13 Mar

Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance (11 – 13, Mar 2016)

The weather looked iffy.  Rain was forecast but it was still warm (75° F).  I don’t remember ever having rain at Amelia Island during the Concours d’Elegance weekend.   Rain would certainly make it all a challenge.  The logisitics were already complex.   The 1934 MX4 Super Sports was ready however.

I have shown Morgans at Concours events before, and there is always a bit of preparation and cleaning necessary to preclude embarrassment.  But, this little car was insatiable.   I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned again.  I was battling against nature, I suppose.  Clean and grease free is directly opposite of its normal state.  It seemed to fight me all the way.  I did the best I could . . . and then gave up.

We had to get the car to Amelia Island and drop the trailer at the designated spot at the local airport.  ‘Drive the car . . . you say?’  There is no way to get there, some 200 miles, without the interstate and high speed roads.  That, and the fact that I don’t really fit the car all that well.   Driving would be shear madness.  The trailer was the only way.

I would have to park the trailer at the airport but then drive the car over to the show field.  Not too far, but I wanted a reassuring blanket, so I conned Rick Frazee into making the drive with me.   I wiggled in, and got behind the wheel.  Well, the wheel and I pretty much morphed together and we were sort of ‘one.’   Rick got in, reluctantly, wondering if I had broken anything with my unnatural gyrations getting into the car.  These cars were made for another era, with drivers that were somewhat less fat stout.

We decided to put the car on the show field Saturday, the day before the big show.  This would at least eliminate the need to for histrionics at 5AM.   Still no rain overnight.   However, when we arrived on Sunday . . . ‘the approaching rain’ was all we heard.  The organizers reacted appropriately, or so they thought, and sped up the judging and award processes to get folks off the field and into shelters before the deluge.  It worked well for them I guess but we had barely removed the car cover before we were judged.  Not that it was a problem for me.  The judging of my car was only a formality with the likes of the other cars to my right and to my left.  (Recently restored SS, and an exquisitely jeweled 1935 MG PB Airline Coupe.)

The little Morgan did however attract a tremendous amount of attention and was the subject of countless photographs.  When the awards were completed the gates were open signaling the time to leave.  So we packed up, best we could.  The impossible hood was dropped, the petcocks were adjusted, the steering wheel levers were aligned just right, and the starter button was pushed.  Without fanfare the car started right up, somewhat to my amazement.  I performed the required acrobatics, again, and Rick joined me in the ‘spacious’ cockpit for the drive back to the trailer.  A lot more photos and videos were taken while we were on route, and the V-twin’s raucous sound turned many heads.   We suffered through a bit of traffic, so I watched the temp gage intently, as everyone was in a hurry to get off the field and their cars into shelters.   We soon arrived back at the airport, with minimal drama, and into the trailer it went.   The ladies soon appeared in the tin top and off we went for a cold beer.  I was no longer on parade . . .

Another great Morgan weekend . . . flying the flag and enjoying the smiles . . .

Cheers, Mark

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