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The Breakdown


									                                     Buffalo Octagon Association

                           “The Breakdown”
                                     “Serving All Sides of the Marque” 1983-2009

Volume 26, Issue 1                                                                                                 January 2009

 Upcoming Dates to Re-
       member                    President’s Message
• February 9th, BOA              Joe Puma
  meeting at Magruders.          Hello everyone, and Happy        Brian Aldous, Lisa Bradt,       a Syracuse automotive
• March 9th, Celebrate           New Year! As I write this        Bill Hain, Debbie Leible        museum, a weekend car
  Cecil Kimber’s birthday        on New Years day, it’s           and Celeste Kray for a          show event at Chautauqua
  at the March BOA meet-         very cold outside with lots      wonderful job over the past     Lake involving antique
  ing at Magruders.              of snow on the ground and        two years. Much was ac-         boat races benefiting a
                                 the MG’s are hibernating         complished during their         local charity, plus the usual
• June 8th, BOA Summer           quietly in the garage            tenure and they should all      picnics, tours and of
  Picnic at Como Lake            (although I did have the         be very proud – the club is     course - the annual Au-
  Park.                          red Midget running last          in fine shape both organi-      tumn Sports Classic car
                                 weekend when we had              zationally and financially.     show. We have also
• Sunday September 6th,          that 60 degree day).             For those who missed it,        formed a committee to
  26th annual Autumn                                              Bill Hain was honored as        study the possibility of
  Sports Classic                 As the New Year dawns,           the recipient of this years     hosting another national
                                 significant changes are          President’s Award – the         convention, possibly in
                                 afoot in the Buffalo Octa-       Herb Bradt Memorial Cup -       2011 or 2012.
                                 gon Association with the         bestowed by Marcia Bradt
    Please Welcome our           transition to a new slate of     at the annual Christmas         If you have any comments,
     newest members!             officers, new membership         party last month. Con-          ideas, gripes, or just want
                                 and regalia chairmen, and        gratulations Bill – well de-    to chat about general club
    ♦    Reverend James          a complete overhaul of                                           operations, please feel free
                                                                  served – and thank you for
         Maxwell, Medina,        communications with a                                            to contact me anytime at
                                                                  many years of service to
           1967 MGB              move to integrate the                                   or
                                                                  the Buffalo Octagon Asso-
                                 newsletter, web page and         ciation!                        (716) 876-6382. I look for-
    ♦     Thomas Jones,          message board into a                                             ward to hearing from you.
          Kenmore ,1970          streamlined web-based            As we get to work planning
             MGB-GT              package. More on this            the upcoming car season,        Best wishes for a happy
                                 later…                           a number of ideas have          and healthy new year!
  Be on the lookout for
  our newest members                                              come up, including spring
                                 I’d like to personally thank                                     Joe Puma
  and be sure to say hi!                                          garage tours, a train trip to
                                 the outgoing officers –

          In this Issue:         1st Tech Session of the Year:
                                 Replacing a Rocker Panel on a MGB
♦       Car Chat           2

                           2     On Saturday January 24th,        problems that plague our        place at Jim’s home which
♦       No MG’s in N.
                                 2009 at 10:00 a.m. the           beloved MG’s.                   is located at 5579 William
        America                  Buffalo Octagon Associa-                                         Street in Lancaster New
                                 tion will have it’s first tech   Jim Pelletterie will show us    York 14086.
♦       British Auto                                              some of the steps involved
                           4     session of the new year.
        Class                                                     in replacing a rocker panel     Coffee and doughnuts will
                                 This is one not to be
                                 missed if you have ever          as this is a repair requiring   be provided. Bring your
♦       November                                                  20 hours to complete.           cameras and your ques-
        Meeting Min-             considered tackling one of
                           2-6                                                                    tions.
                                 the more common rust
        utes                                                      This tech session will take
PAGE 2                                                “ T HE BR E A KD OW N ”                               V OLU ME 2 6, I SSU E 1

Car Chat: Joe Puma’s MG Midget Racercar.
Joe Puma
As many of you know, I’ve been in          entry-level road race cars, known to       be able to acquire a solid rolling
the process of building a vintage          be fast, reliable and most of all, for-    shell from a friend, but everything
racecar for about five years now.          giving.                                    else – engine, drive train, suspen-
After owning a 1973 MG Midget for                                                     sion, electrics, interior, etc. - had to
over 20 years, modifying it along          Well, five years later, I can say with     be sourced, rebuilt and/or modified
the way for increased horsepower                                                      and installed. I found out that virtu-
and improved handling & reliability,                                                  ally nothing just “fits” in a race car.
and being a big vintage race fan, I                                                   Just about everything - new or
thought the time was right to at-                                                     used - involves custom fabrication
tempt to build a purpose built race                                                   and modification – regardless of
car - with the dream of someday                                                       what the manufacturer may claim!
competing in the vintage races at                                                     Keep in mind that no new ground
Watkins Glen that I had been at-                                                      was being broken here – people
tending as a spectator for so long.                                                   have been racing Midgets and
Of course, it would have to be an                                                     Sprites for 50 years – and I un-
MG Midget – my reasoning was                                                          ashamedly copied something from
that with the knowledge gained over                                                   just about every Midget or Sprite
all those years of fiddling with my        authority that building a racecar in       racecar that I came across at the
existing car, how hard could it pos-       your garage from a 36 year-old             races, in books or on the internet.
sibly be? Plus, Midgets and Sprites        $500 bone-stock body shell is not
are purported to be the all-time best      for the feint of heart. I was lucky to                Continued on page 4

MG remains a no-show in North America
From the San Diego Tribune

"The USA isn't on the short-term radar     mobile Group Corp. bought most of the      MGs were last sold in the United States
as an anticipated market for us, but       remains of MG Rover in September           in 1980. Numerous plans have been
with the right product, it would be good   2005, Nanjing told of plans to set up an   hatched over the years to return MG to
to return there," Gary Hagen, marketing    R&D center and factory in Ardmore,
director of NAC MG, told the British       Okla. Then Nanjing was taken over by
Web site Austin Rover Online (austin-      Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Hagen also confirmed that
plans to build MGs in Oklahoma from        "The deal fell through," Hagen said of
kits shipped from China have been          the Oklahoma plan. In August, produc-
killed.                                    tion of MG TFs started in MG Rover's
                                           old plant in Longbridge, England. The
Not long after China's Nanjing Auto-       cars will be sold in Great Britain.

Meeting Minutes: November 11th, 2008
Submitted by Lisa Bradt
 The meeting was called to order at        ♦    Secretary’s Report:                   ♦   Brian reported that, per his re-
8:00PM. President Brian Aldous                                                        cords, four more members were pre-
welcomed everyone, especially              ♦   Brian called upon Lisa to give the     sent at tonight’s meeting than at last
some of the newer faces and some           Secretary’s report. A motion was put       month’s.
folks we haven’t seen in a while.          on the floor by Lisa to accept the min-
He also cautioned all of the female        utes as they appeared in the most          ♦       Treasurer’s Report:
club members to watch out for              recent newsletter. The motion was
                                           seconded, and the minutes were ac-             ♦  Bill reported that income from
Dave and John as Celeste and                                                             member payments for the Steak
                                           cepted as per the newsletter.
Debbie were both out of town.                                                           Roast was present in this month’s
                                                                                        statement.      Continued on page 3
    V OLU ME 2 6, I SSU E 1                         “ T HE BR E A KD OW N ”                                          PAGE 3

Meeting Minutes
♦   Brian brought up the matter of        ♦    Brian recommended that we de-        and Mercy Flight.
our charitable donations for this year.   cide on a total amount for all dona-
Last year, donations were made to         tions before proceeding any further.      ♦  TJ seconded Pat’s motion. It
The Ronald McDonald House, Hos-                                                     was put to a vote and was passed
pice, National Kidney Foundation          ♦   Jerry P. put a motion on the floor    unanimously by the membership.
(NKF) and Mercy Flight.                       that the club donate no more
                                              than 10% of the total treasury.       ♦   A motion was put on the floor to
♦   A motion was put on the floor by                                                    accept the Treasure’s Report,
Jerry U. that we donate to Hospice        ♦   Jim Pelleterie seconded Jerry’s           and it was accepted by the mem-
and NKF this year. The donations          motion.                                       bership.
suggested were less than the total
amount given last year, but more than     ♦   Joe G. made a motion to in-           •   Membership Report:
what we have donated per charity in       crease the amount to 15% of the
the past.                                 treasury. His motion was seconded.        ♦    Joe P. reported that we have had
                                                                                    one new member join recently. His
♦    Jim Pelliterie mentioned that he     ♦   Joe G.’s motion was put to a vote     name is James Maxwell, and he was
feels strongly about Mercy Flight and     and was passed with 16 members in         referred to the club by Debbie Leible.
the work they do.                         favor and 3 against.                      He owns a 1967 MGB.

♦   Bill felt that increasing the         ♦    Once the amount was deter-           ♦   Joe also reported that our mem-
amounts of the donations might not        mined, Pat put a motion on the floor          bership is at approximately 78
be the best idea and suggested that       for the amount decided to be divide           families currently.
we return to our previous donations.      between all three of the previously
                                          mentioned charities: Hospice, NKF                    Continued below

New Officers for 2009
Jerry Urban

Following the elections at the No-        •   Regalia—Chuck Privitera               has stepped up for a new two-year
vember general meeting, these are                                                   term.
you new officers and committee            •   Membership—John Leible
chairpersons.                                                                       Please come out to a meeting or
                                          •   Newsletter—Jerry Urban                event to meet them if you haven’t
•     President— Joe Puma                                                           already.
                                          •   Sunshine—Lynne Puma
•     Vice-President—T.J. Bradt                                                     Your input is critical to these indi-
                                          •   Sergeant at Arms– Jim Pellet-         vidual charting a course that will
•     Treasurer— Lisa Bradt                   terie                                 insure your clubs viability in the
•     Secretary—Celeste Kray              Each of these dedicated individuals

Meeting Minutes
♦     New Business:                       huge car show as the main attraction.    ♦    Brian brought up some key points:
                                          Other events include driving tours,      timing and location are the keys to a
♦    Jim Pelleterie brought up the idea   guided tours of sights in the area, a    successful event.
of the club hosting a national event      picnic, rallies, and a banquet.
again, possibly in 2011, as there is                                               ♦    Joe’s motion was passed, and he
already an event planned in the To-       ♦  Jim Pelleterie stated that he         will head up a committee to discuss
ronto area (Belleville, ON) in 2010.      would be willing to run such an event.   possibilities in January.

♦    Myron asked what is involved in      ♦    Joe G. put a motion on the floor
a national event. Jim explained that it   to form a committee to explore this
is usually a three day event with a       possibility.                                      Continued on page 5
PAGE 4                                                “ T HE BR E A KD OW N ”                              V OLU ME 2 6, I SSU E 1

Car Chat…..
I also had to learn how to weld, and       move under it’s own power, and I
it helped to have friends to help out      was able to take it to be shown at
with the critical stuff like fabricating   the Autumn Sports Classic car
and welding the roll cage – some-          show – you may have seen it there.
thing I wouldn’t dare attempt my-          A few laps around the parking lot
self. Swap meets in Ancaster, On-          before and after the show proved
tario and Carlisle,                                            that it wasn’t just
Pennsylvania each                                              there to pose – it
year provided some                                             ran well and was
hard to find parts as                                          fast enough to
well as an ongoing                                             scare me! There         trials and tribulations and report
source of income from                                          are still some          what progress (if any) has been
selling used parts –                                           bugs to be              made.
racing bits are expen-                                         worked out, and it
sive. Many parts were                                          will undoubtedly        Special thanks to all the folks who
bought and sold on                                             take considerable       have helped me along the way –
eBay along the way,                                            sorting at the          Jim Pelletterie, Rob Bork, Chuck
and thank God for Harbor Freight           racetrack, but I am encouraged that         Privitera, TJ Bradt, Rick Magro, Pe-
Tools!                                     my dream of racing a vintage sports         ter Calabrese, plus my wife Lynne
                                           car that I built myself is not too far      for being extremely patient and
Anyway, a milestone was reached            off. In future issues, I’ll go into more    spending far too much time helping
last fall – the car finally was able to    detail about the project’s numerous         me bleed the brakes!

Vintage British Auto Class
JP Kelly

 Vintage British cars in Western New       procedures on vehicle maintenance;         ditional desks and chalkboards to
York are some of the best-                 performance upgrades, and show             explain vehicle systems and the nui-
maintained vehicles on the road to-        preparation.                               sances of British engineering. The
day. The cute MG’s and the powerful                                                   other section contains two automotive
Jaguars along with the other famous         Rebuilding a vintage British engine       lifts and special shop equipment like
marques from the island nation have        or overhauling a set of SU carbure-        bead blast cabinets and rotary parts
a special place to go to be pampered       tors is a normal activity in this class-   washers, The only repairs that cannot
by their owners.                           room. Students have the ability to         be made are to body and paint as the
                                           work on their cars or parts through        room is not equipped to handle this
While thousand of sports cars were         the weekly three-hour program. With        work.
imported to the shores of the United       the assistance of master mechanic
States since the late forties the          Jim Pelletterie the students have the
dealer network and the repair facili-      option to work on any part of the vehi-
ties faded away with the years. Al-        cle that needs attention.
though a few specialty repair shops
are still doing a brisk business, the      Although the class is known as a rec-
demand for quality repairs has fallen      reational type of program the student
on the enthusiastic owners.                count is always good. With the sup-
                                           port and direction of administrators
The Buffalo Public Schools as a part       Les Leopold and John Suchy the pro-
of their extensive adult education         gram utilizes the assets of Burgard
program initiated a very specialized       Vocational high school, which is lo-
program. The program offers owners         cated just outside the city. The stu-
                                                                                      Students tune and solve problems
of these fine machines a place to          dents are the big winners as an auto-
learn how to maintain their cars. The      motive shop and classroom is dedi-
twenty-six week program uses a             cated to this very special class.
working shop and hands on tech-                                                                Continued on page 5
niques to teach owners the proper          The classroom is divided into two
                                           sections. The theory section has tra-
    V OLU ME 2 6, I SSU E 1                           “ T HE BR E A KD OW N ”                                              PAGE 5

 Meeting Minutes
♦    Joe gave an update on Robert          ♦   A few of this year’s 25th Anniver-      store it in his warehouse as long as
Sherwood, our member who, along            sary Autumn Sports Classic T-shirts         we can provide some notice when
with his wife, got lost during the Steak   are also still available.                   we need to get it. His warehouse is
Roast. The Sherwoods had some car                                                      located on Clinton St. in Buffalo.
trouble but were clever enough to be       ♦   Newsletter:                             Eric will talk it over with his wife and
able to get the car running again.                                                     let us know.
Thankfully, they made it home safely.      ♦    Celeste was out of town, so no
A suggestion was made that some-           report was available. As of last meet-      ♦   Jim Pelleterie also offered to sell
one’s cell phone number should be          ing, Celeste had asked if anyone was        the club his trailer as he is looking to
included on instructions for future        interested in taking over as Newsletter     unload that as well. We would still
driving events.                            Editor.                                     need a place to store the trailer itself
                                                                                       and would have to find dry, reasona-
♦   Thanks to Joe P. for following up      ♦    A copy of the Christmas party flier    bly warm, indoor storage for the
to make sure the Sherwoods were            was included in the last newsletter.        sound equipment.
okay.                                      Several people have already turned in
                                           their reservations. Please mail them        ♦   Jerry U. brought up the issue of
♦     Regalia Report:                      to Lisa Bradt by December 3.                the website again. The membership
                                                                                       decided that it is worth the $100 per
♦    Lunch totes and baseball caps         Old Business:                               year fee to maintain it, and it should
with embroidered logo are still avail-                                                 continue.
able for $20 and $15 respectively.         ♦   Jim Pelliterie is still looking for a
They would make great Christmas            place to store all of the club’s sound
gifts. Let Lisa know if you are inter-     equipment and other paraphernalia.
                                                                                                Continued on page 6
                                           ♦   Eric said that he may be able to

British Auto Class
Over the past twelve years many tired                                                  dents become friends and spread
British cars have been made efficient                                                  their knowledge to others. When the
again with rebuilt drive trains. Brake                                                 cold winds blow off lake Erie and the
and suspension systems are always                                                      snow is piling up the British cars in
a top priority as they are considered                                                  Western NY are maintained to the
the most important parts on the car.                                                   highest degree. With many carefree
Replacing lower A-arm bushings on a                                                    miles ahead the owners know they
MGB or renewing all the suspension                                                     have the best-maintained cars on the
rubber on a TR6 is just another job                                                    road.
that gets done within the two thirteen
week sessions. The student-owners
get great satisfaction knowing that        Working on Austin Healy carbs
they have preserved a part of motor-
ing history while learning how to work     Every spring another British car hits
on the Little British Car they own.        the road in better shape than the year
                                           before. The student/owners have a
                                           greater confidence in their cars and
                                           are able to drive them further dis-
                                           tances knowing that they did the re-
                                           pairs properly and with great savings.
                                           Just one repair could add up to cost
                                           of the class and with all the quality       Jim P. teaching British Brakes
                                           work completed the class becomes a
                                           great deal.                                 The class starts it’s second semester
                                                                                       January 28th. Contact Jim Pelletterie
                                           Saving money and understanding fine         at if you
                                           British machinery are only a few            are interested in the class.
Students check brakes on a Spitfire        perks to come from this class. Stu-
           Buffalo Octagon Association

                   P.O. Box 236

         Bowmansville, New York 14026

      Our next meeting is Monday
       February 9th, at 7:30 p.m.
        Magruders Restaurant
           4995 Broadway
        Depew, New York 14043

              We’re on the web at


Meeting Minutes
                                            offered for this office.                   ♦   John L. volunteered to take over
                                                                                       as Membership Chairman.
♦   Elections:                              ♦    Treasurer: Bill had accepted the
                                            nomination last month. Joe P. nomi-        ♦   Lynne Puma agreed to keep her
♦  Lisa read the nominations from last      nated Lisa for Treasurer. Lisa ac-         responsibilities as Sunshine Steward.
month as listed in the newsletter.          cepted the nomination under the con-
                                            dition that someone else would take        ♦   Jim Pelleterie agreed to stay on
♦   The floor was then opened to any        over as Regalia Chairperson in the         as Sergeant at Arms.
additional nominations.                     event that Lisa should become Treas-
                                            urer. Chuck volunteered to fill that
♦ President: Brian had accepted the         position if necessary. A paper vote
nomination last month unless someone
                                            was cast for the Treasurer. Lisa won
                                                                                       ♦    The meeting was adjourned at
else was interested in taking the office.                                              9:24PM. Jerry U. won the Split Club
                                            the election by a slim margin (4
Garrett nominated Joe P for President.                                                 Prize of $20. Mr. Bill was a happy
Joe accepted the nomination. Brian                                                     jester yet again…no one won the
then opted to withdraw his acceptance       ♦   As acting Secretary in Debbie’s        Joker game.
from last month.                            absence, Lisa cast the mandatory
                                            one ballot to make the election of the
♦   Vice-President:      Lisa had ac-
                                            other officers official.
cepted the nomination last month.
Chuck nominated TJ for Vice-President.      ♦   Appointed positions were then          Respectfully Submitted,
TJ accepted the nomination, and Lisa        discussed:
withdrew her acceptance from last                                                      Lisa Bradt
month.                                      ♦   Jerry U. offered to take over the
                                            newsletter. Celeste will surely cele-      November 11, 2008
♦    Secretary: The Secretary’s posi-       brate upon her return to Buffalo (if not
tion was accepted last month by Celeste     sooner).
Kray. No additional nominations were

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