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MG'98 The Seventh Annual International Convention of The North American MGB Register
MG'98 , the Seventh Annual International Convention of the North American MGB Register was held at Hagerstown, Maryland, USA from July 8th to 12th. This years event was hosted by the MGs of Baltimore, Ltd. Car Club. Over 600 people attended this year's gathering coming from all over the U.S., Canada, U.K. and even as far a way as Peru, South America.
The convention's theme was "A Drive Through History". Held in Hagerstown, which is located in the western mountains of Maryland the area is awash in American history. The event featured rallies each day, with Friday's going through Antietam Battlefield, site of the bloodiest single day of fighting during the American Civil War and finishing up at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia site of John Brown's raid.
The convention car show was held at Fort Frederick State, site of a restored British fort built in 1756 and saw action during the French-Indian War or The Seven Years War. Some 255 MGs cars were on the show field along with 9 "Other British" marques. The show had both a popular and concours voting with awards going to the top three in each class.
The year's "special guest" was Mr. Brian Moylan noted BMC/BL Works Rallye Mechanic and author. Brian presented an hour and a half long slide show and questions and answers session with shots from his days with BMC/BL that spaned from 1955 to 1979. This was a hit with the crowd. The show was followed with a book signing session of Brian's latest publication "Works Rallye Mechanic: Tales of the BMC/BL Rally Department".
This was Brian's first trip to America and the convention participants tried to give him the complete tour in 5 days. He along with fellow Englishman Nick Cox of the M.G. Car Club managed to borrow the writer's 71 MGB-GT to run Friday's Rally "John Brown's Raid" and tour the historic sites in the area. Brian was asked if he knew anything about American baseball and he told a joke involing Babe Ruth and that was about it, little did he know that it was "MG Night" at the Hargerstown Suns Statium and that he would be throwing out the first pitch. He was a good sport and tossed the ball to the catcher and once handed back to him as gift he passed it on to a young lad waiting by the fence as he came off the field.
Friday night saw the required "parking lot" party with a D.J. playing rock and roll music at the convention headquarters, Best Western Venice Inn poolside. Congo lines formed and the croud partyed into the wee hours. It was quite a site to see a lot full of MGs surrounding the pool, it was a scene, something right out of the 60's.
Saturday night was the awards banquet and dance party.The event's M.C was Mike Lutz president of the Chesapeake Chapter of the New England T Register. The awards for the concours class were presended by Rick Ingram past chairman of the Register to Don Peery of Edmond Oklahoma for his 1976 MGB-GT V-8 awards of excellence going to Bill Hain for his 1966 MGB Roadster and Dwight Saul for his 1971 Midget. The best MG of the show award was presented by MG'98 co-chairman & President of the MGs of Baltimore Richard Liddick to Jim & Georette Pelletterie of Lancaster, N.Y. for their 1974.5 MGB-GT(Rubber Bumper). The highlight for the MGs of Baltimore, Ltd. Car Club came when Nick Cox of the M.G. Car Club took the the podium to present the North American Nuffield Cup. This year's winner was the Baltimore club and Joe Clark MG'98's chairman and V.P. of the MGs of Baltimore, Ltd. Car Club was called upon to receive the trophy.
Sunday saw the farewell breakfast and talk of MG'99 next July 7th to the 10th in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. By noon the parking lot was clear of all MGs and only the oil spots on the paving remained to indicate that all those wonderful MG motorcars which make up an alphabet soup from A to Z that once filled this lot were left.
Written by Richard G. Liddick RGL2MGBGT@AOL.COM