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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - British V8 2005 - Recap

The "Driving Event of 2005!" is now complete.

I arrived in Terre Haute on Wednesday...and immediately drove over to the local newspaper offices where a photographer took a ride in one of three V8 conversions for a photo shoot that was to accompany a write-up on our event the following morning.

Many registrants arrived at the hotel that same afternoon...most of us shared supper together at "M.Moggers"..a great pub in an old brew house.

We broke our first car that evening, Pete Mantell's 342 Ford V8 conversion.

Thursday morning I headed out to the Hulman airport using airport transfers sevenoaks where Ron Davis (1986 Morgan Plus 8) helped me set up a rther challenging autocross course. (Only one of the first twelve runs did not receive an "O/C" before familiarity finally allowed for some successful runs.) Carl Floyd retained his title as "Top Dog" in this event. (Some travelling trophy, eh?!)

Thursday evening was spent kicking tyres and lying in the parking lot as even more registrants arrived.

Friday found us driving out to Putnam Park Road Course where 13 drivers tried to tame the course. We also had a dynometer available, which most participants took advantage of during the stay at the track. Bill Yobi (Buick 215 conversion) was the first (and only) driver to take a scenic tour off track during the day....although we did manage to break two cars (Pete Mantell's Lancia and Mike Moor's Buick 300 conversion) during the day.

Friday was again spent in the parking lot for a Natter n' Noggin courtesy of D&D Fabrication, Coyote
Engineering, Classic Conversions, and Fast Cars, Inc.

Saturday morning was spent at the Wabash Valley Drag Strip for Bracket Elimination racing for our group. 18 cars participated in this event, with Peter Smith of Ontario, Canada being named "top eliminator" of the day with his Rover powered MGB. Mike Moor spent the day replacing the bearing on the bottom end of his Buick 300, and it was running by the time our group returned to the hotel later that afternoon from their visit to the amazing car and automobilia collection of Terre Haute native, Frank Kleptz.

Saturday evening found us a banquet room of the hotel for our banquet and auction.

We had Buick, Oldsmobile, Rover, Ford conversions, both V8 and V6 (as well as one inline Ford powered Triumph Spitfire.

One Avenger Fiberfab kitcar, one Morgan Plus 8, one Nissan 300ZX, two "big" Austin Healeys, a Lancia, and a multitude of MGBs and MGB/GTs could be found in the parking lot.

This morning (Sunday) came much too rapidly as we said our good-byes....and now wait anxiously for British V8 2006 which will be held in Townend, Tennessee immediately before the all-MG Register meet, MG 2006, "A Driving Experience in the Smokies" that will be located in Gatlinburg, TN.

It was certainly great seeing old friends and making new ones at "The Driving Event of 2005!"


rick "moe" ingram

rick ingram

We just arrived home from "The Driving Event of 2005". What a FANTASTIC event. Thanks Rick, Pete and Dave for taking the time to plan and co-ordinate an event for the "conversion gang". Like you said,"it's all about people" and it sure was evident the whole weekend. It was Great! seeing everyone again and also seeing a lot of interested new people. Mary and I are already looking forward to next year and are starting to make plans. This is the "Greatest" group of people we've ever associated with. I hope everyone made it home safely and Thanks again for a wonderful job.

Paul and Mary
Paul Schils

thanks for a great time. we had to leave early on Sat. and return home, but this was a great shakedown cruise for my 5.0 Ford powered MGB. just bolted the hood on Tue. pm. the trip and experience in Terre Haute was great!
will definitely see you again in Townsend!
kelly stevenson

I have arrived home and wow! what a meet that was. Special thanks to the stooges for the hard work. It was a fantastic event, and moreso a great bunch of people. Even with the absence of my car, thouroughly enjoyed being there. Look forward to next year in Tenn. to see my friends again.

BR Dave

I arrived home this afternoon, and am now contemplating how fast the last several days have passed. I guess time really flies when you are having fun. And man did we have FUN! The event was well coordinated, and Rick, Pete and Dave did an exceptional job of organizing and making everyone feel welcome. The driving events were well coordinated and were "user friendly" so that even an inexperienced driver such as myself could participate. Kay and I are eagerly awaiting the Townsend/Gatlinurg event next year. Again, I want to thank the "three stooges" for their efforts!
Mike Maloney
Mike Maloney

Got home about an hour ago- miserable trip that started at 6:30 local time with the next 3 hours of rain- very hard at times- and included another 5 mile backup due to a lane closing, but in a different place than on the way up.

That said, I would repeat the trip home if I could do the event again this week. Great job by the organizers, great support from our vendors, & the best hotel banquet meal I have ever had.

What a great group of attendees! You guys and gals are the best.
Jim Stuart

Yes - indeed a great time was had by all.

Got back safe from Terre Haute - it rained all the way. No breakages this time !

First night as Rick mentioned above, the driveshaft UJ straps decided to stretch from too much axle tramp, while being enthusiastic at a set of stop lights 2 blocks from the Host hotel !!

Back on the road and fixed by the morning, just in time for the autocross.
Apart from a slight oil hose leak on Thursday afternoon, my SBF 342 performed great after that.

The track day at Putnam Park was fantastic, open track all day enabling many to push their conversions to the limit.
This is where Ted Lathrop's (Fast Cars) new crossmember comes into its own.

On Saturday morning Harry Ebersol did us proud by opening his 1/8 mile drag strip.
I still had way too much axle tramp during take off, but able to hit 79.5 mph by the 1/8 mile mark.
Nothing broke this time during the runs.

I am very honored to have co-hosted this event with Rick 'Moe'Ingram and Dave'Curly Joe'Kirkman, this event was truly "The Driving Experience of 2005".

We are back in Townsend TN next year for British V8 2006, The Dragon awaits our pleasure !

Hope to see you all there !


Pete Mantell
69 MGB 342 SBF
Pete 'Larry' Mantell

Funny how having a good time can wear you out, but I'm recovering nicely thank-you. So many things to tell I don't know where to start. So I'll just hit a couple of the highlights and let others tell the rest. It was a grand trip for us, despite not having the car running. Of tremendous importance to me is that Edith and Matthew enjoyed the trip enough to want to do it again. For Matthew the best parts were that he had some playmates, as Bill Yobi brought his son and Dan Masters brought his grandson, and of course the chance to set up a lemonade stand, with which he even managed to turn a small profit! ;-) while providing some much needed refreshment at a reasonable cost. I never really know what Edith is going to enjoy so she surprises me sometimes, but oddly enough she seemed to like the dragstrip. I am thoroughly confused by that one, but I think what she liked the most was the raffle at the banquet. The fact that we had more of the women and children at this meet than ever before was a very big plus for her, even though she didn't seem too interested in the concept of some sort of wives' excursion. I guess she'd rather be in the middle of things if she's going to be there at all. She also had a good time at Frank's auto museum. For my part, it couldn't have been better even if the car had been running, because I got to chauffer Ted Lathrop to and from Putnam Park in his absolutely stunning bow-tie TR6, with Ken Costello tagging along on the trip back, and got to introduce my neighbor Gary Hendron who has a TR6 in his backyard to Ted and get him a test drive. Gary claims he's now ruined, as Ted's car is exactly what he had in mind for his. I also got to drive Steve Carrick's car for several pretty hot laps around Putnam, which is about the nicest road course I've seen btw, and rode along with Mike Moor when he test drove his 300 Buick MG after replacing the rod bearing shells. Both Mike and Steve are running Ted's new front suspension and they are both very smooth, have a very good ride and hold the road exceptionally well. I declined to drive Mike's car as he had to make it home in it after changing the bearings but both on the street and on the interstate it was a pleasure to ride in and you are hearing this from a man who regularly drives a Lincoln Continental, reknowned for it's soft comfortable ride. In the case of Steve's I can say that it's track manners were impeccable, roadholding was excellent, and it is a very fast car indeed. I did not push it to it's limits as I am not familiar enough with the car to be comfortable in doing so, but I did manage to get it into 5th on the straightaway and fourth before turn 8 and by the end found the track was beginning to get rather short! In between I renewed friendships and made new ones. Right away we went to a local steakhouse with a rather large group and had dinner with Paul and Mary, a very entertaining and most gracious couple whose company we enjoyed off and on all weekend. It was very much a pleasure to spend some time with Bill Guzman who is an extremely likeable fellow, had a good time kidding around with Carl Floyd, and absolutely lost it when I saw Steve washing off the side of Ted's car with BEER! I met Mark, son of Dan "LeGrowl" for the first time and had several enjoyable conversations with him, Dan showed me some exotic new hardware (Who'll be the first with a set of Wildcat heads, eh?) and sort of tenuously agreed to go along on a blast through the Dragon next year. Maybe I can talk him into driving it one way. Evenings there was a "sit-in" in the parking lot where anything under the sun was a suitable topic for discussion though at times the size of the circle was such that nobody could have kept up with everything. And I would like also to say that I know I've left some people out and I apologize for that. This was supposed to be short but the more I write the more I remember to mention and I'm afraid I may never finish! Things like Graham and his impeccable burgandy Ford/MGB and Jim Stuart's stunning wood dashboard and unique crossbar grille. One thing I would like to mention is that Ken approached us on Sunday to discuss driving routes, and though we were not headed his way I am sorry to admit that I did not realize he was looking for traveling companions. It's a shame we didn't connect before Carl headed for home because I believe they could have traveled together as they were both headed south. At any rate I hope to see soon that they both had uneventful and safe trips, or at least safe. Also we are all concerned to hear of the safe arrival home of the gentleman who lost his seat in the dining room, Richard was it? For one, I regret that I was too distracted with other concerns to ask him if he could use any help with his crossmember as he was doing his parking lot repair. That won't happen again. I know Mark gave him the needed assistance, but he shouldn't have had to ask. Last I heard he was doing well and had simply suffered from dehydration and related things and had dozed off in his chair, but it would be good to hear from him. Finally, I'd like once again to personally thank Pete Mantell (Or was it Mantrell? Mandrell? It's so confusing...) for the magnanimous gesture of putting up the funds to rent Putnam Park. This is well above and beyond anything ever expected of any organizer of an event such as this and I was more than happy to be able to contribute in a small way to the recouping of that expense. I understand he bore the brunt of the cost in the end, and without him we certainly would have missed one of the very best days of the meet. Truely this is an activity in which we need to build more participation so that we can include it in the annual meets whenever possible. This is without a doubt one of the very best groups of people one could associate themselves with. If Townsend was tomorrow I'd be there.

Jim Blackwood

Lets not forget the experience of meeting the "father of the MGBV8", Ken Costello. Ken is one of the most affable, down-to-earth individuals you'd want to meet, who is still extremely interested in the hobby and willing to share his wealth of knowledge to all.
I was also impressed by a young man (Brian) who travelled all the way from Houston, Texas to gather as much information from those experienced with engine conversions before starting his own.
It is this enthusiasm that will ensure a long lasting interest in our hobby.
Graham Creswick

Rick, Pete and David did a wonderful job of running and organizing this event.
When things run this smoothly, you know there was a lot of effort that went into the planning.

Yo chaps, excellent job!

Bruce Wyckoff

Just thought I'd say that my dad and I really enjoyed ourselves. Thanks to the organizers! As for my testimonial, I just thought I'd pass on to those of you whose conversions aren't finished, or even if you're still in the planning stages... go to the convention next year! It's a good time even if you don't have a car to bring. I learned a lot, met a lot of nice people, and got VERY motivated to work on my car. Oh yeah, the dyno was entertainment at its best!

Ryan Reis

Wow! What a great Meet.Made it home with no problems.Oil preesure held at 45 psi.Me thinks a baffle in the pan is coming soon!The Three Stooges did a fantastic job.Only wish I could have chased Carl around the track longer.I think he's cheating.I thought I saw a bottle in the trunk!Maybe next year someone can take him out.Thanks for all the well wishers during my "tech session".Special thanks to Mark and Dan LaGrou for all they did.See everyone next year for sure.Mike

Please note the new e-mail address
Mike Moor

Yes, made it home after 12 hrs between planes and airports. Had the worse ride ever, very bumpy and harsh, some of the passenger were crying, yes crying. Due to the storm the plane was very unstable, almost made a diversion to another airport.

Thank you for the great time, I am glad that I had the opportunity to meet you and perhaps made new friends.

It was very nice nice to see the mix of cars including the kit car. Thank you Ted for letting me drive your TR6 Wow!!
Great article in the paper, thank you Jack for getting a copy for me.
I hope top see you next year, if not sooner.

Congratulations Peter in victory!

Rick, Pete, Dave JOB WELL DONE!
Bill Guzman

If your interested, here is the newspaper link to the Terre Haute article.

Bruce Wyckoff

I made the 500+ miles back to TN with only minimal hydroplaning. :) Top down once I cleared most of the rain. I seem to have developed a nasty vibration from 2000-3500 rpm.

Kudos to Dave, Rick, & Pete for a tremendous job very well done! "The Driving Experience of 2005", no $hit! Driving, driving, & more driving. Very well named.

Like others mentioned, it is the people that make the event. I like to drive, but I love to hang out with my British V8 Fraternity brothers & sisters. Very much enjoyed seeing everyone again & meeting new members of our Family. I don't care what anyone says about "Mr. V6", Big Bill is a great guy!

Yeah, it is the people and we have an awesome collection of individuals in our group.

The event went by so fast, it's like I dreamed the whole thing.

Meeting Ken was a real treat. For those that weren't there, did y'all know that Ken was hired to drive some of the Formula I cars in the movie "Grand Prix"? I saw that as a young kid with my dad when it first ran at the theatre. I gotta go watch it again.


I did have a bottle in the trunk, but it was Canadian Hunter. ;) The only cheating I did was leaving about $300 worth of rubber on the track! If you want to catch me you are going to have to push that luxury ride of yours harder. :):)
Carl Floyd

re: Meeting Ken was a real treat. For those that weren't there, did y'all know that Ken was hired to drive some of the Formula I cars in the movie "Grand Prix"? I saw that as a young kid with my dad when it first ran at the theatre. I gotta go watch it again.


I've know Ken since 1993...he is a great,caring individual. (He even took time out to assist me in a problem that we had on Saturday evening!)

The movie, Grand Prix, starred James Garner. Ken drove one of the Brabham's featured in the film. It was interesting hearing how they did the special effects for the film...the Monza curve crash...the shot into the bay...etc. (I saw the movie in the theatre when it first came out. I was in Junior High. I went out and bought the LP of the soundtrack, which I still have. For those of you too young to know what LP's a vinyl recording that spun at 33-1/2 RPM....and this one was even in STEREO!)


rick ingram

Actually, that was 33 1/3 rpms - but who cares when you're used to rpms in hundreds and thousands. (Guess I just dated myself).

Wayne Pearson

Ohhh, the above is painfull to read, I'm really glad everyone had a great time and I was dying to be there but had to work. So do we have dates for next years meet in Townsend Tenn.? Please don't tell me it's in early June.
Christopher Trace

British V8 2006 in Townsend, TN will be June 18-21. MG 2006 (the all-MG register meet) follows immediately in nearby Gatlinburg on June 21-25!

rick ingram

"Ken drove one of the Brabham's featured in the film."

Rick, Ken told me he drove Brabham 1 and 2. I would have liked to have heard the rest of the story. He should seriously consider writing an autobiography.
Carl Floyd

British V8 2006 in Townsend, TN will be June 18-21.

This is really bad news!!!! there couldn't be a worse date for us. Graeme and I are still lamenting not participating in this year's event and now I see we will not be able to attend next year either. This will be during the last week of the school year, a very busy time. Darn. I thought next year's event was in May.


Martyn Harvey


How long is your school year up there in the Northwoods? (Or...when do you start/how many breaks/snow days are needed?)

Man...this is the end of June!

You will be missed (as you were in Terre Haute).

rick ingram

Schools out June 30th in Ontario and starts up again September 7th or there-abouts. Unfortunately in my role as Head of Guidance in a large high school the last couple of weeks of the school year are a very busy time. I get 3- 5 days that I can take any time during the year that have enabled me to attend previous events like Sebring March '01 and Tennessee May '03. As you know I fully intended to make Terra Haute this year which would have been difficult given the timing and which is why I (we) waited until the last possible minute to see if I could manage to get away. As it turned out this year, I should have waited a bit longer because my kidney stones and Graeme's appendicitis hit us within a week of leaving!! It was a really weird thing to happen to us as we were so looking forward to it. The timing was uncanny. If it was two weeks before or if it was this week, we would have been there. Some kind of Murphy's Law was in effect.
Sounds like it was quite the event and I'm glad everybody had fun. Where's the pics?
Martyn Harvey

I meant to ask if there are any plans to have a V8 Party in Grand Rapids during the University Motors Summer Event? We were thinking of attending.
Martyn Harvey

Martyn, I received my Twist Summer Party package in the mail a few days ago. They are having the V8 class again this year as they did last year. According to the booklet that John published they had 27 V8 cars registered last year (of course having the V8 conversion group there at the same time certainly helped) I personally am planning on attending...hopefully others are thinking along these lines..
Mike Maloney

"According to the booklet that John published they had 27 V8 cars registered last year (of course having the V8 conversion group there at the same time certainly helped)"

Oh yeah! After we crashed the party, I counted 40 cars in that class (including one V6).
Carl Floyd

"Oh yeah! After we crashed the party, I counted 40 cars in that class (including one V6)."

I think you are right seems to me that there may have even been more than forty...I was just taking the #'s off Johns thing is for sure...if we had not been there that published 27 would have been a heck of a lot less!
Mike Maloney

The meet was excellent and has set a new standard for the event! Job very well done!! Our ride home was uneventful, as we went north on I-69 instead of east on I-70, thereby avoiding the traffic jam Jim hit. Even though my car was not there, we had a very good time. Seeing the MGA racecar in the parking lot instantly altered the bodywork plans for the just started MGA V8 project! Best of all was seeing the V8 fratenity again. Sue and I are already making reservations for the Tennessee Meet. Might end up bringing little Paul again. I am sure as soon as he can talk, he will be telling everyone about the great time he had. Thanks again for the most excellent time!!!!
Kurt Schley

Those of you waiting for regalia from British V8 2005....the orders have been placed; we are waiting to receive them for the supplier and get the into the mail for you!

Those of you wanting to purchase regalia from British V8 2005:

Hats: $20 (includes s/h, continental US only)

T-shirts: $20 (includes s/h; continental US only)

Polo shirts: $30 (includes s/h; continental US only)

Denim shirts: $30

All logos are embroidery, NOT screen print!
"British V8 2005 - Terre Haute, IN - The Driving Experience of 2005"

Please indicate which item(s) you want and indicate size: S - M - L - XL - XXL

Please make your check payable to:
Rick Ingram - British V8 2005

Please mail your request along with your check to:

Rick Ingram - British V8 2005
P.O.Box 588
Saint Joseph, IL 61873 USA

rick ingram

Let me add my two-cents worth to this thread. My grandson and I both had a great time, so much so that Nico wanted to stay an extra day at the meet!

Lots of great folks there, but a special thanks to Mary Schils, Karen LaGrou, and Sue Hunter for being so nice to Nico.

There has been some bad blood between some of the V6 folks and the V8ers, but not at this meet! In addition to the regular V6ers at these meets who have become well liked members of the community, like Mike Maloney, Richard Moor, and others, Mr V6 hisself, Bill Guzman, was there as well - what a great guy!

I can hardly wait til 2006!
Dan Masters

What activities make up British V8 2006 as opposed to the register meet?

D Cream

British V8 2006 will run from Sunday evening, June 18, to Wednesday evening, June 21, in townsend, TN. MG2006 will run from Thursday, June 22, to Sunday, June 25, in Gatlinburg, TN. These two locations are about 20 miles of pleasant driving from each other, along a very scenic, twisting, country road through the Smokys, running along the Little River.

The tentative schedule, subject to change, for British V8 2006 is:


7:00pm: Beer and Burgers - Cookout/welcome party. Hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue, beer, wine, sodas.


9:00am: Drive to Newfound Gap atop the Smokys

12:00pm: Catered picnic at metcalf bottoms - Fried chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans, cold cuts, soft drinks

2:00pm: Drive to Tuckalleechi Caverns.

5:00pm: Tech sessions

7:00pm: Show and Tell, parking lot BS sessions


8:00: Drive through Cases cove, or
9:00am: Autocross.

12:00pm: Tame the DRAGON!

3:00pm: Tech sessions.

7:00pm: Paddle-Wheel river boat dinner cruise.


8:00am: Breakfast run to the Top of the World"

10:00: Have another go at the mighty DRAGON!

3:00pm: Tech sessions.

5:00pm: Auction/swap meet/door prize drawing.

7:00pm Barbecue

8:00pm: Blue Grass Band

Admission to the Cavern and the river boat cruise are not included in the registration. Every thing else is. I will post the final schedule and registration forms around the first of the year.
Dan Masters

Dan put on a tremendous meet of V8s and other conversions in Townsend in 2003...this one promises to be the same!

I hope that many of you will consider staying over for MG 2006 - A Driving Experience in the Smokies that immediately follows the V8 meet! Gatlinburg also has a lot to offer....MG 2006 is the third All-MG Register meet held every 5 years ala Indy '96 and MG 2001 in St.Paul, MN


rick ingram
1974.5 mgb/gt v8 conversion that will HOPEFULLY be finished by next year!
rick ingram

Did anyone take pictures they can share?
Jim Miller

Yes, I took some photos. Please email me if you want anything in particular.

lukedds at hotmail dot com

Include MG in message title
Luke S.

FYI...Regalia orders for stateside recipients went into the hands of the USPS today via Priority Mail.

Canadian orders will go out early next week (I didn't have the correct packaging.)

rick ingram

This thread was discussed between 12/06/2005 and 15/07/2005

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