18 Nov

MOGSouth’s GatorMOG Chapter’s Fall Noggin – Daytona Florida 15/16 November 2019 – Report from the Field

MOGSouth’s GatorMOG chapter help their Fall Noggin in Daytona Florida this year.  We all (well, mostly all) stayed at the Plaza Hotel and Spa right on the Atlantic Ocean.  They gave us a good rate and had a parking garage for the cars.  The weather was atypical Florida, cold and overcast.  So we put the tops down and bundled up.  Sorry Andrea, we have no heater is this car . . . (Come to think of it, we have no heaters in any of the Morgans.)  Lap blankets, yeah that’s it!

We were in Daytona to celebrate the Solo finish of George Waltman in the 1968 Daytona 24 Hour race in a 1964 Morgan Plus 4. The Plus 4 came out a Police impound lot in NY, and was then driven south and raced by George.  He had no pit crew or co drivers.   Wow! 

To add to our fun, we had commemorative T Shirts (to keep us warm(?) and Racing Roundels, with George’s number 35, for all the cars.  We also had a few ‘on track’ pictures of George passing (?) a GT40 and another passing a Corvette (?) taped to the Morgan Car Corral fencing.  The wind was a bit much for our easels.  We had a few ‘postrace’ pictures as well, one even with Bill France, Sr.  Cool stuff! 

We had a Morgan Car Corral with 15 Morgans to include a 2019 3.7L Roadster belonging to MOGSouth member John Pokorny.  As is the norm when Morgans gather we attract the crowds and all day Saturday I didn’t leave the Car Corral.  Too many folks to talk to and too many questions to answer.  Also at the track Christopher Sylvestri (Daytona Morgan Dealer, Christopher Johns’ LTD.) had a new car display right in the heart of the Fan Zone and he too was pretty busy. He had a large crowd of potential customers (future MOGSouth members?) milling about his display all day.  We sent a good number of interested folks his way.  

Christopher Sylvestri in Plus 4 Club Sport

Tara Waltman, George’s lovely daughter joined us for our celebration and lapped the track in a Morgan, just like her father had some 51 years ago (albeit a bit slower!).  We lined up a few minutes before we were supposed to go out, but the race beforehand had an ‘off’ or other incident and the pace car came out and slowed the race for three or four laps.  This ate into the time available for parade laps and we only go a single lap.  It was great however and Tara Waltman took a video of entire lap.  You can view the video at Lap of Daytona Video or go the the Video Category of www.mogsouth.com. 

Tara Waltman and Debbie Stanley Waiting to Lap Daytona

After the lap of the track we reconvened back at the Car Corral and stayed a few more hours.  Then it was off to the hotel to freshen up (and thaw out?) for the evening.

The Wait – Pace Car on Track

After the sun went down, Christopher Sylvestri welcomed the entire Morgan gang to an open house of his Morgan dealership in Daytona, Christopher Johns’ LTD. Some beautiful cars were for sale to include a rare 4 Seat Drop Head Coupe.  Oh, I did want to bring that home but I have no space and there was that look from Andrea . . .

There were many other odds and ends, clothes and hats, etc., and I dare say some Holiday stockings will be full of Morgan bits and the like from Christopher’s dealership.   We had great things to eat and drink and only the call of an oceanside dinner, in a private room, drew us away. 

Dinner was delightful and we complimented the restaurant on their quick service and ability to manage our large and somewhat challenging gaggle.  We have done this enough to know that patience and tolerance are the norm.  But, not this time.  We were pleasantly surprised, they were great.   

Unexpectedly our waitress appeared with a fancy dessert, candles lit and lots of spoons.  We celebrated John Stanley’s birthday with cake and ice cream (Congrats John!!) and then back to the hotel for the night.  Sunday was again cool and cloudy but a good number of us went back to the track. I personally wanted to see some the action as I hadn’t left the corral on Saturday.  John and Debbie Stanley stopped on the way at Krispy Kreme for donuts and coffee and soon arrived at the corral with offerings for us all.  Wonderful!!

We were just a few yards away from a small grandstand and I went there with a few others to watch the racing.  It was a great spot with the racing cars slowing right in front of us for a hairpin turn, the accelerating off after hard breaking.  Breathtaking sounds and sights.  And, just off in the distance the cars are racing up on the high banking.  Amazing stuff! 

Eventually, we packed up or chairs and the like and left.  It was mid-day on Sunday.  We all had a decent drive home and wanted to get on with it.  Ian and Barbara Shelmerdine followed us home, as we traveled the back roads, through rural Florida and fields of cows, etc.  

Another great Morgan outing!  Each one seems to be better than the last.  Perhaps is the group of folks that come out to play?   We do have a good time and folks make a concerted effort to join us.   This time we had folks come down from Virginia, and even within Florida some folks travelled a good long way, more than 250 miles away! 

Well, until next time.  Have fun stay safe!

Cheers,
Mark

18 Nov

MOGSouth’s GatorMOG Chapter’s Fall Noggin – Daytona Florida 15/16 November 2019 – Lap of Daytona (Video)

This is a video of our parade lap of the Daytona International Speedway (DIS) on Saturday. There was a plan for three laps but as the race before we were to go out had an incident that required the pace car, we ran out of time. Still it was an amazing lap. The high banks are much higher in real life. The pictures don’t do them justice! This video was taken by Tara Waltman, George’s daughter. Thanks Tara!!

12 Nov

Action Required – 2019 Mother Courage Award – Solicitation for Nominees

Only a Few Days Left – Send in your Nominations by 15 November 2019.

Folks, please submit your nominees for the 2019 Mother Courage Award. We cannot extend the 15 November deadline as we have to have a vote on the nominees and have other logistics to accomplish, all in time for the award presentation at the Holiday Party, 7 December.

As you all know, the Mother Courage Award (MOGSouth’s only perpetual award) will be presented at the MOGSouth Holiday Party, December 7th, St Simons Island.

Each year, potential awardees are nominated by the club membership at large and the new recipient is then selected, from those nominated, by the past three recipients of the award. To nominate a MOGSouth Club member for this award, simply send an email to Mark Braunstein at series1@cfl.rr.com with your choice(s).

The criteria set in 1998 is that the recipient of the award should be the person or persons who best personify Dan and Nancilee’s love for people, Morgans and life. Nominees should be sent to Mark no later than 15 November 2019.

Past recipients of the award are listed on the MOGSouth web site at http://www.mogsouth.com/category/mother-courage-awards/ however it was decided in 2018 that MOGSouth members are eligible to receive the award multiple times.

07 Nov

2020 MCCDC’s MOG50 – 50th Anniversary Meet (4 July, Luray VA)

For many of us that have been around the Morgan community for a while know the role the Morgan Car Club of DC has played in the creation of many of the regional clubs, to include MOGSouth.  For those that weren’t here in the beginning, many of the regional clubs were spawned out of the discussions and meanderings of folks that attended the MCCDC MOGs (Morgan Owners’ Gatherings) in days past. 

The MCCDC MOGs were, at times, the only Morgan events going.  Folks came from all over the eastern half of the US, and even from Canada, to play in Luray, Virginia over the fourth of July weekend.  The MCCDC MOGs had a full slate of car related events for attendees to participate in.  There was a formally judged Concours d’Elegance of Morgan cars, a mentally challenging Time-Speed-Distance Rally, a family friendly Gymkhana (Funkhana?) and a hotly contested Autocross. 

Pulling off all these events over the weekend was far too much for the MCCDC members so the regional folks started to lend a hand.  These efforts morphed into the Regional Clubs taking over one of the events completely.  Planning it, setting it up and then running it for the weekend.  

MCCDC is now about to celebrate their 50th anniversary!  MOG 50 is at hand!! 

The powers that be, at MCCDC, have chosen to return to Luray Virginia (and the Mimslyn Hotel) over the 4th of July weekend for MOG 50.  I personally applaud these decisions!  This is a historical event and even though this is usually a really hot weekend in Virginia, this is the most fitting location and timing for this historical event.  I plan to attend and if you also decide to attend, please send me an email (series1@cfl.rr.com) so I will have an idea of the MOGSouth presence at MOG 50.

I would like to propose that MOGSouth take on the task of planning and running the Gymkhana (Funkhana) event for MOG 50.  This would entail the development of a few Gymkhana appropriate activities, the collection of any requisite materials and an assemblage of folks to support running and scoring the event in Luray.  (Although MOGSouth could probably run any of the events, we have an opportunity by volunteering early to get what we want, and I have my reasons to recommend that we take on the Gymkhana.)  I will contact the MCCDC leadership about our offer and let you all know what they say.

MCCDC’s MOG 50 will be held in Luray Virginia at the Mimslyn Inn (401 W Main Str., Luray, VA 22835).  Although no real information has been published by MCCDC as yet (in my mind, this is already 6 months late!) it is likely that the Morgan events will span Friday 3 July to Sunday 5 July. 

If you plan to attend, please let me know, and be sure to book your rooms very soon.  There is typically a MCCDC fee to attend and form to fill out to register but they haven’t got that form together yet.  I will send it out as soon as I get it. 

Arrival in Luray should happen on Thursday 2 July, with folks departing on Monday 6 July.  (Book hotel rooms at the Mimslyn (866-375-3925 or 540-743-5105) if these numbers don’t work, let me know!) for Thurs night, Fri night, Sat night, and Sun night.  There is a discount code – GR48 – that you will need to provide when you register for the hotel.)  If anything changes, I will let you know. 

Cheers, Mark

01 Nov

2019 Mother Courage Award – Solicitation for Nominees

As you all know, the Mother Courage Award (MOGSouth’s only annual award) will be presented at the MOGSouth Holiday Party, December 7th, St Simons Island.

Each year, potential awardees are nominated by the club membership at large and the new recipient is then selected, from those nominated, by the past three recipients of the award.  

To nominate a MOGSouth Club member for this award, simply send an email to Mark Braunstein at series1@cfl.rr.com with your choice(s). The criteria set in 1998 is that the recipient of the award should be the person or persons who best personify Dan and Nancilee’s love for people, Morgans and life. Nominees should be sent to Mark no later than 15 November 2019.

Past recipients of the award are listed on the MOGSouth web site at http://www.mogsouth.com/category/mother-courage-awards/ however it was decided in 2018 that MOGSouth members are eligible to receive the award multiple times.

29 Oct

2019 MOGSouth Holiday Party – 6 & 7 Dec 2019 – November Updates

It’s almost time for the 2019 MOGSouth Holiday Party. Are you ready??

The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort will again be our party Hotel for the 2019 MOGSouth Holiday Party. And, the Wesley Cottage will be the location of the MOGSouth Hospitality Room and headquarters for the Holiday Party.

If you haven’t booked your room, do it now! The phone number is (800) 342-0212.  Be sure to tell the hotel you are with MOGSOUTH. If you are going out and about on Saturday morning, you will need to reserve a room for both Friday night (6 Dec) and Saturday night (7 Dec). The actual Holiday Banquet is on Saturday night.

And, be sure to ask for your ‘Goodie Bag’ when you check into the hotel’s reception. There is lots of Goodness in that bag you won’t want to miss!!

Trolley Tours – The trolley tours spaces are almost gone! If you want to go, contact Debbie right now! Send Debbie Stanley an email (pockets5@live.com) The tour leave the hotel front door, promptly at 10 AM on Saturday 7 Dec. The tour price is 20$ per person. 

Silent Auction – The ad hoc Silent Auction is happening again this year.  Identify what you want to donate to the Club and bring it to St Simons in December.   Auto parts can be donated by taking a few photos of the parts and printing them out. No need to haul the part to the Party.  

Winners of the bidding for the Auction will be announced in/or around the banquet room immediately following the banquet. All proceeds go to MOGSouth.   Get your items to the Wesley Cottage before by 4PM on Saturday.

Ugly Sweater Contest – Don’t forget your ugly Holiday Sweater. We want to be sure everyone knows who is playing so we will have special name tags or other identifying items to distribute so do let Debbie Stanley (pockets5@live.com) know if you are playing.  These sweaters are to be worn to the banquet!  The winners of the contest will be announced in/or around the banquet room immediately following the banquet.  And, there will be ‘wonderful’ prizes awarded so do participate!! 

If there are questions, send Debbie Stanley an email at pockets5@live.com.

28 Oct

Report From the Field – Safety Harbor FL, All British Car Show, 25-26 Oct 2019

The Safety Harbor All British Car Show is hosted by the Austin Healy Club of Tampa Bay each year and lately, many of us Morgan types here in Florida, have chosen to participate.  The show is held in downtown Safety Harbor which is on the western bank of Tampa Bay in Florida and the weather in October is nice.

There are usually some 200 cars, all British of course, in the show.  The Austin Healy Club of Tampa Bay did another wonderful job of the ‘Meet and Greet’ and organizing the show (although it seems like there are some four hundred awards for Austin Healys, go figure?)  Like other shows, they have a ‘Meet and Greet,’ lately it has been at a Mexican sort of cantina, in town on Friday night.  Here it is within walking distance from the Spa. Tasty food and cold beer. But then some folks just had to find the ice cream shop on the way back! A perfect ending . . .

The show the following day (Saturday) is right there along the Main Street.  Gas lights and gazebos.  Neat place!

14 Morgans were in the show this year but surprisingly no Aero 8s or new M3Ws??  But, it was close.  Tom and Kathy Coryn came to the show in their wonderful Plus 4 4 Seater, opting to the leave their 2005 Aero 8 at home.  (The Plus 4 is such a pretty car I can fully understand their dilemma!)  We had all the other models; 4/4s, Plus 4 4 Seaters, Plus 4 2 Seaters, Plus 8s, a Vintage Trike, several 3.0L Roadsters, and John Pokorny brought out his recently acquired 3.7 Roadster.  Wow!!  I personally like the to have examples of old and new, and all the various models. It makes answering questions easier!

But, we did quite well. I can’t begin to count the number of folks that came up to me to thank the Morgans for coming out in large numbers.  Well, I didn’t do it!  They can’t blame me!!  

Again, the town of Safety Harbor was in full support, with their police directing traffic and blocking roads.  Parking for the show is along Main Street and the quaint nature of the little town is just wonderful.  People everywhere.  Decorations for the fall season or Halloween Holiday were on display and smells of fresh baking, or was it cinnamon(?), seemed to attract me no matter which way we walked.  The quaint shops were all open and some of the ladies bought things that would challenge even the largest of Morgan trunks (?) 

I really do like this show as the Safety Harbor Spa and Resort (where we typically stay) is within a mile of the show field.  This convenience translates to a few minutes longer in bed, a shorter trip back should something be forgotten, etc.  All good things.   As I get older, ‘easier’ is much more appealing!

We ate in several of the local eateries – omelets and pancakes for breakfast with seafood and fish for dinner.  Most places wouldn’t take reservations but were still able to accommodate our numbers.  Many cafes had their outside patios in full operational, as the town seemed quite crowded.  I came to find out later that there were three different weddings in the Safety Harbor Spa and Resort, so lots of additional folks, adding to the car show crowd, were in town to fill the seats.  

One thing I found odd this year was the typical trailer parking near the hotel.  Normally truck and trailer parking is in the trees in front of the Safety Harbor Spa and Resort and is plentiful and easily accessible.  This year, it was all blocked off and I ended up parking my truck and trailer in the valet parking lot.  This lot, although convenient (right in front of the hotel), was just a tad small for my rig (and others that were parked there.)

Rumors are that folks, also using the valet lot, found scratches that may have come from the overcrowding. 

As far as I know, everyone had a great time!  We met some new MOGSouth members and saw some lovely cars.  This is the time of year that Florida is wonderful!  If it’s getting too cold at home, come south!!

Cheers, Mark