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
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.