31 Jul

MCCDC MOG 48 in Natural Bridge VA, 27-29 July 2018  

The MCCDC MOG 48 was great fun!  This year it was held at the historic Natural Bridge Hotel, 27 – 29 July 2018.

Everything was close at hand, with the Concours and Gymkhana on the property grounds and the rally on Route 11 and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

There were 27 shiny (ok, a few were dusty …) Morgans on the Concours field.  The array of Morgans included some 5 Three Wheelers – 4 Vintage Trikes and 1 new(ish) 5 Speeder.  There were two Roadsters, a whole gaggle of Plus 8 and lots of Plus 4s, both 2 Seaters and 4 Seaters.  A single DHC, but a very pretty one.  Not that many 4/4s but the model was well represented by those that were there.  There were even two race-prepared Morgans.  All were very well presented and spruced up.

Well, sort of.  As it took Andrea and I two full days (and one really bad rain storm) to get there in the Roadster, we didn’t even clean off the bugs.  We just kept them, sort of like a badge of honor . . . We did put a DO NOT JUDGE card on the windshield, though.  We didn’t want anyone to waste their time looking at the car.

I have decided that the ‘easy up’ top is not really all that easy.  On the way up to Natural Bridge we got caught in a flash rain storm.  It wasn’t too bad, until it was really bad.  I couldn’t see and had to pull to the right and slow down.  That really didn’t help and I thought I would have to just stop the car, get out and put the top up in the rain, but then, out of the damp and gloom  was an overpass!  I pulled under it . . . well, I sort of missed at first and had to back up, but finally I was able to get out of the car to manhandle the top.  ‘Easier’ maybe, but not easy.  Good thing we had lots of towels.

Someone in their wisdom decided that the autocross was unnecessary and it was omitted from the schedule for the MOG Meet this year.  In my opinion, this was a very good thing.  In my experience with the MCCDC meets, only a few folks really participated in the autocross and it was an extremely costly event (with track rentals, insurance, EMTs, etc.) and severely limited the Club from going to many really good locations, like Natural Bridge.  And, all those I talked to, even hard core Autocrossers, didn’t seem to mind that the club omitted the autocross from the schedule.

The weather was great.  Sunny and not too warm.  (Getting there, for us anyway, was another story, but . . . )  It was a bit hot on the Concours field and shade was at a premium.  Andrea managed to find some shade along the tree line that bordered the field, but it was a moving sort of thing.  The sun kept changing positions in the sky (go figure!) and that necessitated an adjustment in the position of the lawn chairs.

There was a huge number of MCCDC members, both old (vintage?) and new at the meet. Some even came without cars. (I was told many times that the car was almost done except for that unattainable ‘what’s it’ and just not ready for prime time . . .)  It really didn’t matter to us.  It was a bit like old home week.  Seeing friends that we hadn’t seen in a very long time had to be one of the highlights of the event for Andrea and I.

We lived in Northern Virginia for 8 years, and we went to the MCCDC MOGs every year, but then we moved away.  And, that was some 25 years ago!  We did go to the MOG meet a few times after we left but not many.  So, I guess it has been quite a while since we attended a MCCDC MOG meet (maybe 10 years?)

Seeing old friends, like Richard Lipski, Peggy Morris, Bev Shriver (and she is getting married in October!), Ron and Monique Naida, Penny Bates, Alan Marsh, Ed Zielinski, Pat and Sue MacAuley, and their brood, (the MacAuley girls grew up, and are now running around with kids of their own, not really sure how that happened?)  Doug and Paulette Markham and on and on.  Some folks there were totally unexpected and were very pleasant surprises for us, like Richard Lipski and Peggy Morris, Duncan and Lee Charlton, etc.

A good number of MOGSouth folks were there as well, some with cars and some without.  Gene Spainhour and Pat Harris were there with their exquisite F4 three-wheeler, Rich Fohl brought out his race car, Bev Shriver, Doug and Paulette Markham were there in the recently converted, ex-propane Plus 8, Alan Marsh and others.  Really a good crowd of folks.  Needless to say, discussions on the Hotel’s veranda went late into the night, some of which went far beyond ‘auto parts’ and were quite thought provoking (oh, and the keg of beer didn’t hurt.)

The awards banquet was surprisingly good. The Hotel did a nice job with the meal, even taking care of those with dietary restrictions.  They went beyond the standard rubber chicken.

The evening comments were brief and didn’t run on forever, which was good.  (One of things I personally hated about some past MOG meets was the endless awards presentations and forced humor during the banquet.)  It seemed as if they would never end.   Well, there usually was a beer keg waiting on the porch . . .

We got up early on Sunday to head home.  It was then that the car exhibited it’s only burp of the weekend.  We packed up, stretched our bungee cords over the lawn chairs, did the pirouette and limbo thing to get in and then turned the key – nothing, nada, no go.  It wouldn’t start??

Looking under the bonnet of a Roadster is pretty futile.  It’s just one large plastic cover and a few unidentifiable objects.  Ok, so what now??  I opened the gas cap and tried again – Voila!!  It started right up.  Perhaps vapor lock?

The drive home did include a little drama.  We had torrential rain storm only about a half hour away from our Sunday night hotel.  This time we had the top up, but the rain came down in buckets.  So much so I had to pull over on the side of the road, as I couldn’t see well enough to drive safely.  The Roadster’s wipers do work quite well, even on the intermittent setting, but it wasn’t enough for that deluge.  And, I wasn’t the only car that pulled over.  There were quite a few of us sitting there with our hazards flashing.  After 10 minutes or so it lightened up and we finished our drive.  Dinner at Waffle House, oh boy!!

Monday was just a long drive with only one memorable incident.  We sat, dead stopped on the highway for about a half hour.  Google Maps at first said a 3 minute delay, then 4 minutes, then 6 minutes . . .

Lots of folks got out of their cars to stretch their legs or let their dogs find a bush.  When we finally got going again we passed the source of the problem.  Some unfortunate soul had launched their truck and towed RV off the road and down a ravine.  The RV was totally demolished and I suspect so was their hope for a nice uneventful vacation.  Other than that, not too bad.

We got home, found the house, released the dogs from their crates, jumped in the pool and looked hard at the really tall grass.  I know what I will be doing soon!

Chores . . . they just don’t seem to go away.   Well, at least I can reminisce about this recent MOG Meet and anticipate the fun of the next!   Hope to see you there!!

Cheers, Mark

5 thoughts on “MCCDC MOG 48 in Natural Bridge VA, 27-29 July 2018  

  1. 30 cars on the field and 51 registered adults. At one time there were 250 + members and
    There would be 60-80 Morgan’s in the Concours.
    Someone needs to have a revival
    Maybe spend some of the cash sitting in the treasury to promote Morgans and the club

  2. Mark, it was great seeing you and Andrea. Glad you enjoyed the Meet. I was lucky to have excellent committee chairpersons and lots of volunteer attendees helping out. It didn’t hurt to get a break with the weather, as well. Cheers! Rich Fohl

  3. Thanks for this report Mark.
    I’m glad they’ve scraped the autocross.
    It hasn’t been cost effective for many years.

    I’m not surprised you hit heavy rains on your trip.
    I did as well returning from the auto air conditioning expert.
    Fortunately I had the top/sidescreens on which was very unusual.
    If you are interested in what I learned about the Roadster A/C, let me know.
    The bottom line is “forget it.”

    By the way, I have a good source for a condo accommodation on St. Simons if you think any members would be interested for the Dec. 1 event.

    Don

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