29 Nov

2024 MOGSouth (All Regions) Spring Kickoff at Amelia Island, FL (1 Mar)

As you probably knew, we, MOGSouth, participated as a Club in the Amelia Island Concours Cars and Coffee event on Saturday.  After a few years we understood the rules and were able to bend them to our advantage and create a MOGSouth annual event.  This evolved into a MOGSouth noggin, somewhere in Fernandina Beach, on Friday evening, followed by a Morgan group of 15 – 20 cars, all parked together, at the Cars and Coffee event, on Saturday Morning. 

The Hagerty purchase of the Amelia Concours ended our activities as they limited Morgan participation at the Cars and Coffee to only 5 cars.  The crews of only 5 cars were insufficient to justify the Friday Evening noggin, nor really a group of Morgans on Saturday.  So, we cancelled our participation and haven’t been back since. 

Well, this year there is a new event hosted by our publishing friends at Classic Motorcars, the Classic Motorsports Kickoff presented by Sunoco.  It is similar, but better, to the prior Cars and Coffee event but is on Friday afternoon 1 March, 1 PM until 5 PM.  (The Friday afternoon timing eliminates the ‘crack of dawn’ rendezvous and should reduce the end of event traffic.)  This is perfect allowing us to resume our annual noggin Friday evening, at the Surf Restaurant, South Fletcher Ave, Fernandina Beach, at 6PM. (Noggin will start at 6PM and go until ??)  

We have expressed our willingness to participate in this new event, and they have agreed, without any limitations!!  The new event will be held just north of the Ritz Carlton hotel on A1A, Main Beach Park. 

All Morgans who register will be accepted.  (FYI,  there is a registration fee of 45$ per car.)  There are no fees for spectators.  They have also created a special Editor’s Choice Award for their favorite Morgan, and promised us that if we arrive together, we will have a designated Morgan parking area.  So, the Saturday Amelia Cars and Caffeine event has been eliminated from the MOGSouth Schedule, and we have inserted the Classic Motorsports Kickoff on Friday afternoon. 

The Friday noggin will be at the Surf Restaurant at 3199 S Fletcher Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034, following the Kickoff.  (6 PM – 9PM)  So that being said, mark your calendars for the Classic Motorsports Kickoff presented by Sunoco, and register for the event at the following link.  https://www.motorsportreg.com/events/2024-classic-motorsports-amelia-island-kickoff-main-beach-park-168974

Some details about this event are provided below, however more details will be forthcoming but if you have questions feel free to contact me at Series1@cfl.rr.com

Cheers, Mark

WHEN:  Friday, March 1, 2024 1pm-5pm

WHERE:  Main Beach Park, Amelia Island, FL

ENTRY FEE: FREE for spectators Show Vehicle Registration Fee: $45

CAPACITY: Limited to 150 pre-registered cars.

About this event

We’re kicking off the Amelia weekend in style with the Classic Motorsports Amelia Island Kickoff presented by Sunoco! Our plan is to fill the green space of Main Beach Park, just a few miles north of the Ritz-Carlton, with awesome cars and great people. Along the way, we’ll send some of the classic car world’s biggest celebrities through the field awarding prizes to their favorite cars.

Spectator entry is free — just walk right in, with no registration required.

Vehicle entry price is $45, and all cars must pre-register online. No registrations will be accepted at the show gate.

View full event details, schedule, map and more at AmeliaKickoff.com

Event requirements

All entries must be accepted by our selection committee. To submit your vehicle for acceptance, register for the event. All new registrations will automatically be waitlisted until evaluated and approved or rejected by the committee. Your card will not be charged unless your vehicle is accepted. Upload a photo and details of your car during registration to improve your chances of being selected. 

Does this mean we won’t accept common cars? Not at all–we’ve actually made this change in order to increase the diversity of the cars at our show, as we want  to showcase the broadest range of vehicles possible.

What cars are we looking for? We’re looking for classic sports and luxury cars, muscle cars, newer exotics, classic 4x4s, and similar vehicles. 

Entrants must arrive between 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. for entry into the Amelia Kickoff. Vehicles will not be permitted to enter/exit the show between 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

29 Nov

2024 MOGSouth (All Regions) Spring Noggin, 1 March, Fernandina Beach, FL

The new Classic Motorsports event at occur at Main Beach Park, (Just North of the Ritz Carlton Hotel on A1A.) Amelia Island, Friday 1 March, 1PM – 5 PM. MOGSouth will have their annual Spring Noggin right after this event (1 March 6Pm ??), at the Surf Restaurant, 3199 S. Fletcher Ave, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034. Watch this space for more details but do mark your calendars and we will see you in Amelia Island on 1 March.

Cheers, Mark

17 Nov

David Mikell Chiles – Nov 15, 2023

David Mikell Chiles – Nov 15, 2023

Another member of what I’d call the first generation of MOGSouth stalwarts has left us for more peaceful vistas.  David Chiles of Jamestown, NC, age 80, passed away on November 15, 2023 surrounded by his loving family.  

David Chiles at MOGSouth Holiday Party 2016

David and Sarah were long standing members of MOGSouth.  They were selected as Mother Courage Award recipients in 2003, some twenty years ago.  They instrumental in so many MOGSouth club events, holiday parties, rallies and drives throughout the scenic blue ridge and other wonderful places in the Carolinas, it would be impossible to list them all.  

David, a professional in the haberdashery business, was always impeccably dressed, that, and his eloquence was always on display.  When David talked, one would listen intently for fear of missing something earth shaking.  David loved his Morgans, both on the track and on the road.  He was successful numerous times vintage racing number 39 and his road cars were things of beauty. 

Each of his Morgan road cars were exquisitely restored, wonders to see and for me, real treasures.  I don’t know how many times I found myself drooling over his red Plus 8 which I tried to emulate with mine but fell short, way short!  David was a true friend and will be sincerely missed.  Mark

David Mikell Chiles Obituary as published online, follows. 

David Mikell Chiles

in the care of Hanes Lineberry Funeral Home

David Mikell Chiles of Jamestown, NC, age 80, passed away peacefully on November 15, 2023 surrounded by his loving family.  He had been in declining health for the past few years.  He was a member of Jamestown United Methodist Church.

The son of the late L.C. and Victoria Chiles of High Point, David was born in Knoxville, TN, and lived most of his life in High Point, NC.  Summers were spent in Little Switzerland, NC, where he served as president of the neighborhood association.

He is survived by his wife, Sarah, and two daughters, Angela Kemper (David) and Melissa Freeman (Doyle), and one sister, Dixie Burns (Dan). He loved his five grandchildren, Nick Freeman (Brittany), Brynn Freeman, Collin Kemper (Lidia), Paige Kemper, Cara Freeman; his great-grandson, Declan Freeman; and his many cousins, nephews, and nieces.

David was self-employed in the men’s apparel industry for over fifty years. He was active in the Men’s Apparel Club of the Carolinas, Inc. and served as vice president. He was known for his many friendships and loyalty to his customers and fellow colleagues throughout the southeast and beyond.

As an active member in the Triad Sports Car Club and the Morgan Sports Car Club, National and Southern groups, David loved planning weekend get-togethers in the mountains and drives along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  He enjoyed racing in the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association for many years and drove his Morgan to many victories.

Obituary of David Mikell Chiles

Funeral services will be 2:00 pm Monday, November 20, 2023 at Jamestown United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends and loved ones in the church fellowship hall immediately following the funeral service. David will be laid to rest in Floral Garden Park Cemetery in High Point prior to the funeral service.

The family would like to thank all the medical and support staff at Hospice of the Piedmont for their loving care and support.

Memorials may be directed to Hospice of the Piedmont, 1801 Westchester Drive, High Point, NC 27262.

Online condolences may be made at www.haneslineberryfhsedgefield.com.

10 Nov

Lee Oliver Gaskins, Jr.

It is really difficult for me to report that one of the most loved members of MOGSouth has passed away.  Lee Gaskins passed away on 8 November. 

Lee Gaskins was a MOGSouth member longer that I can remember and a tremendous friend.  Lee had an unmistakable sense of humor and was probably one of the most knowledgeable Morgan car enthusiasts I will ever know. 

He loved all those in the Morgan community and only his other passion, Tennis, could drag him away from a heady Morgan discussion at any one of our meets.  (The Wimbledon Championships always seemed to coincide with the annual DC MOG events (Morgan Owners Gatherings.))

Lee was my ‘go to’ guy for Morgan history.  If I had a question, I knew where to go for the answer.  He knew far more about the hot rod Morgan Super Sports, the car that won Le Mans, than I think the factory will ever know. 

When I lived in South Carolina, Lee and I were thick as thieves, and to be honest I was more than a willing participant.  I have vivid memories of transporting unobtainable Morgan parts for Lee in the back of my SUV.  Picking them up from wherever and transporting them back to his home in South Carolina.  He asked me to do it, as he didn’t want to let Trisha know he was buying more Morgan stuff!  She thought he had enough.  I was with Lee on this . . . can you ever have enough??

Their home was dedicated to and organized around Lee’s Morgans, both this road cars and his race cars.  Always a Morgan treasure trove to visit.  Really hard to describe . . . nothing short of a Morgan Museum. 

He will be missed, a MOGSouth member and a friend.  Someone we certainly cannot replace. 

Lee’s obituary, as posted in the Spartanburg, SC Herald-Journal is below.

Lee Oliver Gaskins Jr.

Lee Oliver Gaskins, Jr, 86 of Spartanburg, SC, passed away on November 8, 2023 in Johns Creek, GA.

Lee was born in Spartanburg, SC to Sarah Cordelia Cudd Gaskins and Lee Oliver Gaskins Sr on July 6, 1937. He went to school at Spartan High School. He graduated from Clemson University He served in the Army as a Captain. He married Patricia Curry on June 10, 1961 in Columbus, GA. During his career he worked for Liberty Mutual, AMF, Michigan Mutual, Amerisure and Zurich Insurance company. Lee was a member of Morningside Baptist Church in Spartanburg, SC. Lee volunteered with Mobile Meals of Spartanburg and Habitat for Humanity.

Lee had a very dry sense of humor, loved to tell a good joke and was an animated storyteller. Lee could fix just about anything and loved to tinker in the garage with his beloved British cars. Lee was an avid tennis player.

Lee is preceded in death by his father, Lee Gaskins Sr, his mother, Sarah Cudd Gaskins, his sister, Nancy Gaskins Floyd and her husband James Wesley Floyd Jr and his sister-in-law Lark Calhoun Gaskins.

Lee is survived by his devoted wife, Trisha Gaskins, his loving children, Trey & LeAnne Gaskins, Georgia Gaskins Callis, Ken and Carolina Gaskins Ortloff, his dear siblings, Guerry and Sallie Gaskins Burnett, Dean and Judy Gaskins, David and Elizabeth Gaskins Barkley, and his eight wonderful grandchildren, Alexis Callis Willman, Katie Gaskins Smith, Anne Gaskins, Nicholas Callis, Emily Gaskins, Grace Gaskins, Ian Ortloff and Lilly Ortloff.

We will hold a celebration of life for Lee in Spartanburg, SC on Monday, November 20, 2023 from 1pm-3pm at Dean Gaskins’ Home 921 Murph Road, Pauline, SC 29374.

In lieu of flowers, donations can made to:

Mobile Meals of Spartanburg, 419 E. Main Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302

If you would like to send condolences, the address is:

Trisha Gaskins

5050 Kimball Bridge Road

Room 117

Johns Creek, GA 30005

Posted online on November 09, 2023

Published in Spartanburg Herald-Journal

07 Nov

Tech Tip – Moss Box Repair

Tech Tip – Billy Bellinger, JB Sports Engineering, Morgan Gearbox and Axle Repair

I had the opportunity (?) recently to use the services of Billy Bellinger in the UK when my Series 1 Moss Box or transmission failed.  It was the gearbox in my 1938 DHC Prototype.  This early Moss Box is similar to the 1950s-1970s Plus 4 Moss Box but not exactly the same.  The 1930s vintage Series 1 4/4s used either a Meadows Gearbox or an early Moss Gearbox.  Billy’s repair shop can handle either and in fact, I asked him to help me identify just what gearbox I had.  Mine turned out to be an Early Moss Gearbox. 

For those of you that appreciate such things, the early Meadows Gearbox has a rod (similar to the thickness of a coat hanger.) that parallels the gear shift and when pulled up, it allows the shifter to slide into a detent for reverse gear.  If not pulled up, there is no hope of ever getting the gearbox into reverse gear.  (Ask me how I know!  Rather ask Andrea, she was reverse gear for a few years, until I got it fixed on another of my silly pre-war 4/4s.) 

This current gearbox is however a Moss Box.  An early one. A generation earlier than the typical box found on the TR powered Plus 4s. Getting it repaired however is likely the same.

The process of getting the box to the UK was not too arduous, other than having to remove it from the car and box it up, in a substantial wooden crate.  I had help with this and the transmission was soon picked up by Billy’s shipper, DHL, and off it went!!  Billy’s shop arranged for the shipping and all I provided him was the weight. It took some 5 months to get the repairs completed, a long time, but I have to believe there is quite a backlog. The transmission is back now and the shipment back to the US was similarly easy as sending it off to the UK. I did nothing and it arrived at my doorstep! Minimal fuss although I did have to pay for the repair. Credit cards worked!!

The transmission was installed in a few hours and tested. It all works perfectly!  I am a happy customer! 


05 Nov

Technical Tip – EZ Power Steering 

Technical Tip – EZ Power Steering:  As I am sure most of you are aware.  I am a bit hampered by a wonky Right arm, the side effect of a spinal compression operation some 16 months ago.  My arm has precluded me from driving my LHD Morgans, primarily because I cannot lift my Right arm up to the steering wheel to help my Left arm in steering the car.  This is mostly problematic when I am trying to maneuver around a parking space or in my driveway. 

This problem led me to seek out power steering systems for my Morgan.  Well, all the usual UK sources declined to deal with a LHD car.  ‘We used to but now we don’t . . . ‘  It seems the market is there but only for RHD cars?  Then there was the issue of my Roadster and its ‘Air Conditioning’ (?).  As I understand it the new four wheelers (the CX chassis cars) have electrical assisted power steering standard, or are available from MMC, but these cars are not in the US yet. 

Those with the older cars (Pre CX) are on their own.  I asked around about Power Steering options and got a strong recommendation from a Morgan friend in Australia; EZ Power Steering, in the Netherlandswww.EZPowersteering.nl  

As I understand it, these folks supplied Morgan with electrical power steering systems, until such time as Morgan adopted the BMW solution (along with the BMW power systems) for the CX cars. 

If you Google EZ Power Steering, you will be faced with many similar sounding businesses.  Be careful or you will go down some strange rabbit hole! 

After a few diversions I went straight to the Company’s web site in the Netherlands.  www.EZPowersteering.nl  Don’t be concerned, as they fail to list Morgan as a supported car (they allude to only listing their best sellers?)  They showed me pictures of a good number of systems on their work bench, and I ordered mine on Tuesday and had delivery on Thursday.  (I suspect a US distribution point!)  Not only that, their Installation Manual had lots of photographs showing the system being installed in a Morgan Roadster, not some unfamiliar vehicle! 

It took a handful of folks a day and half to install the system and test drive it thoroughly.  It works, and seems to work well.  The steering in the drive is a one-handed affair!  Bottom line:  I can now drive the Roadster.  I even had my wife test it and she liked it as well!

The Dutch Company also has a few other Morgan solutions that look quite positive.  They offer an ‘eccentric’ steering wheel mount for those you that need a bit more room under the steering wheel and a very pretty steering wheel center button that hides the screw heads and reduces the sun’s reflection off the shiny wheel.  Visit their web site www.EZPowersteering.nl .

Cheers, Mark Braunstein