[Spridgets] SOS 2007 reflections

David Woerpel dwoerpel at wi.net
Mon Nov 26 22:48:44 MST 2007

As others have already eloquently reviewed the weekend, let me offer 
some insight as a first-timer.  First: Why the hell didn't I go last 
year?!  It was a pleasure to meet the faces whose emails I read and to 
work beside besotted brothers, and sisters (Nancy and Mary dug right 
in).  It pained everyone to excise "organs" from terminal donors but 
there are only so many Taco wrappers in the world.

While I was primarily involved with the very original Midget MkI, I 
tried to roam and check out the other projects as well.  Everyone seemed 
to find their own niche and work was constant until it was time to for 
refueling.  Thanks to the smoked salmon, pork roast, cheese curds, onion 
rings, Swedish pancakes, and whatever else I am missing, we were more 
than adequately nourished.  Oh, and those Growlers disappeared fairly 
quickly. ;-)

The entire event was a highlight but working on Mary's Midget MkI was 
special.  After Ernie, Chris, Mike, Peter, William, and I changed the 
oil and coolant, cleaned 17 year old varnish from the carb needles and 
float needle (one float chamber had a missing needle) and seats, and 
drained the 17 year old gas (Ernie what's that cologne you're wearing??) 
it was time to fire it up.  OK, so which one of youse guys has the 
key?!  Ahhh, no one......  Before we could attempt a New Jersey solution 
(hot-wire) it was Flounder to the rescue!  He had, of course, another 
ignition lock with key.  It had 4 terminals and the Midget 3, with no 
reference numbers.  I don't do well with electrics so I naively thought 
I'd try the key to see if it fit.  Ta-DA, it worked!  Son-of-a-gun.

We had Mary hop in the car, turn the key and pull the starter.  The 
starter engaged and cranked but the engine didn't light up.  Eventually 
traced to a coil and once replaced the little bugger started on the 
second crank revolution!  Only a good amount of rust from the tail pipe 
betrayed how long the engine had been dormant.  The darn thing purred 
like an overfed "wheel chock".

We then turned our attention to draining the tranny and diff, which 
still need to be filled, and rebuilding the master cylinder and wheel 
cylinders.  As time was running out I brought the parts home and Don 
Thompson gets to clean and paint the pedals and pedal box whilst I 
rebuild the master and wheel cylinders.  Hopefully we can find a slave 
cylinder for the 1098/smooth case as the original disappeared sometime 
in the past.

So, another weekend is called for to refit the refurbished parts and 
make the car drivable.  Yes, the Great Green Hammer and finally the Blue 
Torch removed the recalcitrant right front wheel, but that's a mere 
speed-bump in the progress of Mary's Midget.

For a hopeless romantic (as far as any car is concerned) this was 
another great chapter in my book of LBC experiences.  The people and the 
cars are special and it was awesome knowing that people out there were 
watching.  So..........WHEN IS THE NEXT TRIP!!!???

I took a 17 pictures but have no way of posting them.  I can send them 
(takes a while on dial up so I have to go where they have high speed) to 
whom ever or Ed do you have space?  We'll let you know.

Peter, I know we teased you, but I'm really glad you and the Mini made 
it home without incident.  BTW, You left just in time as my MINI 
(Winston) was getting interested in your Mini!!

Many thanks for all the effort Nancy and William put in to make this an 
enjoyable and productive experience.
59 :{)
59 MGA 1500
05 MCS
Burlington WI

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