft, and most of them were on display. This one would be Beck's biggest test yet, since Bethel is 33 miles from the Grant St. Garage. Preparations started with a stop at John Zimmerman's garage for a quick clean-up:

John then rode with me to buy gas, and when we got back, the passenger door was jammed and wouldn't open but an inch or so. John had to climb out over the door. No time to diagnose, so I just left it.

The plan was for club members to meet North of Lititz, PA and then convoy to the show. It turned out to be another two-car convoy. That's Charlie's red TD next to Beck, with a few club members in the background:

See the guy in the yellow shirt? That's Steve, and he asked if he could right along in Beck. I said, "Sure, as long as you don't mind climbing over the door!" He was ok with that, so off we went, and had a nice visit driving up and back.

Once we arrived, Charlie and I parked sided by side. In an echo of my BMW days, on the other side was an absolutely gorgeous 1972 BMW 2002tii in Inka Orange.

Cor was at the show too, but not in his TD. He brought his 1927 Overland sedan:

There were a lot of cool planes there! This one, which I believe is owned by the organizer of the show, was doing aerobatics:

It was hot, and Steve and I left soon after lunch. Charlie sent me this picture of a mock dogfight, complete with rat-a-tat-tat machine gun sounds, later in the day. Next year, I'll stick around for that.

While at the show, Cor looked at my binding door, and pointed to a spot and said, "It's binding right there. Use your biggest screwdriver." When I got home, I did that and found a piece of shiny trim, added by a previous owner, had snagged and bent! Now my passengers can get in the door again!

Beck performed quite well for this longer drive. Even on that hot day, engine water temperatures stayed around 175 degrees Fahrenheit - just about perfect. The car drove quite well also. There was only one problem: by the end of the trip, we were just about deaf because of the "Cherry Bomb" exhaust I had put on because it was free:

I had had enough of that, so I went to Autozone, and for about 50 bucks bought a muffler intended for a Honda, and a couple of extension pipes. It made a huge difference!

That setup was for testing. I went back and welded the pipes together later. I am a rank beginner at welding, and this was the first time I ever welded something round. It was ugly but functional! I also cobbled together a rear mount that is firm so that it doesn't rattle, but has a rubber link to allow some engine movement:

The final show so far was a little private show at Brethren Village, a local retirement community associated with the Church of the Brethren. I got an invitation since I'm Director of Music at Lancaster Church of the Brethren. John Zimmerman was invited too, in his 1930 Chevrolet. His father bought that car new in 1930! John drove it in the fields of their family farm as a teenager, and later had it fully restored. He has a long shelf full of trophies.

We had yet another two-car convoy to get there, and parked side by side:

Minutes later, a woman named Mrs. Ginn walked up to Beck and said, "That is a 1952 MG TD." I was astonished, and exclaimed, "That is exactly right!" Turns out she and her husband (who was a fighter pilot) had bought one new in 1952 as a newly married couple. Later, their baby rode in the space behind the seat.

I took her for a ride around the long loop of the show field, and she was just thrilled. Later, she returned with a black and white photo of her car, with her husband behind the wheel:

The show had only around 30 cars, but some really nice ones, including this hot De Tomaso Pantera:

So, Beck TD is doing quite well. There's one more show before I take it off the road for some upgrades to the rear gearing, and to add front disc brakes. That show is called "A Taste of Britain," and it is presented on August 19, 2018 by the LANCO MG Club at the Forney Polo Field in Rothsville, PA. Y'all come! There's a fee for exhibitors, but I believe it's free to visitors. Here's a link to the club site - you can download an entry form with a map:

Continue on to Part 28...

1 comment:

  1. Well, since you invited me, I think I will go to that Taste of Britain thing. Maybe we could get Joe Lazenby to drive his TD there too. So we would have four TDs with Volvo engines all in one place.
    - Charlie