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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - British V8 2003

It's getting close!

I have 43 entries so far, and more on the way, so it looks like we'll have a good turnout. I fully expect to have 60 - 70 entries before it's all done.

25 of the entries are MGB V8s, 2 MGB V6, 2 TR6/V8, and 2 Austin Healey V8. The rest are either stock engined cars, or the owner didn't identify the engine.

I have added a used parts auction to the show, so bring those surplus parts and convert them into cash.

British V8 2003 logo hats will be available for purchase at the show, as will hooded insulated jackets, with the logo (limited qantities will be available, but orders will be taken for later delivery if desired). I picked up the hats, jackets, and t-shirts today, and they are supurb!

With the good turnout, we were able to spring for the deluxe BBQ dinners - BBQ chicken, pork, AND ribs!

My doctor won't allow me to drive a manual shift car, and limits my driving time in an automatic, so I won't be able to participate in any of the events, but I'll have a grand time nevertheless. You will too!

see you here!

Dan Masters I told you, I'll be there...will register Friday afternoon when I V8 isn't ready (that custom Hawke's coilover front suspension still isn't under it among other thnigs!) so I'll bring a stock car.
anthony barnhill

Anthony! A stock car?! Cool! You know, Rusty Wallace has a Ford dealership "just upstate", and there are a lot of NASCAR garages in that neck of the woods as well!...wait a you meant stock MG! ;-)

rick ingram
stock MGB 1978
stock MGC 1969 (coming to Tennessee with me)
Spurious MGB/GT V8 1974.5
rick ingram

good one, Rick!! Amazing how language changes location to location....yep, bone stock, original '79 MGB!
anthony barnhill

Thanks Dan, I was wondering how many BV8's would show.
Does anyone have a guesstimate as to how many are actually in the United States, MGBV8 conversions that is?
Michael S. Domanowski


Surely the Doc with let you ride shotgun!


Rusty Wallace Pontiac is only 45 min. from Knoxville in Morristown, TN.


No problem with stockers. We know what happens to 'em after a V8 Convention. :):)

I drove my stock '79 MGB to the '98 & '99 Conventions and I drove my Dad's '63 MGB to the '00 Convention. This will be the 3rd one in my "weak" 215 'B.

Dan, there are 4 V-8's coming from this area. 2 MGBV8s and 2 Tigers.
See you all soon. McClain
Bob McClain


I believe one of them is FunbeamChuck?

I just got an e-mail from him saying he is looking for someone to share a room with him at the Highland Manor inn. He has a room reserved, but would like to have a room mate to share expenses. Anyone interested can contact Chuck at or call me at 865-982-9373 and I'll give you his phone number.
Dan Masters

There will be at least 3 Canadian MGB V8s.
Looking forward to seeing everybody!!

Martyn Harvey

Carl....oh, my '79 Pageant Blue is undergoing a major V8 conversion...problem is finding a place to stop....I've had that engine in & out 6 times & always find something else to "trick up"....if the Hawke's coilover was under her, I'd push her on trailer & bring with me just to get opinions on how things are going!
anthony barnhill

Hey,Justin, Graham Criswick is trying to get
hold of you. Send me your email at:
and I will get his email address to you.
It's about the drive down.
Regards, Jack
John Renaud

I sent Graham an e-mail a few weeks ago letting him know I wasn't sure of my schedule, but it's looking like (knock on wood) I'll be shooting down Wednesday. What time are you guys planning on leaving? I was thinking about leaving mid morning on Wednesday and being there before dark so I could settle in and get a good nights sleep. What do you have in mind?


Best e-mail to get me all the time is I can check that from my palm pilot.

Greetings from Townsend!

We arrived in Townsend early last evening after an uneventful 500 some odd mile trip from central Illinois. Neither Pete Mantell's nor my V8 conversions are roadworthy, so I drove the MGC and Pete drove his '78 MGB.

There is good attendance, with participation from Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Tennesse, name but a few states. Over 50 registrants at this time!

Driving tours began this morning...Pete and I stayed here at the Highland Manor to conduct a mini-tech session on his MGB. A rear whell cylinder failed...I had brought a spare cylinder for him...but a brake line twisted off inside the fitting on the cyhlinder when he attempted to remove the fitting. was off to NAPA in Maryville this morning to find nedw brake lines....Mission accomplished..and repair is underway as I type this post.

This afternoon we will head out for some touring...and perhaps some more discussions in the parking lot of the hotel! Tomorrow we plan on driving the "Tail of the Dragon" ... SR129 ....318 turns in 11 miles. More tech sessions tomorrow afternoon....the fun will continue!

I'll keep you posted.....there is a British car show at the hotel next to us this well as a street rod show in Knowxville!


rick ingram
1978 MGB
1969 MGC
1974.5 MGB/GT V8 conversion
rick ingram


First day of activities is over...the morning saw a tour to Newfound Gap, stated before, Pete and I worked on the rear brakes of his MGB. We had it fixed by lunch...then set out for a tour to Lost underground lake here in Tennessee....great driving roads....and just a few sprinkles of rain.

More cars here tonight...Canada, Kentucky...nice examples, too! Sunbeam Tiger...AH 3000 conversion....Triumph Spitfire with a small inline Ford...etc.

Tomorrow sees us (hopefully) doing the Dragon (it's threatening a little rain/thunderstorms right now.)


rick ingram
rick ingram


Friday....midafternoon.....we are now having some very loud thunderstorms and periodic cloudbursts. But that has not diminished the fun of the day!

About 9am, some 15 to 20 enthusiasts took off for the Tail of the Dragon. A second group about about 10 left for the same destination about 11am.

The weather rain and plenty of sun for both groups on the Dragon. A short drive on the Foothills Parkway then it was a left turn onto SR129....The Dragon. Speed is definitely NOT a factor in a successful finish of this 11 mile route to Deals Gap. Setting up turns, quick looks up road (when possible) for oncoming traffic (a lot of motorcycles and one semi); a lot of switchbacks....and the occasional slow minivan ahead of us (which was kind enough to pull over). The Dragon actually reminded me of a Disney amusement ride...complete with the gift shop at the end...seling t-shirts, bumper stickers, etc. We completed our first run and rested for about a half an hour before heading back to Townsend (via the same route of course!) We completed a double run of the Dragon in about an hour ... a total of 636 turns and 22 miles.....and I still have the adrenalin rush to prove it! Pete Mantell's wife (Sue) did a fantastic job video taping the drive...(I'm surprised she did't suffer from motion sickness looking through the viewfinder!) Thanks, Sue!

Those who did not follow us to Deals Gap head towards Knoxville, TN for the Street Rod meet. (I'll probably be doing that tomorrow.) Tech sessions will soon begin this afternoon (the rain has stopped!)...then a BBQ and bluegrass music fest this evening.

By the way....Justin made it in from Michigan...but...he has some tales to tell!

Until tomorrow....


rick ingram
rick ingram


And another V8 convention is coming to an end...

Up front I would like to off a Laurel and Hardy handshake and a tip of the hat to Dan Masters, Conventioln Coordinator Extraordinaire. Dan did a fantastic job of planning this meet, all apparently went off without a hitch. The Highland Manor Inn was a great place to say; the countryside and accompanying roads a real treat; the attendees all great fun!

The Spuriites were here (and needed no bail money!). Mikel Mohr, Kurt Schley, Glen Towery, Bob McClain, Pete Mantell, Dave Mikels, Jim Stuart, and myself had a great time. Mikel's dad and brother-in-law were here as well as Carl,Floyd, Ted Lathrop, Max Fulton, Graham Criswell, Dan LaGraue, Al Wulf, Martin Harvey.....the list goes on of attendees this year....some new; many returnees!

Today's activities included an offering of self guided tours in the morning and tech sessions, the auction, and door prizes this afternoon, and tonight had us taking a trip through the Great Smoky Mountains to Gatlinburg where we had a great meal and the same with comaradaire. I was lucky to receive one of the top door prizes - a custom wiring harness from Dan Masters for my MGB/GT V8 conversion. (Yep - that new in the box Painless Wire system will be up for sale!)

We'll be off bright and early in the morning in an attempt to beat a storm front brewing in Missouri (the windscreen wipers failed - mechanically - on this trip and all I have is Rain-X).

We're not sure exactly where or when the V8 meet wil be next year....but you can bet one thing.....I'll be there!


rick ingram
1969 MGC
1974.5 MGB/GT V8 conversion
1978 MGB

rick ingram

Oh yes! Many stories! About 180 miles into the trip a pushrod blew up and took out a rocker arm with it. It wad 3:30 in the afternoon, and 2 landrover dealerships were both 1.5 hours away and both had a pushrod. Local auto parts store didn't have any, but sent me 3 doors down to the local machine shop. The guy there dug through his supplies and didn't have anything the right length, and was very reluctant to make me up a pushrod from an sbc because he thought the diameter would be too big. Well we convinced him to make one, and $10.00 and 20 minutes later we were back off to go try and make it work. Well sure enough it fit! Rather nicely too! Additionally, I just *happened* to have a spare rocker arm with me. Talk about dumb luck! I played around with my fuel injection computers all weekend and never could get them to idle quite the way I wanted them to, but they got me home without any problems and I was happy! What a great time, and thanks to everyone who helped me out over the weekend!

Can't wait for next year =)

Had an absolutely great time! Thanks, Dan! Now, I've gotta get my engine in....
...&, Jim, I didn't want to wake you guys this am as we pulled out of the RV park....see you guys next year!
anthony barnhill


Thanks for a great V8 Meet. As Rick said, hats off and hand shakes all round.
Hope you get well soon from your tree fall !


Thanks agian for your help with my dodgy rear wheel cylinder.
Without it, the Tail of the Dragon and other adventures would not have been conquered.

Can't wait for the 2004 event !!
Any volunteers ??

See yaw'll all next year :)

PJ Mantell

Thanks very much for a great event. Amy Sue and I had a very good time and enjoyed meeting everyone from around the country. We didn't get to say farewell to everyone as we left at 6:30 AM on Sunday so I'll take this opportunity to say our goodbyes now.
Too many beautiful cars to list but all showed the owners ingenuity and personality. I learned a lot by seeing how other people did things and now have a long list of additional upgrades to save for. Thanks also go to the sponsors, who made this event possible. We can hardly wait for the 2004 edition.
The Dragon was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Michael S. Domanowski

Does anyone know if any V6's showed up? Any thoughts on performance comparisons?


Stan Arendts

Best meet ever, simply no doubt. It'll be hard to top next year but happily a couple of people have stepped up to try and I hope they do succeed.

There was at least 1 V6 MGB and a V6 Avenger. May have been more but I don't know. Can't speak for power output either as I'm not aware of any competition runs. (grin) Well, other than the Dragon. Geez what an awesome road. I do not say this lightly, here's a W.Va. raised boy where the roads look like a can of worms with the St. Vitus (sp?) dance and straight sections are so rare that it's hammer down anytime the steering wheel crosses center, and I mean to tell you that this road is primo stuff. I missed the tour, both of them actually, so I headed out on my own and that turned out to be a very fortunate thing. I had a pretty clear run on the way up, passed the tour coming back down as I went up, and just had a great time flinging the car around the corners and using all the power that was there just begging to be laid down. Some corners I hit hot and deep because they were so tight and so steeply banked on the inside that I could just slide the front tires back up the banking as the rear end powered around and stepped out, leaving me shooting straight for the next turn at full power. I believe I had just come out of one such maneuver as I passed Dan LaGrou. Just had to wave. (VBG) Coming back down was even better. I hung around the top talking with the bikers and left as much of a gap as I could behind a pair of hot street bikes before rolling out of the lot and lighting 'em up. Tell you what, I had an absolutely clear run all the way to the final curves, where I caught up with the bikes. I did take time to wave when I went by the overlooks and sometimes to passing traffic, but I just had a phenomenal run down the hill. I can't say I used everything the car could give, that would take a few more practice runs. But what I can say is that it was the hardest charging I've done in years, in the most capable car I've ever driven, and I drove it so hard it turned the exhaust tips yellow from the heat. I didn't go back for a second run simply because I would not have been able to have such a clear road for the rest of the weekend. It would have been anti-climactic.

I hope somebody does a good job of posting photos of the cars, there were so many that were just so notable. I couldn't come close to the build quality of some of these.

Dan showed what could be done with Ford hardware, and Ted Lathrop had a really sharp clean sheet front end design to display. In keeping with our recent discussion of crossmember strength, I donated a CB crossmember for strength comparison testing and we designed two tests to compare bending and torsional strength that he can perform at his shop. Other designs were on display in the form of literature as well, such as the one Tony Barnhill markets. Good call on the campground Tony, we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Jim Blackwood

I agree Great Event. I plan to come back to the area some time. Couldn’t get enough of the roads. The entire event was perfect.

Pete Mantell: Any chance of getting the Dragon video converted into a file we can view over the Internet? I have access to the equipment to do the conversion. All I need is a copy but the original tape would be best.
Jim Miller

What a wonderful event. I can't stop thinking or talking about it. My special thanks to Dan Masters, his family , and everyone who helped make this a very unforgettable experience. This was the first time Mary and I have seen this area - we WILL be back. It was fantastic seeing everyone again and meeting some new faces. I hope everyone made it home safely.
Thanks again Dan.

Paul and Mary Schils
1973 MGB-GT (Damask Red}
Paul Schils

We would like to add our thank you to Dan and Christa, too, for a wonderful event. It was good to see many old friends from previous V8 conventions as well as meeting new enthusiasts. Three years ago in Cleveland, I met Robert and Dreama Wilks. Like the Wilks,I hadn't finished my V8. They were thinking about it and were on a fact finding mission. It was a real thrill to see them again - this time with their fresh '65 British Racing Green MGB Tourer. Well done!
Jim Blackwood - I enjoyed hearing all about the high tech workings of your car. Bernie Posey & Bill Miller & Jack Renoud - Thanks for showing me about cruise controls. Definately an improvement over the axe handle I use occasionaly.

We arrived home at 12:20 AM this morning, dodging the tornados in Kansas and Tennessee. We saw no funnel clouds, but drove through a lot of rain between St. Louis and Columbia, MO. The trip odometer showed 3082 miles. We found out that Cracker Barrel restuarants are located all the way to Denver! After visiting an old Swedish settlement in Lindsborg, Kansas, we drove on the blue highways to Limon, Colorado. IT WAS DARK AND GAS STATIONS WERE FAR AND FEW BETWEEN BY THEN.

We are glad to see the "green green grass of home" - what little there is!

Al and Patty Wulf
Al & Patty Wulf

Video wanted!!!! If anyone has video showing all or most of the cars, e-mail me. I would like to have a copy.

1974 MGB
1960 MGA 289 Ford.

What can I add other than an additional BIG thanks to
Dan Masters and Crew for a fantastic program! The
highlite for me was the Dragon! And it was absolutely
great seeing all my old friends and meeting new ones.
A particular thank you goes out to Jim Miller for
helping me get my Audiovox Cruise Control working for
the 600 mile trip home. He also took a picture of me
with my head under the passenger foot well and my feet
stuck over the seat and top. :-) Well, to all that I
missed saying goodbye to- Goodbye! British V8s, BBQ
ribs, the music,etc.,etc. What a great time! :-)
Regards, Jack
John Renaud

Sue and I would like to add our very sincere THANK YOU to Dan Masters for the smoothest run annual cnvention yet. Everything was great!!!!!!!! The Dragon was worht the drive by itself. Bernie Posey and I took it through once at a good clip, just to get the feel. On the third curve I had a Mini come around a curve about 18" on my side of the line, still have not figured out how we avoided paint exchange. On the return trip I had the road to myself and could push it at my pace. Only got sideways twice....need stickier tires! Did catch a sports bike, assume he was not a good rider?!
After the meet, Sue and I drove to Myrtle Beach for a day and returned to Ohio on Tuesday. Only car problems were a fried alternator (20 minute job after picking up a new on at Advanced Auto), a two week old starter solenoid which died Monday night (found a hotel in North Carolina on a tall hill, pop start on Tuesday morning and just kept her running for the whole day back home) and a cracked windshield in W VA. Saw the rock coming for 15 seconds, but could not get out of the way.
The old worn out engine smoked four quarts of oil during the trip but ran great, though we killed every insect 100 yards to ewither side of the highways from hydrocarbon fumes.
Was really great to see all the old friends as well as the new faces!!
Kurt Schley

What prompted me to volunteer (other than thr fact that I live in the Volunteer state) was the thought that most of you would enjoy a drive or two on the Dragon. Seems like I was right.

It's a good thing we had the event when we did. Have you seen the horrible weather we've been having here in Tennessee since the show? The Foothill Parkway is closed from the "top of the world" to US129 because of a rock slide resulting from the torrential downpour. They say it will be weeks before it is cleaned up and the road passable again.

Thanks to everyone who came and made the show a success. Maybe we'll do it again some time?

Photos? If you took some good pictures of the event, please send them to me so I can use them in the newsletter. In addition to good photos of the cars, I need photos of ya'all having a good time at the various driving and/or eating events. Electronic submittals are fine, but if you have hard prints, I can scan them and return them to you.

I still have a few T-shirts left, in M, XL, and XXL if anyone wants one(these are the ones that didn't arrive in time for the show). $15 postpaid. Hats and jackets can be ordered if desired. Hats are $10 and jackets are $48, PP also.
Dan Masters

Thanks for a grand event!

This was our maiden trip and all was great due to the enormous help from the V8 group during building- Dan M, Kurt, Dan L, Ted & Judy, Al, Mike M, Jim S, Karl, and Martyn and many more.

We were a little late arriving, because it wasn't until midnight Thursday that we had a hood, trunk lid and top. Friday morning was a last-minute "adjustment" of the Panhard bar with a Sawsall. Then we drove through the Friday afternoon deluge on I-40 which didn't stop us, although I wish the wipers and defroster had been working at the time! We arrived just in time for a great barbeque and bluegrass.

We especially liked the cars of Jim Blackwood and Michael Domanowski, as they just don't know when to quit! There were also great dinner stories by Jim Fisher and Bryan and Janette Walker. And after-dinner fun at the parking lot "beer and flashlight" tech sessions.

Thanks Pat, for starting it all for us by parking your V8 in with the wine & cheese crowd Ferraris at the Rolex. And thanks to Bill Jacobson for his inspirational Sebring.
Robert & Dreama
Robert Milks

Dan...I burned a photo CD for you and will put it in the mail to you by the weekend.....I viewed Pete Mantell's video of the Dragon today...brought back some fun memories!....rick
rick ingram

A Few Numbers

Total Miles Drives - 1611
Ave MPG - 23.46
Avg Highway MPG - 25.25
Average Highway speed - 70mph
Max MPG - 26.94 (Townsend to Lexington)
Min MPG - 12.5 (Dragon)

Buick 215, 500 CFM Carter, 0.63 5th,
Jim Miller

Thanks Dan for creating a wonderful memory for my son and myself. This was a wonderful father and son trip that was well worth the 800 mile drive each way. I believe there were at least two other father-son attendees at the show and they seemed to be enjoying the experience just as much as us! I really enjoyed seeing everybody again and look forward to the next time. I know we were the only Canadian V8 plates at the show but I know there will be at least one other set next time and possibly more.

Martyn Harvey

I WISH I had gone, maybe one of these years!!

ANYONE with videos in a electronic format, let me know, get them email or snail mail to me and I can get them up on my server for all to see.
Larry Embrey

Hats off to Dan Masters, his Wife, and all the behind the scene local volunteers for an extremely well organized and loads of fun event!

It was great to visit with the V8 Family again. I'm just sorry I had to bug out early. :(

Carl...How did that "twin V8" conversion run on the way home?! ...rick
rick ingram

They pulled him over, thinking it was a 'moonshine' still in the passenger seat !!
PJ Mantell

Dan,On behalf of my Dad and brother-in-law Dave,I would like to say thanks for all your efforts in putting on a great event.We had an excellent time.I can only imagine your disappointment in being injured and recovering instead of playing.Thanks again,Mike
Mike Moor

Oh man, V16 is the only way to fly! :)

This thread was discussed between 23/04/2003 and 14/05/2003

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