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TLomas Avatar
TLomas Tony Lomas
Pierrefonds, QC, Canada   CAN
Canada is still at least 25 years to come in as antique/classic cars with no restrictions. However the list of accepted younger cars is different for the US.

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barneymg Avatar
barneymg Barney Gaylord
(Somewhere in USA), Pick one (or more), USA   USA
1958 MG MGA "MGA With An Attitude"
Left Chilliwack mid day Wednesday, TC-1E 150 miles, Cariboo Hwy/BC-97 200 miles, continue BC-97 about 75 miles to Prince George, 430 miles by day's end, second fuel stop here.

Thursday morning hung a left and took the Yellowhead Highway 300 miles (yes this is the scenic route). BC-37/Stewart-Cassiar Hwy 97 miles, Cassiar Hwy/BC-37 352 miles just into Yukon Territory, hang a left onto YT-1/Alaska Hwy and stop to snooze about 1-am, about 760 miles for the day with three fuel stops. As much as people fear the Cassiar Hwy I found it to be significantly better condition than it was 20 years ago. A little rough but doing 60-mph much of the way. Quite a lot of 8% grades mostly in 3rd gear with the trailer, wonderful scenery, not much traffic. Thinking about how well the sturdy little car handles the rough roads (and the quarter million mile trailer never complaining).

Friday, all Alaska Hwy, somewhat deteriorated from 20 years ago, lots of frost heave and a million patches, constant undulations sometimes terminating with a harsh divot hard on the suspension. Several short construction sites where the road swerves to one side through a 20 foot deep gravel pit to crawl up the other side, looks like designed to kill motor homes at anything more than 5-mph. Getting some confidence, hauled out of one of these pits at 10-mph and hit a huge pot hole and jump that finally buggered the suspension knocking the LF shock loose from the frame (been loose bolts for a while I suppose). Two outboard bolts missing, one inboard bolt broken, one inboard bolt barely hanging on bent and stripped threads. Tried but failed to install a Heli-Coil in the inboard stripped thread, could not remove the broken inboard bolt (not enough space to work there conveniently). Installed two good studs in outboard holes, with lockwashers and good tight hex nuts, looks pretty secure, one hour roadside repair, and soldier on a bit slower, trying not to hit anything harsh. Stopped for fuel and bolt check, and discovered blown head gasket (between 3&4 like 2 months earlier). Two hours to R&R the head to install new gasket (last hour in the rain), navigator getting better with wrenches and repairs, then soldier on. Crossed into Alaska on the stroke of midnight and found a spot to snooze, another 600 miles for the day, not bad considering 3 hours of repair delays.

Saturday 40 miles to Tok Junction, AK, stop for breakfast and reality check, engine dies won't idle, fearing blown head gasket again (grrrrr, no more spare head gaskets). During breakfast, charge up US cell phone and find it works in AK, call frind in Anchorage, then call Moss Motors to air ship two head gaskets to Anchorage (good or bad engine, we need the spares regardless). Considering pulling two plug wires to avoid blow-through damage and running on two cylinders for several hours (that would be a challenge). Compression test is not too bad, 125, 120, 110, 110 psi. Re-torque head, fire it up, runs like crap maybe stuck choke? Find one choke return spring disconnected, front carb running on full choke, result of hurried repairs late night before. Reconnect choke spring, runs well, great relief, run to full warm, retorque head again hot, then on our way.

Prolonged fuel stop in Glennallen, AK with long lines at the pumps, chance to check shock bolts again, adjust heater valve control cable, tighter clip for bonnet prop rod, check water and oil, refuel, grab lunch for the road and haul on. Arrived at friend's house in Anchorage, AK 7:15 pm, about 355 miles for the day, easy compared to the day before. 2145 miles in 4 days, arriving a day earlier than originally planned. When the territory is hundreds of miles with no appointments and late night daylight, it's easy to just keep on driving.

Relaxed and spent four hours chatting with Del Rawlins in Anchorage. Half past 11 pm off to Denny's for late night dinner, lucked out an tapped into spotty Walmart WiFi next door for 2-1/2 hours until computer battery was near flat. Managed to upload photos an notes for most of three days, and review lots of email. Snooze time in the small hours of the morning. Actually got dark at 2 am, maybe due to overcast and rain.

Sunday mid morning search for a WiFi spot with wall outlet. Lucked out on third stop, plug in to recharge, get breakfast, and we plan to have the whole day off to catch up with the world we have been out of touch with for a few days. Expect to get caught up with photos and notes, email, tech questions. Planning on better fixing the front suspension tomorrow morning (Monday), overdue for oil changes in engine, gearbox and differential. Then 4th of July parade in Anchorage on Tuesday with some more MGs from local club.

To answer the question, a bit over 122,000 miles since start of trip on 5-May-2014. Plan on a couple of weeks in Alaska, then back to British Columbia (Victoria area) before crossing Canada to Gander, Newfoundland over a few months time. Anyone else in AK we haven't heard from yet wanting us to stop by needs to holler and wave soon. Also taking appointments for anyone and everyone in Canada, including (hopefully) all clubs and shops.

barneymg@mgaguru.com - 630-946-3841 - follow our follies at http://MGAguru.com/mobile



Barney Gaylord - 1958 MGA with an attitude - http://MGAguru.com - barneymg@mgaguru.com
(Please email me direct, do not leave a PM on the public server).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-07-02 05:11 PM by barneymg.

barneymg Avatar
barneymg Barney Gaylord
(Somewhere in USA), Pick one (or more), USA   USA
1958 MG MGA "MGA With An Attitude"
We spent thee weeks in Alaska, drove all over the state including Tok, Glennallen, Anchorage, Homer, Pelican Point, Seward, Whittier, Valdez, Chitina, McCarthy, Paxson, Cantwell, Denali, Fairbanks, Deadhorse (Prudhoe Bay), Circle, Central. The Steese Highway coming back from Circle and Central flattened a trailer tire (near end of life anyway) and ate a radial car tire. Made a trip from Fairbanks back to Anchorage just to get two new car tires before leaving Alaska. Ran back through Glennallen and Tok and hit Chicken on teh way out. Skippped Eagle on the way out for lack of time, having to cross the US-to-Canada checkpoint before 8-pm.

Took Top Of The World Highway to Dawson City, YT. Did not go to Inuvik, Northwest Territory, 450+ miles each way on gravel road. It looked like fun, but wasn't in our mission statement. Then on to Stewart Crossing and south to Whitehorse, YT and Prince George, BC. Forest fires had closed the road south on 97 so had to detour around 18 an 5 adding 105 miles to the return route. Ran coolant temperature pretty high a few times pulling long hills in 3rd gear with the trailer,but didn't lose any coolant. Ignition light came on, running 12.0 volts for the last 160 miles, but got back to Surrey, BC okay Wednesday evening. Something whacky about the alternator, not resolved yet. Covered over 8000 miles in the past 30 days. I recon we will hang around the Vancouver area for a few more days before heading east more slowly.

Now back on our Canadian phone number - 604-799-6104
Same email address - barneymg@mgaguru.com
Follow our follies at http://MGAguru.com/mobile



Barney Gaylord - 1958 MGA with an attitude - http://MGAguru.com - barneymg@mgaguru.com
(Please email me direct, do not leave a PM on the public server).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-07-28 12:44 AM by barneymg.

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Zur Avatar
Zur Dave H.
Amarillo, TX, USA   USA
Barney!
When do you...rest?!



Dave

barneymg Avatar
barneymg Barney Gaylord
(Somewhere in USA), Pick one (or more), USA   USA
1958 MG MGA "MGA With An Attitude"
Uh, what is "rest"? I tend to run an about 6 hours sleep per night when we're busy (which is most of the time).

Mopped most of the mud off the car today so I could work on it without getting filthy. Electrical tests, dead alternator, no output and gentle growling like a bad bearing. New alternator on order for pickup in the morning.

Then it was party day with half a dozen friends and a few more MGA over to Peter and Anne Tilbury's place for BBQ. Which means I didn't get any more work done for rest of day, so now I'm a little behind and working past midnight again (so I can review the forum and post these notes and photos).




Barney Gaylord - 1958 MGA with an attitude - http://MGAguru.com - barneymg@mgaguru.com
(Please email me direct, do not leave a PM on the public server).

Zur Avatar
Zur Dave H.
Amarillo, TX, USA   USA
Barney, if/when you ever run out of stuff to do...write a book!
Non tech, just kind of a "Tales From the Road...Real & Imagined" sort of thing.
With your writing skills, experiences, memories, it would be great.
Sports car lore, interesting characters, fascinating places, racing tales, non-car related adventures, etc., etc.
And pics, lotsa pics.

I would suggest writing it when your car wears out, but it is apparent that's not ever going to happen!

I'll take 3 copies...one for me, one for a lady I know who races the wheels off MGs, and a spare in case somebody steals mine.
All inscribed, of course!



Dave

Brit iron Avatar
Brit iron Tony C
Forster, NSW, Australia   AUS
1961 MG MGA 1600 "Curvaceous"
1962 MG MGA MkII "Curvaceous 2"
Good on ya Barney and if you do get across to the land of Oz it won't take you long to learn to drive on the correct side of the road!
and you can park alongside my "A"s and I'll show you Sydney we're only 4 hours North in a quiet village near the coast.
Enjoy and thanks for all the help and advice mate.
Tony



'61 MGA 1600 - 37yrs garaged
'62 MGA 1622mk2 - 33yrs garaged

barneymg Avatar
barneymg Barney Gaylord
(Somewhere in USA), Pick one (or more), USA   USA
1958 MG MGA "MGA With An Attitude"
Spent a few days on Vancouver Island, BC, then made the two day 12-hour cruise east through the mountains to Calgary AB. Been here a few days, just out of a club meeting tonight, joint meeting with Calgary MG Car Club and Vintage Sports Car Club of Calgary, great bunch of people with lots of LBC in attendance. Maybe 2 or 3 more days here, then I think 10 to 12 hours driving back west, because there are a bunch of clubs back in BC we didn't get to visit yet.

If we ever get around to packing it down to OZ, we would likely spend t least six months there. May be wishful thinking, but sort of a checkbox on the bucket list.



Barney Gaylord - 1958 MGA with an attitude - http://MGAguru.com - barneymg@mgaguru.com
(Please email me direct, do not leave a PM on the public server).

gardex35 Avatar
gardex35 Gold Member Gary Dexter
Martintown, ON, Canada   CAN
I applaud your endeavour Barney. I would add an adventure like this to my bucket list, but it would be at the bottom after 'retiring at a young age' and completing the restoration of the 58 coupe' which should be preceded by 'having financial stability'. Which as you know is difficult when you own MG's. I agree with Dave, a book is in order. That would enable current owners and encourage would-be owners, plus it could finance that trip to Oz.

Keep up the inspiration.

Happy motoring
Gary

copernicus Avatar
copernicus Nick Kopernik
Snowless Winter, CT, USA   USA
In reply to # 3572040 by gardex35 .............. I agree with Dave, a book is in order. That would enable current owners and encourage would-be owners, plus it could finance that trip to Oz.

Keep up the inspiration.

Happy motoring
Gary

Perhaps a DVD with clips of the various adventures?

barneymg Avatar
barneymg Barney Gaylord
(Somewhere in USA), Pick one (or more), USA   USA
1958 MG MGA "MGA With An Attitude"
Been rattling around western Canada since late July. Currently in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Weather is deteriorating, so time to head south. We will be back to Canada in the spring to take up where we left off, going to cover the eastern half of Canada next year. For now, heading south for Minnesota, followed by Wisconsin, and Illinois, and so on.

Continue to follow our follies at: http://MGAguru.com/mobile



Barney Gaylord - 1958 MGA with an attitude - http://MGAguru.com - barneymg@mgaguru.com
(Please email me direct, do not leave a PM on the public server).

barneymg Avatar
barneymg Barney Gaylord
(Somewhere in USA), Pick one (or more), USA   USA
1958 MG MGA "MGA With An Attitude"
Well, we are definitely out of Canada. In the past 30 days we have visited about 80 shops, including 62 in Illinois (the ones we had not visited before). Picked up another set of trailer tires 10 days ago. Got a hard frost in Peoria, IL a couple nights back. Currently sitting in Champaign, Illinois, having stopped for another oil change, expecting to attend a club meeting here Wednesday night. We may have a couple appointments in central Indiana. After that we intend to be heading in the direction of North and South Carolina to do more shop hopping (where we hope it's a little warmer). That would be followed by Georgia within a month or so, where we have already covered most of the shops but have a few friends and clubs and tech sessions on the docket.

For the tote board so far to date:
385 cars serviced
264 clubs visited
491 friends visited (in addition to the clubs)
53 car shows
557 shops visited (with at least 250 more to go)
138,000 miles in 3-1/2 years.

This evening I got an invitation from Thunder Bay Vintage Sports Car Club to attend their 28th Annual Vintage Sports Car Rendezvous in Thunder Bay June 7-10, 2018, where I may be their "guest presenter" (whatever that means). That looks like a good kick-off point for doing the eastern half Canada next summer.



Barney Gaylord - 1958 MGA with an attitude - http://MGAguru.com - barneymg@mgaguru.com
(Please email me direct, do not leave a PM on the public server).

mgainaussie Avatar
mgainaussie Gary Lock
Gold Coast, Australia   AUS
Barney, following your blog for years...in the past few months a great percentage of the shops you roll up to are closed. This is a worrying trend, which is the same here in Australia. All the good "tradesmen" have retired, and obviously there has been no-one to take over the business, so shut the doors! I would imagine that in 10/15 years, there will be very, very few classic car shops around.

1960MGA1600RS Rick S
Naperville, IL, USA   USA
I got to spend a couple hours with Barney last week and The MGA with an Attitude is in need of some seats, totally worn out. Maybe someone out there has some spares.

If anyone wants to donate a little gas money to keep him going, my little fund raiser is still open.

https://www.gofundme.com/keep-barney-mobile

Sent him a nice donation from his old friend Gerry this morning!

Rick Schnittker

barneymg Avatar
barneymg Barney Gaylord
(Somewhere in USA), Pick one (or more), USA   USA
1958 MG MGA "MGA With An Attitude"
A few days ago I was beginning to think I could write a book on "The Last Open Shop" (pun intended). But it may not be quite as bad as it looks. I think we knew about 4 of the last 5 close shops being closed before we went there, but we go to get the picture anyway. I also keep the closed shops on the list as useful information, so people who might be looking for a specific shop can know it is now closed.

There is a pattern to some of this. Shops that are "out in the sticks" so to speak (lower population areas) are more likely to close due to lack of business. You can't expect to find a shop in every small town competing with the one next door when there are so few vintage cars left in the area. Higher population areas have more business to support the shops, so those tend to continue business. Some shops move to larger quarters or are taken over by a younger owner, perhaps appearing as a new shop name when the old shop name appears to be closed. I try to cross reference those when it happens. Older urban areas in big cities tend to lose the shops, partly due to age of the buildings and urban renewal projects, but also because big cities tend to discourage this type of shop through various taxes and regulations. Sometimes it's just rising property values (and property taxes) in flourishing modern business districts. There are some new shops occasionally which offset some of the closures.

Some of the listings are up yo 20 years old, so have had a long time to evolve before we are now vetting the list. A funny thing happened on the way to the forum. I was collecting shop listings from other web sites, and have noticed some shops that have been closed for longer than the existence of the the web site. That means the webmaster was copying some of the shops list from other sources and posting the shops onto their web site when the shops were already closed. That is, many of the web masters never check to verify if the shop is now alive or ever did exist.

I could just delete all of the closed shops from the list, not bother visiting the ones we know are closed, and never mention the closed shops we did visit. The "clean" list would still have several hundred viable shops that would present a very rosy impression of a healthy industry and good continuing service to the hobby enthusiasts.

There are some larger and more efficient shops that will be displacing some of the smaller shops. You may have to travel a bit to get to the shop, but for the most part the services are still available, and likely will be for a long time to come. You may also expect less one-stop shopping. The older shops are likely to offer full service and restoration with every service you may ever need for your LBC. When those places close you end up dealing with mechanical shops for maintenance service, and restoration shops for body and paint work. Otherwise these old cars are generally simple machines, easy to restore and maintain. I think availability of such services is not a problem, but certain low-demand restoration parts will be getting more scarce.

There will be a limit to how many MGA can be restored before they are all new or have been scrapped and scavenged for parts, and there are no more left to be restored. It grieves me a bit to see many of the restored cars become garage and trailer queens, not to be driven much, which is another reason for drop of demand for the service shops. Hiding the cars is almost the same as deleting them from existence, and can have similar effect on the shops list. I would like to encourage as many people as possible to drive the cars regularly, which means continued maintenance and occasional re-restoration, but would also help keep the shops open.



Barney Gaylord - 1958 MGA with an attitude - http://MGAguru.com - barneymg@mgaguru.com
(Please email me direct, do not leave a PM on the public server).

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