19 Jan

Richard Hammond takes delivery of his Plus 6. The one spec’d by the public. (youtube)

If you remember a few month back, Richard Hammond co host of the ‘Top Gear’ television show, asked the public to specify the details of the Morgan Plus 6 he was ordering. We brought you that video on the MOGSouth Web, you can find it at http://www.mogsouth.com/2019/11/07/richard-hammond-wants-you-to-spec-his-new-car-video-drivetribe/

Well, now the car has been manufactured and Richard takes delivery. A fun video. Enjoy, Mark

16 Jan

Morgan ending 70-year Plus 4 era with limited-edition roadster (autoblog.com)

The roadster was revived in 1985

Morgan will send off the current Plus 4, a heritage-drenched two-seater roadster introduced in 1950, by building a batch of commemorative models designed to celebrate. The 70th Anniversary Edition gains a more powerful engine in addition to a long list of specific visual tweaks inside and out.

The Plus 4 hasn’t been continuously produced for 70 years. It went on hiatus between 1969 and 1985, but it remains one of the oldest designs on the market. Its demise also signals the end of an era for the small British manufacturer, because the steel chassis it’s built on will follow the Plus 4 into the pantheon of automotive history. To send it off, designers chose to coat the body in Platinum Metallic paint, install dark grey wire wheels, add black trim, and fit what Morgan calls a motorsport-inspired front panel. Sketches hint at what the droptop will look like.

The cabin receives Ravenwood veneer on the dashboard, dark grey carpet, and a black steering wheel, among other upgrades. Don’t let the retro design fool you, though; it’s more comfortable to drive than it appears. The two passengers travel on heated, leather-upholstered seats, and the 70th Anniversary model offers footwell lighting. Morgan will add a numbered plaque on the dashboard to highlight each commemorative model’s exclusivity, and buyers will receive a neat photo book packed with images taken during the production process.

Over the years, Morgan has sourced engines from Triumph, Fiat, and Rover before settling on Ford. The last batch of Plus 4s will continue to receive a Blue Oval-built, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that shifts through a Mazda-provided five-speed manual transmission, but Aero Racing, the company’s in-house competition department, bumped horsepower from 154 to 180 by remapping the engine. It also exhales through a sports exhaust with black tips. The extra horses allow the Plus 4 to reach 60 mph from a stop in under 7 seconds.

Morgan will make 20 examples of the Plus 4 70th Anniversary Edition, and it priced each one at £60,995, or nearly $80,000. Don’t start looking for loose change under your couch cushions, because every build slot was spoken for well before Morgan made the project public. Deliveries will begin in the spring.

Once Plus 4 production ends, motorists seeking an anachronism on wheels will need to locate the nearest Lada dealer and place an order for a Niva, a rugged off-roader in continuous production since 1977. There’s no telling how long it will stick around for, but the Russian firm recently updated it with an improved interior.

What’s next?

Morgan previously announced plans to phase out the steel chassis that underpins most of its range, including the Plus 4. Its future models will ride on a new platform named CX made with bonded aluminum and already found under the 335-horsepower, BMW-powered Plus Six introduced in 2019. Expect additional models (and more engine options) to join the range during the 2020s as the independently-owned firm recoups its sizable investment.

Morgan hasn’t revealed if it will resurrect the Plus 4 again, and what form it will take if it returns. In the meantime, the 70th Anniversary Edition is expected to make its public debut at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show in March.

04 Jan

More Hotels in Luray, VA for MCCDC’s 50th MOG Anniversary, 3-5 July 2020

The MCCDC’s 50th MOG (Morgan Owners Gathering) Anniversary is the headquartered at the Mimslyn Inn (401 W Main Str., Luray, VA 22835) over the 4th of July, 2020. The Morgan events will span Friday 3 July to Sunday 5 July.

The Mimslyn Inn is supposedly full and now working on a waiting list. Judy Heck got this list of other hotels in the Luray, VA area and suggested I pass it on to those of you also be looking for accommodations in Luray.

  • Laurance Hotel, (540) 742-7060, 4.5 stars
  • Mayneview B&B, (540) 669-5105, 4.8 stars
  • Luray Caverns Motel – East, (540) 743-6551, 4 stars
  • Quality Inn, (540) 743-6511, 3.4 stars
  • The Cardinal Inn, (540) 743-5010, 3.4 stars
  • The Inn of the Shenandoah, (540) 300-9777, 4.79 stars
  • Peabody’s ‘Hip Little Stay,’ (540) 742-0696, 4.9 stars
  • Hawksbill House, (540) 742-1553, 4.1 stars
  • Days Inn, (540) 742-4521, 3.2 stars
  • Budget Inn, (540) 742-5176, 3.1 stars
  • Luray B&B, (540) 743-4947, 4.0 stars
  • Woodruff House B&B, (540) 244-7588, 4.9 stars
  • South Court Inn B&B, (540) 843-0980, 4.7 stars
  • Ruffner House B&B, (540) 743-7855, 5.0 stars
  • Hillside B&B, (540) 743- 6322, 4.4 stars

Some of these might already be full, I don’t know and I have no specific knowledge of any of these other hotels, so I cannot make any suggestions. None of these is endorsed in anyway by MCCDC or MOGSouth so use you best judgement and check on line reviews best you can. Cheers, Mark

03 Jan

Morgan: ‘In the wood shed a team of master craftsmen hand form English ash while getting high on glue fumes’ (Mark Walton https://www.carmagazine.co.uk/)

I visited the Morgan factory in Malvern the other day – me and 30,000 other people. Thankfully not everyone came at the same time, but that, believe it or not, is the number of people who visit Morgan’s red brick sheds every year. This is automotive industry turned into tourism. Welcome to the future. 

Not that Morgan isn’t worth a visit. It’s so quaint, it’s like it was invented by a Disney executive. The traditional production line is aided by gravity: cars are born at the top of the hill and they slowly descend the natural slope down a series of gangways that link the succession of workshops. 

From the moment you step into the topmost shed – the original, built by Henry Fredrick Stanley Morgan in 1914 – the atmosphere is pungent with history. Framed by bare brick walls, wooden floorboards and exposed steel roof trusses, the top shed acts a museum, but step down a couple of stairs to enter the chassis shop and you find yourself in a messy world of hand tools, power drills, criss-crossing cables, shelves lined with box files and plastic trays full of components, bottles of glue, cans of oil, photos and memos and calendars stuck to the walls. It feels authentic – Disney would never accept this kind of health and safety. 

Classic Plus 4s are still made side-by-side with the new alloy-chassis Plus Six. The new model has been a leap for a small manufacturer like Morgan – just the wiring loom of the new BMW engine and gearbox looks daunting, its multi-coloured strands sprawling out like there’s a clown’s plastic wig hanging under the dashboard.

Decades-old jigs form the wheelarches on Morgan sports cars

Everyone’s favourite bit of the tour is, of course, the wood shed, where a team of master craftsmen hand-form English ash while getting high on glue fumes all day. Even the new Plus Six has an ash frame, acting as an intermediary between the boxy alloy chassis and those classically curvaceous panels. The ash ‘former’ for the rear wing – a gigantic block of wood with a curved channel cut through it – looks like it was found on the Mary Rose and dredged out of the English Channel. It’s survived so many generations of employee, no one is sure how long it’s been there.

But the thing that surprised me most about my day at Morgan was how busy it was. Instead of exiting through the gift shop, the £24 tour starts here – in the gift shop and the cafe, where I sampled the carrot cake, a perfect Morgan-esque slice, beautifully handmade by skilled artisans.

Visitors gather here, buying their Morgan caps and their Morgan branded fudge, before starting the tour, and it was packed all day. Packed with enthusiasts from around the world, a chattering congregation of English, American, Dutch and German accents. As well as the Tour, visitors can also sign up for Morgan ‘experiences’ – £25 gets you a passenger ride in a three-wheeler. Everyone I saw climbing out looked like they’d spent half an hour on a roller coaster. Or in a giant tumble dryer. 

Built by hand - and eye: Morgan factory tour is a step back in time

It would be unjust to call this a Morgan theme park, because it’s a working factory, steeped in history. There’s no artifice here, nothing’s contrived, and if the visitors stopped coming the cars would still be made the same way. But Morgan is also a vision of the future, specifically our passion for cars and how that will be expressed in years to come.

If Ford and Mercedes-Benz do survive the revolution (and nothing is certain these days) they’ll end up like Samsung smartphone manufacturers – mass producing plastic cases on wheels with lithium-ion batteries. But a few master craftsmen will continue, like the katana-kaji, the ancient samurai sword makers in Japan, still polishing their blades even though a samurai warrior could be felled by a traffic warden with a taser these days. 

Ferrari, McLaren, Bentley, Morgan, Ariel – these will be the places we’ll visit, to tour the factory, to see how the old petrol-driven cars are still lovingly made the old-fashioned way, with carbon and English ash, and maybe we’ll also splash out on a thrilling £25 passenger ride. These factories won’t be museums – they’ll be boutique experiences for people who don’t want to let go. Yes, the automotive industry will turn into tourism, selling Bentley-branded scarves, Ferrari flat caps and McLaren fudge.

02 Jan

2020 MOGSouth Spring Meet, Little Switzerland, NC., 8 – 10 May

Lodging – The Meet Hotel is the Little Switzerland Inn. 86 High Ridge Rd, Little Switzerland, NC 28749.  FYI, Exit 334 off Blue Ridge Parkway

  • Our hosts (Jim and Colette Clark) have negotiated an amazing discount for each room ($20 per night off their normal starting prices of $169 per night), so be sure to make your reservations online at switzerlandinn.com using the group number 998642439836795 for the discount.  If you don’t use the group number, you won’t get the discount. 
  • It’s easy to book your room.  Simply go to the Inn’s web site and click Book Now (yellow button in the upper right of the screen)
  • Input 8 May as check in and 10 May as check out (unless you are arriving early or staying later!)
  • Select Advanced Search, select I have a Group Number, enter the Group Number.  Then hit GO. 
  • You’ll then be shown available room types and prices.  Select more info and you’ll be given the opportunity to select that room type that you want.

Note:  There is a ‘bug’ in the Switzerland Inn’s web site.  The room choices, after acceptance of the group number, all show an occupant limit of 1; this is a program glitch – ignore it.

Hospitality Room – The Hospitality Room will be in Balsam Cottage.  (Map of the grounds on the Inn’s website, if needed.)  The hospitality room will be open:

  • Friday: 4 – 6 and 7 – 10 PM
  • Saturday: 4 – 6 and 7 – 10 PM
  • Sunday: 8 – 9 AM

Activities – Friday Night Dinner is on your own.  FYI, If you choose to eat at the Switzerland Inn’s restaurant anytime during your stay (other than Saturday Night) you must make your reservations at the Main Desk in the Lobby.

Saturday:

  • 9 AM drive south on the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) 25 miles to the summit of Mt. Mitchell, 
  • 12 PM lunch at the Little Switzerland Inn
  • 1:30 PM drive north on the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) 20 miles to Linville Gorge
  • 6 PM dinner at the Inn in the”Chalet Restaurant” (FYI, Reservations for the entire MOGSouth Group have already been made. We’ll order off the menu and pay individually/charge to room.)
  • After dinner gathering either on the “Terrace” or alternately in the “Lobby”, depending on the weather.

Sunday:

  • 9 AM drive of the infamous DIAMONDBACK, which starts and ends at the Inn.  This drive takes 30 minutes.
28 Dec

Morgan History Lesson Documentary (Discovery)

This is a bit of a rehash of Morgan History narrated by some known Morgan personalities, e.g. Charles Morgan, Peter Morgan, Chris Booth, etc. Many of you will know have this information well ingrained but others are new(er) to the marque and some of this might be new. Regardless, a good refresher.

With all the speculation about the Plus 6, North American Imports, Component Cars, the changed attitudes at Morgan, etc., it is nice to revisit what was and for many of us, an understanding of why we are here in the first place. No real drama, perhaps a pleasant moment with the morning coffee. Enjoy, Mark

21 Dec

Morgan Three Wheeler set for epic charity drive

(https://uk.news.yahoo.com/)

Morgan Three Wheeler Trans-India Challenge
Morgan Three Wheeler Trans-India Challenge

Alan Braithwaite will take his Three Wheeler on a a 3,500-mile, 33-day journey.

The Morgan Three Wheeler isn’t the first car you think of for a huge, cross-country drive, but that’s exactly what 73-year-old entrepreneur and philanthropist Alan Braithwaite and his wife Pat are planning on doing.

The pair will embark on the Trans-India Challenge, a 3,500-mile, 33-day journey around India that will put the Three Wheeler to the ultimate test on one of the world’s most demanding road networks.

Morgan is officially backing the challenge which aims to raise £200,000 to support Indian aid NGO Goonj, and fund academic research into Goonj’s ‘circular economy’ model.  The sustainable approach recycles urban waste to use as a form of ‘currency’ to reward rural communities for improving their local environment – like roads, water supply, hygiene or schools.

Morgan Three Wheeler Trans-India Challenge
Morgan Three Wheeler Trans-India Challenge

Fashion designer and famed car fanatic Ralph Lauren has also thrown his weight behind the challenge too, by donating polo shirts from his company’s Earth Polo range – a range made from thread derived entirely from recycled plastic bottles and dyed using an innovative waterless process.

Meanwhile the Morgan Three Wheeler being used has had very little in the way of modifications, keeping the 82 bhp S&S V-twin motorcycle engine and base weight of 525 kg, but having raised suspension to help the car cope with the rough terrain.

“The Morgan 3 Wheeler is the perfect car for the Trans-India Challenge because of the attention it brings: it’s different and it’s fun,” said Steve Morris, CEO of Morgan Motor Company. “You’re always on an adventure in a Morgan and you drive with a smile on your face. Not only does it demonstrate what a Morgan is capable of, but you also know it will bring attention to Goonj. It’s going to be a fantastic adventure all round.”

Morgan Three Wheeler Trans-India Challenge
Morgan Three Wheeler Trans-India Challenge

Braithwaite was thrilled to have Morgan’s official backing for the challenge, which will start in Mumbai on 1 February 2020 and take in cities including Pune, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Puri, Kolkata, Patna, Lucknow, Agra, New Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur and Ahmedabad, before returning to Mumbai at the beginning of March.

“We are delighted that Morgan has recognised the significance of the Trans-India Challenge,” he said. “It will be a massive test for the car, but will certainly put Morgan firmly on the Indian map. With Morgan’s durability, and the materials used in the cars’ manufacture being sustainable and re-useable, this is the perfect choice of vehicle.  It is also another milestone in recognising the ‘circular economy’ model championed by Goonj.”

The start of the adventure will also be a mere six months after Braithwaite underwent open heart surgery.

“I actually needed more extreme modifications than the car for this trip, but I’m confident we’ll both reach the finish line in great shape.”

11 Dec

MORGAN PLANS NEW ALUMINIUM PLATFORM MODELS AND PREPARES TO BID FAREWELL TO STEEL CHASSIS IN 2020

Side by Side


  • Morgan confirms plans for additional models in 2020, underpinned by its CX-Generation aluminium platform
  • The CX-Generation platform was introduced in the Morgan Plus Six, launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2019
  • 2020 will mark the end of production for the traditional steel chassis, a variation of which was introduced in 1936 and is currently used in the Morgan 4/4, Plus 4 and V6 Roadster
  • All-new CX-Generation models are in development to replace the existing models built on the traditional steel chassis
  • The 2020 Morgan model line-up will feature a manual gearbox within the range, for the first time in a CX-Generation model
  • New models will feature smaller capacity engines than the 3.0 litre inline six-cylinder engine in the Plus Six

Malvern, 11 December 2019

The Morgan Motor Company is to continue its technology drive with the launch of new models based on its recently introduced CX-Generation aluminium platform. The new car introductions will take place in 2020 and form a core range of models for the British manufacturer.

It follows the success of the first car to use this platform, the Morgan Plus Six. Launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2019, it has received an overwhelmingly positive reaction from both the press and customers, in large part thanks to its CX-Generation platform.

Designed in house by Morgan, the CX-Generation platform is twice as rigid as the previous aluminium chassis used by the company, which underpinned the Aero 8 and second-generation Plus 8 models. Thanks to a focus on reducing weight, it tips the scales at just 97kg, contributing to the Plus Six’s mere 1,075kg dry weight.

Although full details of the new CX-Generation aluminium platform models are yet to be shared, the company can confirm that the range will feature a variant with a manual gearbox, as well as an engine with a smaller capacity than the 3.0-litre turbocharged inline six-cylinder unit used in the Plus Six.

The launch of new CX-platform-based cars in 2020 will mark the end of production for Morgan’s legendary traditional steel chassis. Introduced in 1936 in Morgan’s first four-wheeled vehicle, the 4-4, the steel chassis has played a hugely important role in the company’s history, underpinning its models for 83 years. A variation of the chassis continues to be found today, in the Morgan 4/4, Plus 4 and V6 Roadster.

Morgan has not confirmed an official end date for production of the traditional steel chassis models but recognises a period where it will be produced alongside CX-Generation models before its discontinuation in 2020.

More information on the model range, launch dates and celebration plans for the end of the traditional steel chassis will be made in 2020. Morgan wishes to inform any customers interested in purchasing the latest Morgan models, or the last of the traditional steel frame chassis vehicles, to contact their nearest Morgan Dealer.

Steve Morris, CEO, Morgan Motor Company, said “The CX-Generation aluminium platform represents a significant undertaking for a small company like Morgan. Following the success of the platform and the Plus Six earlier this year, I am delighted that we can finally reveal further plans for new models in 2020.

We recognise a need for a more resolved core product that fits in with our customer’s growing needs, as well as future legislative requirements. The advanced engineering encompassed within the new platform is a vital underpinning for the next generation of Morgan sports cars, and further demonstrates the exciting blend of craftsmanship and technology that makes Morgan cars unique.

“In addition to new models planned for 2020, the year will also bring about opportunity for us to mark the significance of the outgoing traditional steel chassis and its contribution to the marque. Used in Morgan’s core models since 1936, the traditional steel chassis has been an integral part of the Morgan story and we look forward to giving it a fitting send off.”