Also if you did not receive this information in an email (perhaps someone gave you a copy?) please check your SPAM email folder for Stacey Schepens email@example.com. We are chasing errant email messages!
A Nor Easter? Not sure where we found it, but it certainly found us and then just sat there. Honestly, I wasn’t even sure that Florida had Nor Easters. I thought they were reserved for New England and came with snow??
Well, that’s one thing we didn’t have . . . snow! But it felt like it! We had rain and wind and cold and nasty!!
Boy, what a weekend for leaky little British cars! We left the Morgans at the hotel (knowing they would float if needed!) and spent our time in Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach, mostly indoors! Yes, we did have Morgans at the Meet and a special thanks to those intrepid owners who brought their cars! But there were others that were somewhat more conservative and brought SUVs and trucks. This was good in that it allowed us all to pile into something more weather-tight and make our way to Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach without suffering. We feared our planned drive along the water would be fraught with floods, etc. since the local news was terrorizing us with pictures of rising waters and warnings that high tide would occur just when we planned on driving along the coastal route; so we opted for the less scenic (but higher in elevation) streets to get there. It would have been darn near impossible to see the coastal scenes with the rain pouring down anyway! So, one of the Meet’s planned activities (scenic drive!) went out the window!
Another primary activity for our Fall Meet, was the afternoon charter boat ride up the Amelia River to see the running of the right whales. (Per the internet. There is one population of North Atlantic right whales along the eastern coast of North America. They spend the summer at their feeding and mating grounds off the coast of New England and Canada. During the winter [This was to be the weekend!], pregnant females travel south along the coast of northeast Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina where they give birth and raise their young.)
The other starring bit of the boat ride was touring the coast line of Cumberland Island (long abandoned by the famous Carnegies), with its wild ponies, etc.
Given the weather, the boat ride was cancelled by the charter boat company. ‘Neither fit for man or beast!‘ they said! So they gave us our money back! And we used that money to eat and drink generate heat! We did that well!!
Susan and David Morgan, who live in downtown Fernandina Beach, opened up their lovey historic home and allowed us to watch a few notable college football games and thaw out some before dinner. We even poked and prodded David’s lovely Plus 4, as it sat high and dry in the garage! Smart man!
Dinner was at the Sandbar and Kitchen restaurant, which was conveniently located on the beach and right next to the Amelia Island Right Whale Festival (again, this was cancelled for Saturday). Arghhhh… So we had a great dinner, had entertaining conversations, and enjoyed watching the Right whales swim by (oh wait, we couldn’t do that either because it was raining too hard to see out the windows). (I’m beginning to see a pattern here….)
The highlight of dinner was probably when Susan Morgan won the raffle for a bottle of Heaven’s Door whiskey (probably because of the good karma she received by opening up her home to us wet wanderers).
Well, despite the weather dashing all our plans, we still had fun. See ya’ll at the Holiday Party in Peachtree City, GA 4 December (details on www.MOGSouth.com). With luck, we should be due for some nice weather.
As you all know, the Mother Courage Award (MOGSouth’s only annual award) will be presented at the MOGSouth Holiday Party, December 4th, Peachtree City, GA. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 2021.
Key West, Florida!! Some sort of Paradise!! At least for us in the Southeastern portion of the USA. We went, we saw, and we came back!! Another indescribable Morgan Road Trip!! This was the third MOGSouth/GatorMOG Road Trip to Key West, FL and they just keep getting better! It took us a week this time and we circumnavigated a good bit of the Florida Peninsula. We stuck to the back roads, shunning the highways. You miss too much of the good stuff if you always travel the highways!! We saw the coast, we saw agriculture, we saw swamps. We saw museums, beaches, restaurants, and of course, we saw Citrus. And surprisingly the weather cooperated. A few pop-up showers (yes, I had the top down!) . . . mostly it was just hot!!
A wonderful collection of cars and even better group of people!! We had quite a few older cars this time . . . two late fifties Plus 4 4 Seaters and an early sixties Plus 4. Add these cars to the newer Roadsters, Plus 8s and a new Plus 4 (with a dog?) and we had a very nice and diverse array of Morgan cars!! And no major breakdowns. All the car problems experienced were weather related and plagued the newer cars, not the older ones? A few hot cars, mine included! I developed a coolant leak and had to add coolant a few times. One Plus 8 ran without a fan all week, and one car developed a minor misfire due to some overnight rain. Other than that, we were just fine!! Speaking of groups, we limited the number of participants on this trip. The last two trips we had way too many cars. It is almost impossible to keep everyone in line and restaurants look at you like you are nuts when you say you have 50 or so folks for lunch! Twenty is a much better number!!
We started our trek with travels from where-ever to the Daytona, FL Morgan dealer, Christopher John LTD. Chris Sylvestri welcomed us all to the dealership and hosted an amazing open house with lots of tasty goodies and sampling of beer from the brewery next door. Great hospitality, Morgan parapenalia and cars for sale!! What a way to start our adventure!!
After the open house we ate dinner at a local spot on the water and adjacent to our hotel. In the morning we all headed south down the Florida coast.
We finished the day with a block party in the Singer’s Cul de Sac in Palm Beach, hosted by Bennett and Mary Shulman and Eric and Joanne Singer.
I started the day with fan problems (coolant leaks) and overheated so Andrea and I had to leave the convoy while we got our problems sorted in Daytona and then traveled the highways to catch up. We arrived in West Palm Beach a bit late, but the group was still there and having great fun. We joined right in. That beer tasted great!
Then in the morning a scenic run along the amazing overseas coastal route (US 1) all the way to Key West. We did stop for lunch in Key Largo. At a marina looking at the water! The aura of the Keys was already settling in. . .
We finished the day with beer and pizza, provided by the Club, at the hotel in Key West. Yes, that beer also tasted great! A quicker run South this time than previous trips but we wanted more time in Key West! Too much to see and do!! We parked the cars in the hotel lot and scattered somewhat. We all had our own agendas and interests! The hotel shuttles and free municipal buses proved quite convenient, and the price was right!! Wednesday’s big event was a Sunset Cruise on a Catamaran with open bar, heavy hors d’oeuvres and an oldies band. Who knew these folks could dance??
Before we boarded the boat a few folks went to the butterfly museum and reported a great time! Others of us worked on the cars some and visited a few of the more notable bars downtown. Then it was lunch and off to the catamaran.
The drinks were flowing before we left the dock! Orange juice like concoctions with other things to lubricate the crowd. The all-female crew called for assistance in hoisting the sails and many in our crowd responded!!
Then the music kicked in and the crowd erupted into frenetic dancing!! Finally, the sun went down with a spectacular blaze of orange, and we were dazzled.
Kind of hated to leave the catamaran for the bus ride home. It was a bit anticlimactic but necessary. Today more excitement. More pubs and places and of course . . . ‘Mallory Square.’
Mallory Square is just nuts!! It always is!! It is an area of free spirits, entertaining souls, fire eaters, unicycles and what not!! If it is atypical, it is probably there. It is also ‘the’ spot to watch the sun go down in Key West. You have to get there early and camp on the edge of the dock or you will never find a seat to watch the ‘best show’ in town.
Something that must happen each day and something you have to witness on each and every trip you make to the Keys. The sunset. While we were sitting on the dock waiting for the sun to set, Ron Gricius and his son joined us. Ron is a Morgan (2003 +8) man from Florida’s west coast. He was sort of with our group, but car problems delayed his arrival in the Keys and he was on his own path having been to Key West many times before. It was good to see him however!!
There are many restaurants on the peripheral of the square and we found a good one. An unplanned Group dinner at Mallory Square with ‘Better than Sex’ for dessert? Cuban restaurant was just the ticket for Key West. Lots of good things to eat and plenty of space for a moderate sized group like ours.
We started with a few folks on the reservation and ended up with most of the Morgan folks at one long table. We even convinced the staff that it was Bennett’s birthday and they found him some dessert!
Friday morning eventually came, even in Key West, and we had to leave our little bit of paradise. We headed back north along the same route we came, the only road available, US Route 1. Once we reached the mainland, we headed a bit northwest, and then right into the middle of the Everglades.
We stopped for lunch at the Everglades Safari Park, a bit of a tourist trap, but they had what we needed. Lunch and Air Boat Rides.
We grabbed a quick bite and headed to the Air Boat. They had a large air boat without mufflers on the engine, that could take the entire group. We piled on, got the safety briefing and ear plugs. You need the ear plugs. Those things are loud! Then we headed out amongst the saw grass, turtles and supposedly alligators. Our guide gave us a good ride over the wetlands, with water only a foot or so deep. He maneuvered the boat through the designated path and took the corners a bit like a ’drifter’ sliding the boat sideways into the turn.
We saw quite of few species of birds, some large turtles, but not a lot of alligators? Our guide informed us that the alligators were all at the bottom of swamp water getting cool. Kind of made me want to be there too!! It was hot!! From the Everglades Safari Park we headed West to a party at John Pokorny’s house in Cape Coral. John was on the trip with us but traveled home just in time to help his wife with the party. What a lovely house and tremendous hospitality! In addition to the Morgan, John had some interesting toys in the garage! Not that the garage was the center of attention. The house was absolutely lovely, lavishly decorated and perfectly located along the water in Cape Coral. After filling up on wondrous food and drink, the road trip folks all left . . . just in time to miss the torrential downpour. Well, almost all! We didn’t, thinking it would soon end, but it didn’t. We ended up leaving our car in John’s driveway overnight. We picked it up early the next morning. Thanks Peter for ride back down to John’s.
Hard to beat John’s lovely garage but Friday morning was spent at the Revs Institute. The Revs Institute, in Naples, Fl., is a car museum of sorts, but really a very special place (well, that is if you like cars!) The Revs Institute web site states it ‘institution dedicated to the study, preservation, conservation, and restoration of historically significant automobiles. Explore the rich historic materials and images that define the automobile’s role in society and sport. Step into another world at Revs Institute.’ Primarily it is two special automobile collections – the Miles Collier collection and the Briggs Cunningham collection, melded into one in the late 1980s.
Yes, the cars are quite significant, but the vignettes and displays are exceptionally well done. And there is a full library for research and study. Numerous folks indicated a desire for a full day or more to peruse the displays. I have been there three times and have yet to see it all. I will go back!!
After a morning drooling at the Revs Institute the group motored north to Winter Haven, where we had a lovely dinner on the lake that is now Legoland (for those of you old enough, it used to host Cyprus Gardens!) We were joined by MOGSouth members Kathy and Tom Coryn who came out to see us and wish us well. They were originally going on the trip with us but life got in the way. That happens sometimes.
In the morning we had another short drive to ‘Showcase of Citrus’. It was a typical roadside vendor in Florida, all about tchotchkes and Citrus. We rode the monster trucks trough the fields and learned lots about Citrus. The yields, the seasons, today’s challenges and the bugs! Some forget just how much agriculture there is in Florida. As Floridians, it is good to remind ourselves every once in a while that Florida is more than Disney and Snow Birds.
This one vendor diversified through the tough times with retail, recycling (poop!) and ranching. This is probably why they are still in business in spite of the challenges. We did see citrus, we saw alligators, we saw just a few cows, but did see some Zebras? Zebras? Now was this retail or ranching??
Finally, it was time to say goodbye. We chose to do this in style and took over the back room and bar in a local Irish Pub. (Liam Fitzpatrick’s Irish Pub in Lake Mary Florida.) It was just across the street from the final road trip hotel. Another great trip! The planning hasn’t started for the next one, but don’t be surprised when the calendar comes out. Cheers, Mark
(Photo attribution. ALB – Andrea Braunstein, MNB – Mark Braunstein, JN – Joan Neumann, BS – Bennett Shuldman, my apologies if I have missed anyone.)
I just found this short video and it is interesting, if not somewhat bitter-sweeet, specially now given the recent spy photos and leaked technical tidbits about the ‘new’ M3W. Rumors have it that there may be some real information about the new model coming before the end of the year! Enjoy, Mark
Our favorite anachronism is indeed returning, as we suspected. Rejoice!
Last year, we shed three tears for the iconic Morgan 3 Wheeler, an homage to its prewar cyclecars produced until 1952 and revived in 2011. Its death was due to a regulatory issue with its S&S X-Wedge V-twin engine, and it went out with a bang: The P101 limited edition, which rocked a dazzle-type wrap that looks suspiciously like the cloaking the newest 3-Wheeler you see here.
What the new 3-Wheeler won’t be is electric, at least at this juncture. One of the few details the company confirmed is that it will utilize a naturally aspirated Ford I-3 engine. There are several such three-cylinder engines in the Ford of Europe stable, ranging from 1.0-1.5 liters. Since the outgoing S&S-powered trike made around 115 hp, it’s likely going to be one of the larger-displacement “Dragon” engines.
That explains what looks like an iron gate tacked onto the grille area, to obscure that critical bit of the car that’ll be much different from the outgoing one. The V-twin was the visual focus of the old 3 Wheeler’s nose, the literal mechanical heart of the car exposed for all to see. The new I-3 will likely be in roughly the same place but faired in a bit more. Whether any or all of it will protrude into the open air remains to be seen. The nose doesn’t appear to be much longer than the old 3-Wheeler, for what it’s worth.
Some differences do appear in the bodywork. The rear deck appears to be a little sharper and sleeker than the more bulbous older car. And the front bodywork also appears to be wider and more muscular than the upright and rounded hood form on the previous car. Stalk-mounted taillamps appear to be set much further apart from the rear bodywork, but whether that’s merely set up that way for testing or whether it represents what’ll reach production is anyone’s guess.
Another prominent change that’s immediately noticeable from the older 3-Wheeler (seen in the gallery below) is the front suspension arrangement, which places the dampers and springs in a more inboard position, and puts the steering rack up front. More extensive front wheel fairings cover more of the inner part of the front wheel. The rear suspension and wheel are, of course, entirely covered up.
We’re excited to see what Morgan has cooked up for the next generation of the delightfully old-school, oddball 3-Wheeler, which remains one of the purest bits of silly fun in the automotive world. And we hope that, using the new 3 Wheeler as a basis, Morgan considers finally bringing its EV3 concept to production.
After a decade of the model, the current Morgan 3 Wheeler finishes production this year with 33 P101 special editions and a limited run of bespoke models. Our latest video captures a moment in time as the last few are built in the workshops at Pickersleigh Road. Reintroduced in 2011, the Morgan 3 Wheeler continued a legacy of three-wheeled Morgan cars that stretched back to our founding year of 1909. Watch this space for what comes next, as we have said before “The Morgan 3 Wheeler will return”… Morgan Motor Company