1997 MG V-8 Conversion Convention  -  June 13-16  -  St. Louis MO


as published in MG V-8 Newsletter, Volume V Issue 2, August 1997

Amidst the MG V-8 contingent's camaderie and conversation (plus a hint of beer fumes) at the 1996 University Motors Summer Party, late night parking lot gathering, a lone, distinctly British voice raised above the background of conversation and laughter. "This is rather absurd!", it said, "We have been farting about and talking over an MG V-8 meet for years. Let's just do it!" So declared MG V-8 owner/advocate and expert Robin Weatherall. So was sown the seed of the first annual MG V-8 meet which culminated very successfully in St. Louis this last June.

The original plan had been to hold the get together in Georgia, but interminable problems with the host hotel lead to an eventual transfer to Robin's home turf of St. Louis. With the considerable assistance of the St. Louis MG Club, Robin organized three days of tech sessions, auto museum tours, driving events and fine dining. The event was held under the auspices of the North American MGB Register (NAMGBR) which afforded the liability insurance required for almost any gathering in these litigation-insane times. (Subliminal Message: Join NAMGBR if you are not already a member. Great organization, fantastic magazine, and they are very supportive of the MG -V-8's.)

Eight V-8's eventually lined up in the roped-off Marriot parking lot. Robin Weatherall (St. Louis, MO), Bob McClain (Longwood, FL), Jeff and Jerry Romans, Wayne Peterson (Topeka,KS), Glen Towery (Cheswold, DE), Larry Dickstein (Kansas City, MO), Kurt and Diane Schley (Rocky River, OH), and the flawless factory V-8 of Don Peery (Enid, OK). Dave and Linda Michel of Alexandria Virginia were in attendance but could not bring their ultra-rare Costello Mk II because Dave had integrated attending the meet with business, necessitating airborne travel. Several other enthusiasts joined the group, either being in the construction or planning/parts gathering phase of their own V-8's.

On Friday morning a caravan of MG's traveled to Robin's workshop which he shares with another eight or so race teams, restorers, and Ken Bierman who showed us his under-construction MGB V-8 roadster. Tech sessions were conducted on engine bay sheet metal modifications, trans/engine combos, and Robin's own talk on fuel injection for the Rover V-8. I, for one, came away with a much better understanding of Rover's FI and the steps necessary to install it under an MG bonnet. Side note: Robin consistently gets about 35 MPG during highway driving using a Costello Fl system!

Saturday's events included visits to both a great auto museum and to a sports car dealer/collector's premises which held over 100 MG's, Jags, Aston Martin's, 'Vettes, Healeys, and most other sports car marquees. The midday was taken up by a most enjoyable road trip through part of Missouri's wine country. Practically deserted winding roads, cloudless skies, a bunch of fast cars... doesn't get much better!

The later hours of each evening were generally spent at the hospitality suite, which was well stoked with MG V-8 literature, videos and books. All this, in addition to a picnic in one of St. Louis's central parks, fine dining each evening, and the opportunity to rub elbows with other V-8er's and swap stories and information, added up to one fun filled week-end. Hats off to Robin and the generous help of many other St. Louis MG'ers for a well run and very enjoyable first annual MG V-8 meet.


Event Coordinator:
Robin WeatherallSt Louis, MO(kneeling, 5th from left)
Ken BiermanKansas City, MO(not shown)
Larry DicksteinKansas City, MO(standing, 3rd from left)
John ManglesKansas City, MO(not shown)
Bob McClainLongwood, FL?
Dave MichelAlexandria, VA(standing, 5th from left)
Linda MichelAlexandria, VA(standing, 4th from left)
Don PeeryEnid, OK(standing, 12th from left)
Wayne PetersonTopeka, KS(kneeling, 4th from left)
Jack RenaudDearborn, MI(kneeling, 3rd from left)
Jeff Romans??
Jerry Romans??
Kurt SchleyRocky River, OH(kneeling, 2nd from left)
Diane SchleyRocky River, OH(photographer)
Brett ShelleyAmherstburg, ON(standing, 7th from left)
Glen ToweryCheswold, DE(standing, 11th from left)

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