27 Feb

A Morgan 3 Wheeler Is The Most Fun You Can Have At Any Speed (Feb 2018 – jalopnik.com)

[I removed a few photographs as they are nothing you have not seen before.   But I left one just ’cause.  Mark]

The huge V-twin engine up front. The two skinny tires sticking out from the sides. The open top. A body like a fighter plane from a war decades past. Few cars are as instantly intriguing to enthusiasts, passersby and other motorists the way the Morgan 3 Wheeler does. And you can definitely include me in that group.

There are few cars I have been so excited to drive as this one. I had my first peek at a Morgan 3 Wheeler in September 2015 during the Jalopnik Film Festival in Los Angeles. Since that time, I’ve been itching to get some proper seat time in one of these unique machines. Typically I get to experience somewhat immediate gratification, and rarely have to wait long to have a go.

Could the Morgan live up to all the hype I’d built up in my mind? Could it live up to anyone’s? Would I walk away disappointed and dejected after all that anticipation?

I didn’t care. I had to know.

(Full Disclosure: Morgan needed me to drive the 3 Wheeler so terribly that they insisted I make a trip to Southern California, pick up the car at Morgan West in Santa Monica, and drive it around for the better part of a week.)

What Is This Thing?

Morgan has produced this version of the 3 Wheeler since 2012, and they’re all bespoke, hand-built, and finished in a tiny shop in the English city of Malvern Link.. It’s a two-seat, front-engine, rear-drive roadster that’s actually homologated and registered as a motorcycle in the U.S. since it only has three wheels. Its base MSRP is around $50,000, and there are a bunch of personalization options that can bring that price up quite a bit.

It may surprise you that Morgan has actually been making three-wheeled cars since 1911—longer than most car companies have been in existence. The first run V-twin models were built from 1911 until 1939, and even had four-cylinder Ford motors in some models from 1932 through 1952.

Morgan built this machine to be all about driving fun. It’s not practical at all. There is no roof, there are no cup holders, there’s no A/C nor heater.

I couldn’t care less.

You Can’t Be In A Hurry

If you’re getting a coffee, filling up the tank at a gas station, stopping to take pictures, or standing anywhere near the 3 Wheeler, you will have people come up to you wanting to talk all about it. The first question is always “What is it?” Plenty of car people I know have never seen a Morgan 3 Wheeler in person, and fewer still have even driven one.

I was happy to play temporary host to this machine. Of the easily 100 people I talked to about this car, only three knew what it was. One guy happened to be the owner of a Morgan Aero 8 that I spotted parked at a restaurant along Topanga Canyon (Los Angeles, everybody!) and I pulled over to seek him out. The other two guys happened to be English, so they knew what was up.

Strangers are always amused by this car, and then they’re quickly curious how fast it is.

What If You Are In A Hurry?

Fortunately, the power-to-weight ratio is absurdly good in the 3 Wheeler. With an 82-horsepower 1979cc S&S V-twin mounted up front, and tipping the scales at a measly 1,157 pounds, you will have no trouble running away from the car next to you at a red light.

If you accidentally pop the clutch with a bit of throttle input, you will bark the tires instantly. I may have done this in a not so accidental manner a few times, just to be sure. Pair that to the wicked popping exhaust note from that big V-twin, and you’ve got one stellar experience.

Morgan says that the 3 Wheeler will go from 0-60 mph in just six seconds, but I felt like it might even be quicker than that. Top speed is said to be 115 mph, but I never really tried to go that fast. Highway speeds, paired with a few quick passes to get around slower freeway drivers were easy, and the torque-loaded engine wanted to pull at any RPM in any gear.

The powertrain for this Morgan is one strange combination. It’s got that big aforementioned V-twin motorcycle engine up front hooked up to a Mazda five-speed manual gearbox, and then the single rear wheel is belt driven. Find me a modern car with a more bizarre setup.

How Does It Really Drive?

Believe it or not, city driving is awesome. It’s easy to maneuver, has great visibility (seeing as it has no roof, a tiny windscreen, zero pillars, and the side view circular mirrors are easy to move around manually if you find yourself in a tight spot) and the steering is super precise when you’re in motion. That big diameter wooden wheel is light in your hands, and has no adjustment at all.

Luckily it meets up with my driving position properly. 19-inch wheels with tiny four-inch wide Avon tires provide just enough adhesion to keep you safe, but allow for a hint of slip when you’re having a little more fun on a twisty road. I couldn’t stop giggling when I was tossing the 3 Wheeler around any curve. Especially when making the back end kick out ever so slightly.

With exposed knock-off wheels and no extra body panels in your way, you’ll nail every single apex if you want to. The overall length is just 126 inches, but the wheelbase is 92 inches. That proportion helps not only sharpen handling, but keeps any bumps subtle. A tubular steel space frame keeps the chassis rigid enough to keep handling in order, while providing you reasonable cabin safety.

When you are trying to park in a tight space, things do get a little harder. With no power steering, and not much steering adjustment, you will find that you’ll want some momentum when you pull into a parking spot. If you’re trying to make a U-turn in an intersection or in the turn lane of a four lane road, you’ll have to put in some extra elbow grease.

Is It Practical At All?

Hell no. Who are we kidding?

I don’t even care that it isn’t practical. You can fit yourself and a passenger into the cabin with reasonable comfort, but seeing as there are no doors, getting in and out of the 3 Wheeler is similar to the process you find in a single-seat race car. Even with my experience in race cars, there still isn’t a truly graceful method for making your way around the cabin. Again, I don’t care about that. While it may not have climate control or heater system, the Morgan I tested was equipped with optional seat heaters, which came in nicely when cruising around Venice at night.

While the S&S V-twin cranks out a good bit of power, and you’re definitely moving around more weight than the usual motorcycle this engine typically hauls, Morgan states the combined fuel economy as 31 MPG, which isn’t bad at all. With a tank carrying about 10 gallons of unleaded, you’ll get a good amount of driving before having to hit the station for a fill-up.

Storage is minimal. There are pockets inside the cabin, next to each person, where you can throw your mobile phone or maybe a folded piece of paper, but you won’t be making a grocery run to feed a family of four with a passenger on board, and you definitely won’t take this on a long road trip. There is a rear storage compartment, which nicely fit the car’s tonneau cover on one side, my smaller camera sling bag on the other, and the tool kit in one small spot in the tail. Another reminder that the Morgan 3 Wheeler isn’t built for practicality. It is built for fun.

Cool Details Throughout

A car like this has plenty of personality on the outside, but the Morgan 3 Wheeler also has a few interesting bits inside. There’s a start button hidden behind a flap, just like you get in a Lamborghini. The horn is a toggle switch in the middle of the dash panel. The trunk is held down with leather straps. Even the headlights are activated with a switch just like the horn. It’s a simple panel, but it’s got plenty of character that perfectly fits this car.

Launch the missiles!

With the optional quilted seats and bright blue leather, the black metallic exterior really makes for a cool combination. I do wish my tester had the shark mouth front end, but this clean look worked nicely. One cool feature is that the steering wheel is removable, like a racing car, making entering and exiting the car a little easier.

No wimpy horn here. This thing could scare a Ford F-150.

There are plenty of weekend cars on the road you can get for around $50,000, and many of them will provide a great experience, but none of them will be as much fun as a Morgan 3 Wheeler.

If you’re buying a second car, to use on weekends and for quick stints around a twisty road, this car needs to get serious consideration. At any point, at any speed, in any condition, this is easily one of the most enjoyable cars I have ever driven.

Next up: this completely old-school machine is going electric. I can’t wait to see how that turns out. I guess I’ll just have to drive it again and find out…

27 Feb

GatorMOG Spring Noggin – 23 & 24 Mar, The Villages, Fl (27 Feb – Hotel Info and Updated Schedule)

Hotel Information

Holiday Inn Express at 1205 Avenida Central, The Villages FL 32159.Click on the link below to make reservations under the ‘Morgan South’ Group.  The nightly rate of $129.00 (doesn’t include taxes).

*** Note the Revised Start Time and Updated Itinerary *** 

The Villages changed the start times for the Polo matches. This changes things a bit so the schedule is being revised.  Good News for us!  We can start later.

Friday – 23 March 2018
(11:15am) Meet at Rohan Recreation Centre at the south end of the Villages Hwy 44 & Morse Blvd for Coffee, Tea, and Juice.
(12:00am) Depart to ??? for Lunch (Polo Field is no longer available for Tail Gating Lunch)
(??:??am) ??
*** Ladies must wear Silly Stylish Hats (This is Polo of Course!) ***
(??:??am) Lunch somewhere
(??:??pm) Depart Polo field to hotel
(??:??pm) Depart for dinner Glenview Golf and Country Club (casual).
– After Dinner Depart Country Club for Hotel. Park Morgans
– Walk to ‘Spanish Springs’ town square for live music and drinks and dancing.
(9:00pm) Depart back to hotel

Saturday – 24 March 2018
(9:30 am) Depart Hotel. Drive through Spanish Springs
(10:00am) Travel to Sumter Landing (Park Morgans. Walking tour (~1 hour).
(11:15am) Lunch Sumter Landing (location TBD).
(12:30pm) Depart for Brownwood Town
– Arrive at Eisenhower Recreation Centre for Tour (~30 Mins)
(2:00pm) Depart Eisenhower Centre to Brownwood Town Square
(2:10pm) Arrive Brownwood. Short Stop (~30 Mins)
– Depart travel to new town – Finney
– Visit New Recreation Centre. Afternoon drinks and short nature walk (coffee).
(5:00pm) Depart home or Hotel (people staying visit town square for music, dancing and dinner.).

26 Feb

Morgan Dealers Raising The Profile (www.mogmag.co.uk)

Today, glossy, hi-tech car dealerships are an everyday part of the car purchase process, but back in the day, when Harry Morgan was promoting his Runabout, dealers who could interface with customers on behalf of the factory were few and far between. MMC Archivist Martyn Webb traces the history of the early Morgan dealers and the key part they played in the success of the business.

Harry Morgan was a naturally gifted engineer and an intuitive, instinctive innovator. He also had the ability to analyse and adapt the ideas of others and to combine these features with his own designs to create machines that were clearly ahead of those of his competitors.  The Morgan Runabout proved itself to be strong, reliable and very competitive when pushed to the limit on the race track or the trials hills. Enthusiasts were effusive in their praise for the machine and the motoring press declared that this was the most competent of all Cyclecars. Additional exposure at the Olympia Motorcycle show and other exhibitions raised Morgan’s profile still further and the factory could scarcely keep pace with the extraordinary demand for their cars.

“WHEN HARRY MORGAN WAS PROMOTING HIS RUNABOUT, DEALERS WHO COULD INTERFACE WITH CUSTOMERS ON BEHALF OF THE FACTORY WERE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN”

To fully exploit Morgan’s success, however, the factory needed representatives around the country to promote the Runabout to those potential customers who would not normally have read the motoring press or come into contact with these devices. Having secured a sale, the factory then required agents to collect and distribute the machines and subsequently maintain them and effect occasional repairs, most owners being unfamiliar with motor vehicles at that time.

The first-known Morgan dealer was Jack Sylvester who approached Harry Morgan at the 1911 Olympia Motorcycle Show intent on securing an agency. Despite being assured by Morgan that he “didn’t intend to make many”, Sylvester persisted and although there was never any written contract, he took on the agency for Bennetts of Nottingham and was certainly selling Morgans by the end of 1911 and continued through to his retirement

Sylvester’s Garage

Morgan’s assertion that he didn’t intend to make many was soon proved wrong since having launched the first two- seater at the show, the machine proved a huge success and he struggled to meet the demand.

Morgan’s next association was therefore rather forced upon him, not only to gain the maximum exposure for the Runabout, but to help distribute and even to assist with the building of the machine. During the show, Morgan had negotiated a new contract with Richard Burbidge of Harrods, making the Knightsbridge store officially the sole concessionary of the Runabout (presumably overlooking the verbal agreement with Sylvester). From now on Harrods would deal with all enquiries addressed not only to themselves, but also to the Morgan factory. For their part, Harrods placed an immediate order for 50 machines and paid a deposit of around £500, a sum that would at least help to finance the expansion of the works. Details of this arrangement were set out in letters between Harry Morgan and Richard Burbidge that survive in the Morgan Motor Company archives. Towards the end of 1911 Harrods introduced their own bodywork for the Morgan, allowing the Malvern factory to concentrate on the chassis alone.

Despite the existence of clear documentary evidence of the contract with Harrods, it would seem that Morgan continued to look elsewhere for other dealers, the next being pioneer motorist Billie James of Sheffield.

James of Sheffield

It was clear at this time that the arrangement with Harrods, whilst selling lots of cars, was not ideal. The Harrods body was rather too elaborate and being heavier than the simple bodies that the Morgan factory fitted, adversely affected the car’s performance. Chasing business through other channels, Harry Morgan defaulted on his commitment to Harrods and fell behind with orders, much to the displeasure of Burbidge! The sole concessionary agreement with the store was thus abandoned and although Harrods continued to sell the occasional Runabout alongside machines from other manufacturers, they were never listed by the factory as official dealers. Harry therefore continued to expand his network of dealers in major towns and cities around the UK.

By 1914 there were no fewer than 45 dealers, with four in London (not including Harrods) and foreign dealers in Switzerland (R. Voltz, Auto-Garages, oune) and in France (L. Baudelocque & R, Darmont, 128, Rue de Bois, Levallois). Darmont in Paris would eventually develop the business to build Morgans under license in France to cope with the considerable demand from the Continent. Such was the rapid increase in demand for motor vehicles following the First World War, that by the early ’20s the factory was at maximum output, whilst building new workshops to increase production further and the dealer network had grown to 78 representatives around the UK alone!

 “HARRODS PLACED AN IMMEDIATE ORDER FOR 50 MACHINES AND PAID A DEPOSIT OF AROUND £500, A SUM THAT WOULD AT LEAST HELP TO FINANCE THE EXPANSION OF THE WORKS”

The Morgan Motor Company was now the largest cyclecar manufacturer in the UK, producing thousands of cars per year. Racing and trials successes ensured that Morgans were the most sought-after machine for the sportsman as well as those requiring more mundane transport.

By the late 1920s there were nearly 90 official Morgan dealers, plus many independent garages that regularly carried stock of used machines.

Some Morgan dealers, well-known to enthusiasts today can trace their roots back to this period. F.H. Douglass of Ealing, affectionately known as “Douggies” and still in business until a few years ago, was established in the mid-1920s, as was Lifes Motors, currently the oldest Morgan dealer in the world and still selling cars today.

 “RACING AND TRIALS SUCCESSES ENSURED THAT MORGANS WERE THE MOST SOUGHT-AFTER MACHINE FOR THE SPORTSMAN”

Demand for the Morgan three-wheeler declined throughout the early 1930s as motorists became more demanding and knowledgeable about vehicles. The introduction of conventional small four-wheeled cars in the 1920s, such as the Austin Seven, effectively ended the fashion for cyclecars and whilst the Morgan trike survived, the factory had little option but to supplement this with the first four-wheeler: the Morgan 4/4.

Most dealers embraced the new machine with enthusiasm and the dealer network ensured the success of the 4/4. Some, however, such as E.P. “Joe” Huxham in Bournemouth remained true to the original machine. Appointed by the factory as a dealer in 1932, Joe Huxham was a larger-than-life character, famous for his “rallies”. These were fun, competitive events, which became more famous for the sessions in the pub after the day’s events, rather than the motoring activities!!

Closer to home, even Malvern Link had its own dealer. A local garage Bowman & Acock looked after sales of Morgan cars in the town, as well as after-sales servicing, a mere quarter of a mile from the factory. Established in 1935, Bowman & Acock bought the original Worcester Road factory when the last workshop (the machine shop) finally moved to Pickersleigh Road.

There is little doubt that the extensive network of dealers established by Harry Morgan in the early years was fundamental to the success of the business. They promoted, sold, distributed, serviced and repaired the cars as well as spreading camaraderie and enthusiasm for these idiosyncratic vehicles. The same is as true today as it was a century ago, and the Morgan Motor Company continues to enjoy the support of UK and overseas dealers to bring the pleasures of Morgan motoring to enthusiasts around the world.

“THE EXTENSIVE NETWORK OF DEALERS WAS FUNDAMENTAL TO THE SUCCESS OF THE BUSINESS”

 

24 Feb

GatorMOG Spring Noggin – 23 & 24 March 2018, The Villages, Florida

Tentative Agenda

[This is the best guess at the moment. Things could change, but . . .   This is primarily a GatorMOG activity however anyone is welcome to attend. If any of you Northerners want to thaw out, please come down.  Plan on this event!  It is going to be great fun! Mark]

Friday – 23 March 2018
(Changed) Meet at Rohan Recreation Centre at the south end of the Villages Hwy 44 & Morse Blvd for Coffee, Tea, and Juice.
(Changed) Depart to Polo Field in Convoy
(Changed) Arrive at Polo field, Tail Gate Party for Lunch. *** Bring your own Chairs and Bring Your Own Drinks (Alcoholic or Not) ***
*** Ladies must wear Silly Stylish Hats (This is Polo of Course!) ***
(Changed) Lunch on the field
(4:00pm) Depart Polo field to hotel
(5:30pm) Depart for dinner Glenview Golf and Country Club (casual).
– After Dinner Depart Country Club for Hotel. Park Morgans
– Walk to ‘Spanish Springs’ town square for live music and drinks and dancing.
(9:00pm) Depart back to hotel

Saturday – 24 March 2018
(9:30 am) Depart Hotel. Drive through Spanish Springs
(10:00am) Travel to Sumter Landing (Park Morgans. Walking tour (~1 hour).
(11:15am) Lunch Sumter Landing (location TBD).
(12:30pm) Depart for Brownwood Town
– Arrive at Eisenhower Recreation Centre for Tour (~30 Mins)
(2:00pm) Depart Eisenhower Centre to Brownwood Town Square
(2:10pm) Arrive Brownwood. Short Stop (~30 Mins)
– Depart travel to new town – Finney
– Visit New Recreation Centre. Afternoon drinks and short nature walk (coffee).
(5:00pm) Depart home or Hotel (people staying visit town square for music, dancing and dinner.).

22 Feb

Morgan Will Bring the Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition to Geneva (www.thedrive.com)

This special edition of the iconic sports car will be the last Morgan to have a naturally-aspirated V-8.

[This line tells us what we were wondering.  We all had our opinions but no real facts.  ‘Just what would Morgan do for a high end motor given the end of the BMW V-8s?  Would they simply find another carbureted V-8 or go the way of the Turbo or Super Charging.’  This implies the later route.  Mark] 

Morgan Motor Company released a handful of teaser photos Tuesday for the new Plus 8 50th Anniversary Edition, which will be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show March 6.

The Worcestershire, England-based car company is celebrating the iconic Plus 8’s 50th birthday, which first debuted in 1968 at the Earls Court Motor Show in London. This sports car rocked a bulletproof Rover V-8 engine and featured only minor stylistic changes throughout its original 36-year production, ending in 2004.

Morgan revived the Plus 8 in 2012, which retained the classic Morgan shape and was then powered by a 4.8-liter V-8 courtesy of BMW. The new Plus 8 will utilize this same engine, but it will be the last time Morgan uses the naturally-aspirated V-8 in any of its models.

The company plans to build 50 of these Anniversary Editions, and each will feature a special plaque that denotes its number on the assembly line. Every example will be finished in a blue lacquered paint with contrasting yellow on the grille, hood, and trunk area, which takes inspiration from the first production Plus 8 ever built.

“This 50th Anniversary Edition is a fitting illustration of the Plus 8’s beauty and finesse, coupled with raw exhilaration and capability,” said Steve Morris, managing director of Morgan. “Performance has underpinned every one of the Plus 8s that have driven out of our factory gates for 50 years and we’re excited to reveal the car in full in Geneva.”

We’re excited to see the car in all its glory in Switzerland in a few weeks. Morgan is one of those car companies that stays true to its British roadster roots, which is obvious in the Plus 8’s classic bodywork.

 

20 Feb

Morgan Spreading the Word on UK Innovation (www.smeweb.com)

[There must be a number of reasons (that we just don’t fully comprehend) the US market is not being targeted by Morgan.  Too hard, too litigious, too regulated, etc.  I guess we have to buy our next Morgans in China?  Mark]

Morgan Motor Company is travelling to Hong Kong with HSBC to support the GREAT Festival of Innovation, taking place at the end of March. Here, company MD Steven Morris, pictured [below], tells SME about the trip

Why have you decided to get involved?

We have received fantastic support from HSBC over many years of business partnership, and we are delighted to be visiting Hong Kong with them to support the GREAT Festival of Innovation. We decided to be involved with the trip as it presents significant opportunities for Morgan, as a long established, forward thinking and growing business looking to expand in global markets such as Hong Kong and with further representation in China.

What do you hope to achieve?

We hope to achieve a number of important needs for our business. We will be looking to seek new business opportunities within the region, be it in approvals, homologation, distribution or regional brand partnerships. To take further advantage of networking opportunities with established contacts in the region as well as further our understanding of the current and future landscape in Hong Kong and China.

International Trade Secretary Dr. Liam Fox will be there. What do you think he will bring to the table?

We hope that Dr. Liam Fox will be able to assist the automotive industry with approvals and homologation in the region, this is something of vital importance to Morgan and other British automotive manufacturers. In an ever-changing landscape, any support and knowledge from a senior government figure would be most welcomed.

How important is it for government to support attempts to find new markets overseas?

Operating, and selling and distributing, into emerging markets overseas is critically important to the success and future of a large percentage of British companies, across multi-faceted business sectors and at all different sizes. Within our focus, luxury British sports cars are part of Britain’s national identity, we are revered and respected around the world for appealing, unique vehicles. Whilst Morgan’s home market is strong, one of the main factors of our continued growth is the ability to sell our products into overseas markets. The support of the government is vital to enable this continued success.

The idea is to bring entrepreneurs and the most advanced technology from across the UK and Asia to explore how we will work, live, play and learn in the future. Why do you think this important?

Morgan is a long-established company, in business for over 108 years. Throughout that time we have championed craftsmanship, and in more recent years have been exploring the latest technology to compliment that craftsmanship. Whilst we recognise that Morgan is a traditional product in one sense, we also recognise the need to create a range of products that are suitably equipped to drive the company through our future strategy, across varied global markets. Whether this is in future powertrains, design or usability, we hope that the trip to Hong Kong with HSBC will assist us with our future product strategy, as well as a future sales and marketing strategy for the Hong Kong and mainland China region.

 

20 Feb

2018 MOGSouth Spring Meet – Franklin, Tennessee

Hi!  I’m really excited to be hosting the MOGSouth Spring Meet this year!

Just as a reminder, the MOGSouth Spring Meet this year will be held in Franklin, Tennessee, April 27-29, 2018

Franklin, Tennessee is as we say “14 miles and a hundred years away from Nashville.“

For those that are interested there is a good web site that highlights the town. Click on  Franklin, TN Visitors Web Site

It’s perhaps best known for it being the site of a major Civil War battle downtown where one home the Carter House had 4 confederate generals laid out on the front porch.  I’d suggest that members interesting in learning more simple ‘google’ the city for a great tour.

Lodging will be at the Cool Springs Hampton Inn.  It’s just a few miles from downtown and is within walking distance of Four great restaurants for dinner on Friday.

Simply copy and paste the URL below into your browser to access the exclusive rates available for this group:

Booking Link: http://group.hamptoninn.com/mogsouth

Hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites Nashville/Franklin (Cool Springs), Arrival Date: 4/25/2018, Departure Date: 4/29/2018

Group Name: MOGSouth

Please note, the entire URL must be copied and pasted for it to work properly.

Saturday will start with a Cars and Coffee just a couple of blocks away.  We will join a wide variety of cars, so everyone should have something interesting to look at.

From there we will go to ‘Liepers Fork’ for a pit stop to top off on gasloine at world famous Puckets grocery.   Nearby neighbors are Nichole Kidman, Justin Timberlake and Mike Wolfe from American Pickers.

We’ll start a road tour from there to Columbia Tennessee for lunch.  We have planned a tour of Mike Wolfe’s bike and car collection (you will recognize many from his TV show.)  A close friend is his wrench and partner in the building.

The rest of the weekend is still in the planning stage.  Lots of good options, like antique shopping in Franklin, Civil War tours, the Lane Car Museum, etc.  We will figure it out and let you know.

That evening we are going to a favorite Italian restaurant called “AMERIGOS” where we will have a private dining room to ourselves.  Whew, lots of moving parts!

Please feel free to share my phone number and or email address for any questions , concerns or needs.

More to follow !

Cheers, Tom

Tom Perkins, 615-406-9311, Tom@teamperkins.com

 

 

 

 

 

20 Feb

Gold Coast All British Show in Boca Raton, Florida

We the  Bycroft’s and the Braunstein’s each set off early Saturday morning so as to meet up at the Port St Lucie service plaza en route to the 25th Annual British Car Show vic Boca Raton, Florida hosted by Gold Coast British Sports Car Club.

After an uneventful and pleasant drive we arrived at our hotel in time for a wash and brush up before an early dinner where we were joined by Gil and Barbara Stegen.  With dinner behind us we all went to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Centre for an evening of show jumping competition. This involved horses that were essentially hunters so the jumps were lower than for the the actual ‘jumping’ horses.   The weather was spectacularly good and the competition was colorful and intense. The horses were presented beautifully. This was an experience which none of us with the exception of Gil and Barbara had enjoyed before, except maybe on TV.  We learned Gil and Barbara are passionate about all aspects of horse competition.  And, we are grateful to them for allowing us to join them on this occasion.

We arrived back at our hotel where unfortunately there was no bar.  But we did learn that the hotel next door does have a couple of bars so what could we do but try one out.  A few beers was just what we needed to round off a most enjoyable day.   And thanks to Barbara (she was driving) for leading us to a point from where we could easily find our way back to our hotel and thanks to Gil for not interrupting!! (An inside joke)

Although without a bar our hotel does have a breakfast facility included in the room charge and we all did justice to the eggs, sausages, waffles and all the other options available.

The show took place just two miles up the road from our hotel so we were soon there to set up and do last minute cleaning. It was just as well we got there reasonably early because the public was already beginning to turn up. There were hundreds of owners showing off their cherished British vehicles in the best light possible.

The featured marque this year was to be Lotus cars and there were obviously quite a few examples of all of their models but they were joined by a whole host of other British vehicles including MG, Jaguar, Triumph, Rolls Royce, Austin Healey, quite a lot of Minis, Aston Martin including one Aston Martin Lagonda which you don’t see too often these days. And, of course, there were our Morgan’s.

We had 5 Morgans at the show.  I had my 1989 Plus 8, Mark took his newly acquired 2005 Roadster and Gil his 1967 Plus 4 Drop Head Coupe (which had won its category last year so he was apart from us, in the ‘Prestige’ class!)   We were joined by new member F. Berry Hayley with his 1962 Lotus Twin Cam powered 4/4 and arriving a little later was Daniel Schultz in his early 60s (1964?) Plus 4 – 4 Seater.   So a good mix of Morgans.

Uncharacteristically, we were scattered about in at least 4 different classes. The organizers were adamant that if we had 3 or 4 cars we would have a class. Then they checked their paperwork, saw that there were certainly a sufficient number of Morgans,  and then admitted failure.  Unfortunately, that meant that we were not all parked together.

The public attendance was strong all day and this meant that there was much interest in all the cars. It made for a day full of activity and enjoyment. We had lunch at the Biergarten Restaurant where all the Morgan attendees (except Daniel and his family) ate together thanks to Christine making a reservation for us all.  A good opportunity to get to know each other and exchange Morgan chat.

Actually being in different classes worked in our favor as the Morgans won awards in the each of various classes and didn’t have to compete with each other. The award ceremony started at 2 O’clock and we were in for a few surprises.   Because he had won last year Gil Stegen had won his class, he was placed in the Prestige class this year, with all the other class winners.   This year Gil got second place in the fancy class and received a very nice award, a lovely cut crystal in the shape of a ‘Key’engraved with the Club’s logo and the occasions specifics.   And, because the other Morgans were scattered about in a number of other classes, we took home a few more awards.

Berry got 2nd Place in his class, Mark got a 1st in his, and yours truly got 1st in his class.  So our 5 Morgan’s got 4 awards.  Daniel’s Plus 4 was very nicely displayed and had he arrived a bit earlier he would have garnished more votes and won award as well.

Receiving recognition is a wonderful finish to an already great day.  But I forget,  Annie and Christine both won raffle prizes without even buying a ticket!!! Mark got a bucket!  How good is that?   All of this was followed again by a few beers and food in the bar next door to our hotel.  Certainly, a good day out!!

We had decided to stay over again at the same hotel as the night before so we could drive home Monday nicely rested. Or was it so we could have a few more beers??  You decide.

Monday morning we went to an ocean fronting restaurant recommended by Gil for breakfast.  It was really very, very good and gave us a tremendous start to the day. It was difficult to drag ourselves away from the food, coffee and ocean view but it had to be done.  Eventually we set off home.

Another great Morgan weekend. You should have been there!!

Robin Bycroft

15 Feb

MOGSouth Noggin and Cars & Coffee at Amelia – March 9 & 10, 2018 (Update)

Details About the Upcoming MOGSouth Noggin and Cars & Coffee at Amelia – March 9 & 10, 2018

It’s getting close to the MOGSouth Noggin and Cars and Coffee at Amelia Island – Friday March 9th and Saturday March 10th.  Sunday March 11th is the actual Concours d’Elegance.

The Friday Night Noggin will start around 5PM at Sliders Seaside Grill (1998 South Fletcher Ave., Amelia Island – Fernandina Beach, FL) but there are other things to do at Amelia Island on Friday, before the Noggin.

Everything is right there at the Ritz-Carlton.  Shopping and test drives are good fun but I really like to see what is going across the auction block.  They have all the cars waiting to be auctioned displayed in the tent on the lawn outside.  Highly recommended!

  • The Shop at the Concours, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, The Ritz-Carlton
  • Test Drives, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, The Ritz-Carlton, Front Driveway
  • Automobilia Merchants, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, The Ritz-Carlton, Open to Public
  • RM Sotheby’s Auction Preview, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, The Ritz-Carlton Ballroom, Ocean Front Lawn & Courtyard, Open to Public
  • The Amelia Island Concours Silent Auction, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, The Ritz-Carlton

The Saturday Cars and Coffee will start early Saturday Morning.  We will rendezvous as a group at 7:30AM (and leave soon there after) at the Surf Restaurant parking lot (3199 S Fletcher Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL) and convoy to the Cars and Coffee location (Golf holes 1, 10 and 18th holes).  If we don’t convoy in together we will be parked all over the place.  So don’t be late.  You must be accepted or you cannot show your car.    But attend anyway, as the Cars and Coffee is free to spectators.

See you there!!  Mark

06 Feb

Exports drive record sales and profits at Morgan, as classic British sports car maker says it will unveil new models (www.thisismoney.co.uk)

[The hype for Geneva  is starting. Interesting to see if anything is announced beyond the Aero GT,  the Anniversary Plus 8 and of course, something about the EV3.  Cheers, Mark] 

 British sports car maker Morgan has revealed record sales and profits helped by a boom in foreign demand.

The 109-year-old family-owned firm said exports were up 10 per cent in 2017, thanks in part to an expansion of its global dealer network.

Recently-launched models, including the Aero GT and 50th Anniversary V8, had also quickly sold out and a partnership to develop electric vehicle technology with engineering consultancy Frazer-Nash was struck.

Sales rose 19 per cent to £36million, with profits rising to £2million. 

Steve Morris, Morgan’s managing director, said: ‘To see such strong results for the business shows our strategy is sound and is a real credit to our dedicated, passionate and ever-growing workforce.

‘Far from resting on our laurels, we are looking forward to a strong 2018, the next stage of which will see some brand new cars being unveiled at Geneva in a few weeks’ time.’

The 109-year-old family-owned firm said exports of Morgans were up 10 per cent in 2017.

Morgan’s Aero 8 combines a modern take on its traditional style with high performance

Dominic Riley, chairman, said: ‘We are stronger than ever with record revenue growth, increased employment, a clear vision for the future and strong demand for our products.’

Morgan’s success is such that it said recently launched models, the Aero GT and 50th Anniversary V8, sold out upon unveiling.

Meanwhile, all vehicles produced at its Malvern factory are pre-sold, with none made for pre-registration unlike most car makers.

The firm added that last year saw it buy back the land on which the factory is built, which along with the purchase of its Visitor Centre proved a significant investment to ‘provide stable foundations for Morgan’s future growth plans and reverses a land buy-back deal that has been effective since 2006’.

All Morgans produced at the Malvern factory are pre-sold, with none made for pre-registration