14 Aug

MORGAN MOTOR COMPANY DELIVER FIRST PRODUCTION CARS TO UK DEALERSHIP NETWORK (www.businessleader.co.uk – Aug 2019)

The Morgan Motor Company has delivered the first Plus Six production cars to its UK Dealership network at an official handover ceremony during the annual Morgan ‘Thrill On The Hill’ event at Prescott Speed Hill Climb in Gloucestershire.

The official handover, which took place on the hill itself during the lunchtime break, represented the first deliveries of the all-new Plus Six, which was announced at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year.

In total, 11 UK-based Morgan Dealerships were in attendance to take delivery of their new Plus Six models at Thrill On The Hill, from as far north as Perth in Scotland to as far south as Exeter in Devon.

The arrival of the new demonstrators offers an opportunity for customers to try the latest Morgan, and the company would like to invite anybody interested in experiencing the new Plus Six to contact their nearest Dealership. More than 150 Plus Six orders have now been placed, with customer deliveries expected to begin during the fourth quarter of 2019.

The Plus Six is an all-new car that celebrates Morgan’s distinctive design. It features a BMW three-litre inline six-cylinder turbocharged engine and is the first model to be built on the company’s new CX-Generation aluminium platform. Fewer than 1% of its parts are shared with other Morgan models.

Steve Morris, Morgan Motor Company CEO said: “We are delighted to witness the first Plus Six models being handed over to our UK Dealership network here at Thrill On The Hill 2019. The sight of all 11 Plus Six First Editions is one to behold, and this handover marks the culmination of years of hard work from our small team based in Malvern Link. I would like to thank all the staff at our factory, and our Morgan Dealerships in the UK and around the world, for their continued efforts in bringing Plus Six to market. We look forward to a bright future for this fantastic new Morgan.”

14 Aug

Morgan Plus Six (2019) review: the most well-rounded Mog yet (https://www.carmagazine.co.uk/ Jul 2019)

It’s an all-new Morgan!
Uses 335bhp BMW straight-six
Prices start from £77,995

This doesn’t happen too often: a brand-new Morgan sports car. And despite appearances, this really is a brand-new car beneath the familiarly-styled coachwork, on a fresh platform that will underpin further future Morgan models.

Yep, a straight-six does the donkey work here, and it’s got a real kick: BMW’s B58 engine also found in the Z4 M40i and Toyota Supra, among other berths.

The Plus Four is a four-cylinder, the Plus Eight was a V8, so this must be a six?

In this car its 335bhp feels more potent than ever. The Plus Six weighs 1075kg dry, and it can snort and snarl its way from 0-62mph in 4.2sec, quicker than the same-power BMW Z4 and even a smidge faster than the Toyota Supra, but it feels even quicker than that. Largely because you’re closer to the engine doing its work, hearing its turbo swooshing and smelling its exertion through the bonnet vents just ahead of you. Of the various cars the B58 engine powers, it feels at its most characterful in this car.

Sounds like it’s quite hairy to drive…

When you want it to be, but overall, it’s actually surprisingly refined and well-rounded – by low volume sports car standards, you understand.

The engine is coupled to the eight-speed ZF torque converter auto gearbox it’s also paired with in the Z4 and Supra. In its default mode it shifts smoothly and unobtrusively, changing up relatively early. Nudge the lever to the left for Sport mode and downshifts become more extravagant and upshifts later and swifter; more so still if you press the Sport Plus button on the centre console, which alters the throttle and gearshift maps but doesn’t muck about with the power steering or traction control. In fact, it doesn’t have the latter at all, which is absolutely fine by us. It does have ABS, however.

Wot, no manual?

It does feel odd to see that familiar BMW gear selector in the middle of the Plus Six’s hand-built cockpit, and it’s hard to shake the feeling that a H-pattern ’box would fit the car’s character more completely.

But the B58 engine and ZF auto transmission are very much an item, and separating the two isn’t straightforward. Morgan says that if a suitable manual gearbox were to become available, it would certainly consider offering a manual version in the future. Still, the pedals feel a tad offset, which might be exacerbated with the addition of a clutch pedal.

Regardless, the ZF ’box is easy-going in town and you can override it with manual shift paddles mounted to the steering column surround. Shame they’re plastic and rather ordinary-feeling, but manufacturing bespoke shifters would have inflated the Plus Six’s price accordingly.

Anyway, you were saying…

The Plus Six is the most undemanding Morgan to drive yet – which isn’t the same thing as saying it’s uninvolving.

It has electric power-assisted steering – Morgan’s own – which is remarkably stable on bumpy roads. There’s real stability either side of the straight-ahead, and the steering doesn’t paw at cambers or feel nervous at speed, which does wonders for fatigue on long journeys. It’s perhaps not the most feelsome setup in the world, and in some ways you might wish it actually did writhe around in your hands a bit more on B-roads, but for high-speed stability and carrying momentum on uneven roads, it’s impressively well-resolved.  

With all that torque on tap (369lb ft between 1600 and 4500rpm), the Plus Six tends to leave a light smear of its bespoke Avon tyres on the road in its wake under acceleration. We drove the Plus Six on a hot sunny day but you get the impression you’d have to be on your guard in the wet. It uses an open differential rather than a locking diff, chosen to help make things less intimidating on slippery roads, and for the most part it works extremely well; it’s only in occasional driving situations you find yourself with an LSD craving.

Overall, the Plus Six’s handling is very polished. In terms of outright body control it’s not perfect by any stretch, as is entirely reasonable for a car developed by a small independent company on a budget a fraction of the size of a large manufacturer. It’s a car that it takes longer to trust than some, with less immediate feedback through its controls than one might expect of a sports car. Once you learn to trust it, it’s really quite benign with a balance that appealingly tends far more towards oversteer than understeer. For an ultimate drive on a great road there are other sports cars you might choose over it (not least Supra, Alpine, Elise) – but that’s not necessarily what the Plus Six is about. It gets far closer to them from a dynamic point of view than one might expect, with a character all of its own. And in straight-line acceleration it’s more exciting than most cars this side of an Ariel Atom.  

Suspension is by double wishbones all round. In terms of ride as opposed to handling, it doesn’t quite breathe with the road as, for example, a Lotus does, with a slightly abrupt edge to its suspension movements – although it’s one that feels more comfortable with miles, and it isn’t unreasonably firm; it is a sports car, after all.

There must be some downsides to the Plus Six experience?

I struggled with the driving position, so important in a sports car. The hand-made seats (trimmed in leather with an almost limitless choice of grain and colours) look fantastic but I couldn’t help but feel like they’re mounted little too high. I felt perched on, rather than ensconced in, the car.

There is a decent range of adjustment, more so than in previous Morgans, with the seat sliding fore and aft and the backrest tiltable, enabling taller drivers to get comfortable in the Plus Six than in previous models. The Plus Six offers 200mm more legroom than a Plus 8, for example.

Nonetheless, I’m 5ft 10in but the top of my head was buffeted by the airflow, to the point that my hat was blown off my head at one point, and there’s lateral support only if you shuffle down in the seat to better support yourself against the side bolsters. The lumbar support can also be inflated or deflated with a squeezable rubber pouch, which helps, but my driving position still felt like a compromise.

The steering wheel adjusts for both reach and rake, further increasing the Plus Six’s appeal to drivers of all sizes. It’s a shame the wheel itself, an off-the-shelf unit from GKN, doesn’t look a little more bespoke. There’s some beautiful craftsmanship at play in the cabin, but naturally the first things your eyes are drawn to are the gear selector and the wheel. They are reasonable compromises to allow for given the tight budget this entire car was developed within. The Plus Six was funded by Morgan itself (and some government funding) and they’ve done a lot with a little.

Tell me more about this new platform

It’s called the CX Generation platform, CX signifying 110 years of Morgan. Throughout that time, remarkably, the company has been family owned and run; that finally changed at the beginning of 2019 with a majority stake purchased by European investment group Investindustrial – although the Plus Six was completed before the acquisition.

The Plus Six is the first car to be spun from the CX platform, which will also underpin a future flagship model to fill the gap in the range left by the Aero series. Intriguingly, the platform has provision for electric motor architecture, so a hybrid model could be possible.

Apart from the car’s structure, designed to be roomier and with greater adjustment for different drivers, the CX’s electronics platform also unlocks a variety of opportunities for Morgan: the Plus Six features central locking and puddle lights beneath the doors, for example, and while the car doesn’t currently feature traction control, it may do in future updates. 

Is there still a wood frame as part of its construction?

Yes, while the CX platform is based around a bonded aluminium monocoque – a type of structure Morgan has been working with for around 20 years now, and using BMW engines for the same stretch of time – it still features a supplementary ash frame to which its body panels are mounted. Aside from tradition, it brings extra rigidity and has benefits in impact protection.

How much is the Morgan Plus Six?

It’s not cheap, at £77,995, but that’s a more palatable price than the now out-to-pasture Plus Eight model which had strayed into six-figure territory.

The car tested here is one of the first 50 ‘First Edition’ models off the line, costing £89,995. Each comes with a hardtop as standard to supplement the moderately fiddly but effective fabric hood and a host of special design details. Each First Edition will be finished in either Emerald metallic green paintwork with tan leather or blue-grey Moonstone with blue leather (pictured).

Morgan Plus Six: verdict

The Morgan Plus Six is a deeply appealing car. While it’s more sanitised than classic Morgan models, its increased civility hasn’t eroded its character or sense of occasion. To be sat within it, sidescreens and roof removed on a sunny country lane, vented bonnet ahead and arms in the breeze, is an experience unlike almost any other in the modern automotive landscape.

The burly straight-six is both smooth and tractable at low speeds, feels electrifyingly fast when extended, and the Plus Six’s handling bodes well for further-developed applications of the CX platform in the future. The extra accommodation and relatively low 170g/km CO2 output has the potential to open possibilities in previously inaccessible European markets too.

The driving position is an issue for me, and the interior furniture may be for others, but overall this is the most well-rounded model Morgan has yet produced, and an encouraging product for the next chapters in its chronicles.

Specs

Price when new: £77,995
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 2998cc 24v turbocharged straight-six, 335bhp @ 5000rpm, 369lb ft @ 1600-4500rpm
Transmission: 8-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 4.2sec 0-62mph, 166mph, 38.2mpg, 170g/km CO2
Weight / material: 1075kg (dry)/aluminium monocoque with supplementary ash frame
Dimensions (length / width / height mm): 3890/1756/1220mm

12 Aug

2020 Morgan Plus Six First Drive Review | Supra power but a half-ton lighter (www.Autoblog.com – 7/15/19)

This would be the most perfect car for America, but . . .

The author drives the all new Morgan Plus Six

MALVERN, U.K. — Think of the very pinnacle of modern small-series automobile production; a chassis made of aluminum riveted, bonded and welded together just like the latest from Aston Martin or Lotus. Then think of English ash-wood framing on top of it, draped in expertly hand-beaten aluminum panels just like the earliest days of the motor car – the 2020 Morgan Plus Six in all its anachronistic glory. It’s like walking onto the Space Shuttle command deck to find an astrolabe in the corner.

But then Morgans are weird, of that there’s no doubt, although there’s no arguing with the figures. This latest Morgan Plus Six will accelerate from 0-62 mph in 4.2 seconds and go on to a top speed of 166 mph, assuming your license can stand it. At this point you might be laughing madly, especially if you know Morgans. It’s all flies-in-the-teeth acceleration, medieval chassis technology, and never mind the handling because you’re in the air half the time anyway. 

John Beech, Morgan’s chief engineer (formerly of Lotus) and his small team have worked miracles. This CX chassis (Roman numerals for 110) debuts under this Plus Six model, along with a new double wishbone MacPherson strut-derived front and four-link independent rear suspension with 19-inch wheels, plus an all-new engine and transmission.

[It would appear that the back of the seat has a hard surface, not the soft surface of prior cars. I don’t know if this is good or bad?? Mark]

The relationship between BMW and Morgan continues, though this time, they’re doing what Peter Morgan, the second generation Morgan to run the company, once described as ‘mission impossible’: cramming a straight-six engine under that traditionally long and heavily louvered bonnet. Peter chose instead to create the legendary 1969 V8-powered Plus Eight, but now a BMW B58 turbocharged inline-six, displacing 3.0 liters and making 335 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, snugs under the Plus Six’s center-hinged hood. It’s coupled to a ZF eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission driving the rear wheels.

This is one of the finest ‘sixes’ in production, and in the Plus Six it combines performance with excellent on-paper fuel economy. It’ll achieve 31.8 mpg in the generous European test cycle, but we could only manage 23 mpg average during our drive. Regardless, it’s fully Euro emissions compliant, partly because the car’s featherweight 2,370-pound curb weight means the engine isn’t heavily taxed moving the Plus Six about.  The outgoing and dipsomaniac 4.4-liter V8 Aero and Plus 8 models attracted punitive taxation in many places.

Cramming in the engine has taken a lot of work, though. Ancillaries have been relocated and the cooling system has been redesigned, with new hood nostrils and extra louvers in the hood to get the superheated air out. Even so, the front hood release on the turbo side of the car gets too hot to touch even after a gentle run – owners will need to carry gloves.

[Boy that engine bay is tight! I note the filler for the radiator has moved backwards and is now right up at the fire wall and not at the front of the car? Mark]

Climb into the cockpit (not the most dignified of maneuvers) and the biggest change becomes clear – it’s still intimate enough to be a sports car, but there’s a lot more space. By the tape, the Plus Six adds 0.8 inches to the wheelbase, which somehow freed up nearly 8 inches of leg room, 3 inches of width across the cockpit, and a deeper and more useful rear parcel shelf.

Pretty much anyone will fit into this new Morgan and it’s comfortable, too, with a tilting and telescoping adjustable steering column, air conditioning, even power door locks. Taller drivers might want for a slightly lower seat height (there’s room to get an inch or two lower) and maybe a bit more width in the seat backs, but it’s genuinely possible to spend a day behind the wheel without feeling like a piece of unfolded origami on climbing out, which you certainly did in the previous models.

The dashboard retains the traditional Morgan layout with a central speedo and rev counter, but with modern instruments and a small digital display screen in front of the driver flanked by stark and unattractive gauges for fuel contents and coolant temperature. There’s no navigation, but there is a Bluetooth system so you can use your phone instead.

The leather upholstery is quite lovely, especially the quilted finishes. The gear knob is provided by BMW, but Morgan does the handbrake and a very plasticky steering column surround. The hood is beautifully made, but like Morgans of old, it’s a finger eater to erect and you’ll struggle in the downpour to tug the windscreen capping down. In addition, the aluminum frame rattles over bumps and, with the hood furled, the aluminum cockpit trim reflects distractingly in the windscreen.

Stab the push-button start and the big BMW mill growls into life, refined despite the upgraded exhaust fitted to our test car. It’s only in the upper end of the rev counter that it produces any real sturm und drang.

You need to recall that this car is at least half a ton lighter than any other BMW fitted with the same engine and Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat, it’s fast. The twin-scroll turbocharger picks up early and fast and the bluff nose surges, unzipping the horizon towards you. Push the gearlever to one side to access the Sport program, which sharpens up the gear changes and throttle response and then there’s an additional Sport+ button to give yet more alacrity. Mid-range response is effervescent but the top end is simply stupefying.

[The rear reflectors have moved off the wings to below the car.]

If you launch it from stand still, those rear 255/35/19 Avon tires will leave perfect black lines for just as long as you want them to. Few owners are going to drive it like that, but when you’re overtaking, it’s a nice edge. 

And unlike the previous hot Morgan models, this one isn’t frightening. The Plus Six is quick, but it’s also extraordinarily composed and refined, and that long-travel throttle and gentle-giant low-end response makes it an easy car to drive briskly.

As in other BMW applications, that ZF ‘box can be a bit obstructive, reluctant to kick down at times, although there are steering-wheel paddles with which to flip down a ratio and the Morgan’s lightweight and extra work on the transmission software make it feel a bit sharper. 

Despite having a laughably infinitesimal amount of wheel travel, Beech and his team have found a compliance and chassis balance that rides and handles over some pretty poor road surfaces. No longer do sharp undulations leave the exhaust scraping the road and the nose goes where it is pointed. It is set up gently and the mien is slightly more gran turismo than all-out road racer, but that’s where the market is and that light weight means you can still play with it. The steering isn’t particularly communicative (and it could do with a slightly faster ratio), but those Avons are faithful and true; if you decide to push the tail out under throttle, you can get it back without too much drama.

For those used to Morgans this is a sensational debut, for those new to the marque, it’s the first Morgan that needs little excuse to include it in sentences containing Jaguar’s F-Pace, BMW’s Z4 and Porsche’s Boxster. What’s more there’s more to come with Aero models and sports derivatives, which will answer some of the minor niggles mentioned here.

It’s on sale now priced at £89,995 for the First Edition models, £77,995 for the standard cars. Each car takes about four weeks to build and Morgan is hoping to build up to nine a week; there’s a waiting list of 150 already.

And now the bad news, Plus Six won’t pass US production-car safety tests and while there are nascent new laws which might allow it to be sold, we’re still waiting for them to be enacted.

This would be the most perfect car for America, but if you want one, you’ll have to contact your senator.

09 Aug

MORGAN PLUS 4, 110 WORKS EDITION – TEST DRIVE (www.thecarexpert.co.uk)

The Plus 4 110 Works Edition is packed with old-school charm and celebrates a big milestone for Morgan, but what else does it offer?

What’s new about the Morgan Plus 4 110 Works Edition?

The term “What’s new?” is quite a strange one to associate with a Morgan because these cars are built in such traditional ways. But the Plus 4 110 Works Edition does have a range of fitments which differentiate it from the rest of the range. And yes, it still uses ash in its makeup, just like other Morgans.

You get a Sports ECU map for better performance, as well as a motorsport-inspired exhaust with black ceramic tips. In addition, there are motorsport-style wheels finished in satin grey. The car also has ‘110 Anniversary’ logos stitched into the headrests of the sport seats which are – handily for the UK – now heated.

How does it look?

There’s nothing on the road today which comes close to the Plus 4’s styling. It’s why it turns heads wherever it goes and looks just as happy parked up outside the supermarket as it would at the front of the Savoy Hotel. The huge sweeping wheel arches and elongated bonnet look just as good from the inside as they do from the outside – your view out over the front is one you’d struggle to tire of.

Morgan Plus 4 110 Works Edition - front view | The Car Expert

The 110 Works treatment only helps the overall effect. Our car came in a grey metallic colour, with contrast satin finish paint used on the bonnet and stone guards. The mesh-covered headlamps finish off the design, as does the new bonnet side vent – a new touch on this celebratory Morgan which you won’t find on other Plus 4 cars.

What’s the spec like?

Keen button-pressers are going to be disappointed in the Plus 4, but a wealth of in-car technology isn’t what the Morgan is about. You get a trip computer – and that’s about it. As we mentioned there’s a 12-volt socket, and heated seats too – the latter of which are surprisingly hot, but ideal for winter-time driving.

However, when it comes to customisation, Morgan has you covered. You can have the Plus 4 finished in pretty much any colour you could think of, with all manner of interior trim finishes available to accompany it.

What’s the Plus 4 Works Edition like inside?

The cabin of the Plus 4 is snug, but not unpleasantly so. Storage isn’t as much of an issue as you’d expect, with the small area behind the seats more than large enough for two soft weekend bags. Door pockets are ideal for smaller items such as keys and wallets, while the glove compartment can take the rest.

The level of finish is exceptional, though. Hand-stitched leather covers the dashboard, while chrome instrument binnacles walk a fine line between retro and modern. There’s no radio, but Morgan has thought to include a 12-volt charger so you can charge your devices via an appropriate adaptor.

Roof-up and the cockpit feels smaller again, but it’s not too bad. The wind does tend to rattle the mohair hood though – in our opinion, you’re always better sticking with the roof down, and to hell with the weather.

What’s under the bonnet?

The Plus 4 utilises a Ford-sourced 2.0-litre petrol engine with 155hp and 201Nm of torque. That may not sound like all that much but, given that the Plus 4 weighs under a ton without fluids, it’s more than enough to get it up to speed quickly enough. In fact, Morgan says it’ll crack 0-60mph in 7.3 seconds, and push on to a top speed of 118mph – figures which feel more than accurate from the cockpit.

Drive is sent to the rear wheels via a Mazda five-speed gearbox. Despite the relatively brisk performance, Morgan claims that the Plus 4 will return an impressive 40mpg while emitting 164g/km of CO2. Couple this with a 55-litre fuel tank, and you’ve got a car with a very decent touring range, giving you even more time to enjoy the car between trips to the pump.

What’s the Morgan Plus 4 Works Edition like to drive?

Get behind the wheel of a Morgan Plus 4 and you’re immediately aware that things aren’t quite as they’d be in a modern roadster. The steering wheel sits right up into your chest while the legs-out driving position feels distinctly different. Turn the key, and you’re met with an old-school exhaust note, with the 2.0-litre engine springing into life with a decent glug of revs to make its presence known.

At slower speeds, the Morgan takes some effort to pilot. The steering is heavy around town, while the ride is easily unsettled. Throw more speed into the mix, however, and the Plus 4 settles down considerably – it’s surprisingly refined on the motorway and will happily barrel along at the legal limit.

Faster corners require plenty of concentration, but there’s loads of grip to be found. The engine loves to rev too, with reasonably long gearing meaning you can exploit the 2.0-litre’s willingness to fire towards the redline whenever you get the chance.

Verdict

As far as birthday presents go, the Morgan Plus 4 110 Works Edition is right up there. The additional extras you get – both visual and mechanical – strengthen it as an overall prospect.

Though the driving experience may be distinctly old-school, it’s an immensely enjoyable one and a welcome splash of water to the face of the tech-heavy encounters you’ll have with the vast majority of cars currently on sale today.

It’s a smile-inducing car, the Morgan Plus 4 – both for the driver and for the people you pass – and it’s tricky to put a price on that, don’t you think?

Key specifications

Model as tested: Morgan Plus 4 110 Works Edition
Price (on-road): £64,995
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol
Gearbox: Five-speed manual
Power: 155 hp
Torque: 201 Nm
Top speed: 118 mph
0-60mph: 7.3 seconds
Fuel economy (combined): 40 mpg
CO2 emissions: 164 g/km

07 Aug

2019 MOGSouth Fall Meet Pinehurst, NC (13-15 Sep) – Deadline Approaching !!

Folks, for those of you attending the MOGSouth Fall Meet in Pinehurst, NC (Sep 13-15) you need to make your dinner selection(s), from the menu provided previously, and get your $51.20 (per person) checks to Madeline Moody by 15 August. If you have already done this, great!! If not, don’t procrastinate. She needs this information ASAP!!

Note: the last web site update posted has the complete menu, as well as other details about the event.

If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask Madeline via email at madeline.moodie@gmail.com.

03 Aug

Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Clay Bars for Auto Detailing (www.theartofcleanliness.com)

[As most of you know, I have both show cars and drivers in my gaggle of Morgans. I’ve recently gotten a few blank stares (maybe it was just the individual’s natural state?) when I talked about clay so I found this article and thought it might be helpful. Cheers, Mark]

What is a clay bar? What are clay bars made of?

Quite a misnomer, clay bars aren’t actually made of clay. They are made of an elastic, malleable resin compound which is often formed into a block for distribution. You rub this block across your paint with the aid of a lubricant to help pull contaminants out and off of your paint.

How do clay bars work?

Clay bars are very lightly abrasive. Think of them like a 5000 grit piece of wet sanding paper. You lubricate the surface of your paint and rub the clay across it which abrades away and pulls out contaminants such as dirt, iron deposits, and tree sap.

The material clay bars are made out of is also malleable allowing it to form to the surfaces of your vehicle and withstand grating against the dirt and contaminants you’re removing which are very hard.

It’s important to remove these deposits with a clay bar. Many of these deposits such as rail dust, carbon, and industrial fallout contain metallic substances which when left embedded in your paint will oxidize and spread under the clear coat leading to pitting and clear coat failure.

Plus, clay barred paint is incredibly smooth. This makes the application of wax or sealant much easier and increases the bond waxes and sealants have with your paint so they last longer. Win win.

Are detailing clay bars safe?

Generally speaking, clay baring is very safe. As long as you keep the surface you are claying lubricated you shouldn’t install any scratches or marring. If you rub your clay on a non-lubricated area of paint you can scuff the paint lightly. There are also some more abrasive grades of clay than can leave behind micro marring but this marring is quickly removed by a light polish.

Since clay bars are so lightly abrasive they do not remove a meaningful amount of paint. Properly lubricated, you will never clay through your paint. You will also never remove scratches or swirls with a clay bar, that’s a job for compounds and polishes.

Can I use a clay bar on other materials such as glass or plastic?

Absolutely! Any hard surface with stuck on contaminants can benefit from claying. Use a clay bar on your windows the next time you detail your car. You’ll be amazed how smooth and water shedding the glass will be afterward.

Some grades of clay, however, should not be used on clear plastics unless you intend to polish them afterward. They can leave light hazing on soft plastic.

I typically use clay before polishing any surface be it paint, plastic, or glass that way my polishing pad has less work to do and subsequently lasts longer.

When should I clay bar my car?

Any time you feel your paint after properly washing and drying it and it feels gritty you should clay bar.

A neat trick to truly tell if your paint is gritty and contaminated is to put your hand inside a plastic bag (shopping or sandwich, doesn’t matter) like it’s a glove and rub your paint. This will amplify any imperfections. Paint that felt somewhat smooth to your bare hand will feel like sand through the bag.

Once you clay your paint you can use the bag trick to test if your paint is truly smooth and will not benefit from any more clay baring.

Does a new car need to be clay barred?

Absolutely! While your car was transported from the manufacturer to the dealer it did so by rail, highway, and even sea. Most dealers don’t do a great job at cleaning the cars once they receive them. This means your car has rail dust, iron particles, road film, salt, and other contaminants already imbedded in it.

How often should I clay bar my car?

If you’re properly caring for your car this should only be once or twice a year. By properly caring I mean you’ve already clay barred and polished it once, have kept it protected with a good wax or sealant, and have cleaned it routinely to make sure contaminants haven’t’ sat on the paint for a long time.

What are the differences between clay bars?

The primary difference in clay bars is the aggressiveness/grade. There are typically three different grades of clay bar, medium, fine and heavy.

Heavy clay bars are meant to remove deeply imbedded and adhered particles. These will leave hazing and should be followed up with polish.

Medium grade clay bars are meant to remove more stubborn contaminants but may leave behind light micro marring or hazing that will require a follow up with a light polish.

Fine grade clay bars are means to remove light amounts of contaminants and will not harm the finish. These can be used as often as you like and are the kind typically found on store shelves by the likes of Meguiars and Mothers, both of which are my recommendation for most people in search of an affordable, quality clay bar.

What can I use as clay bar lubricant?

Most clay bar kits use a quick detailer as a lubricant. This is also known as a spray wax. You can also use concentrated soapy water or a rinseless car wash solution.

Never use a clay bar without a lubricant. You’ll make a mess and mar your paint.

What alternatives are there to clay bars?

Clay bars have been around for years so it’s the first product people think of when they think about decontaminating their paint. Fortunately, in that time, some new products have come out that can entirely replace clay bars.

There are now wash mitts, pads, and towels that are made of a rubber like substance that can be used just like a clay bar and are washable/reusable.

There is a definite cost/benefit analysis to be done when considering these alternatives. On one hand they are faster to use and reusable, even if dropped, because they can be washed. On the other, they are comparatively expensive. They can cost two to four times as much as a clay bar. If you think you’ll use them often this can make them a great deal. If you’re only intending to use it once or twice, it might not make sense to spend the extra money. That is for you to decide.

How to Use a Clay Bar

Note: I recommend splitting your clay bar up into two to four pieces. This will prevent you having to throw the whole bar away should you drop your clay. Once a piece of clay hits the ground throw it away. It will pick up contaminants and it will scratch your paint otherwise.

[ have dropped my clay a couple of times. You will be tempted to try to pick off any contaminants that you see and try to reuse it (because it isn’t cheap), but you can’t see them all and the ones you didn’t find will definitely scratch your paint – Don’t do it! Mark]

  • Wash and dry your car.
  • Flatten your clay out to fit flat in your hand.
  • Spray a small area of a single panel, around 2 square feet, with your lubricant of choice.
  • Lightly rub the clay back and forth on the lubricated paint.
  • Rub the clay back and forth until you no longer feel any resistance or hear friction. This means the paint is clean.
  • Wipe off the area you just worked with a quality microfiber towel.
  • Feel the surface with your fingertips. It should feel smooth. If not, repeat the claying process again.
  • Move on to the next area.
  • When the surface of the clay stars to look dirty, fold it in to reveal a clean surface to proceed with.
  • Once you’re finished it is a good idea to re-wash the vehicle to remove any residue left behind by the clay and lubricant.

Tips for Using a Claybar

  • Wash panel before clay baring to prevent marring paint.
  • If you drop the clay, game over, throw it away.
  • Cut your bar into smaller pieces so you don’t ruin the whole bar if you drop it.
  • Work in the shade so the sun doesn’t dry your lubricant too fast.
  • Work in smaller areas at a time so your lubricant doesn’t dry up.
  • Use light pressure. Heavy pressure will displace the lubricant and you’ll scuff your paint.
  • Make sure to frequently fold in the clay to expose a clean surface to clay with.
  • Spray your clay with lubricant and place it into a sealed baggy for long term storage.

What is the Best Clay Bar?

Honestly, most clay bars within the same grade are pretty equal. Some are a little more malleable and shapeable than others but the performance is roughly the same. This is one area where the whole “you get what you pay for” thing doesn’t really hold true.

I have used many brands of clay bar over the last 15 years and I still come back to the Meguiars and Mothers bars you can pick up off the shelf at most big box stores for under $20. I’ve used both and generally grab whichever is cheapest at the time. You’ll get 160g worth of clay, a decent microfiber towel, and clay lubricant (quick detailer) for the same cost as just a bar of clay from other brands.

You really can’t go wrong with the above mentioned bars unless your car is in such bad shape that you need a medium or heavy bar. In that case take a look at Heavy or Medium grade bars.

26 Jul

2019 GatorMOG Fall Noggin – A Celebration of George Waltman – Daytona Florida (Nov)

If you didn’t know – George Waltman is our hero!!

As was reported, George took a 1964 Morgan Plus 4 out of an Police impound lot in the Bronx in 1968. He then drove the Morgan to Daytona Florida and entered it in the 24 Hours of Daytona. He drove the entire race by himself, without co-drivers or even a pit crew! He didn’t win but he did finish!

GatorMOG is honoring George Waltman over the weekend of the 15 – 16 November in Daytona, Florida.

This is the weekend that Historic Sports Racing (HSR) is holding their ‘Classic’ 24 hours of Daytona. We have this event labeled as a ‘GatorMOG’ event, but that is simply because it is in Florida. Really, everyone is welcome to come south and join us. It looks to be quite the weekend.

We are still finalizing the details with HSR but have confirmed our participation at the Daytona International Speedway, during their ‘Classic’ 24 Hours of Daytona. We have racing roundels for each participant Morgan. We plan to have a Morgan Car Corral right in the heart of DIS, hopefully laps of the famed Daytona International Speedway (DIS) for the Morgans (if time allows), a tour of the DIS Archives as well as commemorative T-Shirts for the Morgan participants.

We also have lined up a Open House at the local Morgan Dealer, Christopher John, Ltd on Saturday afternoon, followed by a cocktail party and a group dinner. FYI, the dinner is within walking distance of Christopher John’s dealership.

The designated hotel for the event is the Plaza Resort and Spa (600 N. Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118) and is just about 1 mile away from Christopher John’s.

To make reservations for this hotel, The Plaza Resort & Spa, click on the link or call 1-866-500-5630 and ask for the MORGAN CAR CLUB room block.

But, there is a trick to the link!! Click the link and when the calendar comes up, click on the day you will arrive and the day you leave. For example, if you plan a two day stay, click the 15th (arrival) and click the 17th (checkout).

Note:  If you would like to book room types other than Sunset View (the basic room rate) or if you would like to book nights other than 11/15 and/or 11/16, you will need to use the toll-free number rather than the on-line link.

This looks to be a grand celebration of George Waltman and his accomplishments, as well as the Morgan car! Please send me an email (mogsouth@yahoo.com) if you are planning on attending. This is just so I can manage the hotel’s and restaurant’s expectations. Thanks, Mark

26 Jul

A Day in the Life: Vince Wankling (Octane Magazine-Jul 2019)

Morgan’s Wooden body frames are still hand built, and this craftsman has been creating them since 1975

I DON’T HAVE to be in here at 7am but that’s when I arrive. I like to have a cup of coffee and a chat with the other lads before I start work. I’ve got my own corner of the wood shop, and I only work on the standard Morgan – the ‘Traditional’ , we call it. Over the years, I’ve done most of the jobs and they just leave me to get on with it.

At the moment I’m finishing off the last doorframe of a car, making sure it fits in the aperture. I’ve already built the doorframe in a little jig we have, which holds it all tightly as it’s glued together. Once its in place I’ll trim it so it fits absolutely perfectly. Using modem glue means the time to make the door has fallen from a whole day, when I started here, to five hours. That’s modem efficiency! Still, some things never change. The solid oak press we use to shape the wheelarch is at least 80 years old.

I started at Morgan on 22 September 1975. I’d already done ten years in various building trades, so I had lots of carpentry skills. I liked it because it was close to my house, so I could walk here in 13 minutes across the fields.

Before I came here, I didn’t even realise Morgan had a woodworking shop. Or its own sawmill, which it still has. It must be the only car manufacturer in the world to do so. Our ash comes from Lincolnshire; nowadays it arrives on pallets cut to the lengths we need, so we no longer have waste left over from long planks.

When I joined there were still four young ladies working on old capstan lathes, and one of them became my partner. A lot of relationships have started here over the years. Morgan has been my life, really.

I actually retired three years ago aged 65, on my birthday. They put a cardboard cut-out of me up on the wall when I left because I was such a fixture. But I soon came back and now I work three mornings a week. The ghost of Vince is still up there.

The placing and lifting work does become a bit harder as you get older. I groan every time I stand up, but I don’t mind because I just like doing it. I’ve built or part-built about 6000 frames in my time, and these days I’m often working with an apprentice by my side.

I love showing the kids how it done, passing on my skills, although you’ve got to work swiftly to get the jobs done and do the training. The bodies are going out at a fair rate. These days the apprentices   come straight in. They’re usually keen but, if I’m honest, a bit naive. You’re  going  to  make  cars,  true,  but  most importantly you’ve  got to start by becoming skilled at cutting and planing a piece of wood.

Actually, the type of some tools, is the thing that changed most during my time.

I used to have terrible tennis elbow through using old-fashioned planes and screwdrivers. Now, they’re all battery-powered, by Makita. 

Patience and accuracy are crucial. Being proud of your tools, and sharpening them, is also important because it’s all hardwood we
work with. I have a young lad working by me at the moment who’s just sent off for a rosewood-handled chisel to add to his  tools.  That’s the right spirit. You have to love your tools.

It’s much easier physically, and my hands are still quite soft. After all this time I rarely get a splinter. You just know by instinct not to brush a rough edge. It’s an old joke here that you pretend to be in agony by getting a splinter from someone else’s work!

I’ve always liked being in a steady  job that you don’t worry  about when you go home. I work part-time throughout the whole year but I’ll take a weeks holiday when the Cheltenham Festival is on, because I love horse racing.

Morgan hasn’t changed that much over the years,  thank goodness.  With  the  old  gaffer [Peter Morgan] you could drop into his office to get your passport application signed or whatever, or to ask him   something.   The management now is much younger, and there s
a bit more pressure on everybody. I’ve known the  boss  today,  Steve  Morris, since he was a 17-year-old in the tin shop next door – what we used to call the coachbuilding department!

My partner died 12 years ago but I have a large family life, including her two daughters, and I have three sisters and a brother all here in Malvern. I see my brother every week; he’s the head  porter  at  Malvern College.  I’m quite practical at home but I don’t have an ornate ash kitchen or anything like that.

These days I drive to work.  I’ve  got  a VW Scirocco GT and it’s a great car, really quick. I didn’t learn to drive until I was 43, and I’d never driven a Morgan until last summer. My boss let me use a Traditional to take my great-nephew to his  summer prom. Everybody looked at it wherever I parked, but they’d never guess there was a bit of the driver inside the car itself . . .

25 Jul

Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix July 19 – 21, 2019 – ‘Report from the Field’

July 15th my wife Sam, our 2 Giant Schnauzers and I (Rick Frazee) started north on our 4 day journey to race our 1959 Morgan 4/4 at this year’s 37th Annual Pittsburg Vintage Grand Prix.   Our trusty motor coach, Big Bird, had just come from the shop after having the rear bedroom slide and shower floor rebuilt.   The repairs had taken much longer than expected and so we were pinched for time to tidy up and provision the coach.   The first 3 days of travel were uneventful but Thursday, in Pittsburgh, became a test of determination to make the race.  

At about 10AM Thursday we were ten minutes out from Schenley Park where the race is held; then we missed an exit off of I-376 and headed north to I still don’t know where.  Our motor coach GPS usually just reroutes us but in this case it lost its bearings and I lost my trust in it which was probably my second mistake.   45 minutes later I got out my phone GPS and put in the desired location, now the coach GPS knows how wide, long and high we are while the iPhone thinks only of car size vehicles. 

We were routed through a nice little neighborhood were the roads got tighter and tighter until we reached a rather steep hill going down to a flat road with a major roadway within sight about 2 blocks away.   No choice so we headed down the hill but had to pause at the stop sign, at just that point we heard the grinding sound of the trailer hitch making solid contact with the pavement.   We ground to a jarring halt!    Tried to drive off but we were not pulling loose.   Upon inspection I discovered the bottom of the hitch had dug about 6 inches into the solid asphalt pavement.   Back in the coach I engaged the second rear axle, still only a lot of wheel spinning and tire smoke.   I began to try to unhook the trailer and disassemble the hitch just as the local police arrived.   They were most understanding and began directing traffic while I and a friendly local who stopped to help tried everything we could think of.   I finally had to ask the police to call a wrecker.   A small rollback arrived first and the operator agreed we’d need the big one!  

With the arrival of a semi sized wrecker the police blocked the road.   The wrecker crew connected 2 winch cables to the front and quickly pulled us free, the now detached trailer was loaded on the rollback and with police escort we all set off to find an open flat surface to readjust and rejoin the trailer.   Our first stop was a large park-n-ride lot which the officer thought would accommodate the work.   As soon as I made the turn-in I knew we were in trouble again.   I stopped and explained to the officer that we would have a hard time getting the coach out even without the trailer attached.  At the back of the lot there was just enough space to turn around to try to head out.   He set off to find a better spot leaving me to get out of the lot.   2 attempts later to go the correct, one way, direction out we decided to head out the aisle we came in on.  

As we nosed past a pick-up on the right that was out farther than the rest of the row a sharp twang on the left indicated we had made contact with the one way sign that we were headed past going the wrong direction.   With a bit of urging from my copilot I tried to back off the sign which then snagged a window instantly turning it into 1000’s of small pieces of glass.  

Pulling forward quickly cleared the sign and we headed across the street to a fire station lot to make the re-connection and pay the wrecker bill.   After reassembling the hitch and connecting to our trailer we headed south to find the Schenley Park Paddock.   Several circuits around Pittsburgh later we did find the proper entrance to the paddock area.  

Very weary and now 4 o’clock in the afternoon we found the paddock which was already two thirds full.   With a friendly golf cart escort we were directed to the loop end of the paddock where there was barely enough space to accommodate our 75 foot length on an almost level surface.   Did I mention that there are 447 bridges in Pittsburgh all crossing each other?   Or so it seemed.

Friday, a new day with a required driver’s meeting and walk of the 2.3 mile course.   My wife chose to join us which was probably a mistake as our guide was great at telling stories about this corner or that rock wall and who crashed where on the track.   It was an intimidating lesson with fresh pavement just done the day before, manhole covers, curbs, rock walls, elevation changes, road crowns, bridges and tar sealing lines that looked like a snake pit in one fast corner.   I did not let her look over the side of the bridge.   

The afternoon parade into downtown was hot and many of the race cars were steaming by the time we got to the designated section of downtown, thankfully not us.   The parade route was lined with waiving locals and a lot of kids.   We were parked in the middle of a street 4 race cars abreast and the open space was quickly filled with people asking questions and admiring the race cars.   A large jewelry store had agreed to host the cocktail party and there was plenty of food as well as flowing beer and wine.   After consuming our share and admiring the jewelry and watches (Sam didn’t find any she had to have) we went back out to the street which was now solid with kids and adults.   We let probably 100 kids and a few adults sit in the Morgan race car and answered bunches of questions.  What a great evening.

Saturday morning opened with practice session for all by class.   We were class 6, the last racing group on the schedule.   By the time we got on the track the sun was high and the heat was 95+ degrees.   Humidity was like Florida with the cloud cover to match.   The track was every bit as challenging as our previous day walk had suggested.   The afternoon qualifying was super hot.   Our class was all on the line at the appointed time but spent a bunch of extra time on the false grid while broken race cars from the previous secession were towed off and corner workers were resupplied with water.   Finally, we got on the track.   I had a fun session with an MGA and did manage to get around an Alfa and a Mini.   Passing was very difficult and while the Alfa dogged me most of the session, he did not get back around me.   I finished 11th out of 13 entries.   

Sunday, race day was gray.   The 15 minute morning practice was dry but big dark clouds drifted around the outside of the city.   The Formula Ford race, 2 before our group, came limping back with stories of rain-water sheeting down the hills onto the track surface.   The intermittent rain had stopped as FF came in and so I suited up and readied the Morgan to go out for the final race of the day.   As I got seated and about to strap in the race car the rain came down again.   To the relief of my wife I made the decision that I’d had enough and climbed back out of the Morgan.   

The rain did stop once again and group 6 did go to the grid.   I believe I heard them go off but their results were not posted on Race Monitor.   We had just enough time to load the Morgan race car and our pit car, our MOKE, before the rain began again.   Rain followed us to our stopping point that evening and again for the next 3 days to our home in Winter Park, Florida making driving our big rig a ton of work.   It’s great to be home.   The next month or so will be required to fix what we broke on the motor-coach, but the Morgan is almost ready to go again.   We saw lots of familiar Put-in-Bay race faces and met lots of new friends.

Our next race will be at Put-in-Bay, Ohio in September

If you’ve never raced at Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park Vintage GP you’re missing the most challenging track I’ve had the pleasure of racing on.    20 different turns on most every kind of surface but dirt.

Cheers,

Rick Frazee

25 Jul

MCCDC’s MOG 49 ‘Report from the Field’

MOG 49 CHAIRMAN REPORT

[Folks, this is Rich Fohl’s (MCCDC and MOGSouth member) report on the recent MCCDC MOG 49, held at the traditional Mimslyn Inn in Luray, VA. MCCDC will again use the Mimslyn to host MOG 50, next July 4th weekend, for their 50th Anniversary. This is a substantial milestone for MCCDC and given that MOGSouth came out of MCCDC we will want to support this event in the way MOGSouth used to, so save the dates (July 4th 2020.) More to come on this in the near future. Cheers, Mark]

MOG 49 CHAIRMAN REPORT

Well, we came, we took part and we had a great time! From what I have heard from many of those in attendance at this year’s MCCDC annual gathering, this year’s event at the Mimslyn Inn in Luray, VA was  very successful. We are gathering comments from as many as possible to improve on the details of the weekend and how each event and the overall experience can be improved.

Many thanks go out to our Event Chairpersons: Concours: Bill Blodgett, Gymkana: Reny Willoughby…and family!  Rally: Bates McLain,   Autocross: Greg and Mary Hastings. Also many, many thanks to attendees who came forward to volunteer and help make each event a success. And a very special thanks to Ed Zielinski for contributing his time and effort to create the Mog 49 Poster and all the Mog 49 art work. Needless to say, thanks to all of the Officers and Executive Committee members who also contributed much effort and many hours to MOG 49: President: Marlene Riehle, Vice President: Dean Worcester, Secretary: Tom Kennedy, Treasurer: Path MacAuley, Registrar/membership Secretary: Lisa Shriver, Liason Officer: Bill Blodgett, and Recent Past President: Lee DeBrish.

And a very, VERY special thanks to Linda and Larry Eckler ….owners of Morgans of New England and the all of their kids and crew…Linda and Larry contributed both personally and financially to help make MOG 49 a special event. They were also kind enough to field questions at a Saturday evening Q and A at the Manor House Noggin regarding Morgan importation and many other questions regarding all things Morgan.

 If you came this year, bring a friend or two along next year to experience a very special gathering. MOG 50 is officially planned for Friday-Sunday, July 3-5, 2020 at the Mimslyn Inn, Luray, VA…More information regarding booking rooms, etc.,  will be coming forth soon in the Rough Rider and on our website www.morgandc.com. We are planning some small and big changes for MOG 50 in hopes it will the best ever!

The following are the Results from the events at MOG 49, Luray, VA:

CONCOURS:

BEST IN SHOW: Warren Muse/ 1965 4/4

4/4: First Place: Warren Muse/ 1965 4/4

         Second Place: Carl and BettyHC Clouser/ 1967 4/4

Plus 4: First Place: Fred Dantonio/ 1965 +4

Plus 4 4  Seater: First Place:Peter and Ann Dattels/ 1967 +4 4 Seater

Plus 4 DHC:First Place: Sheldon Hofferman and Gail Shepkin/ 1964 +4 DHC

Early +8 (Carburetored): First Place: Richard Fohl/ 1970 +8

Post 1983 3 Wheeler/Fuel Injected: First Place: Eric and Marjorie Scott/2012 3 Wheeler

      Second Place: Bruce and Shelly Menkowitz/1998 4/4

      Third Place: Lee DeBrish and Marlene Riehle/ 2005 Roadster

GYMKHANA:

First Place: Duncan and Lee Charlton/+8

Second Place: Peter Ballard? 4/4

Third Place: Greg and Mary Hastings/ +4 4 Seater

RALLY:

First Place: John DeTrana and Geri Oliveri/+8

Second Place: Eric and Marjorie Scott/ 2012 3W

Third Place: Barrie Abrams and Lenny Mandel/ +8

“MORGANS OF NEW ENGLAND” AUTOCROSS:

FTD: Duncan Charlton/ +8/ 1:26.005

Plus 8: First Place: Barrie Abrams/ 1:28.867 (including 4 sec penalty for 2 cones)

Second Place: Katie Eckler/ 1:32.900

Third Place: Matt Schrum/ 1:32.940

Early Plus 4: First Place: Bill Willoughby/ 1:28.142

Late 4/4: First Place: Bruce Menkowitz/ 1:39.477

Plus 4 4 Seater: First Place Lenny Mandel/ 1:38.195

Respectfully,

Rich Fohl, MOG 49 Chairman