Well, December saw the seventeenth Christmas Party. Like last year, this was held at the Hungarian Community Centre in southern Ottawa. About fifty eight people attended for a traditional Christmas dinner of turkey and the trimmings. Beating out Roy Baillie this year on the eating from was Ted Rose. Christine Rose had a new selection of OVLR clothing to tempt people with. Ted Rose set up this year's round of challenging "Feelie Meelie" boxes whereby you have to guess the parts inside the boxes. Not as easy as you might think as you will later read. Murray Jackson continued his tradition of designing a Christmas crossword just for the ladies. To ensure that any male help would be somewhat useless, more obscure (to the generally clueless spouse) clues were put in dealing with various non-automotive related issues. Movie stars, romantic singers and such I understand Our out of town visiting contingent was about the same this year. The greatest distance traveled goes to Mr. Szpilfogel from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Bruce Fowler came over from Maine, and Jeff Berg & Amiee Ingram from Connecticut. Les Parker and several other Rovers North staff members came up for the festivities from Vermont came up from Rovers North. While there was no auction this year, the numerous items donated by Rovers North, Atlantic British, Land Rover Enthusiast and others were either raffled off or used as prizes for some of the various competitions at the party. This year's gift to members who attended the Christmas Party were some neat clear glass coffee mugs with the OVLR logo etched on the side. These mugs will also hold a standard Canadian pint bottle of beer. These mugs are available from the club. Drop a line to Dave Meadows or Christine Rose for details.
Lugnut Award: Kevin Newell
Keven finally finished a long anticipated rebuild of a Series III this year. With very detailed finishing touches, excellent paint and interior, care was obviously taken with all of the creature comforts of this vehicle. However, in the areas that are less visited by human hand or eye, such attention faltered on several aspects. Ancient hydraulics, used clutch parts necessitated the removal of floors and seatbox several times as one gearbox grenaded, the clutch needed to be replaced, and lastly, another very questionable gearbox being inserted into the vehicle. I'm Having a Bad Weekend this Day Award: Gordon Bernius. A one time award for someone who demonstrated that not only can something go wrong, but they can go wrong in a quick succession, and that escaping harmlessly from one doesn't mean that fate isn't still riding on your shoulder in a very playful mood! One of the Calabogie romps started off quietly. However, while convoying out to Calabogie on the highway, Gordon's hood blew up, obscuring his vision. As he slowed, a gust of wind came by and it came crashing down. It seems that Gordon forgot to use the latches as never used them before. His spare tire always weighed the bonnet down. No problem. They all started up again. Five hundred yards later, they all stopped again. The vehicle had died and would not start. A little searching and it was discovered that Gordon's under-bonnet mounted horn had chopped the fuel line in half when it crashed down again. It was repaired and off they went. Fast forward to Lanark. The convoy stopped to fill up with gas for the weekend journey. Gordon fills the smallest container anyone had ever seen. It was the size of a purse. On the trail, they come to a stop to rest for a moment. Gordon turns the vehicle off. Upon the signal to leave, his engine will not start. An investigation reveals a rather dodgy battery. Gordon knew it was bad, but was preparing to replace it next week. A boost, and Gordon was off, though he couldn't turn his Land Rover off without getting another boost. A little later, his Land Rover grinds to a halt on the trail. Engine won't fire. Boosting it won't help. It is quickly determined that he has run out of fuel. Why? Well, one gas tank leaks, so there is never any gas in it. The other tank has a broken fuel gauge, so he never knows how much is in there. After adding his purse full of fuel, another five gallons were dumped in to keep him going. A little later (yes!), Martin Rothman sinks his Land Rover in a swamp. Peter Gaby goes to pull him back, but can't get enough purchase to pull him out. So Gordon comes up behind and ropes onto Peter. It was on a bit of a hill. Remember, Gordon can't turn the engine off. Gordon remembers after his Rover has rolled down the hill and into the back of Peter's Toyota that the emergency brake didn't work as well. Happily for Gordon, the rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful! Towball Award: Christian Szpilfogel. Normally this award goes to someone like Ben Smith, who is towing 101's all over the countryside, or Quintin towing his 80 inch up and down the eastern seaboard. Eric Zipkin is another regular, especially since he added his Air-mobile option to his ZippyTow operation. However, this year someone who is in the habit of towing Land Rovers to and from events had some problems. Problem that should not have occurred. Upon leaving the Birthday Party this past year, Christian managed to get stuck in his OneTen while towing his Series III. Not only stuck in a flat field, but he managed to jack-knift this little train so well and the towbar was under the OneTen. To heap more embarrassment upon a situation that was rapidly going down hill, he had to have Francois Juneau tow him out with his Unimog. We note, while towing vehicles, Christian has a habit of running out of gas, running out of oil, et cetera... Gasket Under Glass: Francois Juneau. Poor Francois. He richly deserved this award which takes the motto "We can't believe it actually ran". Not only this year, but for the past couple of years Francois has been studiously avoiding the fates that are clearly telling him that he really should get that 80 inch that he has always wanted. His poor Unimog makes it out to lots of events. The problem is, it rarely makes it home on its own. Recently returning on the end of a hook, or tow rope, has become more common, the latest adventure resulting in the requirement for another motor. For an award that originally had an air of something to be avoided, the Gasket Under Glass award is so striking that it has become one that people are actually competing for. Jeff Berg was extremely reluctant to give it up, and in fact loudly pronounced his intention to try and win it back next year! We expect he will have competition from many, including Francois who has now taken a liking to it! Silver Swivel Ball: Peter Gaby. Exemplifying members who don't mind getting dirty, do not complain, are always around to lend a hand when help is required, Peter Gaby came through this year with his help around the events. Grilling chicken to eleven at night, being up at the crack of dawn to help clean up, always having a good story to tell, Peter demonstrated how much members can help out to make our events the best possible. Perseverance Award: Ted Rose & Andrew Finlayson. An award handed out by the previous years recipient to a deserving person(s) for persevering with their Land Rover. This year, Dave Meadow's bestowed the award on both Andrew Finlayson and Ted Rose for providing advice to people, coming over to help people and fix what they have fixed, always keeping a straight face throughout it all. AquaRover Award: Keith Elliot & Christine. A new award inspired by the Junkyard Wars episode where they have to build an amphibious vehicle. The winning team modifies a junked Series Land Rover so that it floats and will cross a small lake. This year, we looked around at the various people who have attempted the same feat, though without many of the floating-type modifications that are usually required to help something like a Land Rover actually float. Several candidates came to mind, but Keith Elliot, as shown on the cover of the October newsletter, managed to make the most efficient attempt at an amphibious Rover. Honorable mention goes to Dale Desprey & Madeleine Award of Technological Achievement: Martin Rothman A new award to recognize technical research and development within the club. This award is given to the member, who during the last calendar year best exemplified the Land Rover spirit of pioneering technical development. Martin, already a pioneer in other areas picked as this year's project one that has baffled and frustrated Land Rover service engineers and owners for decades. How exactly do you remove that thick, waxy (a heavy cosmolene protective coating applied to some OME parts) stuff that you find bearings coated in? Having exhausted all of the standard cleaning procedures such as Mineral Spirits, Lacquer Thinners, Gasoline & finding them all to consuming in time, our ever efficient Mr. Roffman then decided to go at the problem from another direction. Eschewing such tried and true methods such as mineral spirits, gasoline, turpentine, paraffin, kerosene and many other chemical compounds, Martin decided it was time to think outside the box. Try something new. Something less messy and time consuming. Approach the problem from another direction. A method that should be a lot cleaner, leaving no messy residue that you need to clean up later. Now, if the Cosmoleane is wax like in nature, then maybe it will melt off with the application of heat. So, Martin decided to experiment with heat. Now, not your normal kind of heat. Using the wife's hair dryer is out. She wouldn't like the competition for a favored appliance. So, Martin looked about and spied his trusty propane torch. As an instrument of destruction, it was invaluable helping to remove stuck nuts and bolts, various seized articles. If it was so useful there, applying the same concentrated energy on lead bearing coated with cosmoline would surely make the waxy like stuff just melt away. After a number of experiments Martin is pleased to report of great success with the system on Engine Blocks, Leaf Springs & Boat Anchors, but warns us the process is less than perfect on items such as Lead Big-End bearing shells. He believes that further development work will be required in the regulation of heat for the system to be reliable in all areas. In order to congratulate him for his efforts to date & to encourage him to continue this valuable work in the future, we are proud to make this award to Mr. Martin Rothman & look forward to hearing more of this exciting work as it develops. Appreciation Award: Mike Rooth For many years now, readers of the newsletter have been fascinated by the writing of Mike Rooth. His articles, and the Friday Stories, are always there, they tell an interesting story about the various trials and tribulations of Land Rover ownership, or just life in general. However, Mike has never managed to get over to Canada for an event, so as a token of appreciation, the Club is sending over a package of OVLR stuff for Mike. Awards that got away: A summary of some stories that we heard at the Christmas Party *after* the awards above had been given away... Niall Forbes. Seems there was a judder whilst driving his Land Rover. Some sort of vibration in the front end. "Oh, must be mud on the tires throwing the balance off" though Niall. So he sped up to try and knock it off. It seemed to work, sort of... Well, as he was driving down the main road, the vibration was getting worse, but he was almost to the diner. Finally he had to pull over, something was definitely wrong. Got out to look and to his astonishment he saw that all the lug nuts but one were missing on the drivers front wheel. The one remaining nut was on by about two threads!! He walked to the diner and told his sorry tale. Gerald Rudderman happened to have a box of brand new SII lug nuts in his Disco that he very generously gave to me. Borrowed a jack, then a wheel wrench (can you tell how well prepared Niall was(!) and put the wheel back on. Returning to the diner he ordered breakfast. From the table in the corner where Jeff Berg and Bruce Fowler were sitting he heard "Hey Niall, are you an OVLR member? We think you should join......" Bruce Fowler: Seems his trusty 109 lunched on a valve one Monday afternoon, so he spent the evening lapping in a used one. Our sources indicate that it seems to be ok as he has re gaped everything and hopes for the best. However, Bruce has now used the same manifold gasket three times this year. We are not sure if he has actually replaced anything before the gasket blows.
CHRISTMAS PARTY AFTERMATH: Competitions and Sponsors
Murray Jackson has been creating crossword puzzles for the newsletter and the Christmas Party for several years now. Annual Crossword Puzzle Competition sponsored by Rovers North. This year there was a tie amongst the top four participants. Sharing first place, Ted Rose and Richard Wegner each received US$100 gift certificates from Rovers North for having perfect scores! Coming up right behind sharing second place, Andrew Finlayson and John Parsons each received US$50 gift certificates for having only one wrong answer. At the Christmas Party, Murray makes a specialized crossword puzzle just for the ladies, which they complete in the course of the evening. This year, three ladies tied with perfect scores. With a time tested tie breaking system the results of the competition were: 1st - Amiee Ingram, 2nd - Madeleine Leclerc, 3rd - Nancy Barrett. Feelie Meelie: Every Christmas Party there is a series of challenges whereby the participant tried to determine various Land Rover parts. Originally a single box of various parts, the popularity of the competition has grown to such an extent where there are now six parts. This year a new rule was added. You can only win one of the parts. Winning multiple rounds will gain you just the highest level of the Easy through Extreme, or Seelie Meelie. For the Feelie Meelie, where you identify the parts in a box, through a black, plastic garbage bag, the winners were: Easy: Winner - Harold Friese. Items: Door handle (RR/Disco); Coil lead (not a spark plug lead); horn; cigarette lighter (RR/Disco/Def); wheel nut (RR/Disco/Def); Series LR nameplate Medium: Winner - Charlie Speedie. Items: Tailgate hasp (Series); hub cap (Series); Marker light (modern); rear window lock (Series); wheel cylinder piston; oil pressure switch. Expert: Winner - Roy Parsons. Items: Release bearing collar (Late IIA/III); SI brake/choke switch; Bulkhead throttle link support; main nut from IIA/III steering box; Swivel top pin (IIA); Starter pinion drive sleeve. Extreme: Winner - Les Parker. Items: Series II rear main seal; SI/107 rear wheel cylinder; SI 80" engine mount; Late IIA/III reverse light; Inertia switch; SII/IIA/III softtop door channel corner. Seelie Meelie: (identify what these parts are. You can look, pick up, examine) Winner: Dixon Kenner. Items: Disco Glovebox latch; Late IIA/III reverse light switch; SIII clutch remote bleeder support; 1600cc centre exhaust manifold clamp. "Does not Belong": Five items where one of the five does not belong with the others. Winners - Bruce Ricker, Dale Desprey & Fred Barret. Items: Four of the five items were Zenith carb parts. The fifth part was from a Solex carb. This year's contest had an assortment of Series and modern parts, so our members with the newer vehicles wouldn't feel left out. However, despite the mix, there were some notable parts that stumped most people. The coil wire was thought to be a spark plug wire by many. Most people could not identify the marker light. XX people participated in the feelie meelie contests this year.SPONSORS:
- Rovers North Atlantic British Sunoco Jeff Berg
- Land Rover Enthusiast
For organizing and helping with the seventeenth Christmas Party: Christine Rose, Dave Meadows, Andrew Finlayson, Ted Rose, Peter Gaby, Martin Rothman, the Hungarian Community CentreHelp throughout the Year:
- Christine Rose for organizing all of the major events Dave Meadows for handling all of the paperwork and monies Ted Rose for organizing off-road romps Dixon Kenner & Spencer Norcross for the newsletter Fred Joyce, Murray Jackson, Bruce Ricker, Andrew Finlayson, assisted by
- Sean McGuire and Roy Parsons for acting as the core stuffing crew for the newsletter. Rob Ferguson who has taken over duties as chief label, renewal notice, and membership card producer.
The following firms or individuals supported OVLR during 2000 at either the Birthday Party (BP), Christmas Party (CP), or at other events:
- Atlantic British Parts (Mechanicsville, New York) BP,CP DAP Enterprises (Massachussets) CP Great Basin Rovers (Utah) BP Rovers North (Westford Vermont) BP, CP Wise Owl (Vancouver, British Columbia) BP Land Rover North America (Lanhan, Maryland) BP MiniMan (Stittsville, Ontario) BP Rescue 42 (Chico, California) BP Simpler Thyme (LR shaped soap & biscuits) BP Sunoco (Toronto, Ontario) BP, CP WARN Industries (Toronto, Ontario) BP Land Rover Owner Bookshop (Oshawa, Ontario) BP Land Rover Enthusiast (Oshawa, Ontario) CP
- Canadian 4x4 magazine, (Vancouver, British Columbia) BP
Jeff Berg, Trevor Easton, Louise Hamilton, Bill O'Hara, Jared Shilbersher, Lori Sickley, and Andrew Thorpe all donated goods to the club at the Birthday Party or Christmas Party
Space for events: Kanata Collision provided space for the Oiler, the Deacon's allowed us use of their land for the Birthday Party, MiniMan allowed us use of their facilities for the Tune-up, the Fairhead's allowed us use of their land for the Maple Syrup Rally, and the Royal Canadian Legion (Kanata) for providing space for the Annual General Meeting.
From the Ottawa Valley Land Rovers newsletter, December 2000
Photo credits: Lugnut photo - Bill Caloccia. All other photos - Jeff Berg