Not long after Hurricane Irene did her best to land a knock out punch to Vermont, I hustled out to Hillsdale, New York to look in on an ailing MG. I calculated the best direct route on a Columbus Day Weekend to be down Interstate 91 and across the Massachusetts Turnpike, and I took my MGC because it gobbles up distance pretty quickly without too much effort.
The rectification was a simple one, and with so much extra time on my hands I rambled up New York Rte. 22 to Rte. 7 and into Bennington thru Hoosac, New York. Unfortunately, although not for me, the backflow from Irene had taken out part of the Rte. 7 bridge in Hoosac, reducing it to one lane with a stoplight. I cleared the light in about five minutes. Westbound traffic was stacked solid almost all the way back to Bennington.
Going up the grade out of Woodford, the engine temperature began climbing but I kept my foot in it anyway, figuring it would cool off again rolling down out of Searsburg. It didn’t, and I ended up making an emergency stop to bale water out of the Deerfield River.
This was a fatal overheating incident, and over the winter I sent a spare engine out for machining. That engine is still sitting on a shelf in the driveline room waiting to be put together.
In a manner of speaking, we’ve always been punching above our weight here at Sports Car Services. This is a small space with a lot going on and most people will tell you that we do what we do very, very well. I think that’s an accurate assessment. We do this inspite of some of our in-built inefficencies such as the necessity of opening the overhead doors to jack up the back of a car in the service bays. But we’ve managed to accomplish this without tripping over ourselves, and at times there have been as many as six of us to trip over. We’ve gotten very busy over the last 25 years with tune ups, trouble shooting and restoration work that matches up against anyone, anywhere, any time.
Last fall it appeared that our problems were about to be solved by a 9,000 square foot facility about half a mile off the Interstate on Rte. 5 in Westminster. Well, there was an undisclosed Right of First Refusal. It didn’t happen, and that has led to some serious thinking about Plan “B”, and Plan “B” is Sports Car Services as we’ve known it is winding down. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that we’re passing the baton to Gary Gammans of G&R Autoworks in Keene, N.H. Gary and his crew, Jason, Rod and Alastair know british cars and work to our standards, maybe better sometimes. In fact Gary’s been at it just as long as I have, and now Butch will be there, too. Gary’s phone number is 603-357-2484
As for me, it’s my opportunity to get a move on with some long deferred projects, beginning with that MGC engine and including about 34 acres of fence which has gone neglected to the occasional consternation of the neighbors but probably not the cattle who’ve found it so useful. So thanks, and see you in Stowe, it’s been fun.
The End of the Line… Traveling Willburys