11 Dec

A Christmas Tale (©John Chatwin)

Trevor and Andy peered between the two houses. Sure enough as advised there was a shed down the driveway.   ‘D’you think this is the house` asked Trev. Andy replied that the address was right and if the rumors were correct the Morgan should be in that shed.

They approached the front door and rang the bell. A pleasant lady answered the door and smiled. Trevor introduced himself and explained that he and his friend were following up a story that an old three-wheeler was in her shed. “Oh that old thing” she smiled and asked them to come in.

She was Margaret and explained whilst making tea that that the Morgan was her late husband’s. The two friends admired the photographs on the sitting room wall several of which showed a smiling couple, one whom was clearly Margaret some years ago, in front a smart Super Sports. Margaret appeared with tea and cakes which they gratefully accepted and sat smiling at each other.

At length Trevor asked what had become of the old car. Margaret explained that it was still in its garage at the bottom of the garden. They were both excited when she offered to show them. With much trepidation they followed her down the garden.  Margaret explained that as her dear late husband had died two days before Christmas some eight years ago the garage was not used.  There in the gloom stood the Morgan, very sad in its dirt and cobwebs.  Andy spotted a small urn on the seat, he looked at Margaret who explained and said Yes, it’s Tom. He always went for a drive on Christmas day so I put him there and left him in peace. She wiped a tear from her eye and the two men thought it wise to return to the house.

Over more tea she said that she thought he had been there long enough and in answer to their question agreed that it might be nice if the old car could again give someone some pleasure.  After negotiating a price, Tom was placed on the shelf by some pictures of his car which was then loaded on to the trailer.  They left promising to keep in touch and to show Margaret the restored result.

A year passed and as most of the work apart from the new paint job had been cosmetic the time came to test drive. This all went well and the two pals agreed it had been a worthwhile operation; so it was decided that as Christmas was but two days away they would again visit Margaret and show her the restored car.

The next morning being cold but dry. Trev opened the garage and to his horror the Mog had gone. Andy was called and in short order the police.  Evidence was sought, locks and keys were examined but there was nothing to indicate what had happened. Photographs were asked for but as they had planned a finished photo shoot there was little other than progress pictures. Andy remembered that in the old garage was a series of pictures of the complete car, so it was decided that these would be better than nothing.

The two friends despondently made their way to Margaret’s and over tea and mince pies told the sorry tale. She was as upset as they and agreed to them taking the photographs. They trooped down the garden and opened the shed door.  The three of them stood open mouthed, for there covered in cobwebs with its old faded paintwork sat the Mog.

Closer examination found the urn, back on the seat…

First published in the Morgan Three Wheeler Club’s Bulletin

[Traditions are traditions, and shouldn’t be taken lightly.  And, Morgan traditions are especially good.  Happy Holidays!! Mark]

07 Dec

2017 MOGSouth Holiday Party – Athens, Georgia

The 2017 MOGSouth Holiday Party was held in Athens, Georgia while it was empty!

The entire town was away, in Atlanta, for the big Georgia – Auburn football game.  It was nice to have the town to ourselves!  And, we made the most of it!   We had 4 Morgans, a 4/4, a Plus 4, a Plus 8 and an Aeromax.  Well represented I would have to say, as Morgans are not all that common at our Holiday Parties.  The weather was fine, not hot and sunny but mild, mid 60s and, for the most part, dry.  Much better than the biting cold of the north. The cold is hard for us Florida types.  We never have the right clothes, etc.

This year we arrived at the hotel around dinner time on Friday.  We were parched and looking for something to eat. We opted for the Foundry, the hotel’s captive dining spot. It was also the music stage and concert hall so we had entertainment while we ate.  Actually we had three musical groups.  The first was merely a guitar and singer.  The guitar was better than the singer.  The second group was a bit of a country rock sort of band.  Loud but reasonable (at least to my taste).  The third, almost a blue grass band, had the best singer of the bunch.   Perhaps they just got better as the beer took hold . . . Once we had eaten, we found a large contingent of the MOGSouth revelers in the bar.  Back from wherever and as is the norm for MOGSouth . . . tales were told.  All good stuff.

We made the trek to the Holiday Party via car this time.  Athens is almost impossible to get to by air. Certainly for us coming up from Florida.  We normally fly but we just couldn’t make that work this time.  Too many things to fight.  Took too long, cost too much, too much hassle, required the big airport (not one of the smaller regional airports), etc.   Ian and Barbara Shelmerdine traveled with us, and they concurred.

We chose to come up from Florida through Macon, GA and visit the US Air Force’s Museum of Aviation at Warner Robins Air Force Base.   I had worked in Marietta, GA for years.  Marietta, GA is just north of Atlanta and is where Lockheed Martin builds the C-130 Hercules cargo airplane.  Warner Robins Air Force Base is where the US Air Force’s C-130 Hercules headquarters is located.  So my job necessitated quite a few business trips to Warner Robins Air Force Base, but I never stopped however to visit the museum.  Too busy, no time . . . you know the drill.   So now that I am retired and live out of state, I decide to go.  I guess I’m a bit slow.  Well, at least that’s what Andrea says.

It was great!  Lots of wonderful planes and well thought out vignettes.  We certainly didn’t have enough time to see it all. They had several buildings with hundreds of displays. I only worry about the planes displayed outside.

The weather must take its toll?  Regardless, I will have to come back.   What we did see was quite impressive from the very large and very well known to the smaller and lesser known aircraft.  A building was dedicated to World War II and another for Viet Nam, while other displays highlighted more modern aircraft.  A recommended stop should you venture nearby.

The MOGSouth Holiday party was held at the Graduate hotel, a property that we had visited years ago. It has changed names since.   The Holiday Party was nicely done and a big thanks go to Stacey Schepens who was our lovely host.  She had the traditional hospitality suite set up and it was a happening place Friday and Saturday evening, and again after the Saturday formalities.  The hospitality suite seems to be a MOGSouth necessity, a signature of our events.  It is different things to different people, and has changed over time, but it remains the ‘go to’ spot at a MOGSouth event.

Most notable this year was the football game on the big TV.   The conference championship game between Georgian and Auburn.   And, for those of you that haven’t heard, Georgia won.

The evening’s festivities were held in private banquet room at the hotel and everything was well organized and the meal was lovely.  They even had options for those with dietary restrictions.  It turned out that the only Georgia graduates in our group were Jim and Colette Clark.   And, Jim had the headphones on during the dinner to make sure we didn’t miss a significant moment.

A few minutes of remarks and then the Mother Courage Award ceremony.   This year was a bit of a challenge for MOGSouth.  Lots of Good Times and some not so Good.

The Good Times . . .

  • In March we had the MOGSouth Noggin at Cars in Coffee in Amelia and it was a huge success with nearly 50 attendees at the Friday Night MOGSouth Noggin and then there was the actual Cars and Coffee event on the golf course on Saturday.
  • In April we had a great Spring Meet in Greenville SC (Thanks to the Buckleys and Leos.)
  • In May we held the first ever US based Morgan Three Wheeler Convention in May in Augusta and; although it was not really a MOGSouth event, it felt like one with all the MOGSouth participation.
  • And, in September, a wonderful Fall Meet in Clayton GA (Thanks to Richard and Janet Ihns.)

The Not So Good Times . . .  It seems time caught up with us this year and that in itself has been a challenge.

  • We lost a few amazing members with Norris Haynes and Graeme Addie. They were more than just members, they were friends and they were family.  Jenny Addie attended the Holiday Party and it was wonderful to see her.  And, of course the dogs were in the van.
  • Some other MOGSouth members are dealing with life changing events and couldn’t be with us, but they too are family and always welcome.

As is the norm for the MOGSouth Holiday Party, we presented the 2017 Mother Courage Award.   The Mother Courage Award is our only perpetual award and is given in honor of Dan and Nancilee Kelly.   This year’s award went to the aforementioned Jim and Colette Clark.  Well deserved!!

After the official club business and other remarks it was back to the hospitality suite for more interaction and football games.  Now I think we had Clemson and Miami.  (Clemson won this one.)

Eventually, the masses scattered into the night.  Early departures were in the plan.  Everyone has lots to do this time of year.

Another wonderful MOGSouth Holiday party!!  Again, thanks to all who made this year a memorable one for MOGSouth.

Now let’s see what we can do with 2018!!


04 Dec

Morgan Aero GT: new ‘race-inspired’ sports car coming in 2018 (www.carmagazine.co.uk)

► Morgan Aero GT
► Last Aero 8 car from brand
► Full reveal at 2018 Geneva motor show

The gloves are off, according to Morgan. The cottage industry car maker has just dropped its first teaser of a new, ‘race-inspired’ sports car – the Aero GT.

Thankfully though, these shadowy images of a front wheelarch aren’t the only information we have to go on.

Power will come from a BMW-derived 4.8-litre V8, with 367bhp-worth of shove being sent through a six-speed manual gearbox. A 0-62mph launch time of 4.5 seconds is possible, as is a top speed of 170mph.

Morgan says that since the engine is no longer in production over at Munich, this will be the last hurrah for both the Aero 8 and the naturally-aspirated engine the brand uses.  [This is old news. We are expecting to have an announcement on the replacement in March, at the Geneva Show. Mark]

Just eight Aero GTs will be built but all of them are already sold to existing Morgan customers. Each of the eight cars has been tailor-made to each owner, and all will have ‘bespoke customer-requested additions, in line with Morgan’s hand-crafted approach.’

The Aero GT marks the end of the Morgan Aero 8’s 17-year-long production cycle at Morgan’s Pickersleigh Road production site. Every panel of the bodywork has been hand-shaped by Morgan’s metal workers, and features new wing top louvres and a ‘drastic’ rear diffuser.

The new British sports car will be officially unveiled at the 2018 Geneva motor show, so set a reminder for early March 2018.