29 Mar

Lee Gaskins’ Morgan Parts and Treasures

Folks, Lee Gaskins sold his palatial house and garage and has downsized. He now needs to get the following Morgan parts and cars into the hands of others. In addition to those listed there are lots of used wire wheels, NOS chassis frame for a Morgan, miscellaneous hood, fenders and body parts. Also 2 Triumph engines and a Lotus twin cam engine.

Lee is looking for any reasonable offer on any of the car parts. Lee has not individually priced anything on purpose because he truly just needs to find new homes for all of the above.

Lee is also ready to sell his white 1967 DHC Morgan that he’s owned for 15 yrs. Current mileage is 28K. He’d like to sell it for $30,000.

He also has a 1994 Jaguar XJS 6 cyl convertible for sale – flamingo red w/tan interior last tagged in 2019. Mileage around 90,000. Also a rare 1947 MG TC EXU Export model. Lee’s owned this car since 1966.

Photos of the cars (and the listed parts!) are available if desired.

Gary and Judy Heck are helping Lee temporarily store these items, so contact Judy at heckgj@aol.com, 404-234-0948 if interested in any or all and she will put you in touch with Lee directly.

Cheers,
Mark

1) Pair of NOS alloy Morgan Super Sport fenders
2) Used Morgan nose fits +4 ‘54-‘68
3) Morgan nose NOS part # 1M3100 mfg 12/1997
4) Morgan grille – broken in lower R fits ‘54-‘68
5) Morgan grille – broken in lower L fits ‘54–‘68 +4 4/4
6) Used Morgan ‘54-‘68 front fenders
7) Used flat rad cowl
8&9) Used Morgan +4 rear fenders fit ‘54-‘68
10) Pair of NOS 3 wheel Morgan fenders fits ‘35 and maybe others
11) Used Morgan gas tank fits ‘55-60s 4 seater
12) Used Morgan gas tank fits ‘54-‘68 +4 4/4
13) Used TR3/TR4 carburetors 4 with manifolds – 1 separate manifold
14) Set of 4 NIB Morgan knock off wheel hubs
15) Pair of Morgan 3 wheel fenders
16) 2 pair of used Weber air filters
17) 2 Weber carburetors Part# 45 DCOE
18) Triumph rebuilt head 302137 for +4 Morgan
19) Triumph rebuilt head 302137
20) 6 Morgan steel wheel hub caps – 1 with very slight dent
21) 4 used Morgan steel wheel hub caps
22) Modified TR4 oil pan enlarged for racing
23) Morgan super soft leather interior for ‘54-‘68 car with bucket seats
24) Pair of GE head lamps w/cloth wires
25) Morgan radiator fits +4 4/4 embossed with “EJ Bowman, White House St., Birmingham 89145”
26) 2 Triumph air filter housing for Morgan +4
27) Exhaust manifold fits mid 60s TR or Morgan embossed with DA 14221 304164
28&29) Rowland radiator fits Morgan +4 mid 60s embossed with 57830
30&31) Morgan +8 radiator
32) TR3 reconditioned crankshaft 010 main 010 rod
33) TR3 reconditioned crankshaft 010 main 020 rod
34) TR3 valve cover
35) TR3 intake manifold w/Stromberg carburetor
36) TR3 reground cam shaft 300 mech 110 degrees
37) New Triumph distributor Mallory part# 2332001
38) New Morgan knock-off wheel hubs 1 RH and 1 LH
39) Set of 4 15” diameter 6” wide wire wheels marked RSM 67 6L X15 KE – made in England
40) Pair of used Brookland Aero Screens
41) Pair of Aero Screens – unmarked
42) 3 Aero Screens with hardware only 1 marked Brookland – 1 has cracked glass
43) Mini-Lite style 15”x6” wheels – set of 4 very good condition

27 Mar

Morgan Plus 4 an intoxicating mix of old and new (www.irishexaminer.com, 27 March 2021)

Morgan has recently appointed a distributor for Ireland and the company, still on the go after some 111 years, has now unleashed the first in its ‘CX-Generation’

When Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan founded the Morgan Motor Company in the Malvern Hills back in 1910, I doubt very much he thought the company would be on the go 111 years later, still producing unique and bespoke sports cars.

The fact that the company is still fully functioning is a credit not only to Henry Morgan’s vision, but also to that of an Italian-owned investment company which took it over in 2019, promising to expand the operation which is still based in the small British town of Malvern Link.

Some 220 people are employed in the manufacture of Morgan cars and roughly 850 units are made annually in an operation that is actually a lot more modern than most people think, even though the marque’s characteristic trait — the use of wood in the manufacture of the chassis — is still part and parcel of the company’s raison d’etre.

Although the rose-tinted vision of a Morgan probably involves a Spitfire pilot with a twirly moustache, a silk scarf, and a blonde WAAF speeding along Second World War-era English country lanes, the modern incarnation of the car differs little in appearance but those driving them these days are certainly nothing like the originals.

Down the years, Morgan has made everything from three-wheelers to roadsters to coupes, and they were renowned for such as their sliding pillar suspension and their wooden chassis, made of ash and African Bubinga red hardwood. Over time, the cars grew a modest but well-heeled fan base who adored not only the retro look and manufacturing techniques, but also the lovingly sporty nature of these handmade specials.

Latterly, and especially so since the company’s takeover by Italian investment group InvestIndustrial in 2019, the business has re-emerged as a more focused and modern entity. 

You can add a hand-stitched leather interior, if you so desire. Picture: Dan Linehan

This is underscored by the fact that its current model line-up now has the essential Morgan look, but is underpinned by modern construction techniques — albeit still incorporating an element of wood within.

The company describes the modern models — the Plus Six and the Plus Four — as being the first in its ‘CX-Generation’ which bear a bonded aluminium platform which is much stronger than the traditional chassis. They sport BMW engines and gearboxes instead of the Matchless, JAP, Coventry Climax, Standard, Triumph, Rover, and Ford engines the company used down the years.

Morgan says that despite the look and feel of the new Plus Four, it remains the same as when the model was first revealed almost seven decades ago; only 3% of the components are shared with the outgoing version. 

And, having driven it, I can confirm that the new beast is a whole lot more ready for the modern world than anything that preceded it.

As brand development is now moving along nearly as quickly as one of the company’s products, it is appropriate that this new era for the company is reflecting a push for new markets and customers.

Irish distributor

That is why Morgan has recently appointed a distributor for Ireland (all 32 counties) and why it has reached out to someone with lifelong connections to the industry here and a special connection with motorists who like something different from the norm.

The new distributor is a company called Edgewood Automotive and the man running it is Fermoy, Co Cork-based Wayne McCarthy, the son of the late but legendary industry figure John McCarthy, who ran an Opel franchise, among many other business interests, in the town for decades.

Wayne also ran the Motorpoint operation on the Lower Rd in Cork City for many years; it was a Saab dealership as well as the source for many unusual automotive imports to this country.

He is not only terribly proud of his history in the business, but also noticeably confident about the future of a brand such as Morgan, even given its undoubtedly niche status.

Even though the entry-level Plus Four model will cost north of €100,000 here, it is easy to see why his confidence in the product is not in any way rash. The whole issue here is that while you can order an-off-the-line model, you can also personalise it to the max.

The list of stuff you can add to the car — everything from a hand-stitched leather interior to the bespoke Avon tyres and the specially crafted wire wheels to the brass knock-offs which hold them in place — is extraordinary and will certainly appeal to people who like the word ‘unique’. 

Element of trepidation

There is an element of trepidation involved in taking anything of this nature for a spin — especially around the unfamiliar backroads of north Cork — and the mild expectation is certainly present that you’re about to be subjected to a boneshaker which can trace its roots back to a time not long after the Wright Brothers were first taking flight.

Fire it up and you get a low burbling thrum encouraging you to find out what’s possible here. Picture: Dan Linehan

Nothing could be further from the truth. Lower yourself — you have to, believe me — into the driver seat and you find yourself cossetted by high-grade leather and appropriate amounts of dashboard and centre console wood, of which there are seven options. You look out on the long, hand-louvred bonnet and get a feeling of unadulterated motoring richness.

Fire it up and you get a low burbling thrum encouraging you to find out what’s possible here. And with 255 bhp on offer, what’s possible is nearly alarming. Boasting a dry weight of 1,009kg, the Plus Four is light, but with that four-pot BMW turbo under the hood, there’s no shortage of poke and an eight-speed auto ‘box, also from Munich, helps get that power on the road when and where you want it.

Top speed is a shade over 240km/h and the 0-100km/h dash is achieved in just 4.8 seconds, which is 0.4 of a second quicker than the option with the six-speed manual gearbox. These figures suggest a certain fleetness of foot and they are not wrong because the rate of progress here is pretty savage.

That being so and what with the car also being rear-wheel drive, you might jump to the conclusion that you’ll be applying the opposite lock on a fairly regular basis — depending, of course, how far you dial up the inner hooligan — but unless you’re very bold or very dumb, that does not have to be the case.

In fact, the car is nothing like as tail-happy as I anticipated and even on dampish roads, there was nothing of the sphincter-tightening nature I expected. I thought I might be heading for Castlelyons looking mainly out the passenger window, but there was none of that.

Neither was there much blood-rushing when the brakes were applied. Once upon a time, Morgans were noted for their reluctance to stop, but now there is a proper ABS system onboard here and any thoughts you may have had of a fishtailing, smoke-wreathed roadster can be dismissed.

This is indeed a beauteous beast and while some might find the retro look a little naff, those who appreciate the hand-built craft on offer, as well as the modern chassis and drivetrain, will look to the individuality and distinctiveness that Morgan sells and they will embrace that fully.

This is a car with great history and now, also, a great future. It melds the old and the new into a fascinating concoction of thrills and heritage with a large dash of exclusivity. 

That’s a blend that’s definitely intoxicating.

Colley verdict – The cost: From €106,000, The engine: A muscular two-litre petrol turbo, The specification: You can have pretty much anything you desire, The overall verdict: A classic, Star Rating: *****

20 Mar

GatorMOG at TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL (March 2021)

Eight spectacular cars (all GatorMOG Morgans) visited the pristine links at the famed TPC Sawgrass course in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, this past week.  Golf enthusiasts will recognize this course as it was just on television, hosting the Tournament Players Championship, a PGA Tour event with a $15M purse!  A purse bigger than the US Open!!  Wow!  We just went for lunch? 

First off we visited with Peter and Lynda McManemy in Ponte Vedra Beach.  Their home is stunning with views of the intercoastal waterway with a large lanai for lounging.   This is the Florida life style!  Peter plays the TPC weekly and says his game is improving??   This is a game for the gods.  I gave it up years ago realizing my inabilities.  My hat is off to Peter!!     

The folks in our gaggle came from all over northern and central Florida.  A few of us convoyed together while others carved out their own routes to Ponta Vedra Beach.  For those in the convoy (I was one), we traveled the highways, top down and enjoying the mild Florida weather.  We did have to playing dodge ball with the eighteen wheelers some but otherwise it was just a spirited but somewhat dull drive.  The folks that traveled the back roads and coastal roads reported a much better trip!    The age of the cars ranged from 1980 to 2020. 

The run to the TPC from Peter and Lynda’s home was trivial.  Just down the lane!!  We rolled in and placed a few of the cars at the front of the Club House and the rest of the cars went into reserved spots in the parking lot.  Quite the operation!!  I guest they knew we were coming? 

The lunch was served outside on the Clubhouse’s lanai.  Breath-taking views of the 18th hole with the skyboxes (tournament spectator tents) still up.   

It was obvious that the tournament had just occurred as the club aura still had that bit of electricity in the air! But surprisingly the grounds were impeccable . . . they showed no signs of the very large spectator crowds of the previous week.   

I guess the most famous of holes at this golf course is the 17th with its putting green surrounded by water.  Peter alluded to amateur players that are so fixated on hitting the green, just once! They would repetitively pitch their golf balls into the water just to have success with one!!  Yes, all for bragging rights!!

It seems that an ambitious young diver now scours bottom of the water hazard around the green once a year claiming the found golf balls to resell!  Good work if you can get it!!

The Morgans out front were a definite attraction.  Folks with large golf club bags stopped to stare. I guess they must have been wondering where they they’d put those clubs, if they had a Morgan? 

Some just stopped and never moved? Not sure what they were wondering? ‘Now where did I park the SUV??’

We had to shoo away a good number of gawkers just to get a photograph with only the cars.   We moved them all to the front of the Club House for a photo op!  Getting the cars positioned just right in front of the fountain was a challenge.  We had a move a few cars around to avoid similar colors side by side, but in the end it came out quite well. 

Just a fleeting moment in time . . . commemorating a wonderful afternoon in Florida. 

Here’s to many more!!

Cheers,
Mark

10 Mar

2021 MOGSouth Spring Meet – Little Switzerland, NC (May 7 – 9, 2021)

Folks this year is a little different from normal.  The MOGSouth Noggin and Cars and Coffee event at Amelia Island, in March, is usually our first get together of the new year.  However, the Covid-19 Pandemic changed things and the Concours at Amelia Island and the associated Cars and Coffee event were moved to the latter half of May.  This means our Spring Meet, at Little Switzerland, NC will precede the Cars and Coffee event by a few weeks. 

As you all know we attempted to have the Spring Meet at Little Switzerland in May of 2020 but, like many other things, it got postponed until this year.   We have renegotiated the dates for this year’s Spring Meet (to replace the cancelled event) with the Switzerland Inn, Little Switzerland, NC.  The new dates are now arrival on 7 May 2021 and Departure on 9 May 2021.   Make sure your schedules show these new dates!!   From the MOGSouth perspective, this meet is going to happen.  The only thing that will cancel it outright is the Switzerland Inn’s unavailability or a regional mandate that would preclude us holding the event in NC. 

We were told that the Switzerland Inn was going to roll over your existing 2020 reservations to the new 2021 dates; however, I would call them at (828) 765-2153 just to be sure this rollover happened.  If you didn’t have reservations in 2020 and need to make new reservations for the new 2021 dates, you will have to call them at (828) 765-2153. As I understand it, you have to call. You cannot make reservations on line.  

In setting up the meet this year, we have obviously been mindful of the ongoing and evolving Covid-19 situation.  As more people become vaccinated and local regulations change according to the most recent guidance provided by local and national authorities, the exact details associated with masks wearing, social distancing, etc. for our meet will likely change as well.  MOGSouth will comply with all Covid-19 compliance requirements as mandated by local authorities in place at that time.  The Switzerland Inn is also committed to a high standard of compliance with all the local rules and regulations. 

Having said that, I am sure everyone understands that most folks in the Club’s membership are in the higher risk categories with respect to the Covid-19 Virus, so please don’t participate in this or any club event, if you are concerned about your own personal safety or if you personally feel ill or have symptoms, etc.  Please, don’t put others in the club at risk!  And, of course, you need to do what is best for your own health.

Again, it is not my place to be dictatorial in any way and given this, I won’t tell you what to do or what not to do.  These decisions must be made on your own!  You are smart . . . smarter than most and can make up your own mind!  

I guess my job is to simply provide you with the opportunities.  You have to decide which ones make sense for you, given your own situation.  Now, I will accept that I need to craft these opportunities, best I can, in such a way as to make them as safe as possible with respect to the virus and I have tried to do this.  

The good news is that, as I see it, our car events are not the worst thing you could do.  Driving about in open cars is far less risky than many other activities.   We are outside, we are socially distant, we are about as good as we can be.   (If you want to wear a mask while driving?  Wear a mask!)  However, there are some activities of our “typical” meet that warrant additional attention given the virus.  These include the group meals and the hospitality suite. 

First let’s address the group meals.  The Friday dinner and all Breakfast meals are typically on your own anyway, so this comment is primarily targeted at the Saturday meals.    Saturday lunch is currently envisioned as a ‘box lunch’ so you can simply pick up your meal and go wherever you would like to eat.  (You may need to wear a mask when you pick up your box lunch depending upon local policy.)  We have asked that the Saturday evening dinner meal be outside in the Switzerland Inn’s outside dining facility, weather permitting.

The Hospitality Suite is planned in a separate cottage on the Switzerland Inn property, with a large outside patio with numerous picnic tables.   We will set up our Hospitality Suite with beer, wine, soda, etc.   We will do this outside, if necessary.  If the weather is problematic, we will have to react in some way, so do bring a rain slicker or an appropriate jacket and maybe an umbrella.  (FYI, the weather in the area during May is typically nice . . . well, that is if you trust the internet?)  I would also recommend bringing your own lawn chair just in case.

Just staying in a hotel may be problematic for some.  That cannot be mitigated by the Club; however, I am assured by the Switzerland Inn, that they have gone overboard in cleaning and sanitizing the rooms.  You may want to bring your own sanitizing spray or wipes just in case.  However, if merely the act of staying in a public place like a hotel is problematic for you, I am sorry.  There is really nothing I can do about this issue and if you choose to avoid the meet, I and others, will certainly understand.  

 Cheers,

Mark