19 Feb

Roadster Run!

It’s chilly outside . . . got to go south!  Well it’s only 60° but even so I’m chilly, none the less.  Been in Florida too long.  I think my blood has thinned.

This weekend is the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club All British Car Show (actually the 26th annual).  It is down in South Florida where it’s warmer.  We go every year as we have several MOGSouth members down that way and it’s good to see them every now and again.  It used to be in Boca Raton but now is in West Palm Beach.  Still south, still warmer!

We have few folks from North / Central Florida going along with us, as well.  Perhaps they too are chilly?  Allan and Mary Ann Rae, Chuck and Karen Bernath, and Robin and Christine Bycroft.  The others in the area are either predisposed or in some other way committed . . . off racing or vacationing in Asia or some such.  But it won’t be a problem as I suspect we will join another 4 – 6 Morgans once we get there.  And a host of other British Cars. 

Getting there is a logistics challenge.  We all come from differing parts of Florida and need to travel on different roads.  However, as it is more fun to travel in packs, we have a rendezvous or two in the plan with designated gathering spots and hook-up times, along the route.  Gas and rest stops are always good! 

I took the Roadster out this time.  It has been a few months since the car has had a good run.  Also, I just changed the oil and filter, and completed a full maintenance (112 tasks) session on the car.  This has got to make it faster . . . right?  The only problematic thing I found during all that maintenance was an inoperable front (passenger side) turn indicator.  I figured a bulb was blown but when I pulled off the lens it was much more than that.  The whole thing was corroded.  An entire new light or at least a new bulb receptacle was in order . . . but then, after some thought and being cheap, I figured I might be able to rebuild it! 

I rummaged around in my bin of bits and found some derelict light housings.  Actually, I found three old round light bases, complete with wires.  Two had a single wire to the bulb and one had two wires.  And of course, the size and shape were different from the corroded one on the Roadster.  Progress, I assume! 

I contemplated the differences for a few minutes, pondering all sorts of Morgan induced gremlins, until it finally occurred to me that the two with only the single wire were both steel and the one with the double wire was aluminum.  Why the change, I thought.  The steel ones said Lucas while the aluminum one was devoid of any markings.  Perhaps someone was afraid to admit to making the thing or perhaps it was just an aftermarket piece?  

Ah ha!  The steel ones were grounded directly when bolted to the car.  No need for a grounding wire.  The aluminum one however needed a grounding wire.  Aluminum isn’t the best conductor of electricity.  Again, that college education pays off! 

I then decided that since the size and shape were different, I would only use the inner bulb receptacle.  I took the aluminum one, the one with the two wires, and cut away all but the needed bulb receptacle.  I then stuffed this bulb receptacle into the recess left when I removed the corroded one from the Roadster.  A tight fit, but a fit none the less.  I tested it with a new bulb.  And, there was light! 

I tightened it all back up and bingo, I had turn indicators!  An hour of fiddling about and it was all good again.  Ok, the car was ready for the road!

Now to gather all the requisite stuff.  It’s not that Morgans lack storage space, there’s plenty.  It’s that we have become too accustomed to travel with all sorts of crap.  Chairs and hats and phones and blankets, tools and rags and on and on.  Not to mention the bulging suitcase on the luggage rack! 

Finally, . . . down the road we go!

We stayed at the designated hotel chosen by the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club.  It was right next to the show field . . nothing too fancy, clean and affordable.  Close to the show was good for us as we really didn’t want to drive all over an unknown location, risk getting lost or arriving late, or worse yet missing the show altogether.  And, this hotel had free breakfast and was in walking distance of a decent restaurant.  We gathered for dinner and walked to the recommended sports bar, BJs, for our evening repast.  A sports bar is fine for this crowd, lots of options for food, beer and wine, and the noise level wasn’t adversely impacted by our raucous babble.  

The free hotel breakfast came earlier that I liked but there it was in all it’s glory . . . cardboard waffles and rubber eggs.  I had coffee. 

Then we all piled into the cars and drove, had to be all of a mile, to the show.  We were parked all together this year (last year we were scattered about), except Robin and Christine Bycroft who were past Class winners and were parked in a separate ‘Prestige Class’ with the other past winners. 

The Morgans had quite a respectable showing.  We had 7 Morgans in the show counting the (1) Bycroft’s lovely BRG 1989 Plus 8. 

(2) 1967 Plus 4 Drop Head Coupe (Cream w/ Brown Wings) belonging to Gil & Barbara Stegen
(3) 1980 Plus 8 Fuel Injected Turbo (Gray w/ Black Wings) belonging to Chuck & Karen Bernath
(4) 2003 Anniversary Edition Plus 8 (Aston Martin Green) belonging to Bennett & Mary Shulman
(5) 2005 3.0L Roadster (BRG) belonging to Allan & Mary Ann Rae
(6) 2005 3.0L Roadster (Cream w/ BRG Wings) belonging to Mark & Andrea Braunstein
(7) 2018 3.7L Roadster (Blue) with only 100 miles, belonging to Lewis Pollack.

The Morgan Class winner was the ’67 Plus 4 Drop Head Coupe belonging to Gil & Barbara Stegen and rightly so.  The car was lovely and superbly displayed (as always).  Second in Class went to Bennett & Mary Shulman’s spectacular 2003 Anniversary Edition Plus 8.  Third in Class then went to the extremely well prepared 2005 3.0L BRG Roadster, goggles and all, belonging to Allan & Mary Ann Rae.  Then they announced the Prestige Class winners and Robin and Christine’s 1989 BRG Plus 8 took second in a group of quite stellar competition.  I dare say the Morgans did quite well on the day!

A big highlight of the show, for us Morgan types anyway, was ogling Lewis Pollack’s brand new, 2018, component 3.7L Roadster.  What a lovely machine!  We were all drooling.  Blue over cream leather.  Wow!  Lewis quickly fit right in with the MOGSouth crowd and as he is already a member of the club, I suspect we will see this car again, quite soon.

After the show, it was back to the hotel for a nap.  Then off to another sports bar for dinner.  This time we had to drive, but it wasn’t far.  Dinner came and went.  Then back to bed.  We were all spent.  The midday sun and 85°+ temperatures had done us all in.  

Hotel breakfast again on Monday.  There was a plan to convoy home, but it somehow fell apart.  The two Roadsters, Raes and Braunsteins, set off together to explore the coastline and meander North.  Banyan tree canopies, sparkles of sun light and glimpses of the ocean.  Marvelous!  And, then there were the mansions. 

We meandered along the Florida coastline traveling north but really getting nowhere fast . . . (photo courtesy of Allan Rae)

Now, I understand large homes and even waterfront properties.  But these were simply amazing!  It boggled the mind.  Most houses had a driveway, ok we all have one of those, but then 100 yards or more, further down, they had a ‘Service Entrance’.  These houses must have been massive!  Really, a Service Entrance?  Wow!  

Now I want a ‘Service Entrance.’  I may just make a sign . . .

The Bernath’s had taken off a bit earlier and found the Elliot Museum, in Stuart Florida.  They stopped, so we stopped.  What an amazing place!  The collections at the museum were eclectic.  Vintage cars, wooden boats, airplanes, dioramas of a vintage kitchen and a commercial pharmacy with soda shop, a model train collection, outboard motors, Frances Langford’s wardrobe (she sang with Bob Hope on many USO tours), and much more.  

The most incredible thing, for me anyway, was the vintage car storage machine (sort of like a car vending machine?)  Just watching this thing was worth the entire stop.  Although there were many cars openly displayed in the various rooms, there were some 54 cars stored in a large, temperature and humidity controlled, glass enclosed machine / complex.  They were stored three levels high and two rows deep.  The docent had a computer controlled selector and when he selected a specific car, the machine went and found the car.  It then lifted it up and put the car on an elevator, which brought it down, moving it to the center of the complex, and then displayed it (rotating it on a turn style) just in front of where we were sitting.  We couldn’t get enough of this thing and asked to see some three different cars.  The cars were cool, but the machine, moving the cars around, was even cooler.  We stopped before the darn thing broke.  We feared the worst as the docent indicated the company that manufactured the complex machine went belly up a year after it was created, and the machine was now the most demanding maintenance item in the entire museum!  

We soon left the museum and continued up the coast to a water front restaurant (Kyle Gs) for lunch.  Chuck Bernath got there a few minutes before we did and wrangled parking spaces, for the Morgans, at the front door.  Thank you, Chuck!  This was certainly appreciated (as the parking lot was overflowing.)  Although the restaurant was pretty crowded, they found us a table with a view.  Excellent service and excellent food. 

Then it was back in the cars and up the coast.  West to I-95 and a dash for home.  

A bit hot in south Florida but all-in-all good fun!  Great cars, great company and really another great Morgan weekend! 

Oh, and just as I pulled off the highway, with no more than a mile or two to get to my house, the turn indicator I had fixed, stopped working.  Go figure?  Oh, the pleasures of Morgan ownership!

See you soon!
Mark

5 thoughts on “Roadster Run!

  1. Thanks for another great article Mark!
    As a retired electronics guy just had to let you know that aluminum is a great conductor of electricity-they used to use it for house wiring but corrosion issues and flexing/breaking was the end of that use….
    cheers, Eric

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.