02 Dec

A CHRISTMAS TALE by John Chatwin (MTWC)

Reprinted with the kind permission of the author and the Morgan Three Wheeler Club.  Previously published in the MOGSouth Newsletter (Vol 12, 2015)

The Club Christmas party was always enjoyable and this year Gary had an extra reason to be there. He stood in the garage proudly surveying his toys. On the right was his 1931 Aero Super Sports looking rather dusty and neglected, whilst today the recipient of his attention was the gleaming new 5 speeder.

Although he had tried to convince himself that he’d bought it to run alongside his old Aero, he had not looked at anything else for the last few weeks. He was hoping that the evening would be fine so that he could tum up in his new pride & joy.

The weather forecast was looking good so he did not even have to think about it when Barbara asked if he would mind if she didn’t accompany him. as she would really like to go with her sisters to the German market in the city. This of course would mean that she would need the BMW. Gary agreed as it gave him the excuse to arrive in style rather than a boring saloon car.

Gary made sure his new sheepskin jacket and leather helmet were squeaky clean as the day approached. The winter’s morn dawned with a hint of a watery sun coming up over the horizon. This was enough for him and as soon as he had breakfasted he opened the garage doors, carefully he removed the dust sheet unceremoniously dumping it in the Aero, pressing the aircraft type starter switch he eased the new car out onto the road.

Within minutes he was rushing along the road trying hard not to laugh out loud as his pleasure knew no bounds. After ten miles of ‘testing’ he turned for home and as soon as he had reversed into the garage set about wiping the bodywork down and applying a lick of polish Barbara brought him a cup of coffee and smiling, said ‘you’ll wear it out’. Taking the coffee he replied, ‘you have to admit, it’s a bit gorgeous’.

As evening approached, they got themselves ready for their respective evening trips. Barbara was first to leave, and Gary had already called his mate, Trevor, asking him to secure a parking space close to the front door of the pub so that he could show off his new pride and joy. He opened up the garage and jumped into the new trike. Switching on and uncovering the fancy starter switch he pressed the button. The engine spun over and that was it. It didn’t fire up. Trying again he got the same negative result. He checked the fuel which of course was how he had left it, almost full, checked plug leads and the multi-plug connections that seemed to surround the engine, everything seemed fine.

He assumed he had flooded it, so fetching his plug spanner from under the seat of the old Aero he was upset to find that it did not fit. By now he was getting rattled but eventually he found a long socket that just fit enough to remove the plugs. Both looked dry as well as being the right colour. Putting them back resulted in the spanner slipping and skinning his knuckles. This left a blood stain on his clean shirt.

The engine still refused to start and was turning over ever more slowly. As he jumped out he slipped and hit the floor with his knee, leaving a dirty mark on his trouser leg. At the next try the battery gave out and there he sat with no way of starting the device even if he had known what was wrong. Looking at his watch, which, to his chagrin now boasted a cracked glass, he saw that he was now late. I’ll just have to go in the BMW he murmured to himself until he remembered where Barbara had gone.

He sat for several minutes with his head in his hands quietly swearing until he spied the old Super Aero sitting there. For a second he sword that he saw the one headlight wink. He realized that it must have been a reflection of some sort and dismissed (he thought, well, he mused, better than nothing.) As he had not even started the engine for a long time he was full of trepidation as he turned on the petrol, tickled the carb. Putting the handle in the side he turned it a few turns before dropping the valve lifter. The big JAP instantly crackled into life and settled down to a steady tick-over.

As he turned into the car-park, Trev and the others were standing by the vacant space waiting for him. Gary swung the old Aero up the slope and with practiced skill rolled back into the space. Trevor walked up to him and said. What . . . ?’ ’Don’t ask replied Gary, just get me a bloody drink’. As they walked away Trev remarked,

‘Hey one of your headlights just winked!’

28 Nov

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

The Registration Forms for MCCDC’s MOG 50 are here!! Hot off the press!!

As you know the Morgan Car Club of DC has played a role in creation of many of the regional clubs, to include MOGSouth. 

The MCCDC MOGs were, at times, the only Morgan events going.  Folks came from all over the US, and even from Canada, to play in Luray, Virginia and help the MCCDC Club with the meet’s many events. For MOG 50, MOGSouth will take on the task of planning and running the Gymkhana event.

MOG 50 will be in Luray Virginia, at the Mimslyn Inn (401 W Main Str., Luray, VA 22835) over the 4th of July, 2020. Since this is a historical event, this all makes sense. The Morgan events will span Friday 3 July to Sunday 5 July.

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.

Please note, there is fee to attend and form to fill out to register. There is also a Liability Waiver. These forms need to be completed and sent to the address on the forms. Links to these forms are provided below (scroll down).

So, ACTIONS REQUIRED are as follows.

  1. Please let me know via email (series1@ cfl.rr.com) if you plan to attend.
  2. Book your rooms at the Mimlyn Inn. (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.) 
  3. Fill out the MCCDC Registration Form and Mail it in, with your check for selected options.
  4. Fill out the MCCDC MOG 50 Waiver Form, Sign it and Mail it in.  

MOG 50 Registration Form

MOG 50 Waiver – ALL MUST SIGN AND MAIL

If anything changes, I will let you know. 

Cheers, Mark

25 Nov

2019 MOGSouth Holiday Party – 6 & 7 Dec 2019 – FINAL Reminders

We are finalizing all the arrangements for the MOGSouth Holiday Party!!

Make sure you’re ready!

The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort on St Simons Island is our party Hotel and the site for the MOGSouth Holiday Banquet. 

Hotel Reservations – You should have reservations for, at a minimum, Friday (6 Dec) and Saturday (7 Dec) nights.  The Holiday Banquet is on Saturday night.  If you haven’t booked your room, do it now! The phone number is (800) 342-0212.   I don’t know if it is still possible to get the MOGSouth discounts, but you should try.  Tell the hotel you are with MOGSOUTH and, be sure to ask for your ‘Goodie Bag’ when you check into the hotel’s reception.

The Holiday Banquet – The banquet headcounts are now being finalized so that they can be given to the hotel restaurant.  Make sure you have notified Debbie that you will attend the banquet so she can add you to the headcount.  If there are food allergies or other dietary issues, please let us know. 

MOGSouth Membership has its Benefits! – Just like last year, MOGSouth is subsidizing the costs of the Holiday Party event.  All Hospitality Room costs will be covered and the Banquet costs will be subsidized by MOGSouth, i.e. you will pay less than it really costs!  So, you can feel good about your membership dues!  And, just a reminder, MOGSouth membership dues are due on 1 January.  Still $25 each year.  The club will kindly take your dues money at the Holiday Banquet, see Mark or Stacey.  

Trolley Tours – There are still two seats available for the trolley tour. If you want to go, contact Debbie right now and she will reserve your seat. I suggest an email (pockets5@live.com) will be the fastest way to communicate.   The tour leaves the hotel front door, promptly at 10 AM on Saturday 7 Dec.  The tour price is 20$ per person.  If you haven’t been to St Simons before or if you haven’t taken this tour, you really do need to go. 

Silent Auction – Don’t forget the Silent Auction (it’s the Holidays . . .  better to give, than to receive??)

Identify what you to donate to the Club and bring it to St Simons in December.  If you have greasy or heavy/bulky things for the auction just bring a photo.  No need to transport it now.  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.  Be sure to get your items to the Wesley Cottage before by 4PM on Saturday.

Ugly Sweater Contest – Yes, I do have an ugly Holiday sweater! And, I can’t blame Andrea (or can I?)  Debbie has ‘special’ name tags or other identifying items for those that are competing in the Ugly sweater contest.  You don’t want to miss out as there are some ‘wonderful’ prizes to be awarded.  Go look in your closet!  You may be surprised!  Be honest! If you decide to play, do let Debbie know via email (pockets5@live.com).  There have been some questions as to when the sweaters are to be worn. Yes, worn during the Saturday evening banquet!

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

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

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

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

10 Oct

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

It’s time to Shift Gears.

Our Fall Meet in Pinehurst, NC was a good one, but now we have to focus on the Holidays and the 2019 MOGSouth Holiday Party.

As you know, a huge majority (about 80%) of the club’s membership loved the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort in St Simons Island GA as a site for last year’s Holiday Party, so we are going back. The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort will again be our party Hotel for the 2019 MOGSouth Holiday Party. (Most of you have already booked your rooms but if not call the hotel and make your reservations 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!!

The Wesley Cottage will be the location of the MOGSouth Hospitality Room and headquarters for the Holiday Party.

Trolley Tours – The trolley tours were a big hit last year, however, we will only have one trolley tour this year. It will be on Saturday morning, leaving the hotel front door at 1000 AM 7 Dec. The seats on this tour are filling up fast so send Debbie Stanley an email (pockets5@live.com) if you want to be added to the Trolley Tour list.  The tour price is 20$ per person. 

Silent Auction – The ad hoc Silent Auction we had last year was a good idea, but poorly executed. We are going to do it again, but try to get it right this time!   Identify what you want to donate to the Club and bring it to St Simons in December.  All proceeds go to MOGSouth.   Get your items to the Wesley Cottage before by 4PM on Saturday.

Items should preferably be auto related (no toaster ovens or baseball gloves!) And, we we cannot really deal with greasy auto parts.  Auto parts can be donated however just take a few photos of the parts and print them out.  We will simply use the pictures for the Auction (and worry about shipping later), and not the actual parts.  Winners of the bidding for the Auction will be announced in/or around the banquet room immediately following the banquet.

Ugly Sweater Contest – Also, this year we will have a formally judged Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest.  These sweaters are to be worn to the banquet!  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.  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.

It’s going to be a great Holiday Party!

Hope to see you there!! Cheers, Mark

20 Sep

2019 MOGSouth Fall Meet Pinehurst, NC (13-15 Sep) – Report from the Field !!

The 2019 MOGSouth Fall Meet.  Pinehurst, North Carolina this time.  I have been to Pinehurst several times in the past.  My experiences were not that good.  (Long story, mostly weather-related, ask Jack.)

But this was different.  This was the best I have ever seen Pinehurst!!   All of the MOGSouth members in the Pinehurst area joined forces to organize the event and what a team!  They overachieved!!  They even controlled the weather!!  How’d they do that?  A big thank you to the Zimmermans, Carrolls, Vincents, and Moodies. 

An absolutely great event!  I counted 20 Morgans (not including a certain Grand Daughter!) and it didn’t stop there.  Even if you aren’t enamored with Morgans, there were several other interesting cars amongst the MOGSouth contingent.  A Mini Moke, a few Porsches, a Corvette, a Mini Van, and a new Alfa.  I know there were others that I can’t seem to recall. 

Wow!  We even had a Morgan race car in the hotel lobby!

Andrea and I turned the weekend into a week-long event by taking the Auto Train to Lorton, VA., a few days early.  We hung out in Virginia visiting old friends (we used to live there back in the late 1980s and early 1990s) for a few days and then drove South in time for the Fall Meet in Pinehurst.

Once we arrived at the meet hotel, were given a ‘Welcome Packet’ specifically for us.  Well, it had our name on it and everything?  I guess they wanted to be sure we got the best stuff?! 

The packet included Pinehurst Community brochures (I would need a month to see it all!), targeted advertisements, golf tees, Christopher John LTD trinkets, Morgan Spares Key Chains, note pads, etc.  Even the bag itself was customized with MOGSouth and the event details.  We were impressed.

As is the tradition, a Noggin had been set up for the arriving MOGSouth members and friends.  Beer, wine, cold cuts, etc.  Some had planned to go out for dinner but soon reconsidered and stayed to graze (there was a contingent that had gone out to an Oyster Bar for dinner).  A few beers and a chat with friends.  Then I went to soak my head.  It was a long drive down from Virginia.  Then back to the Noggin for more beer.  Good stuff!!

Saturday included a quick tour of the sites of Pinehurst, NC and the locals were out in force.  I do believe we had our pictures taken a number of times as the Morgans snaked their way around the town. 

Then we were off for the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove.  The Center was at the end of a lovely Morgan run.  Scenic roads, twisty bits and a smattering of local color.  On display were the works of many of the regional potters.  Just walking around the Center and Shop, I was in awe.  The colors, shapes, imagination, etc.!  Then we got a demonstration of ‘throwing clay’ from one of the local artisans. 

The potter, whom we named ‘Harry’ (not sure what his real name was?) a young(er) fellow, but obviously skilled and passionate about his chosen calling.  He provided us with an enthralling demonstration of the pottery art, quickly ‘throwing’ stoneware cups and a matching pitcher.  All the while, he answered a great many of our somewhat naive questions. 

I think they were expecting us at lunch.  The entire restaurant was a single large ‘family style’ table.  Sort of an Italian place with a great selection.  Folks got subs; I got a small Pizza and a box to take home the leftovers.

After lunch we traveled just a short way to Sports Leicht Restorations (SLR), Inc.  SLR is an automotive restoration shop that has had many of the cars that they restored win lots and lots of awards at some of the most prestigious Concours d’Elegance shows around the country.  Quite a resume!  The tour of the facility was given by Bjorn, the owner.  The facility was spacious and clean.  Two things you definitely want, if you are going to have a car restored.  SLR restored all sorts of cars but it looks like the Mercedes SL190s and 300SL Gull Wings were a specialty.  They seemed to be everywhere, even on the rotisserie (a neat tool that turns cars upside down).  This certainly gave the Mercedes fans among us a bit of a buzz.  These are rare and expensive cars!  I do have to say though, that the Morgan, without a unibody like the Mercedes, makes for a much simpler (and cheaper!) restoration project.

Saturday evening involved an interesting adventure with the hotel shuttle and dinner at the Iron Wood Café.  A wonderful place that had set tables up for our group outside.  We had white tablecloths and adjoining patio . . . but there were pinecones (historically representative of human enlightenment??)  Of course, this doesn’t necessarily apply to me.

We were able choose from several delectable dinner choices.  Mine was perfect, but I don’t know about the others.  I suspect their choices were just as good.  This is one of the best Restaurants in Pinehurst!  A few MOGSouth remarks, a thank you to our hosts and back on the shuttle to the hotel. 

And of course, a beer, or two, in the bar and off to bed.  I just didn’t want it to end!!

The morning came and a few active sorts were off to play a round of golf.  Nothing that healthy for me, I just had to pack the car, find my way out of the parking lot (a lot harder than it sounds!) and head home.  

Again, a wonderful meet and a huge thank you to those involved in making it so.  I am sure everyone who attended will not soon forget the fun we had, and will find their way back to Pinehurst in the near future!  I know I will.

Cheers, Mark

FYI, there is a gallery of Photos from the 2019 Fall Meet also posted on the MOGSouth Web Site.