MGs on the Rocks

Just got back from MGs of Baltimore’s 33rd annual MGs on the Rocks show at Rocks State Park. Got there late because of a previous engagement downtown, but the judging results were just getting underway as I pulled in around 2 pm behind this guy:Who I managed to reel in in the twisties running up to the park. I should have pulled in right behind him: no one was guarding the gate and I spied a USA-made name plate on his firewall. Not sure what I was seeing there; the license plate said “Bad TR4,” the running gear looked properly British, but there was that brass plate saying Made in USA or some such. UPDATE: Found it. Apparently this car is the last Hathaway, built by Natt and Susan from Pennsylvania in 1983. Nice job, Natt.

I parked 100 yards away in the spectators lot instead.

Again this year there were quite a few worthies there as well, including this TR3and a clean-looking TR6. There was also a Porsche 914 that looked to have been worked-over.Once at the show field, first thing I spotted after that was this “Victor TF”–an MGB-based replica of the 1954 MGTF. (I’d seen the car in Carlisle in May).

There was a real TF two cars away and the only real “tell” was the dashboard–and this one was close. The TFs had a cluster of three octagonal gauges in the center of the dash. The Victors used an MGB layout, but this particular Victor had the layout right–but with round aftermarket gauges. Fortunately he left his “Victor” branded MotoMeter up front.

The Victor TFs get some respect from the Brit purists–they are pure Brit cars, well made and rare: the owner told me this is one of 25 made in the early 1980s.* If that’s true then the Victor is rarer than an original TF.

The TC between these cars was exquisite: The owner told me he had her up to 70 mph driving to the show, keeping up with a B on Rt 97 before he thought better of it and backed off to 65.

Just up the hill from this was the only TD on the grounds–a nice example, with an ironic bonus for us replicar guys:Yes; I believe that is, indeed, a Grant GT steering wheel the likes of which every Fiberfab (and BCW) owner received in their kits. He even did the same horn button mod I did! Love the stock dash too.

There was the usual contingent of solid MGBs and Midgets . . .These cars are really beautiful, only appearing common when bunched up like this and compared to the really rare stuff, likeThat’s the Diamond-in-the-Rough award up on the cowl for this Riley. British reliability and performance at a Cadillac price!

The wild thing about it was the engine: dual cams–in the block:Hell yes, it’s got a Hemi. Maybe not as exotic as
But not too far off.

The other bit of awesomeness on the field was this Nash Healey:Dig that crazy shifter! Three speeds with overdrive–the kickdown switch in in the center of the steering wheel. With a 125 hp Nash Ambassador engine fed by twin SUs, these 2400-pound, leather-appointed beauties were real contenders at LeMans in 1950 and ’52. Something like 500 of them were made before the end of 1954. This one is number 94 of the 104 produced in 1951.

Also in attendance was a nice brace of MGAs. These are my faves–such sleek lines. This ’57 had what appears to be the Moss valence installed expertly. She took third place in her class. Right next to her was this badass coupeGorgeous color. The class winner was this black one, I believeFlawless.

Up the hill a bit farther were a few very nice Jags, including this XK 150 I’d not seen beforeThere were a few hotrods. I saw what I suspect was a Cobra replica on the field as well (didn’t shoot it)[Correction: REAL COBRA. per Jack Long of MGs of Baltimore: “a rare non-SC 427 car (you can tell by the under car exhaust instead of the more common side pipes.)” I am an idiot.]. And someone was packing some unexpected punch under hood. Best thing was running into my neighbor, Frank, who I’d not seen in a bit.  His Triumph Healey 100 is a real triumph. There is one seat in her, a bungie cord holds the passenger door shut so he “can concentrate” when driving. There is also a steel clamp of some kind down by the rocker panel, surely doing yeoman’s work holding the car together. The car has a stock windshield somewhere, but usually he’s running the single Brooklands aeroscreen. All-in-all, it is a righteous beast. “I can’t believe they gave me a prize,” Frank says with delight.

I’d not believe it if they didn’t.


*Correction: Another Victor owner informs me that, according to sales material he got with his car, some 150 Victor TFs were sold, including turn-key cars and kits.


About stuntmidget

I'm a poor mechanic and general wisenheimer. I love old cars and the stories behind them, true or not.
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