11 Feb

Bill Fink, celebrated importer of Morgan sports cars, dies in Bodega house fire (SFGATE – Feb 10, 2020)

As many of you will remember, Bill Fink was our honored guest at the MOGSouth 40th Anniversary Meet in Aiken SC. My first Morgan was a Bill Fink propane car as is my current Plus 8. ISIS Imports has been a wonderful supporter of MOGSouth for many, many years. To me he was a good friend and my Morgan hero. He will get greatly missed by us all!! Mark

<p>FILE - Bill Fink, Morgan guru in the Bay Area talks to a customer as he cruises around San Francisco.</p>

Well-known Bay Area sports car importer and vintage car racer Bill Fink was identified Monday as the victim of a house fire in Bodega.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said Fink, 77, died late Sunday in a fire that destroyed a single-story home on Salmon Creek Road. Although Fink’s wife and two friends were able to escape the blaze, firefighters were prevented from getting inside the home due to intense flames and heat.

“A number of the volunteers and first responders knew the victim. That’s hard for anyone that responds in a rural setting,” Gold Ridge Fire Protection District Chief Shepley Schroth-Cary told The Press Democrat. “And in an effort to save somebody, they were close to the victim before being driven out by fire. That’s always tough when you’re close but not successful.”

Schroth-Cary said the fire’s origin has not yet been determined, but it is not considered suspicious.

Fink was well known in the world of vintage British cars, especially among owners of Morgan sports cars, a legacy brand with a cult following. For decades, he was the only West Coast importer of Morgans through his San Francisco business Isis Imports, now called Morgan Cars USA, which had moved to Bodega in recent years, while still maintaining space on Pier 33. The Chronicle dubbed him the “Morgan Master” in a 2000 profile. Fink’s company celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2018.

The Morgan Motor Company, founded in 1909, still hand-builds about 800 sports cars annually, each based on their cars from the 1930s onward, as well as more modern versions which still feature similar lines. Fink had a close relationship with the company in England, and is credited with helping to keep the marque alive in the United States by working with the car maker to meet American import requirements and emissions standards.

It didn’t stop with new cars, though. Fink and his business has helped keep many vintage cars on the road though restorations, the supply of parts and expertise. His involvement with the Morgan Sports Car Club of Northern California reaches back to the 1960s.

“It was Bill who kept Morgan’s alive in the 1980s and most of us were in some way touched by his unbelievable efforts,” wrote one owner on a Morgan forum.

Fink spent the hours before his death on Sunday with the club on their annual “Oyster Run,” an organized rally through Marin and Sonoma counties, spending time with old friends and talking cars.

9 thoughts on “Bill Fink, celebrated importer of Morgan sports cars, dies in Bodega house fire (SFGATE – Feb 10, 2020)

  1. We bought our 2002 plus 8 in 2006, which we still have, from Bill and his daughter. A tragic loss for all Morgan fans.

  2. Bill Fink meant so much to the US Morgan community. He kept the Morgan maraque alive in the US with all the work he did. I remember when Anne and I were in San Francisco years ago and one of our stops was at his Pier 33 shop. He did not hesitate to give us his propane powered Morgan and told us to drive as long as we wanted. Bill’s death is a great loss to our Morgan community.

  3. Honored to have met Bill at the 40th MogSouth Anniversary. Condolences to his family, He will join many other Morgan enthusiasts in heaven. Brian & Rosie.

  4. After a chat with Bill and Steve Miller at Isis Imports in SF in 1971, I bought my first Morgan…1959 +4 chassis #4226….we remained friends from then on……huge, HUGE loss for his family and extended Morgan family.

  5. I’ve known Bill since I was a child and have great memories of Morgan Car Club events with him and others. I am greatly saddened to hear of this tragic loss.

  6. What a loss! I still have wonderful memories of the 16 months I was in the Northern California Morgan Club from Jan 1975-April 1976. Bill attended the very first Morgan club event I ever put on, a campout at Hornswoggle Campground, April 24-25, 1976. He will really be missed.

  7. I bought my first car from Bill in 1968 and three of the six that I have owned have come through his shop. Dam what a loss to the Morgan World.

  8. JIll and I always had the pleasure of seeing Bill at the Mog West event in Cambria Ca. each year. We tied one on around the beach bonfire and swapped stories. he will be missed by the entire Morgan community RIP Bill

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