31 Oct

Morgan to Reinvent Itself with High-Performance Sports Car (www.autocar.co.uk)

30 October 2018

[This article seems to have a few more specifics that help clarify the reported new offering.  Things I picked out include (1) coupé and roadster, with gasoline or electric drive, (2) in house design (3) bonded aluminum chassis, similar to Aero 8, (4) standard front engine, rear drive, (5) forced induction (turbo or supercharged?) and manual or automatic transmission, (6) traditional bodied application this coming soon (2019) (a new I-6 turbo Roadster perhaps?) and (7) chassis looks to be long enough to handle an inline 6 cylinder engine.  See picture.  Cheers, Mark] 

All-new two-seat coupé and roadster are under way to take Morgan into the future

Jon Wells (left) is leading the design team on the new car

Morgan is working on an all-new high-performance sports car flagship that will both reinforce its reputation for classic design and move it on a couple of decades, notionally into the Jaguar E-Type era.

The new car, which will be made in both coupé and roadster forms , follows several years of research into what a traditionally minded 109-year-old car company should do next, without threatening its successful classic model range.  It is being created in-house by design and engineering teams that now total around 30 people as a result of recent, well-targeted investment.

The new hand-made flagship’s first iteration is understood to be a two-door, two-seat coupé that should appear in the mid-2020s, estimated to be priced near the level of an Aston Martin V8 Vantage.  It will use a new architecture with the classic Morgan front-engine, rear-drive layout and continue the marque’s tradition for compact dimensions and light weight, while utilising the latest in chassis and powertrain engineering.

Morgan bosses are coy about revealing the new car’s performance and power, not least because it will have several different powertrains, including electrified variants, over its life.  Early versions are likely to use a downsized, forced-induction six-cylinder petrol engine producing 350bhp-plus, driving through either a manual six-speed or paddle-shift automatic gearbox .

Performance is likely to be close to Plus 8 levels, which means a top speed of 150mph-plus and 0-60mph acceleration in the 4.5sec bracket.

The new car’s key structural element will be its new-era bonded and riveted box-section chassis in aluminium , created specifically for versatility in multiple applications.

This chassis, under final development now in Morgan’s workshops, will have its first production application next year in a model that uses the brand’s current classic architecture , to be launched as part of Morgan’s forthcoming 110th-anniversary celebrations.

Previous premium-level Morgans also used a bespoke aluminium chassis, but that design was created in 2000 and has been much modified since to meet current legislation. Morgan believes the new design can provide the right basis for its pricier models for the next decade, and probably beyond.

Morgan managing director Steve Morris said the new flagship shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for the Aero or Plus 8 models, recently discontinued after Morgan’s supply contract for normally aspirated 4.8-litre BMW V8s ended.  Rather, it is an early result of several years’ study into how the company should shape its future.

The new chassis is the first tangible sign of this, said Morris. It is very similar in weight and dimensions to the Aero’s outgoing structure but twice as stiff. It can also provide comfortable driving for both bigger and smaller people than existing Morgans, hence its internal description as “the wide-bodied car”.

It can also cope with the predicted demands of electrification, which might, for example, require the car to carry sizeable traction batteries and provide space in its centre-rear chassis for electric drive motors.

Design head Jon Wells said shaping the new Morgan requires integrating traditional Morgan values into a new look that moves forward in era.

One model in Morgan’s design history that faced a similar challenge is the Plus 4 Plus of 1962, a coupé that set out to modernise Morgan and is widely admired today for its beauty.  Only 26 copies were sold, mainly because the company’s marketing people (at the time dealing with enormous demand for their roadsters) unrealistically priced it alongside the then-new Jaguar E-Type.

The Plus 4 Plus was “neither classic nor modern”, said Wells, but made the bold move of ditching Morgan’s tradition for running boards.

Wells believes Morgan’s design palette is wider than most people think, aided by elements of the Plus 4 Plus, the Aero and Aeromax, and the recently revitalised 3 Wheeler.

Among desirable Morgan design traits, he lists a short front overhang, a longer rear overhang with a low rear deck [this seems backwards, shouldn’t we see a long front with short back?] , round headlights, the driver located behind the car’s centre line, a rounded ‘mouth’, elegant front wings whose highest point is over the car’s front wheels and, above all, a look of coachbuilt authenticity, enhanced by great care with surfacing and positioning of shutlines.

“Our task is to take the charm of classic motoring and make it relevant,” Wells said, “so that it can be respected and desired as a good piece of modern design.”

Morgan has great timing: 

Morgan’s decision to take time over launching a new range of flagship models looks extremely wise, given that it has just had its best car-selling year in 109 years.

In today’s uncertain conditions, it must be reassuring to be selling models whose appeal is a given, and which face no head-to-head rivals. If it keeps making the classics, the Malvern company is almost bound to stay healthy. This is also a nice moment for a new flagship. The outgoing Aero leaves a gap ready to be filled by something different. Design head Jon Wells knows the brand and its customers well and is at the height of his powers. Those of us who know and love Morgan have often wondered how this unique brand can progress. Over the next few years, we’re going to find out.

30 Oct

Morgan Working on All-New Model (www.pistonheads.com)

October 30, 2018

Electric-ready aluminium architecture and 150mph-plus performance set to characterise new era for Morgan.

Morgan may have recently announced that development of its electric three-wheel EV3, has been indefinitely halted, but the manufacturer does have more up its sleeve than special editions and bicycles.  That’s if reports in Autocar are to be believed, at any rate, the publication claiming that a 30 strong design and engineering team is currently working on an all-new model.

Touted to be released in the mid-2020s, the hand-made two-door, two-seater is predicted to initially be powered by a turbocharged six-cylinder motor producing 350hp-plus. Additional body styles – including a convertible – and powertrains – including electrified variants – are expected to follow, though all will be based on the same new front-engined, rear-wheel drive platform currently being developed.

We won’t have to wait quite as long to see that platform as we will to get a glimpse of the rest of the car, though; the chassis is set for its debut in a more recognisable Morgan next year as part of the marque’s 110th anniversary celebrations.

Despite its historic grounding and traditional techniques Morgan, like any manufacturer, will need to take steps to future-proof itself in the face of a rapidly changing industry. The incredible success of the Aero GT and 50th Anniversary V8 has seen revenue has rise by 19 per cent to £36 million in the past year, leaving the company in as strong a position as ever to take the significant step of creating a brand-new base upon which future models can be constructed.

The lightweight aluminium architecture in question will be comparable to the Aero’s in terms of weight and dimensions, but is said to be twice as stiff.  This will not only provide additional flexibility in terms of accommodating occupants more comfortably within the vehicle, but also when it comes to housing the hybrid gubbins associated with the expected electrified iterations of the car.

Obviously, the chassis and powertrain aren’t the only considerations for the Malvern-based manufacturer, with styling also vital to the success of the brand.  To that end, Head of Design Jon Wells states that his task is, “to take the charm of classic motoring and make it relevant, so that it can be respected and desired as a good piece of modern design.”  To do so he’ll draw on elements of the Plus 4 Plus, Aero and Aeromax, as well as the 3 Wheeler, stating that a short front overhang, round headlights and a driver located behind the car’s centre line are among his priorities.

Despite Managing Director Steve Morris’s claim that the new flagship shouldn’t be seen as a replacement for the recently discontinued Aero, its retirement from the range undoubtedly leaves room for a successor.  With a 4.5-second 0-60 time and a top speed in excess of 150mph projected, and pricing expected to be similar to that of Aston Martin’s latest Vantage, we’re certainly excited to see what form that car takes.

 

 

30 Oct

Morgan EV3 Development Halted (www.pistonheads.com)

Oct 10, 2018

British firm wants to “bolster” its EV team before integrating electric technology into the 3 Wheeler.

Development of the all-electric Morgan EV3 has been halted due to contractual disagreements with powertrain supplier, Frazer Nash. Morgan said that although it “remains committed to an electric future,” it has shelved the EV3 project until it gains “more EV know-how inside [its] Malvern headquarters”, suggesting more of the development could be brought in-house.

You’ll remember that the British firm’s first electric model was previewed in a concept back in 2015 before being evolved to prototype level the following year, along with a promise that a run of 19 cars would be produced in late 2018. But the company had expected Frazer Nash’s supply of hardware to be simply integrated and quickly turned moved to “turn key” level.

Managing director Steve Morris told Autocar that “our current EV powertrain supplier is no longer able to fulfil the project within the terms of the contract”, but no further explanation has been provided for the decision.

Meanwhile Frazer-Nash Energy Systems’ managing director, Noamaan Siddiqui, agreed that the deal had failed “for a number of contractual reasons”, but said that prototypes his company had built were “very promising”.  Part of the firm was recently liquidated, but, according to Companies House, it continues to operate with several new projects.

We therefore live in hope that a little more work will bring this cool open-air electric experience to market. Due with an expected 120-mile range, the EV3 mixes the latest electric technology with retro design and details. Until the project picks up pace again and sales eventually begin, though, we’ll just have to make do with the pulsing, loud and oh-so-characterful V-twin motor version.  Poor us…

 

 

29 Oct

2018 GatorMOG Fall Noggin – Safety Harbor – Event Report

The Tampa Bay Austin Healey Club hosts an All British Car Show each year, in a quaint little suburb of Tampa called Safety Harbor, FL.  This show is held right in the middle of the town and they close the roads and make a big deal out of the whole thing.  It brings business to the hotels, restaurants, boutiques and other shops so the town is happy to have the event.

There are any number of All British Car Shows around during the fall and the spring in Florida.  It’s the location, however, the town of Safety Harbor, that makes this one special.  This year was special for another reason.  Morgan was the featured marque.  Given this honor, we decided that the 2018 GatorMOG Fall Noggin should coincide with this show.  In that way we could ensure a good turnout.

Interestingly, I was contacted last year, a month or so before this show, asking if Morgan could support being the featured marque for 2017.  I said no.  The show was a month away, on day where all the local Morgans were already committed.  We needed time to get the word out.

Well, it worked.   This is only the second time I remember having attended this show.  The timing is usually in conflict with other shows or things on my calendar.  The first time I attended, there were only 2 of us.  Gene and Betsy McOmber were there with their lovely Plus 8 and Andrea and I had the Series 1 DHC.

But, this year it was different, we had 12 cars.  I knew 10 of them that had registered and then two local cars (non MOGSouth members) augmented our number.   I was pretty pleased.  We had Plus 8s and Roadsters, Plus 4s and a DHC.  The only thing missing of the 4 wheeler variety was a 4/4.  Seems we are all shifting to the idea of ‘bigger is better’ or ‘size does matter’?

The organizers split the Morgan class into 1999 and older, and 2000 and newer.  We had 7 older Morgans aligned on one side of the street and 5 newer cars, post 2000, directly across the street.  Not too bad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 1999 and older half the of the Morgan Class.  

As is the norm, we had lots of interest in the cars and lots of questions.  Many were surprised to see the newer cars, thinking Morgans had gone the way of the dinosaurs.

The 2000 and newer half of the Morgan Class. (4 Roadsters and Ron Gricius’ red ‘03 Plus 8.) Photo Courtesy of Alan Rae.

They had a good number of awards to present and the Morgan contingent got their share of them but they all say ‘Austin Healey.’  Go figure?

Alan Rae getting his award from Bill Borja, the President of the Tampa Bay Austin Healey Club.  Photo Courtesy of Alan Rae.

The picture below was our attempt at a group shot, but only shows some of the Morgan crowd and most the of awards.  Somehow we missed getting the rest if the gaggle into the picture.

This picture is purposely fuzzed as we all look like hell.  It was a long day!!

Having the show downtown on the streets of Safety Harbor was certainly interesting.  I normally don’t enjoy shows on the street or in parking lots as the tarmac gives off too much heat.  This wasn’t too bad as there was a cool front coming through and we had some sort of sea breeze making for a bit of overcast.  Really quite pleasant.

We were parked directly in front of a great breakfast and lunch spot,   (which we took advantage of, several times.) It was very, very convenient and quite good!  This venue provided something for everyone.  Those not interested in the cars were welcomed in the little shops and boutiques.

Following the awards presentation we all packed up the cars and drove them back to the Safety Harbor Spa, our hotel.  The hotel was all of 1/4 mile down the road from where the show was held.  Another good thing about this show, a very convenient hotel.  We got freshened up, had a drink at the Tiki bar by the pool, then walked back downtown for a lovely dinner.

Another supper weekend out with the cars and good friends!  In my opinion, this is the best of year in Florida.  The weather is superb, no longer hot and humid, and the snow birds are just now starting to arrive.

This one was so much fun, we will have to keep it on the schedule for next year.

If you feel the urge, come join us!  You will be more than welcome!!

25 Oct

Morgan Motor Company Announces ‘110 ANNIVERSARY’ Models

Morgan Motor Company introduces a range of ‘110 Anniversary’ models ahead of their 110th anniversary in 2019.

Each ‘110 Anniversary’ model will carry unique celebratory badging, signifying its importance as a 110 edition vehicle 2019 marks 110 years of the Morgan Motor Company, a landmark milestone for the Malvern based company, which remains privately owned by the Morgan family.

The ‘110 Anniversary’ models have been introduced in preparation for the anniversary year. Each edition will be available with a specially selected range of options, included at no extra cost to the customer.

The current Morgan range includes the 4/4, Plus 4, Roadster and 3 Wheeler.

The Morgan Motor Company is excited to announce the first in a number of celebrations for its 110th anniversary year in 2019, which will see a series of ‘110 Anniversary’ models added to the line-up.

Each of the ‘110 Anniversary’ models benefit from unique badging,  denoting their significance as 110th year models, as well as an extensive list of specially selected performance and styling options included at no extra cost.

In addition to performance and styling options, a new range of standard colours has also been introduced. In addition to the ‘Sport Range’ of colours, there is now a ‘Classic Range’ and ‘Metallic Range’, which includes a selection of colours chosen by Morgan Design.  These colours reflect some of the most popular Morgan colours throughout the company’s history, as well as some personal favourites hand-picked by Morgan’s design team.

A mix of performance and visual enhancements are also offered with each ‘110 Anniversary’ model. A front valance, rear exit sports exhaust and leather bonnet strap stand out as the more purposeful and race inspired options for Plus 4 and Roadster.

Interior trim and detail enhancements include a leather or wood rimmed Moto-Lita steering wheel, performance seats, a mohair hood pack and any choice of Yarwood leather, also available across Plus 4 and Roadster. In addition, customers will also have the option to have the ‘110 Anniversary’ logo embroidered on their headrest in matching or contrasting stitch-work, further signifying the special nature of their new Morgan. All of these options are available at no extra cost.

As well as the Plus 4 and Roadster, the 3 Wheeler also receives a selection of interior and exterior ‘110 Anniversary’ options at no extra cost. For the interior, quilted leather stitching, centre split seats, storage pockets and a mohair tonneau cover are now all included.

Stand out exterior options for the 3 Wheeler comprise any solid colour from the newly introduced colour ranges, black roll hoops, black exhaust heat shields and a body coloured engine cowl.

The announcement of the ‘110 Anniversary’ model changes for 2019 is the first in a series of announcements Morgan will make in their 110th year, their most significant milestone since the 2009 centenary.

“It is an immense pleasure and an honour to lead the Morgan Motor Company as we approach such a significant milestone in our history. We are delighted to be thriving as a privately owned, British, family owned automotive manufacturer, and in our 110th year of business are stronger than ever. Milestones such as a 110th anniversary offer everyone associated with the brand an opportunity for reflection, as well as an opportunity for us to offer even more to our customers. The ‘110 Edition’ vehicles are the beginning of our celebrations, and we look forward to making further exciting announcements throughout 2019.”

Steve Morris, Managing Director, Morgan Motor Company

110 ANNIVERSARY NO COST OPTIONS FOR 3 WHEELER INCLUDE:

  • 110 Anniversary Bonnet Badges
  • Any colour from the Morgan Sport or Classic Range
  • Body Coloured Engine Cowl
  • Mohair Tonneau
  • Black Roll Hoops
  • Black Exhaust Heat Shields
  • Quilted Leather Stitching
  • Leather Storage Pockets
  • Centre Split Leather Seats
  • 110 Anniversary Bonnet Badges
  • Any colour from the Morgan Sport or Classic Range
  • Front Valance – Babydoll Style
  • Mohair Hood Pack
  • Choice of any Yarwood Leather
  • Contrasting Stitching
  • Embroidered Headrests – Morgan or 110 Anniversary logo
  • Coloured piping – Seats and carpets
  • Aero Racing: Chrome Interior Mirror
  • Aero Racing: Leather Bonnet Strap With Chrome Buckle
  • Aero Racing: Choice of Two Moto-Lita Steering Wheels
  • Aero Racing: Rear Exit Sports Exhaust System (Cat Back)
  • 110 Anniversary Bonnet Badges
  • Any colour from the Morgan Sport or Classic Range
  • Front Valance – Babydoll Style
  • Mohair Hood Pack
  • Choice of any Yarwood Leather
  • Performance Seats
  • Contrasting Stitching
  • Embroidered Headrests – Morgan or 110 Anniversary logo
  • Coloured piping – Seats and carpets
  • Aero Racing: Chrome Interior Mirror
  • Aero Racing: Leather Bonnet Strap With Chrome Buckle
  • Aero Racing: Choice of Two Moto-Lita Steering Wheels
  • Aero Racing: Rear Exit Sports Exhaust System
22 Oct

GatorMOG’s 2018 Mid Atlantic Road Trip

This posting is only my report of the trip. Talk to the others for their thoughts. I have included a few images here (some are mine, others are from Rick, Karen, Andrea or Ron) but there are lots and lots more.  A photo gallery of some of the best pictures is also being posted.  Great fun!!  Cheers, Mark

Wander lust!  (/wän ● der ● lust/ noun: wanderlust A deep uncontrollable desire to hit the road and travel, by whatever means desired, to explore and enjoy the world – according to the omniscient internet.) 

And when you have a Morgan, the Morgan morphs into the ‘whatever means desired’.

It seems that every so often, I just have to go.  Perhaps, it’s hereditary or instinctual or just innate.  I don’t know, but the juices start to flow and the voices in my head speak to me (yes! I too hear voices, or am I just talking to myself?).  I can’t sleep, don’t eat well, drink too much.

Ok, so tell me you too know the feelings?

Well, I was cutting the grass one morning, early to beat the rain.  We do most things early in Florida to beat the rain, or the heat or the humidity.  There I was and it came to me.  Take the train or your butt will hurt.”

So here we are.  GatorMOG’s Mid-Atlantic Road Trip.  We load the Morgans and go North to Washington D.C. on Amtrak’s Auto Train and then drive ‘unhurriedly’ back down the Mid-Atlantic coast.  Nothing too fast, nothing too far.  Good hotels, good food and just enough company to mix up the daily routine.  Well, that was the plan anyway.

This ‘Road Trip’ is a bit different than the others we have been on and we planned it that way on purpose.  This road trip’s philosophy is three-fold.  (1) Limit driving time.  No marathon drives.  We are getting older and unfolding is hard.  (2) No drive-by visits.  Too many times we have been to a town or a location and haven’t had the time to see any of the sites.  We arrive, after driving all day, eat dinner, sleep in some non-descript hotel and then leave the next morning.  And, finally, (3) Limit the number of participants.  Too many folks necessitate group rates at hotels, restaurants that can handle large crowds, support vehicles, etc. Too much work to plan and organize. Herding cats is hard!

Now, taking your car on the train is really a thing of the past.  The only operating auto train in the US is the one that travels between Sanford, Florida (where I now live) and Lorton, Virginia (where I used to live, how weird is that?)  Lorton, Virginia is just a car wreck south of Washington DC, off I-95; so, for this trip, it is where we needed to go.

The opportunities for taking your car on the train are dwindling in Europe as well.  There used to be many choices but now just a few.  Sad.  Anyway, this is not the first time down the tracks for the others and I, nor the Morgans.

Day 0 of this Road Trip was preparation day.  8 October 2018.

This was a GatorMOG event and we had folks from both sides of the Florida Peninsula going on this trip.

So, to avoid any last minute trauma, we had the West Coast folks, Ron and Kathy Gricius, travel to Sanford (on the eastern side of the peninsula) on Monday morning, to Mark and Andrea’s abode.

This left us time to put Ron’s car on the lift, tighten those things that needed tightening and to react to anything else that needed reacting.  Well, it was all good, with no trauma, no reacting.  So, we just played.  Best to plan for the gremlins and have the time to fight them off, rather than to not plan for them and need to do battle, or worse yet, fall on your sword, at the last moment!

Photo Courtesy of Rick Frazee

Day 1 of this Road Trip was all about the train.  9 October 2018.  We headed to the Amtrak station mid-morning.  You need to go ‘check-in’ to verify your tickets are still correct and to sign up for your preferred dinner ‘sitting’.  They have different dinner ‘sittings’, sort of like a cruise ship.  If you want dinner prior to 9 PM you had better get there early and make your dining preference known.  There were eight of us going north on the train.  Rick and Sam Frazee in their BRG Roadster, John and Debbie Stanley in ‘Ruby’, their ruby red 2005 Roadster, Ron and Kathy Gricius in their 2003, Ferrari Red, Anniversary Plus 8, and yours truly in the two-toned, BRG over Cream ‘05 Roadster.  Once everyone accomplished all the requisite admin, we headed to downtown Sanford for lunch.  We found a meal at a Brew Pub.  Sanford is sprouting these things left and right.  There are five now.  For a town born on Celery, beer is now king.  Go figure?

We loaded our Morgans on the train in the afternoon.  Actually, Amtrak provides the drivers to load the cars, and it is a good thing, as they know the deal, narrow wheel tracks in narrow train cars.  Just the thought of navigating those constraints gives me the willies!  But, they are a bit challenged with the Morgans.  Not all the Amtrak drivers are skilled (or old enough) to drive a manual transmission.  They soon figure out the problem and then they call for ‘Lewie.’  They put the Morgans on last, driving them into the lower deck, so that they didn’t have to negotiate the steeper angles of the loading ramps.  This was good.  We did put a few extra pounds of pressure into the tires to assure maximum clearance, but it probably wasn’t needed.

Once the cars were loaded, we personally got to board the train, find our cabins, and then we headed to the ‘bar’ car.  Not much there.  But, the ‘bar’ car was our evening entertainment.  Expensive (but not fancy) wine, free cheese and crackers with each wine purchase, and pent up energy anticipating the adventure ahead.  We all went back to the ‘rooms’ to freshen up before dinner.  As said in a recent country song, I can only get so ‘fancy’.

Eventually, they called us to the dining car and down the aisle we went.  Dinner was surprisingly good, and they turned down our beds while we were out in the dining car.  After dinner, a little evening repose and finally we drifted off to the gentle rocking (with a few jolts?) of the train.  The only challenge is the bunk beds and getting down the ladder at night to the bathroom.

Again, in the morning, they called us to the dining car for breakfast.  Again, we stumbled down the aisle to the dining car.  Breakfast is only served to those that are interested and soon we arrived in Lorton.  It’s about 8:30 AM.  We are early.  The cars get off-loaded and we configure the Morgans for Day 2’s excitement.  And yes, our butts didn’t hurt!!

Configuring the Morgans is certainly Task 1.  We had the roof (hood) up for the train ride, too many birds in the train cars, but wanted to put the hoods down for the drive across the bay.  It’s warm in Virginia so the tops come off.  We also had to re-stow our bags from overnight.  Utilizing the Morgan’s space efficiently is no easy task.  A bit like that chicklets game, sliding this to the left and that to the right, somethings up and somethings back.  We didn’t take much onto the train as the sleeping berth stairways are very narrow.  But, we did have ‘things’, and those ‘things’ needed to be re-stowed so that we could get the hood down and weren’t jettisoning underwear, as we went down the road.

Day 2 of this Road Trip, 10 October 2018, was a sprint from Lorton, VA to St Michaels on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and it involved us taking the southeastern side of the I-495 D.C. Beltway.  It’s the only way to get to St Michaels, going over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  Well, I guess we could swim . . .

Well, we did it.  Minimal drama.  Lots of new roads and morning traffic, but Morgans traveling in groups is a good thing . . . I think.  Makes us more visible to the ‘not quite awake’ folks suffering (sleeping?) through this same commute – day after day after day – more focused on the ‘day ahead’ than the rest of the world or too busy texting.

St Michaels is a great maritime town along the water on Maryland’s eastern shore.  It was here we met up with another couple in our traveling band.  Karen and Chuck Bernath have family on the Eastern Shore, so they traveled up earlier in their Plus 8.

The afternoon was spent visiting the maritime museum, historical boat tours, shopping, or in my case, napping.  I had been to the museum before and I was exhausted.  We stayed in a B&B in the heart of St Michaels.  Lovely location and nice hotel.

We did have some sprinkles during the night.  It seemed to be light and intermittent.  And then the crabs came out.  Something about St Michaels and the eastern shore of Maryland.  Crabs everywhere!

Day 3 of this Road Trip, 11 October 2018, had us traveling from St Michaels MD to Virginia Beach, VA.  We left St Michaels on what seemed like a British summer day.  Hot, humid and spitting rain. Tops up and claustrophobic.  The only real use of the windscreen wipers.

Photo Courtesy of Rick Frazee

We traveled south to lunch in Cape Charles.  After lunch, the tops came down as the sun came out.  Then we ventured over the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel-Bridge complex, into the Norfolk, Virginia Beach area.  The plan was to hug the Atlantic Coast and go to Military Aviation Museum and an ocean side restaurant for dinner.  However, in the interest of safety, we opted do go directly to our hotel and stay there for dinner.  Hurricane Michael was coming!

I had developed a mechanical problem with my car.  It turned out that a hose clamp that was situated ‘just so’, was rubbing a pinhole in another rubber coolant hose.  When the car got really hot the pinhole steamed like a freight train and allowed coolant to escape the system.  This steam loss obviously resulted in a reduced level of engine coolant, making the car even hotter.  A vicious cycle, so I had been putting in coolant (or water) as a quick fix but this resulted in a few too many unplanned stops.  We arrived in VA Beach a little later than planned.

Since old friends of ours from MCCDC, Richard Lipski and Peggy Morris were joining us for dinner, I called Richard and asked him to bring us a few auto parts.  I needed a length of radiator hose and a few hose clamps.  We had a great visit with Richard and Peggy at the hotel and then we all went our separate ways to find our rooms.  We were pretty tired and had a big day facing us.  The plan was to rewicker the schedule and, in the morning, go to the Aviation Museum we had previously skipped due to the forecasted Hurricane.

The Hurricane came through Virginia Beach while we were all asleep.  We woke up to a dark hotel, without power.  Luckily the backup power was just sufficient enough for breakfast and to power the elevators.  (I am getting too old to drag the luggage up and down the stairs!)

Day 4 of this Road Trip, 12 October 2018, was smooth sailing now that the hurricane had passed us by.  We altered the plan slightly to see old airplanes and called an audible for lunch.  We waved at the Wright Brothers Monument as we drove by.  No time to stop and fly the kites we had brought.  Oh well, we just needed to get from Virginia Beach, VA to Hatteras, NC.

After the hotel cooked us breakfast and the sun came up, we headed out to the parking lot. Thanks to Rick, Ron, and the parts Richard Lipski brought us (we still needed a trip to the local hardware and auto parts store) we fixed my coolant hose problem and headed for the Aviation Museum.

The Aviation Museum was certainly worth the schedule deviation.  It was extensive and focused on significant WWI and WWII military fighter planes.  (Along, with other related exhibits.) Amazing stuff and stuff I really enjoy.  Certainly, for me it was a great place to visit and spend a few hours.

We hurried along best we could, listening to the docents and taking in all the amazing aircraft.  We did leave just a few minutes before the tour was over.  We had to get down the road to lunch.

We found a nearby spot for lunch and then continued on our way to Hatteras, NC.  I was pleased that my car was running well and cool, and now gasoline powered and not steam powered.

We skipped the planned stop at Kitty Hawk, as the visitor’s center was closed (a two-year renovation, they said?).

We passed a good bit of debris on the curbs as we traveled south along the coast road (NC-12).  Most of this was due to Hurricane Florence.  My heart goes out to those dealing with all this mess.

The drive after lunch was spectacular with the dunes and marsh grass of the North Carolina outer banks.  We hugged the coast going south.  Good roads with minimal traffic.  Some of which was National Park, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

We did have a few ‘nautical’ events along the way.  We had to cross a number of places where the road had flooded from over-wash from the Atlantic Ocean, remnants of the recent Hurricane Michael.  To me, it wasn’t too deep to drive through and I just followed the vehicles ahead of me.  In some cases, I stayed to the dry (high) side of the road.  It was sort of like the old historic Morgan photos with the cars driving through the water during field trials or some such.

Others on the trip didn’t see it as I did and swore it was very, very deep.  So much so they needed ‘snorkles’!   I’m still not so sure about that, but I was at the front of the pack and didn’t experience the ‘sloshing’ waves those in the rear surely had.  I suspect the water we crossed will get deeper and deeper as time goes by.

Certainly, good stories for the noggins to come!

Getting to Hatteras, NC was paramount, so we pushed on and washed the Atlantic Ocean from the cars once we stopped.  The hotel had a convenient hose and they allowed us to use it.  Our abode for the night was a fishing hotel on the coast.  Quaint but a bit musty.  The restaurant however wasn’t too bad.

Day 5 of this Road Trip, 13 October 2018, was spent on the Ferries.  Two Ferries actually, the first from Hatteras, NC to Ocracoke, NC and the second from Ocracoke, NC to Cedar Island, NC.  The Ferry operation was quite punctual, and we got in line early to assure we didn’t miss the boat.  Actually, we were there too early and caught an earlier ferry.  This gave us time to stop to see the wild ponies of Ocracoke.  They ran free on the island until their safety was challenged by increasing traffic and they were corralled in the 1950s.  And that’s where they were when we stopped.  Way away from the traffic, safely corralled and way beyond our sight.  Maybe it was breakfast time?

After a short while we got back in the cars and headed to the lunch stop.  We ate in Ocracoke and then got in line for the 2nd ferry.

Riding the two ferries took us all day.  But, all in all, it was great fun.  Ron Gricius had these plastic car covers and tried to use one on the ferry.  It became a group-grope which involved several other passengers and even some of the crew.  It didn’t work as the wind fought them hard.  Finally, the cover was shredded, stuffed into the car and the car’s tonneau buttoned up.  We had a tremendous laugh.

Once off the second ferry we traveled down the road about an hour to our hotel in Atlantic Beach, NC. Finding operating hotels in this part of the country proved to be the toughest part of our trip.  All our pre-arranged hotel reservations were cancelled, by two other hotels, due to storm damage.  We had to react to mother nature and find other accommodations.  In the end, everything worked out quite well.

Day 6 of this Road Trip, 14 October 2018, was spend traveling south along the North Carolina coast.  Our objective was Wilmington NC.  It was hot, and my supposed ‘air conditioner’ was pretty much useless.  Our hotel in Wilmington, NC was just across the water from the berthed USS North Carolina, a WWII Battleship.  I was looking forward to the visit but then I had to choose.  A nap or a long walk to get there, and up and down the many stairways on the ship.  I hate to say it, but I chose the nap.  Andrea, however, ventured out and down the river walk and to a historical mansion (Bellamy Mansion) up the street from our hotel, as did a number of other folks.  It turned out that nobody actually went to the ship??

The group did find an interesting pub.  Lots of beer on tap and beer kegs for urinals??  The food wasn’t recommended so they all went to another pub down the street to eat.

Day 7 of the Trip, 15 October 2018, found us in Charleston, SC.  We arrived a little late and, since the hotel’s restaurant was closed, lunch for some was quite light. (Crackers?)  Andrea and I made a quick stop to see Charlie King’s widow, Caroline, and check on in on her.  She seems to be doing ok, but Charlie’s recent passing had obviously taken its toll.  Hopefully, she will join us for the Holiday Party in December.

Being the tourists we all were, we ventured into town and found a horse drawn trolley to take us around the historic district of the town.  This is a great way to get quickly introduced to the magic and mystery of a new place.  The trolley drivers are all really tour guides and give you quite a bit about the folk lore and history of the region.  And the pace of the horses is just about perfect.  Several of us ate dinner in an old church near the stables of the carriage ride.  Pretty cool atmosphere.

Day 8, 16 October 2018, found us circling the squares in Savanah GA.  We opted for a hop-on, hop-off trolley bus this time.  A bit of history from the driver but I didn’t really pay much attention to what she was saying.  I was just enjoying having someone else doing the driving for the moment.  Again, it was hot, so we ate lunch on River Street in a popular restaurant with good air conditioning.

Photo Courtesy of Karen Bernath. (Just what was Karen doing in the men’s room?)

Dinner was also down on River Street, at the Chart House.  There are lots of other options, but we like the Chart House in Savannah and always seem to dine there.  After dinner, we opted for drinks at the roof top bar of the Bohemian Hotel, quite a view of the river and the city.  It was not overly crowded (good!) but still quite warm.  We drank ‘cold’ things like ‘ice cream on the rocks’.

Day 9 of this Road Trip, 17 October 2018, was in St Augustine, FL.  We stayed right in the heart of the historic district in a lovely old Bed and Breakfast hotel, the Southern Wind Inn.  One of the supposedly ‘less’ haunted Inns in St Augustine.  In the afternoon, well before dinner, while some folks went shopping, the rest of us found ourselves sitting on the second floor veranda, rocking in wicker chairs, drinking wine and watching the world go by.  Glorious!  Simply glorious!   Karen and Chuck chose to head home as they live quite near in Jacksonville, FL (or was it that they knew for sure their house wasn’t haunted?)

Day 10 of this Road Trip, 18 October 2018 found us travelling home.  Ron and Kathy left early to get back to Winter Park, FL to see a Rover mechanic.  Ron had some gremlins he wanted to address before traveling back to the west coast of Florida.  After breakfast, the Frazees, Stanleys and Braunsteins took off for central Florida together until we each peeled off in our various directions for home.

The end of another superb Morgan adventure!  We all had mixed emotions about it ending.  On one hand we were ready for the trip to end, we were tired, a bit ‘road weary’ and Andrea wanted to see her dogs.  On the other hand, however, we simply wanted more.  I saw a sign for Miami and briefly thought ‘let’s go’!

I guess we will have to plan something else soon!!

See More Pictures in the Photo Gallery. Click the link below

http://www.mogsouth.com/2018/10/22/gatormogs-2018-mid-atlantic-road-trip-2/

19 Oct

2018 MOGSouth Holiday Party – Updates (as of 19 October 2018)

Folks, just a quick update to remind folks to make reservations for the MOGSouth Holiday Party,  1 December 2018.  (FYI, Most folks have indicated that they will arrive on Friday, 30 November.)

The 2018 Holiday Party will be held at the St Simon’s Island King & Prince Resort (www.kingandprince.com) on Sat 1 Dec 2018. 

Unfortunately, the reserved MOGSouth block of rooms with the discounted rates are now all gone.  I understand that there are still rooms available at the King and Prince Resort, but not at the reduced rate.

Send Mark an email (series1@cfl.rr.com) as soon as possible, if you have not already done so.   Please let Mark know if you are staying in the King and Prince Hotel and will be attending the Holiday Banquet.

We will collect the money for the banquet at the door.  It will be 41$  per person.  Please bring cash or personal check to pay.  We cannot take credit cards.

Note MOGSouth will be subsidizing the banquet prices over and above the 41$.  We will also have a full bar available before and during the banquet.  This will be in addition to the traditional MOGSouth Hospitality Suite (The Wesley Cottage) which will be open at selective times throughout the weekend.   Wow!! Your dues $$ at work! 

FYI, the planned Trolley ride for Saturday morning (1 Dec) has been fully booked . . . twice (they added a second tour just for us).   Seats on the trolley may become available, but only if folks cancel.

Regardless, it will be a great time to come together as a group and rekindle old friendships and make new ones.  I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone in December.

Cheers,
Mark

01 Oct

2019 MOGSouth Spring Meet

Save the Dates!! 17 – 19 May 2019

In this age of recycling, we will reuse all the great planning Glenn and Dorothy Moore put into the 2018 Fall Meet (that’s the one we unfortunately had to cancel due to Hurricane Florence) and try to use it for the upcoming Spring Meet.     As we had planned for the cancelled Fall Meet, we are going to historic Augusta Georgia.

Negotiations are underway with the designated meet hotel, the Partridge Inn in Augusta, for comparable room rates, etc.  As soon as these are confirmed we will let you know the details so that you can make your reservations.   Stand by!

There will be other things we need to know but for now, just pencil in the dates on your calendar.