21 Mar

Routine Maintenance Items

As you all know, I have several Morgan cars. Each of these cars is different and each of these cars needs to be maintained in a different manner.

For each car, I have identified a number of maintenance tasks that need to be accomplished at specific times and/or mileage intervals. I also have a tracking mechanism (computer program) that keeps me from forgetting to change the oil or check the lights on a given car.

These maintenance tasks have been identified over time through personal experience, found in published books, MMC handbooks, or recommended by others with similar cars. These lists have evolved over time, and continue to evolve.

These service lists may seem excessive or not accurately match your specific list, but I thought I would provide them, not as gospel, but as merely a suggestion, starting point, or food for thought.

In each of these service lists there are also likely to be duplicate tasks, misspellings or other editing problems. My apologies, these errors get fixed as I find them, as this really is a work in progress.

These service lists are provided as Microsoft Excel files (*.xlsx) which should be readable and/or editable by just about everyone. If, however, you cannot read and/or edit these file, and want to, just let me know. I will find another format that works for you.

There are certainly others of you that are far more technically inclined than I am and can offer some very good advice (send me an email!) on what I should change.

Cheers, Mark

12 Mar

How do you say ‘MOGSouth Noggin’ in Italian??

Actually, it does translate! ‘boccaletta’ !

The weekend was grand!  Top down the entire time!  I did flop the top up on the car up at night but never really secured it.  It was just to give the storm cover some support.  I don’t even think Allan and Mary Ann Rae, who traveled with us from central Florida, did even that much. 

There weren’t any storms or even strong winds.  The weather was glorious!  A little cool when the sun went down, but otherwise spectacular.  Certainly different from past years in Amelia. 

This one was a bit special.  The announcements from Geneva this year were certainly thought provoking.  Also, we had the MMC factory folks and many of the US Morgan dealers in town for a ‘big’ dealer meeting.  I invited a good number to the Friday evening Noggin and many came.  It was great for the MOGSouth members at the Noggin to chit chat with folks they know and love.  Well, ok perhaps ‘love’ is a bit strong, but . . .

Andrea and I, along with Allan and Mary Ann Rae, traveled up on Friday morning in the Roadsters.  It was really a sprint up the highway.  Amelia Island is not too far north of Jacksonville, Florida, so a pleasant enough drive for us.  About 3.5 hours.  We chose this year to stay in Jacksonville and drive back and forth along the St Johns river, as needed.  This was necessitated by the limited hotels on the Island itself.  You really have to anticipate and book a hotel room some 6 – 9 months out.  And, then you have to save your Nickles and Dimes to pay for the room and be willing to accept the minimum number of nights demanded.  The Amelia Island inn keepers tend raise the rates quite high for the big Concours weekend. 

Alas, supply and demand . . .

Once we tucked our bags and such into our rooms in Jacksonville, we headed back out to the cars and meandered our way up to Fernandina Beach for lunch.  The drive along the river during the day has a different feel than the drive at dawn, but it is still quite pretty, nonetheless.  Lots of twisty bits, lots of water and lots of folks fishing off the bridges.  You could tell it was Concours weekend as 90% of the oncoming traffic was something noisy and interesting.  Porsches, Ferraris, a Deux Chevaux? and others.  Very neat!

Once there, we found lunch with a view of the water after parking on some grass next to a Blood Bank table.  The kids at the table assured us that the grass was a fine place to park (some others had just left!) so we parked and walked away.  Parking is quite difficult in Fernandina Beach during the Concours weekend and I suspect (well, I hope!) the parking police are pretty lenient during the weekend.  It seems like there were cars everywhere.  (And, there were many, many folks with yellow tape or rope barriers across their home’s road frontage, trying to protect their lawns from folks looking to park.) 

This was only our first taste of the parking challenge . . . 

After lunch, it was over to the location of the Friday evening Noggin.  I wanted to get there early as this was a new location for us, the Salt Life Bar and Grille.  It was fairly close to the sports bar we have used previously but this place had oodles and oodles of parking.  Something lacking at our previous spot.  (ah, that ‘parking’ thing, again!) 

The restaurant manager, Tina, had us set up in a roof top ‘lounge’ complete with propane heaters, couches and overstuffed chairs.  It even had a fire pit.  Not too bad a spot for us, albeit a bit chilly when the sun went down.  The view of the ocean was stunning! 

Taking on a big group like ours is always difficult.  30+ folks are always in need of something, whether it’s food or drink, so the staff was constantly jumping to keep us all satisfied.  And, I have to be somewhat appreciative of their efforts as this restaurant doesn’t take reservations but did reserve this ‘prime’ spot for us!

A very good turn-out!  Lots of MOGSouth folks attended.  Some we hadn’t seen in quite a while.  We also had a good number of the US Morgan dealers at the Noggin.  We talked mostly about nonsensical stuff, all-the-while trying to eek out some tidbits of information or get some sense of their feelings about the big Geneva announcements and the forthcoming dealer meeting.  I didn’t get any earth shattering nuggets but did sense a feeling of ‘concerned’ optimism.  Other comments about the component cars, future business outlooks, the very different and misunderstood American market, etc., seemed to flow freely. 

Then we had to head back to the hotel.  The drive in the dark was uneventful.  We got the cars home safely and tucked them in.  Prime parking spots right out front next to the hotel portico.  Diamond Members (I think not!).  Then up to bed with an early rise in the morning.  The convoy back to Fernandina Beach was to start at 6:30 AM. Yikes!

The drive from Jacksonville to Amelia Island, along the St Johns River, at the crack of dawn is truely amazing! 

The sun coming up over the horizon, peeking through the swamp grass and the masts of the boats in the marinas is very special.  Getting up early to make the drive, however, is not so special.  This year we had the two Roadsters, ours and the Rae’s, and Harry Gambill’s Aeromax with Rick Fraser’s Aero Eight in our convoy. 

As we have done in past, we all met at a convenient diner, and then convoyed down the road, into the cars and coffee display area, as a single gaggle of Morgans.  Typically, if you don’t come in as a group, the organizers will just park you wherever they have space.  This year was different.  With the Morgan factory folks and the Morgan dealers having a new car display, they wanted the Morgans to park in a specific location on the field, just adjacent to the new car display and tent.

We were directed to our predefined spot which was fine, but it was a bit far away from the coffee and donuts.  I don’t think we could have gotten much further away.  I finally walked back to the coffee tent, got a cup, and started the trek back.  I think I was all but done with my cup by the time I got back.  Oh well, there was probably some overly caffeinated Porsche owner, vibrating right next to the tent.  (Who knows, he may still be there!)

As usual, the Morgans were a big hit.  Lots and lots of interested folks and lots of questions.  We had a very good display with almost all model variants represented.  Roadsters, Plus 8s (early and late), Plus 4s (Larry Erd was there with his freshly restored SuperSports clone, still not totally sorted), a Four Seater, the Aeromax, the Aero 8, M3Ws, and Austin Britton’s early 4/4.  And, when folks asked about availability, we pointed to the new car tent.  It was all good.  

There were also a number of MOGSouth members, or other Morgan owners there without cars or supporting some other marque, who came by to say hello.  Tony McLaughlin of Morganville fame, Jon Scott from Charleston, Charlie and Beth Miller, Stu Mosbey was there with his Porsche(?), Ray Morgan was running around the Ritz, getting ready to show a car on Sunday, and Ian Levitt from Nashville all came by. 

Again, I tried to get some information out of the MMC folks and Morgan dealers.  I spoke to the two factory employees (Mark and Mike?) for a few minutes and I spoke to six Morgan dealers.  Again, I came up empty.  Nothing, nada, zilch . . .

I really wish I could report on some momentous tidbit of information, but I never got any.  And, my attempts to get feedback from the dealers following the afternoon’s big meeting have also failed. 

I suspect the dealers are all confused somewhere, hunkering down under the ‘cone of silence’. . .

Following the show, a dozen of us or so ventured downtown to find a late lunch.  The traffic leaving the Cars and Coffee was nuts, every intersection was backed up, so a short-cut through a neighborhood freed us from our confines.  We found the restaurant but, again, were challenged to find a spot for the car.  Around the block a few times, then a couple guys, car enthusiasts I guess, found me a spot.  It wasn’t optimal but it was a spot.  I had to go the wrong way down a one way street and then back into the spot.  It was a bit chaotic getting in, it was tight and I hit the curb a few times, but I had a parking spot, and an official one at that.  And, it wasn’t all that far from the Restaurant.  Score!!

After lunch, we drove back to the hotel.  Tired and ready for a nap.  We had the hotel booked for another night so no need to hurry home.  We drove back along the St Johns one last time and parked out front once again.  We found dinner in the adjacent sports bar.  Nothing fancy just a salad bar, a ‘pork’ chop and a ‘belly-up gold fish’?  

Breakfast at the hotel Sunday morning was abandoned in hopes of something better.  I think we found it.  Then it was time and we reluctantly headed south down I-95 for home. 

It was a lovely weekend.  Lots of cars, plenty of sunshine, good company and nothing broke!!  Can’t ask for much more!

Cheers, Mark  

07 Mar

Just Reduced the Price – $53,000 – !! 1991 Plus 8 for Sale

Morgan Plus 8, 1991, five speed, left hand drive, original paint, 3.5 L engine, Rover V-8, 25,300 original miles.

All the goodies!! Pirelli tires, wire wheels, luggage rack, soft top, side curtains, tonneau cover, fluids serviced in 2019, plus new custom steel duel exhaust system. Garaged.

Beautiful and runs great. $53,000. 239-466-3852. NoStress427@aol.com Location, Fort Myers, FL

05 Mar

Morgan Takes On Financial Partner – 5 March 2019

European Investment Group Investindustrial Acquire Morgan, 5 March 2019 – https://classiccarcuration.co.uk/

Morgan

Investindustrial has today announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Morgan Motor Company Ltd (“Morgan”), the iconic 110-year old British sports cars manufacturer.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and it is expected to complete in April 2019. The Morgan family will continue to act as stewards for the brand and retains a minority shareholding. Meanwhile, for the first time in its history, the management team and all employees will become shareholders in the business.

The investment is executed without financial debt, and Morgan will have a positive net cash position upon closing of the transaction. The investment in Morgan is made by a separate fund (with a different strategy) from Investindustrial V L.P. (whose investment subsidiaries hold a stake in Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings PLC).

Steve Morris, CEO, Morgan Motor Company, commented:

“The future is bright for Morgan. We are coming off the back of two record years. We have an all-new vehicle architecture and powertrain,
and have just launched the most dynamically capable Morgan yet, the exciting new Plus Six at the Geneva International Motor Show. Now we have the best possible owner and partner to take the business to the next level and develop Morgan’s global potential.”

Founded in 1909

Founded in 1909, Morgan continues to this day to hand-build premium sports cars with a classic design in its historic factory in Malvern, UK, which is visited by more than 30,000 enthusiasts each year. With revenues of £33.8 million and net profit of £3.2 million in 2018, the company sells around 700 cars per year including a portfolio of iconic car designs and a unique 3 Wheeler manufactured using three core elements: ash, aluminium and leather.

The Morgan brand is synonymous of quintessential British craftsmanship, elegance, performance and design. Morgan has a loyal and active owners’ community with more than 5,000 members and 50 clubs globally.

As part of the transaction, and as a sign of its long-term faith in the company and the wider British automotive sector, Investindustrial will support Morgan to accelerate new product development, after the launch today of the new Plus Six at the Geneva motor show, the first to adopt the company’s new CX-Generation architecture, increase global distribution and broaden customers’ experience with unique events, enabling Morgan to fulfil its global potential as an iconic maker of hand-built British sports cars. In supporting the company, Investindustrial will leverage its vast experience and track record in the automotive industry, developed through a number of successful investments over the last 30 years, such as Aston Martin and Ducati.

Dominic Riley, Chairman, Morgan Motor Company, commented:

“The past two years have been the most successful in our company’s 110-year history. However, to really fulfill Morgan’s full potential and secure our long-term future, both the family and management team, felt it was essential to bring in a strategic partner. A partner that shares our vision for Morgan and has the expertise, financial resources and track record of success in the automotive world, to make it happen. That partner is Investindustrial.”

Morgan will continue to focus on its niche classic segment within the automotive sector, with bespoke manufacturing, hand-built products, and the use of ash remaining central to its strategy. Investindustrial will work closely with current management and the wider Morgan family to make sure that future development of the business will be respectful of and remain true to the company’s unique heritage.

MAJORITY STAKE ACQUIRED IN ICONIC SPORTS CAR MANUFACTURER (5 Mar 2019, www.insidermedia.com/)

Majority stake acquired in iconic sports car manufacturer

A majority stake has been acquired in an iconic 110-year-old British sports car manufacturer.

Investindustrial has acquired the interest in Morgan Motor Company for an undisclosed fee. The deal is expected to complete in April.

The Morgan family will continue to act as stewards for the brand and retain a minority shareholding while the management team and all employees will have a share of the business.

The investment has been executed without financial debt, and Morgan will have a positive net cash position upon closing of the transaction.

The move has been made by a separate fund, with a different strategy, from Investindustrial VLP whose investment subsidiaries hold a stake in Aston Martin.

Founded in 1909, Morgan Motor Company hand-builds premium sports cars with a classic design in its historic factory in Malvern which is visited by more than 30,000 enthusiasts each year.

With revenues of £33.8m and net profit of £3.2m 2018, the company sells about 700 cars per year including a portfolio of iconic car designs and a unique three-wheeler manufactured using three core elements: ash, aluminium and leather.

As part of the transaction Investindustrial will support Morgan to accelerate new product development, after the launch of the new Plus Six at the Geneva motor show today – the first to adopt the company’s new CX-Generation architecture, increase global distribution and broaden customers’ experience with unique events.

Dominic Riley, chairman at Morgan Motor Company, said: “The past two years have been the most successful in our company’s 110-year history.

“However, to really fulfil Morgan’s full potential and secure our long-term future, both the family and management team, felt it was essential to bring in a strategic partner.

“A partner that shares our vision for Morgan and has the expertise, financial resources and track record of success in the automotive world, to make it happen. That partner is Investindustrial.”

Jill Price, Peter Morgan’s daughter and longest serving Morgan family director, added: “Having very carefully considered all options for the future success of Morgan, the family concluded that this new ownership structure and Investindustrial, have the pedigree and resources to secure the long-term future of Morgan.

“It was important for the family to retain a shareholding, and we are delighted that our loyal management team and workforce will now also have a share in the business going forward.”

Andrea C. Bonomi, Investindustrial’s chairman of the Industrial Advisory Board, said: “Morgan is one of the most famous names in the automotive world. Morgan’s handmade British sports cars are true icons of the industry.

“We have followed the company and seen its progress for some time and see significant potential for Morgan to develop internationally whilst retaining its hand-built heritage, which is at the heart of the Morgan Motor Company.

“We share with the Morgan family the belief that British engineering and brands are unique and have an important place in the world.”

Steve Morris, chief executive at Morgan Motor Company, said: “The future is bright for Morgan. We are coming off the back of two record years.

“We have an all-new vehicle architecture and powertrain, and have just launched the most dynamically capable Morgan yet, the exciting new Plus Six at the Geneva International Motor Show.

“Now we have the best possible owner and partner to take the business to the next level and develop Morgan’s global potential.”

05 Mar

2019 – New Plus 6 Announced at Geneva

[Here it is! The new Morgan we have been waiting for. As predicted it has BMW power, but a lot of other things are new. Although it looks like a typical classic, there are a number of significant changes. A new, modern, aluminum chassis, and a host features specifically addressing creature comforts, and area typically ignored by Morgan. I have just been studying the pictures and can see loads of new features. If you want more, google Morgan Car Geneva and read the various reports. When and if we will see the car in the US is still TBD. Cheers, Mark]

Introducing the all-new Morgan Plus Six (MMC Press Release)

In its landmark 110th year in business, the Morgan Motor Company is excited to introduce the next generation of Morgan sports car, debuted today at the Geneva International Motor Show. The all-new Morgan Plus Six is, without exception, the most dynamically capable Morgan ever produced. Further extending Morgan’s unique blend of craftsmanship and technology, the Plus Six celebrates Morgan’s timeless design, underpinning it with the newly introduced CX-Generation aluminium bonded platform and the latest BMW powertrain.

An expanding in-house Research and Development team, a growing list of strategic technical partners and an extensive testing programme ensure the Plus Six is the most thoroughly developed Morgan product to date.  

The Plus Six represents several firsts for Morgan, most notably the first time the company has utilised a turbocharged engine. The BMW 2019 B58 TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder engine is a latest generation BMW powertrain and Morgan has worked alongside BMW to fine-tune the performance capabilities of the Plus Six.

A closer look at the iconic Morgan silhouette gives a number of clues to just how radically different the Plus Six is to any other Morgan model before it. Subtle vents provide a hint of the raw power and performance that underpin the beautiful flowing lines of the exterior. Make no mistake, whilst familiarly Morgan, almost every part of the Plus Six has been refined or redesigned, with less than one percent of the 4,000 parts being shared across other Morgan models.

A completely redesigned cabin celebrates the natural materials used within Morgan craftsmanship, as well as offering greater levels of personalisation than ever before. The new cockpit is more driver focussed and encompasses appropriately introduced technology, whilst also allowing customers more leg room and increased stowage space.

The Plus Six is one of the cleanest vehicles within the Morgan range. The introduction of the new powertrain has led to a CO2 figure of 170g/km and a combined MPG figure of 38.2mpg. The achievement of a more fuel-efficient vehicle allows the Plus Six to compete in key European markets, which have previously proven prohibitive for high-performance Morgans due to tax reasons in recent years. 

The Plus Six goes on sale today, and is priced from £77,995 inc. VAT in the UK.

CX-Generation Architecture

The all-new CX-Generation bonded aluminium platform is a leap forward in terms of the engineering that underpins Morgan’s most dynamically capable model. Weighing less than 100 kilograms, the all-new platform benefits from a 100% increase in torsional rigidity. 

The key engineering attributes of the CX-Generation platform not only aid performance for the Plus Six, but also offer several important driver benefits including 200mm increased leg room and 31% increase in stowage space.

First Editions

The ‘first edition’ Emerald and ‘first edition’ Moonstone Morgan Plus Six models represent the diverse array of specification options that are available on Morgan’s latest model. Each of the 50 first Plus Six models will be built in ‘first edition’ specification and are available to order now.

Reimagined Interior

The Plus Six features an all new, more driver focussed and refined cockpit. A reimagined interior offers greater levels of personalisation than any Morgan previously, whilst cleverly incorporating technology throughout. A display screen is neatly positioned within the driver’s field of vision, subtly embedded into the dashboard with an unlimited level of wood and colour combinations. Sculpted doors incorporate all new puddle lighting, central locking mechanisms and hidden speakers.

The Morgan Plus Six comes with Supra power (www.topgear.com)

Old looks, but an entirely new Morgan with turbo power from BMW (and Toyota)

Meet the Plus Six, an almost entirely brand new Morgan. Which looks – perhaps reassuringly – just like an old Morgan. Believe it or not, a mere four components have been carried across from previous models, and they’re the round metallic stoppers for the centrally hinged bonnet. Everything else has been replaced or completely redesigned.

What those stoppers protect is the big news. Morgan had already told us the Plus 8 was surrendering its V8, and its change in name is a ginormous clue to what lies beneath, namely a 3.0-litre straight-six turbo engine producing 335bhp and 369lb ft.

If that sounds like a familiar set-up, well it is; the engine comes across almost wholesale from the BMW Z4 and, indeed, the Toyota Supra. The car of the moment. The Plus Six gets its own calibration and exhaust tune, mind, and with a mere 1,075kg to move around, achieves a stocky 166mph top speed and 4.2secs. More modern aerodynamics would likely improve both figures…

That turbo six drives the rear wheels, but despite this being Morgan’s first ever turbocharged car, via no safety systems whatsoever. There’s not a jot of traction or stability control, ABS being the only sop to that entirely modern attitude of ‘not wanting to crash’.

But this is where news story number two comes in: the Plus Six is based upon an entirely new aluminium and ash architecture that should futureproof Morgan’s next range of high-end sports cars. The so-called ‘CX’ platform may host an entirely familiar looking car to begin with, but expect considerably more radical Morgans to follow. Hybrids, EVs, active safety systems, even a degree of self-driving… this new age of Morgan will be able to adapt to whatever its maker (or legislation) sees fit.

So while future Morgans can be malleable to changes in safety rules, the Plus Six channels all of that turbo power through no filters whatsoever. There’s only an eight-speed ZF automatic for now, with fixed plastic paddles behind the wheel and the same central gear selector as all the BMWs (and the Toyota) the drivetrain is shared with. A manual may follow in due course.

There’s a choice of comfort, sport and sport plus drive modes, though they operate only on gearbox and throttle reactions. There’s no adaptive damping or suchlike, but again, it’s something future models may get. If you’re worried, then the new platform is twice as strong as the one it replaces with inevitable benefits to handling prowess.

It may look old, but we’re promised this thing really is all new

The Plus Six has had three years of development work, much of it alongside BMW, and is without doubt the most thoroughly honed Morgan ever, with hot and cold testing overseas and lapping at Idiada in Spain.

“We worked very closely with BMW,” says Morgan’s design boss, Jonathan Wells. “Their engineers were very excited by the fact the engine isn’t concealed behind layers of sound deadening and interfering tech, and it’s very much a visceral engineering activity.”

That new platform also halves the production time compared to a Plus 8, down from eight to four weeks, and thus should double the wide-bodied Morgan’s sales, from 150 to 300 a year. The company is famed for its almost infinite bespoke options, though, and reckons the Plus Six will be more customisable than ever thanks to the new seat and trim options freed up by a bigger, more flexible interior.

It’s actually pretty familiar inside. The dials are as simple as before and the interior doesn’t suddenly submit to an endlessly connected world; driving a Morgan will remain an antidote to all of that, but there is a new LCD trip computer so you can see how close to its claimed 38mpg you’re getting. The biggest change is an additional 200mm of legroom that should open up Morgan ownership to a hitherto unsatisfied tall audience.

“The first thing we packaged was the people, then we put the components around them,” says Wells. “It’s a completely new approach to how we develop cars with much more flexibility.”

Yep, it may look old, but we’re promised this thing really is all new, and the clues are there as soon as you prod beneath the surface. The doors stay open and don’t jam your leg. There’s remote central locking and automatic headlights. There’s puddle lighting, for heaven’s sake…

Order books are open now, with the Plus Six starting at £77,995. Considerably more than the BMWs and Toyotas its engine is shared with, but much less than the £120,000 those final Plus 8s sold for. The two cars you see here are the now de rigueur Launch Editions, which cost £89,995, come in a fixed spec and include the removable hard top that’ll be optional on regular Sixes.

Overseas, the price difference will be yet more stark thanks to the smaller engine’s cleaner CO2 emissions. In some European markets they’ll drops the car’s registration tax from as much as 60,000 euros to around 10,000 euros. Yikes.

“We recognise the classic Morgan has remained very popular for us and we still see a lot of mileage in the running board design,” concludes Wells. “We think it’ll appeal to current Morgan owners but also turn the heads of people who haven’t considered them before.

“We’re taking a really long look down the road at the moment – what does a 2030 Morgan look like? – which is great for us designers. We have a very robust product plan looking forward.”

 
03 Mar

2019 Cars & Coffee at Amelia Island (8 & 9 March) – Last Update – as of 3 March 2019

It all starts this Friday, 8 March! Are you Ready?? Amelia Island here we come !!

The MOGSouth Noggin will start Friday evening (8 March) at 5PM and last until we all give up! This year we are going somewhere new. Everyone complained about the parking at the last place so we will try the Salt Life Food Shack, 39 N Fletcher Ave Fernandina Beach, FL 32034.

Then Saturday morning (9 March), those of us with Morgans (that have been accepted and have been sent windshield stickers) will gather at 0730, in the morning (yes, I know that’s early!), at the Surf Restaurant’s front parking lot, along A1A (3199 S. Fletcher Avenue, Amelia Island, FL.) We know that if we don’t all go into the event together, we will be parked where ever they have a space. We will only wait at the Surf Restaurant for 10 minutes or less, so don’t be late!

This year we will have something special to look forward to!  The Morgan Motor Company (MMC) will be there with 3 – 5 new Morgan cars on display. Since the factory is here for a Dealer Meeting many of the US based Morgan Dealers will also be there!

A few folks are staying off the island at a Hampton Inn, near Jacksonville. There will be a convoy of Morgans leaving the Hampton early (06:30 or so) on Saturday morning to get to the Surf Restaurant by 07:30.

Plan on a great Morgan weekend and we hope to see you there!!

Cheers, Mark