MG Classics @ 2018 GOF South - The 52nd Annual Gathering of the Southern Faithful. March 23 through March 25.
The 2018 Gathering of the Faithful, held in Altamonte Springs was a huge success, with 104 MGs on Display on the Show Day, and 156 MG enthusiasts attending the Awards Banquet. The MG Classics of Jacksonville presence was muted, but we reaped a good share of the awards.
My Wife and I started out in the '55 TF with the top down on the Chilly Thursday morning; a couple of undershirts, a fleece jacket, a padded body-warmer, topped by a faux fur leather hat with earmuffs, securely strapped under my chin; more representative of an Arctic Explorer than a Car Show Petrol Head. Paula couldn't be seen under multiple layers of clothes, a long scarf around the neckline, and a large knitted hat. Fortunately, by the time we stopped off for a burger in DeLand, the sun had warmed the mid-day air, and it was a relief to ditch the heavy clothing under the Tonneau in the back. For the duration of the GOF the weather started cool in the mornings but warmed by mid-day, on show day the afternoon was hot.
The time at the hotel was interesting, apparently it was 'Bike Week' somewhere close, and a multitude (it seemed like thousands) of Bikers had descended on the hotel. They were a polite and well-mannered group with 'Golden Wings' on their jackets and head-gear. Many showed an interest in our MGs, and they had some very interesting motorcycles to inspect. Their presence did not detract from our excellent time at the GOF event.
MG classics cars present included:
Glen Moore's 1949 MG TC Roadster.
Ian Massey's 1955 MG TF Roadster - Second Place Award in the TF Class.
Rick Seveech's 1951 MG TD Roadster.
Jill Moore's "Little Blue Coupe", 1957 MG A - First Place Award in the MG A Class, Second Place Award in the 'First Timers' Show.
Jeff Sagar's 1965 MG B Chrome Bumper - First Place Award in the MG B Chrome Bumper Class.
Richard Gross's 1970 MG B in the Premier Class.
Marshall Fleury's 1970 MG B.
Jim Hall, in addition to demonstrating a 5 Speed Gear Box in a seminar, had a customer exhibit a 'rolling' TF chassis with engine, 5 Speed GB, and transmission as an excellent 'prop' to provide a clear description of a 5 Speed installation, complete with Cross Member modification.
The seminars were outstanding. For me, as a TF enthusiast, the highlights were two seminars by Barrie Jones, a Brit, who is the leading expert on the 1954/55 TF Models. His talk covered the major electrical components, and S.U. Carbs. The B folks were a little disappointed as B's hardly featured in Barrie's sessions, but for me, they were perfect topics, and the B Folks had plenty of B 'stuff' to chew on during the three days of the event.
Jim Hall did an excellent seminar on the 5 Speed Gear Boxes he represents, this created much interest, and I understand he sold one, and developed a number of prospects during the event. A review of the Web Album provides a few photographs of a TF 'rolling' chassis with one of Jim's Five Speeds installed in the drive-train; what better prop to support his case. I was somewhat skeptical about the need to modify cross members in some models by cutting them, and then adding a bolt-in substitute. The rolling TF installation clarified that issue for me. I am now a believer!
I had an interest in joining the SVRA Racing Community, however George Pardee, and his racing colleagues, sure put me off that track. They showed a video of an engine fire enveloping the cockpit of a T racer; eleven seconds to get out before the flames burned through the fire resistant race suit to cause second-degree burns. Longer than eleven seconds and ........ They also highlighted a case where an anti-freeze spill on a race track caused one race car to cartwheel end over end. Watching SVRA racing is a blast, taking part, no thanks!
Although MG Classics of Jacksonville had a small contingent of cars, we took home a nice array of hardware, as evidenced by the listing above. To my mind the other JAX Club winners were a 'slam dunk', but the TF was up against a number of Trailer Queens with nice paint jobs. My TF is almost a daily driver, by comparison, plenty of chips in the paintwork, and no Bling and Chrome under the Bonnet. It is always nice to take home some hardware!
Best in Show was a spectacular 1933 MG L2 Magna that had been on active duty with the British Police, restored in its original livery, as seen in the Photo Album. This car had been invited to, and attended the 2018 Amelia Concours, and was clearly a Concours machine. Jill Moore's "Little Blue Coupe" was up against the L2 MAGNA in the "First Timers Show", it was most certainly an honorable second.
Why are the Y Types in the Album? Because I learned to drive at the age of 16 in a 1952 MG YB Saloon, it remains my favorite car. The photograph of the YA with its built-in hydraulic jacks lifting the front of the car is interesting. I did not try to get the built-in jacks on my YB working. It took 12 months, and many weekends at various wreckers yards, finding parts to get the car to pass the British roadworthiness test (MOT). No time to spend playing with the Jacks. I couldn't pass up an opportunity to add a memory of my teenage years to the album. George Pardee's Racer: We watched him take a couple of first places in the SVRA races in Fernandina Beach, in 2016, and it is a TF!.
The Awards Banquet attracted 156 MG Enthusiasts and was a nice 'do'. Good company, good food, good service, and an amusing MC.
The trip home was warm, bordering on hot, and we made it back before the rain hit Jacksonville.The T car used, or lost, less than a pint of engine oil during the round trip, primarily depositing oil from various leaking locations onto the ground. It does like to mark its Territory, and is very difficult to "Potty Train".
The Web Album focuses on the Jacksonville contingent's MGs, the Best in Show, and the MGs I found particularly interesting. I did not add any photographs of MG, after MG, after MG.
Lonnie Cook, and his team did an exceptional job in their attention to detail to ensure all attendees had a most memorable GOF. The 2018 GOF South will be a hard act to follow; roll on the 2019 GOF South!