25 May

2021 MOGSouth / GatorMOG Road Trip to Key West, FL 3-10 Oct

The event for 2021 is planned. Details will be forthcoming. This is our third trip to Key West, FL and we learned quite a bit from the previous two trips. The basics of this trip include the following;

  • Limited Number of Cars – Too many cars, means too many people! Something like herding cats . . .
  • No ‘Marathon’ Drives – I am not really interested in getting up and out early and driving until the sun goes down . . .
  • No ‘Highways’ – Mostly Back Roads – The highways all look the same! Only one short bit (downtown Miami) where we can’t avoid the highways but we will travel together and keep the speed down.
  • No ‘Crack of Dawn’ Starts – What?? and not take advantage of the cardboard waffles offered by the hotel??
  • No Formalities – It’s just not my style! You won’t need that tux or evening gown! No room for it anyway!!
  • Lots of Nature Breaks – Frankly we are getting older and need to stop a bit more often . . .
  • 2+ Days in Key West – Need more time to see the sites . . .

The tentative itinerary is as follows (Activities/times are subject to change so be flexible!) Extra Expenses – This is a ‘Pay As You Go’ sort of trip.  Each participant must pay their own way.  Meals, gas, and hotel rooms will be on you, but there are other planned activities that have individual ticket costs.  If you choose to play you will have to pay!!  We have done our best to minimize costs, but this is Florida in the Winter so prices are somewhat elevated. 

  • Day 1 (Sunday, 3 Oct) – Daytona Beach – (Drive From Home), 1830  – Open House at Morgan Dealer Christopher John LTD, Group Dinner
  • Day 2 (Mon, 4 Oct) – Daytona to West Palm – 4.5 Hrs (236 Mi), 1830 – Party Hosted by MOGSouth Members Bennett Shuldman / Eric Singer
  • Day 3 (Tuesday, 5 Oct) – West Palm to Key West – 5.5 Hrs (263 Mi), 1830 – GatorMOG Noggin (Pizza and Beer)
  • Day 4 (Wednesday, 6 Oct) – Key West – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner – On Your Own, 1730 – Sunset Catamaran Cruise
  • Day 5 (Thursday, 7 Oct) – Key West – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner – On Your Own
  • Day 6 (Friday, 8 Oct Nov) – Key West to Naples/Fort Myers – 5 Hrs (237 Mi), 1300 – 1400 Air Boat Ride Everglades Safari Park, 1900 – Party Hosted by MOGSouth Member John Pokorny (Cape Coral).
  • Day 7 (Sat, 9 Oct) – Naples to Winter Haven – 3.5 Hrs (150 Mi), 1900 – Party Hosted by MOGSouth Members Tom and Cathy Coryn Party
  • Day 8 (Sunday, 10 Oct) – Winter Haven to Orlando – 2.5 Hrs (100 Mi), 1230 – 1430 Lunch at Ace Café, Orlando, FL  (Followed by a 30 – 45 mins Drive to Lake Mary, FL), 1800 – Close Out Party Hosted by GatorMOG at Liam Fitzpatrick Irish Pub

If you think you will want to participate send an email to Mark Braunstein at mogsouth@yahoo.com or series1@cfl.rr.com and it is recommended that you do this quickly as the available slots are going fast!

Mark will let you know if you are on the list to go and send you emails as the details evolve and more information is known. Updates will also be posted to the MOGSouth Website at www.mogsouth.com so check the website often.

24 May

2021 MOGSouth Noggin / Cars and Coffee at Amelia Island, 21-23 May 2021 – Report From the Field

MOGSouth ‘Noggin’ and Cars and Coffee at Amelia 21-22 May 2021

We found a new location for MOGSouth’s Friday evening ‘Noggin’ (for those of you unfamiliar with term, per Webster’s dictionary a noggin is (1) a small quantity of spirits or a small mug or cup). Our new location was the Surf Restaurant and Bar in Fernandina Beach, FL (Amelia Island, FL).  And it worked out quite well!!

As is the norm, MOGSouth holds a noggin (or a ‘beer call’, if you’d prefer the American term!) the Friday evening of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance weekend to gather all the Morgan types in town together before the Cars and Coffee at Amelia event on Saturday.   The Surf was the designated spot this year as last year’s location proved to be a bit too cold!  It was a roof top location with a stellar view, but it was also subject to the cold ocean breezes and we froze.  Not this time. It was warm, certainly attributable to the later timeframe (the month of May versus the usual March (COVID adjustments…) Who knows what next year will bring…

But my weekend of woe started earlier a mere half mile from my hotel.  One of the tires on my trailer decided it was time to go and shredded itself all over the road!!  I pulled over and stopped and then after some reflection and discussion proceeded the short half mile to the hotel and parked.  I had a spare and thought about getting out the jack, but then someone said AAA and I elected simply to call and let them do all the work while we sat in the bar at the Surf and drank beer!!  Easiest tire I have ever changed! 

I can’t complain about our new location. In my mind, the Surf proved to be a great spot for our noggin!! Plenty of space, we pushed a few tables together on their patio, and had reasonably attentive staff.  The food was fine, although not gourmet, but the beer was good and cold!  A few rain showers while we were there, however, we were under cover and out of the weather.  

The new location didn’t keep the stalwarts away and it certainly didn’t dissuade a rash of new Morgan folks!!   Even a few notables. The vintage tire mogul, Corky Coker, stopped by.  Who knew he has a Morgan trike at home in Chattanooga?  He certainly does need to join MOGSouth!! There were quite a few new faces.  Some newly joined folks and some folks looking to join.   

I was initially worried a bit about the band, but that proved to be unnecessary.  They were really not over-powering (we were about as far away from the speakers as we could be) and a few of our folks were even caught dancing!  It was all good fun!  I think the YouTube video, already posted to the internet, has gone viral!!   

Saturday morning came exceedingly early, although some were out beforehand, searching for breakfast??  As is our routine, the Morgans gathered in the parking lot of the Surf (yup, the same place . . . like it was planned that way?) early to convoy over to the Cars and Coffee location as a group.  This keeps us parked together rather than all over the place!

We had a few mishaps along the way (my ‘51 Plus 4 lost power and I needed a push, and I heard about some overheating??), but we all got there and were parked in a pretty good location (right next to a food and beverage vendor). 

A beautiful array of Morgans . . . in fact a few spectators thought the Morgans stole the show when we entered the field!  The crowd couldn’t wait and quickly gathered around us, before we even had time to get our chairs and what-not out of the cars!  Lots of ‘knowledgeable’ (some not so much!) spectators and lots of photos taken. I was up and down from my lawn chair, all day, answering questions and letting kids sit in my car for photos.  By the end of the day, and it ended early enough (1 PM, I think?) I was exhausted.  Normally they don’t end the event so early. Normally it’s more like 3PM.   It may have been a concern for the staff and the May heat?  I don’t rightly know.


Well, when they turned us loose, Andrea and I headed back to the Surf for a late lunch and a nap!!  As is the norm, the traffic was chaotic, but Andrea’s telephone-based GPS took us (and those following us!) through some lovely Amelia Island neighborhoods, to bypass the big, usually congested, intersections.  A bit circuitous route but it worked!!  We joined two other Morgan couples for lunch and plotted out our Sunday return to Orlando. 

Sunday was another day of trials and tribulations for me.  A second trailer tire let go before I was even off Amelia Island (the steering wheel was vibrating really hard at any speed above 40), so I ended up replacing them all in Jacksonville.   Finding new trailer tires and some place willing to mount them, on a Sunday, was miraculous!  Rick Frazee was traveling with me and was a godsend.  It is always best to travel in packs!!

Looking forward to seeing you at the next event!!



(Photos Courtesy of Rick Frazee and Karen Bernath)

14 May

2021 MOGSouth Noggin / Cars and Coffee at Amelia Island (21-22 May 2021)

MOGSouth will now have the Noggin on Friday evening (May 21, 2021) at the Surf Restaurant along A1A, 3199 S. Fletcher Avenue, Fernandina Beach, FL.

The location for the Friday evening MOGSouth Noggin is new this year. Last year’s location had certain advantages but there were also some disadvantages.

We will convene the MOGSouth Noggin around 5 PM at the Surf Restaurant.

We haven’t used this location for the Noggin before, but the staff seems excited to have us there.

The menu looks quite good and there appears to be sufficient parking. They have us on their patio (outside but there is covered space if needed) so if the weather doesn’t cooperate, I would recommend bringing a jacket or wind breaker.  Also, I don’t know what the regional virus requirements will be, so do bring a mask.  And, please don’t come if you are feeling ill or have any symptoms.

The Saturday Cars and Coffee event (May 22, 2021) will be held as usual, the Saturday following the MOGSouth Noggin, the day before the big Concours d’Elegance on Sunday, May 23, 2021.  You must have applied, paid your fee and received back an acceptance ‘ticket’ in the mail.   Bring this ticket on Saturday. Without this, they will not let you show your car, however you can attend as a spectator.   

As is the norm, all the Morgans will rendezvous on Saturday morning at 0730 (yes, I know this is early but . . . ), before the Cars and Coffee event. (There is parking in the lot out front of the Surf Restaurant, as well as behind the restaurant. Note: We will only stay a few minutes and then head off to the Cars and Coffee location.)  This will give us sufficient time to drive to the Cars and Coffee event and get parked together in the designated Morgan area. 

If you miss our little convoy (we will leave the Surf NLT 0800 Saturday morning) you may not be parked with the Morgans.


11 May

2021 MOGSouth Spring Meet – Little Switzerland, NC, 7-9 May – Report from the Field

It was hard to tell what sort of meet we would have given the external influences of the moment.  Well, 50 people and 22 Morgans say a lot!  It was grand!   The weather was cool (in the 40s and 50s) and very much appreciated by those of us escaping the high 80s of Florida. 

The cars behaved . . . for the most part, with only a few Morgan gremlins lurking about.  An intermittent starter problem, a gas guage with a mind of its own, and a few unknown gremlins saving themselves for the trip home.  A lovely array of cars!!  We had three Aero 8s, an AeroMax, two Plus 4 Drop Head Coupes, three Plus 4, 4 Seaters, at least three 4/4s (I think another one might have been lost along the way?), a good number of Plus 8s (one turbo!) and both new (3.7L) and old Roadsters (3.0L).  Even a brand new Plus 4!   As someone said, ‘eye candy!’

Little Switzerland is situated right off the Blue Ridge Parkway and a few high-octane twisty mountain loops that will certainly elevate your blood pressure, in a lovely spot in the North Carolina mountains.   

The Meet was designed to be low key.  No activities were mandated but we did want to stay in compliance with the safety policies of the region and the hotel.   

Mostly, our plans seemed to have worked.  Folks had their choice of drives on Saturday and an afternoon to investigate the lovely mountain vistas, local shops and villages.  Our Hospitality Suite was a separate cabin and, as it the norm, it was full of folks reminiscing about past meets and planning future outings.   We haven’t been all that social of late, so everyone seemed to be in great spirits and happy to be out and about.   

We had a group photo with the cars in the lot and the North Carolina mountains in the background.  All were amazed we didn’t lose a car or two down the hill!  How about those handbrakes? 

The planned outside dinner was rewickered and held in the main hotel dining room.  It was just a tinge too cold for us to hold it outside; but the hotel was accommodating, and they quickly put us inside the main dining room.  That worked out well.   The dinner was exquisite, the views stunning, and banter, lively (and loud)!   There were a few unlucky souls (other hotel guests) in the dining room at the time that had to listen to our Club drivel, but they did not seem to mind too much (or at least they didn’t say). 

The key points communicated were the upcoming Club events!   The MOGSouth Noggin at Amelia Island starting at 5 PM (at the Surf Restaurant in Fernandina Beach, FL) on Friday, 21 May 2021, the Cars and Coffee at Amelia Island on the following Saturday, 22 May 2021 (Note: we have an extra acceptance ticket should you need one and want to attend. Contact Mark), the MOGSouth Fall Meet in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (Last minute change, bumped again due to Covid) , 5 – 7 November (We are part of the Car Club Showcase on Saturday), and the MOGSouth Holiday Party in Peachtree City, Georgia Saturday 4 December 2021.

Also, there is a Road Trip to Key West, planned for 3 – 10 October 2021, starting in Daytona Beach, Florida with the Morgan Dealer’s open house and finishing in Lake Mary, Florida at a party in Liam Fitzpatrick’s Irish Pub.  

This year’s calendar is on the MOGSouth Web Site, www.mogsouth.com.  The web site is not sending emails when new items are posted so you must go to the web site periodically to ensure you aren’t missing things.   Go to the Calendar page and look for events.  If they are underlined, there is more information. Click on the underlined event to go to the link with more details.  We will also try to send broadcast email messages when new things are added. 

Photos courtesy of Richard Ihns (the mountain drives) and Mark Braunstein (the dinner and group photo).

This past year’s events were challenging but we are now having fun.  If you weren’t in Little Switzerland, you missed a great MOGSouth meet, some wonderful scenery and roads, and most likely a lot of your Morgan friends!  I know things come up and sometimes these absences cannot be helped.  Luckily, there are more opportunities to play this year.  

See you there!!