23 Feb

M3W Headlights Not in Compliance with US Laws

[It was brought to my attention by Lance Lipscomb that the US DOT has denied a petition by the MMC concerning the position of the headlights on all new Three Wheelers.  It seems that they are too far apart and fail to comply with current Motorcycle laws.   Mark]

The issue appears to be that the headlights are too far apart and don’t comply with current motorcycle regulations.

This denial of petition would result in new M3Ws having their headlights repositioned to comply with US Motorcycle laws.

If I am reading this correctly, the logic is one of safety, as motorcycles are smaller than cars and can be better identified at night with a single headlight or headlights that are closer together.  If the headlights are too far apart, the ‘motorcycle’ might be mistaken for a larger vehicle like a car or truck.

Morgan attempted to fight this change in design, arguing that the headlight positioning was inconsequential to safety, however the courts did not accept the argument.   This should mean a repositioning of the headlights for new cars, however something else may occur, e.g. legal appeals, etc.  We need to watch for this.

Older M3Ws (post 1998) already in the US, would get a recall notice but owners are not required to make the change.

Read the text here – https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/04/12/2016-08360/morgan-3-wheeler-limited-denial-of-petition-for-decision-of-inconsequential-noncompliance

22 Feb

Morgan Motor Company Introduces Collection of Morgan Ale (http://justbritish.com/)

Morgan Motor Company Introduces Collection of Morgan Ale

[Finally something useful!!  I don’t know about you, but I don’t want Morgan themed sunglasses or a fancy watch.  Mark]

The Morgan Motor Company and The Friday Beer Company have joined forces to introduce a new collection of official Morgan Ale. Working in partnership to perfect the final product, labeling and associated packaging, the two Malvern-based companies are delighted to present a collection of three unique blends. The Morgan 4/4 Blonde Ale, the Morgan 3 Wheeler Dark Mild Ale, and a Morgan Aero 8 Rye Ale complete the collection, with each one representing one of the models in the Morgan range.

Founded in 1909, the 108-year-old Morgan Motor Company continue to thrive under the ownership of the founding family, proudly remaining the oldest privately owned motor manufacturer in the world – hand-crafting coach built traditional British sports cars that are fun to drive and unique within the marketplace. Their desire to offer something truly unique to their customers and passion for promoting local business lead them to the Friday Beer Company.

Like Morgan, the Friday Beer Company are also based in Malvern. Founded in 2011 by three local scientists keen to pursue their passion, Friday Beer have grown their business and developed a strong reputation for quality Ale. Now stocked in over 50 outlets across the region, their portfolio of stockists includes a number of high-end hotels, theaters, and restaurants, as well as Harrods in Knightsbridge.

The collection of Morgan Ale is available exclusively from the on-site factory shop, and will be on sale to the 30,000 visitors from all around the world who tour the factory each year as well as at many Morgan events throughout the season.

The heritage style packaging takes inspiration from a bygone era of automobile branding and distinguishes the collection as an official Morgan product. The Morgan Ale is priced at £15.

Morgan Managing Director, Steve Morris, said:

We are delighted to work with fellow local company Friday Beer to produce this collection of Ales for our customers and visitors. The final product, as well as the label and package designs, are absolutely fantastic and truly celebrate the heritage of the brand. I expect the collection to be received well and produce yet another success story of local businesses collaborating and sharing knowledge.

Morgan Aero 8 Rye Ale 4.8% ABV

Based on a traditional British bitter this amber colored ale is delicious and has been given a small twist. The recipe combines a variety of hops with grain to produce first class ale, whilst a touch of Rye malt gives it a slightly spicy edge with notes of honey. This beer will surprise and delight your taste buds in equal measure. The 4.8% ABV of this Rye Ale reflects the 4.8 V8 engine that powers the Aero 8.

Morgan 3 Wheeler Dark Mild Ale 3.0% ABV

Full of flavor and very easy to drink this dark ale recipe is a classic in the making. Based on the concept of the Mild Ale, this modern version is a session-ale and is equally good on its own or accompanying food. The 3% ABV of this Dark Mild Ale denotes the number of wheels on the unique 3 Wheeler.

Morgan 4/4 Blonde Ale 4.4% ABV

A vibrant blend of malted barley, oats and wheat gives this pale ale a higher malt profile than expected from its color and strength. The careful selection of the hops and yeast has contributed to its aromas and complexity. Some tasters may detect hints of pineapple, blackcurrant or toast. This ale can be drunk chilled and is a perfect drink for a summer’s day. Like the other Ales in the collection, the 4.4% ABV has been chosen to celebrate and signify the iconic 4/4 model.

Both Morgan and Friday Beer would like to make clear that the official Morgan Ale is not to be consumed in any measure alongside driving, and is strictly only for over 18s.

Note: Press release courtesy Morgan Motor Company




21 Feb

Gold Coast All British Car Show, Sunday 19 Feb, Boca Raton, FL

The 24th Gold Coast All British Car Show was held on Sunday 19 February in Boca Raton, FL.

We actually drove down from Orlando on Saturday, the day before.  Not too bad, about three hours.  No trauma.   We met up with Robin and Christine Bycroft along the way.  We found our hotel and had time to clean up and take a short nap before dinner.  It was a warm drive, and I obviously hadn’t put on enough sun block. I was glowing a bit . . . But, it cooled off some as the sun went down and the evening was nice.

Sunday morning came a bit too soon.  It was already heating up when we made our way to the car show.  By the time Andrea and I had gotten the first layer of bugs off the car, it was already hot.  Very hot.  And it was still early so a ready café provided us with a cup of morning coffee, hot and strong.  I didn’t notice it at the time but perhaps the ladies knew something that the rest of us more masculine beings, didn’t notice.  The ladies got iced coffee.  Then the ladies got out the umbrellas and used them as parasols to block the sun.  Oh well, I’m not fully trained, or so my wife says.   Conveniently, there was a beer garden close by!  We took advantage and had the entire Morgan contingent at one table for lunch.

We had 5 beautiful Morgans in the Class.  Three Plus 8s, a wonderful new M3W and a 1967 Plus 4 Drop Head Coupe.   All owned by MOGSouth Members.  A new M3W owner and MOGSouth member, Paul Goldstein came by, unfortunately without his car, to say Hello.

Another interesting note was the unexpected appearance of Kim and Ron Warwick. Andrea and I had previously seen them in Wales at the 2015 Llangollen Morgan banquet, where they took pity on wayward Americans and bought us wine.  Commodore Ron Warwick was previously the Captain of the Queen Mary II.  He is also mentioned in a Peter Egan article on the MOGSouth web site. Posted in Miscellaneous News.    http://www.mogsouth.com/category/morgan-sports-car-miscellaneous/morgan-news/page/3/










This show is well attended.  It’s located in a parking area surrounded by café’s, pubs and accommodating shops.  I am not necessarily a fan of parking lot shows but this one is done nicely and the close proximity to shops, beer and bathrooms makes it one of the better ones.

The oldest car in the Morgan group, the 1967 Plus 4 Drop Head Coupe of Gil Stegen was voted 1st in Class by the attendees and the exquisite 2003 Anniversary Edition Plus 8 of Bennett Shuldman won 2nd in Class.  Both received silver plates to add to their trophy cases.  Well done!!

Our Morgan day didn’t end with the show.  We had dinner at a local hot spot with Alan and Anne Aker of Boca Raton.  Alan and Anne are the founders of GatorMOG and the first owner of my red Plus 8. http://www.mogsouth.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/1988-GatorMOG-Solicitation.pdf

What wonderful people! This was the first time we met Alan and Anne.  It turns out that my red Plus 8 was a present to Alan from Anne who was able to convince Bill Fink to part with his personal car.   Unfortunately, they had to sell the Plus 8 years ago to accommodate a growing family.  (A common reason for parting ways with a two seat sports car.)

They later added a Morgan Plus 4 4 Seater to the fleet and this was the car they brought to dinner.  Dark green with reupholstered green seats.  A bit of patina, but nevertheless, lovely!!   And, it appears that there is a son that has his eye on the car, so it may change hands soon.

21 Feb

Media Statement From Morgan Technologies (http://www.fleetpoint.org)

Morgan Technologies Limited is predicting continued strengthening of its financial position for the financial year ending December 2016.  This stems from a number of Board initiatives which are improving performance and the company expects to post its best financial performance in both sales and profits for four years.

The launch of the new Aero 8 and Plus 8 models has generated strong demand and significant exports while the development of the electric 3 wheeler EV3 and the brand partnership with Selfridges drew renewed global attention to the Morgan brand.

The recent settlement of Morgan’s long-running employment dispute with Charles Morgan opens the way to the successful establishment of the Family Council and he will be invited to be a member, as well as retaining his shareholding.

While there will be no change in the family shareholders, the Family Council will ensure that the wider Morgan family, including children of the current shareholders, have a voice in the future strategy of the Morgan group.

Non-Exec Chairman Dominic Riley said, “This is a year of strong progress at Morgan Motor Company. We have delivered growth in the sales of motor cars and the best financial performance for four years.

We are also pleased to have settled the long running employment dispute with Charles Morgan and I wish to place on the record the Company’s thanks to Charles for the contribution he made as an employee and director of the business over many years.

Our plans to set up a Family Council will enable all members of the Morgan family to have a voice in the future direction of the Morgan group and to move forward together.”

20 Feb

Charles Morgan and MMC Dispute Settled (http://www.autocar.co.uk/ 20 February 2017)

[The news is just now breaking about an agreement between the Morgan Motor Company and Charles Morgan.  More to come. I’m sure.  Mark.]

The long-running employment dispute between management of the Morgan sports car company and its biggest shareholder, Charles Morgan, has been settled, the company announced today.

Charles Morgan is being invited to join a newly formed Family Council which includes existing shareholders and members of the wider Morgan family, including the children of existing shareholders. The aim is to give all members a voice in the future strategy of the Morgan Group.

Charles Morgan, who controls around 25% of the equity of the Malvern-based sports car company, was dismissed after falling out with the rest of the family-owned company’s management.

Chairman Dominic Riley says there will be no change in shareholdings as a result of the latest announcement, in which the company also revealed its best financial results in four years. Riley cites “strong progress” following the launch of new Plus 8 and Aero 8 models, while its recent partnership with Selfridges to launch a new electric three-wheeler “has brought renewed global attention to the Morgan brand”.

17 Feb

Collectible Classic: 1961-’63 Morgan 4/4 Series IV Living in the past, for the foreseeable future (http://www.automobilemag.com)

By: Eric Weiner

Change is hard.

It’s human nature to cling to the familiar even as the world around you constantly shifts. But building cars is a sink-or-swim game, punishing the obsolescent to the watery grave of history. Then there’s Morgan. The quirky Malvern, U.K.-based outfit builds British man-of-wars compared to the advanced nuclear submarines on the road today, cobbling together wood-framed sports cars by hand the same way it has since the first four-wheeled Morgan hit the streets in 1936.

That first four-wheeler, the Morgan 4/4, has been in near-continuous production for 80 years. To this day it has remained a lightweight, open-top sports car with the engine up front sending power to the rear wheels with a hand-built ash body. Even for British sports car loyalists used to the quirky nature of Triumphs, MGs, and Healeys, driving a Morgan is an experience unto itself. Its combination of purity and oddity tends to attract people with a flair for the individual. My dad, Perry Weiner, is one of them.

“I wanted something fun I could just get out and drive; I liked that Morgans were different, something nobody else had,” he says of his 1963 Morgan 4/4. “And I couldn’t afford an E-type.” My dad bought the car in New Hope, Pennsylvania, in 1991 with 1-year-old me along for the ride. Over the years it would ferry me as well as my brother and sister (whichever of us was lucky that day) on countless Sunday drives and Morgan club meetups.

My dad reached out to the Morgan factory in England not long after his purchase and learned that his 4/4 was the final Series IV model in production, built December 17, 1962. The Series IV 4/4 started production in 1961, using a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine shared with the Ford Classic. Power was up to 56 horsepower from the previous 39 in the Series III, but the biggest upgrade was the standard 11-inch front disc brakes. The original hood strap was lost, but the car still wears its original Old English White paint and red interior, as well as the optional strapless hood, tach-less dashboard, and oddball push/pull four-speed manual shifter.

Along with plenty of little dents and paint chips, the Weiner family Morgan has had quite a few patchwork adjustments over the years. For one, the original engine blew while climbing a hill in 1992, replaced by a 65-hp, 1.5-liter inline-four, which was also used in the Series V Morgan 4/4 and Ford Cortina. My dad had the cylinders bored out for a total of 1.6 liters of displacement, and he added a Weber downdraft carburetor to replace the original Zenith. Tired of dimming lights at stop signs, he swapped out the generator for an alternator. Then came the revamped cooling system with new radiator, fan, auxiliary fan, and self-designed aluminum shroud to funnel air into the system. He replaced the rear Armstrong Selectaride shocks with Konis, added Panasport wheels, and tore out the bench seating in favor of buckets he fashioned himself from plywood and rolled aluminum.

“No matter how much or little you do to a Morgan, it’s still a blast,” he says. “And it’s not part of a culture where purists will look down on you if every little nut and bolt isn’t correct. Everyone’s Morgan is unique, just as they were when they came from the factory.”

The wood-rimmed steering wheel, a 40th-anniversary gift from my mother, nicely matches the re-stained dashboard and refaced gauges.

Nothing makes you want to strap on a pair of goggles and leather gloves like driving a Morgan. With roughly 70 hp and a total weight of about 1,500 pounds, the car is positively alive in your hands. Exposed to the elements, with the hood stretching ahead and the road so close you could literally reach down and file your fingernails on it, a Morgan provides driving pleasure to every one of your senses. It also channels every road imperfection, riding stiffly with its live rear axle over potholes and eliciting a disconcerting squeak of the wood frame. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, though, with totally flat cornering and sensational steering feel from the unassisted Cam Gears box. “At its best the sense of speed is exhilarating, and at its worst it’s like driving a stagecoach over a rutted desert track,” my dad says.

Lately he’s been toying with the idea of restoring the car, although he’s worried that it would affect how often he’d drive it. A common strategy is to transplant all of the running gear onto a new tub and frame and take the opportunity to paint the body while it’s removed. He’s thinking of maybe painting it navy blue; I’m thinking of stealing it from the garage so he can’t. It would be like one of my siblings getting a face transplant. My childhood took place in that car. The 4/4 wasn’t perfect, but it evolved and hopefully improved as time went on, and we fixed the things that were broken. Then again, maybe I’m just clinging a little too tightly to the past. But isn’t that the point?

The Specs

Engine – 1.6L, OHV I-4; 70 hp @ 5,000 rpm (est), 85 lb-ft @ 2,300 rpm (est)

Transmission – 4-speed manual

Drive – Rear-wheel

Front Suspension – Sliding pillar, coil spring

Rear Suspension – Solid axle, semi-elliptic springs

Brakes F/R – Discs/drums

Weight  1,500 lb (est)

The Info

Years Produced  1961-1963

Number Sold – 202

Original Price – $2,394 (1963)

Value Today – $27,900*


16 Feb


Fiat Powered Morgans!!

This attached document is a very good research article on the Fiat motors used by Morgan in the 80s.  It is well written and worth reading whether you have a Fiat powered Morgan or not.

Click Here – Dave Philpot’s Fiat Report

[As far as I know there is only one Fiat powered Morgan in MOGSouth.  The 1985 Propane powered Plus 4 with the Fiat 2.0L of Stew Mosbey. Mark] 

11 Feb

Book Report – Speedie Motor: Travels Across Asia and the Middle East in a Morgan

In the summer of 1974, against the backdrop of the Lebanese Civil War, ceramics expert and Morgan sports car enthusiast John Carswell set off with his young family from their home in Beirut on an expedition across Asia and the Middle East.

Their mode of transport was their beloved motor car, a Morgan 4/4 four seater, named ‘Speedy’. Following in the steps of Ibn Battuta, their destination was the Maldives, where Carswell hoped to find evidence of the Chinese blue and white pottery which he was researching.

The family travelled via Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, from where they sailed to Bombay (Mumbai). What followed was an extraordinary journey across the length of India to Sri Lanka and from there to the Maldives. Speedy Motor tells, with wit and sparkle, the trials and tribulations of one family car over several decades in the Middle East and latterly Europe.

When the family were forced to flee Beirut during the Civil War, Speedy temporarily fell into the hands of Hezbollah but years later ‘he’ was reunited with his family in England. John Carswell’s vivid account of a unique expedition and a much-loved car provides a vibrant portrait of a region in the grip of change.

John Carswell

ISBN: 9781784537265

Publication Date: 30 Nov 2016

10 Feb

Morgan Plus 4: making them like they used to (www.telegraph.co.uk)

It’s hard to believe that the car I’m driving was only built a few months ago.

To the casual observer I could be in a tidy classic from the Fifties, its round headlamps piercing the soggy mist and the pop-pop of the exhaust crackling around the valley like rifle fire. It feels like a post-war roadster on the inside, too, with chrome dials on a leather dash beneath a narrow, near-vertical windscreen.

The Morgan Plus 4 is a relic, left over from a mass extinction that occurred in the second half of the 20th century.  It’s barely changed since its launch at the Earl’s Court Motor Show in 1950, apart from power train upgrades commensurate with prevailing availability. Morgan doesn’t build its own engines or gearboxes, so my Plus 4 has a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Ford engine coupled to Mazda’s five-speed manual gearbox that’s such a delight in the MX-5.

That’s not to say it’s been modernized. The safety equipment starts and stops with seat belts, and the cabin is on the invasive side of snug.  You don’t steer the Plus 4 so much as turn the wheel and observe the effect. It still has leaf spring rear suspension, now more commonly found on light goods vehicles, and sliding pillar front suspension, now more commonly found on… well, nothing really. No cars, anyway.

So it’s an outdated car on paper, as you’d expect from one launched the same year as the Ford Consul. If it wasn’t for the photograph, you’d probably be wondering why anybody would pay £30,000 for what I’ve just described. So why is there a waiting list?   Essentially, the Morgan is one of a handful of “classic cars” with the benefit of having been built this century.   Buyers get a beautiful, hand-crafted machine, but also access to a dealer network, a ready supply of parts and enough oomph for the motorway. You don’t need to know how to replace a gasket or reassemble a distributor, as you may have done as an owner of an earlier car, but you still get to drive something beautiful.

And yes, old cars do look better. Of course, they were built before modern fripperies such as crumple zones and safety cells became mandatory, but they were also built for leisure rather than for the rat race. A Morgan has always been a treat, whether you’re looking at a parked one or driving it at 70mph with the roof off, unleashing your inner spaniel.   Morgan produces such small numbers of cars that it can continue to make these luxury playthings, far from the five-door drabness of the modern car industry.

Other companies have capitalised on our thirst for historic cars. In 1963, Jaguar built something called the E-type Lightweight, a racing car marketed to Le Mans hopefuls. It planned to make 18 but only 12 of them materialised, leaving a gap known as the “missing six”. It was 51 years until Jaguar got around to building them.

Nobody in 1950 could have predicted that Jaguar and Land Rover would merge and come under Indian ownership, selling models such as the Evoque Convertible and the F-Pace.   But nor could they have predicted that the men and women of Malvern would still be making the same cars in the same ways, using many of the same tools.

Morgan’s crowded order books prove that there’s still that same appetite for beauty in an increasingly plain world.