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!’

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

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

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

01 Jun

MOGSouth / GatorMOG Regalia – Get it now!!

I got requests for regalia again at the Spring Meet. All sorts of MOGSouth and GatorMOG regalia, as well as Morgan Wings, Scripts, and Cars are available. Simply go to our regalia supplier ‘Fourth Gear LTD’ and get what you want. I doubt you need an excuse, but Father’s Day is coming up.

Here is a link to their web site.    Fourth Gear LTD 

You can see that they provide this regalia service for lots of other British Car Clubs.

MOGSouth has paid to have our club logos digitized and placed into their ‘Car Club Logo’ library.   They also have a library of ‘British Marques’ which includes Morgan wings and  Morgan Script, and a library of ‘British Cars’ include the cowled grill Plus 4 (in either a top up or top down configuration) as well as a Three Wheeler.

If there is an image or logo you want and don’t see let us at MOGSouth know.  If there is sufficient interest, we may be willing to have the image digitized and made available to the membership in the future.

The process is simple.  Go to their web site.  Pick a logo or other image from the libraries and place it in your shopping cart. Then select a regalia item, e.g. shirt, hat or wine tote or whatever and place that item in your shopping cart.   The regalia item price includes the embroidery unless something special is being requested.

As I understand it, they will gladly change colors. What color is your Morgan? They have both top Up and top Down versions of the car. If you have relatively simple requests or ‘special instructions’ to add to your order, there is a ‘Notes’ field you can use to specify your desires.

If there is something complicated that you want like logo size changes or location of the embroidery (e.g. big logos on  the back), use their ‘Request Information’ button to ask questions about your specific needs.  Some things may not be doable with their current equipment.  (FYI, the standard embroidery location is on the left chest of the shirt.)

Also, I believe they have, or will source different regalia items for you, e.g. denim shirts and sweatshirts.  If you don’t see what you want, just ask.

Note –  due to the complexity of the GatorMOG logo there is an additional charge when it is selected.  It also is a bit too big to fit nicely on a cap.   It is also recommended that it go onto a sturdy material to reduce the risk of puckering.

Let me know if you have issues or problems (or just have comments.)

Cheers, Mark

07 May

Invitation to the Hilton Head Island Car Club Showcase – 2 Nov 2019

[This is a great event! We participated, as a club, a few years ago, and all had a great time. This year, the timing fits nicely between the MOGSouth Fall Meet in September and the MOGSouth Holiday Party in December. A lovely venue and some wonderful cars. Mark]

We are pleased to invite your Car Club, Morgan Owners Group – South (MOGSouth), to participate in the 2019 Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival’s Car Club Showcase to be held on Saturday, November 2, 2019. Your Club may bring up to 5 cars

[If you want to participate, send an email to mogsouth@yahoo.com (Mark) and let him know. He will send you instructions on how to register your car for the event. They have a online system. ]

This year’s Motoring Festival will again be at the beautiful Port Royal Golf Club on Hilton Head Island. You will be pleased with this first-class venue and the events planned for this 18th Annual Motoring Festival. More details are available on our website at: http://www.hhiconcours.com.

Here are some key things that make this year’s showcase special:

  • British Cars, including American Powered English Cars, will be the feature on Saturday.
  • In addition to the British Cars, the Mercedes Benz Club of America will be holding an event within our event and they promise to tell a most interesting story.
  • An excellent awards line-up will continue again this year, including the Crescent Awards and several additional special awards.
  • The Aero Expo will once again this year feature vintage aircraft, to be held on Saturday only at the nearby Hilton Head Island Airport.  Shuttles are provided so that you can visit this event all day Saturday.
  • The Exhibitor’s Lounge – A tent on the showfield for your convenience throughout the day on Saturday for coffee and pastries in the morning, cold drinks throughout the day, and a great place to view the Awards Ceremony at the end of the day.

Clubs planning to participate should note:

  • Our online registration process, the same as in prior years, is available now for your members to register their cars individually at www.register.hhiconcours.com.  Register using the CAR CLUB SHOWCASE option.  There is a $40 Registration Fee which must be paid when vehicles are registered. This registration fee has been increased for the first time in 15 years due to increased costs and awards over the years. Please note that each registrant receives two two-day tickets, a minimum $180 value.

Please let our Exhibitor Concierge, Meredith Kronz, know as soon as possible (no later than June 1st) the number of vehicles (and their owners’ names) that your club plans to enter.  Meredith can be reached at mkronz@hhiconcours.com or (843) 785-7469, ext. 4. Note that registration is now open, so your member car owners can register as individual exhibitors.

The Car Club Showcase Team is looking forward to seeing you and your Club at this year’s Car Club Showcase.  If you have any questions or if we can be otherwise helpful, please contact Meredith Kronz, the Exhibitor Concierge, at the Motoring Festival Office: (843) 785-7469 ext. 4.

Sincerely,

Michael Dyrenfurth, mjd27rod@gmail.com,
Manager, Car Club Showcase

Jim Ogden, jogden@mail.com,
Co-Chairman, Car Club Showcase        

Meredith Kronz, mkronz@hhiconcours.com ,
Exhibitor Concierge

          

                                                 

30 Apr

2019 GatorMOG Spring Noggin’ – Event Report

The Panhandle British Car Association’s All British Car Show – April 27th 2019 (GatorMOG’s Spring Noggin)

In this age of plastic simplicity, push button ease and instant satisfaction I find I am drawn to the less than optimal, fiddly to make work, greasy beasts of the past.  I just smile when they run. 

Start them up with a bit of this and that, then a bark with a gurgle and a wiggle, and a shot of soot out the back and it’s going.  Good stuff and I smile.  My expectations are different for the older things.  Certainty is not a given, and not really an expectation.  Something I fear is lost on the young. 

Pensacola looms large.  An event where the last count of Morgans was a big number.  (We were hoping for 8 three wheelers!)  Some of the old, some of the new, and lots in between.  It’s was hyped as a GatorMOG activity but, in fact, many of the attendees came from locations across the MOGSouth region, many from outside of Florida.  (Lance and Connie Lipscomb, Dwight Kinser, Bob Steele, Tony McLaughlin, Brian and Rosie Miller, etc.) 

We traveled up from Orlando on Thursday with a plan to stop a few hours shy of Pensacola.  We could have made it in one day, but why?  We had the time, and I don’t want to drive all day.  And, if I do, I am pretty useless the next day (and, I wanted to be functional on Friday.)  Then an early departure with the promise of a morning arrival in Pensacola on Friday.  The 1934 Super Sports three wheeler is in the trailer and I am using the new tow vehicle, the 2018 F-150 truck, to pull the thing.  Modern machinery enabling old machinery. 

We have Ian and Barbara Shelmerdine in our truck as well.  It has a crew cab, not the ‘super’ crew cab, so only occasional seats.  So, this is one of those occasions.  Good thing Ian and Barbara are not too tall.  These seats are just ok, and preferable for a short trip.  Oh well, it was the best we could do.   

The new trailer tow vehicle works as expected, and it tows well.  I fixed the source of the erroneous messages I had been getting on previous hauls ‘trailer disconnected’ and the like.  The trailer-to-truck umbilical cord had gotten frayed and laid bare a wire or two.  When I hauled the F Super project car to Fred Veenshoten’s home, a few months back, we found the problem and corrected it.  All good now!!

Our arrival on Friday provided us with enough time to check into the hotel (the Pensacola Grand Hotel) and get in line for the tour of the Naval Aviation Museum on Friday afternoon. 

The designated car show hotel was the Pensacola Grand Hotel.  The hotel lobby, bar and restaurant, reception area was what used to be Pensacola’s train station.  Very cool!  It had character and patina, and maybe wasn’t as Grand as it used to be, but lots better than a modern, non-descript hotel along the highway.  And, it was just a block or so away from the show field and had a large parking lot for the trailers.  It worked out perfectly for our travelling bunch. 

The Grand Hotel. Photo Courtesy of Karen Bernath

What can I say about the Naval Aviation Museum.  It was awesome!!  Well, that is, of course, if you like aviation stuff.  It started with a trolley ride around the outside aircraft displays.  They have a good number of unrestored or more recent aircraft outside on the tarmac.  The trolley bus tour had a tour guide who provided commentary about the various displays and doubled as the bus driver.  The tour took us about an hour.  Then back inside the Museum we had a guided tour of a lot of the displays and vignettes, early aviation experiments, and world war one biplanes.  Lovely stuff.  Then more modern, World War II fighter planes, Navy stuff specifically, Dauntless, Marauders, Warhawks, etc.  A few flying boats and patrol aircraft but all the planes seemed to have been flown by the Navy??  Well, I guess it was a ‘Naval’ museum after all!!  And, in my opinion (regardless of the Navy bit) well worth the trip to Pensacola! 

WWI Naval Ambulance. Photo Courtesy of Andrea Braunstein
F4 Corsair.  Photo Courtesy of Andrea Braunstein
Ford Tri Motor. Photo Courtesy of Andrea Braunstein
The Pub at the Museum.  A recreation of an actual club. Photo Courtesy of Andrea Braunstein

On Friday night the local All British Car Association, our host of the show, had their ‘Meet and Greet’ at the Pensacola Museum of Commerce.  The show turned the Museum of Commerce into a wonderful reception hall and had a full buffet dinner to keep us all happy.  And, we had a blast.  I’d guess some 100 folks or more attended the Meet and Greet. The Museum was a treasure trove of neat things to look at and perfect spot for the meet and greet.  It was close, we actually walked to it from the Hotel! 

Folks from the local club all came with their hot plates, slow cookers and chaffing dishes full of tasty things and fed us until we couldn’t eat any more.  Beer and wine, as well as soft drinks were on ice.  Even some lovely desserts were provided.  (I know, my diet!)   The hospitality of the Pensacola club has to be commended and we certainly hope we can reciprocate, in kind, should they come our way!

The Meet and Greet.  Nicely Done!  Photo Courtesy of Karen Bernath

Back to the hotel and into bed.  It was late (well, not really, but we’re old . . .)  The show was on Saturday after a breakfast buffet of sorts, we headed to the show field.  A convoy of Morgans.  Five Morgan three wheelers, and a few more Morgans cars.  It wasn’t far, really just strait down the road about a half of mile.  We did make an impression, however.  Pensacola hadn’t seen that many Morgans . . . ever.  They had two classes for Morgans.  A three wheeler class and a (go on and guess!!) a four wheeler class.  We had 6 three wheelers.  4 Old and 2 new.  We had hoped for another vintage three wheeler but heard there was a family crisis.  The three wheelers out-numbered the four wheelers for a while, but then things changed.

The Morgan Three Wheeler Display.  6 Cars. Wow!  Photo Courtesy of Andrea Braunstein

The locals arrived and a few more cars from other places showed up and we ended up with 8 four wheelers.  A local Morganeer was hoping to finish sorting his Plus 4 but didn’t get there.  Still a tremendous showing of Morgans!  And, all but one of the 14 Morgans on the field were piloted by MOGSouth members!!

We found lunch right next to the show venue in a nice café adjacent to the park.  There were lots of animals about as well.  I saw a Humane Society truck go by and I was told that the show venue was also part of a ‘Paws in the Park’ event hosted by the Pensacola Humane Society.  The weather was great and the dogs didn’t disrupt a thing, certainly not our car show.   

Big congratulations go to Rick and Sam Frazee, Lance and Connie Lipscomb and Andrea and I as awardees in the Morgan Three Wheeler Class.  Larry Erd with his lovely S2 4/4 took 1st Place in the Four Wheeler Class.  Fred Fink’s two tone was Second.  All MOGSouth Members!!!

Tom Schmidt, as Pensacola local, won the third place trophy but he wasn’t there with the car.  I guess he had another car in the show?  Not sure. 

Larry Erd’s Award Winning 4/4.  Photo Courtesy of Andrea Braunstein

We tried valiantly to have a group gathering after the show, but it was not to be.  Finding a watering hole on Saturday night was almost impossible.  We didn’t realize it, but it was not only ‘date’ night, but it was ‘prom’ night and every eatery in town was overloaded.  Even our hotel was a mess with a ‘wedding reception’ for a very, very large wedding.  Crowded!!   

Parking at the hotel (during a wedding reception) was at a premium, even with it’s large open lots.  It seemed that every available spot was used.  I couldn’t even put my car back into my trailer after the show as someone had parked in front of it.  I was at least able to park the trike in the lot, but not in the trailer.  So, I put the tonneau cover on it and walked away, best I could do. 

Then we were on the hunt for a beer (and dinner).  It was a long and dry hunt.  We almost went to bed hungry.  One spot we tried, had some 200 (or more) folks in two separate lines falling out the door and covering both sides of the building.  Wow!  I don’t have that kind of patience.  I just don’t know how they managed??

Another place wanted us to wait about an hour and a half hour for a table and then, who knows what for service?  They said they were under staffed?  After a lot of going left, then right, we finally found a table at a Carabbas restaurant, with only a 15 minute wait.  And, of course by then we had lost most of the Morgan group.  We ate at two different tables in two different groups.  Better than nothing.  Then back to the hotel.  It was an early night.  We were all pretty beat and a few of us were suffering with the start of a cold or allergies or something. 

Karen Bernath relaxing after the show. Photo Courtesy of Andrea Braunstein

We were lazy on Sunday morning.  We had a plan to leave at 9 AM but finally got under way closer to 10 AM.  We really weren’t in too much of a hurry.  We just had to get down the road to Gainesville, FL.  A hot shower and then something to eat at the Hotel’s restaurant.  I dawdled some.  I still had to get my car back into the trailer and wasn’t convinced that the parking lot issue would have been resolved.  I envisioned a late night for those attending the wedding reception dinner.  As I was poking around in the parking lot the guy that had parked in my way finally moved his car.  He was pretty much oblivious to the problem he caused. 

I didn’t waste too much time and quickly loaded the car into the trailer.  I hooked the trailer to the truck and was soon ready to roll.  Rick Frazee had both his and John Stanley’s car in his trailer and we added John, in his Roadster, to our convoy and headed south. 

The hotel in Gainesville was a Doubletree (quite nice) and we didn’t get there any too soon. I really was ready to stop. I needed a beer and rest from the road.  Driving the trailer is not too difficult but it is a bit more stressful than just driving.  It took me a while to stop vibrating (a couple of beers, if I remember correctly . . .)

It was a really good weekend and a worthwhile show.  Only down side was the distance.  Pensacola, albeit still in Florida, is still a good ways away from most places.  And, to add to this distance problem was the route. Well, at least the one we took. It is boring!  I-10 across the panhandle of Florida is definitely not a Morgan road.  Straight and boring, mile after mile, with nary a sign of life.  Still it was well worth the trip.  Maybe next time, I won’t take a trailer!!

[Be sure to check out all the other photographs taken at the Museum and during the show.  There were too many to include is this report so a Photo Gallery was created and posted to the MOGSouth Website.  Enjoy!!  Mark]

13 Apr

GatorMOG To the Villages – 10 April – Event Report

GatorMOG Ventures North to the Villages – 10 April 2019

The ‘Villages.’  Everyone has heard of the Villages, at least those more senior among us.  And, you don’t have to live in Florida to know about this place.  It is really hard to describe, a mecca to some, and a destination for many.  GatorMOG has a presence there and so a quick jaunt up to visit, mid-week, should be fun!

Well, it was just a sleepy Wednesday morning in the Villages?  Or so it was supposed to be.  A few of the otherwise uncommitted GatorMOG traveled north to see the sites, but more importantly to send Allan and MaryAnn Rae off, as they head back to Canada later in the week.  Having the Morgans in the Villages was big doings for the locales.  Lots of verbal compliments and lots of cell phone photos.

The road designer must have been enamored with the British mode of traffic control, the roundabouts, with only a few traffic lights in the entire town!  The Morgans were right at home!! 

As Morgans meandered through the many roundabouts of the Villages, we attempted to see what we could.  Lots of golf courses, tennis courses, swimming pools, recreation centers, boutiques and restaurants.  This place has everything! 

We milled around, visited a few shops and found lunch in one of the many restaurants. We sat outside and looked at one of the lakes that surround the Villages and watched the bird. Perfect weather! Then a short drive to Allan and MaryAnn’s Villages home for dessert and Lemonade.

It was hectic driving, however.  We had to dodge the many residents in their golf cars or mini vans as we went.  It would appear that this isn’t just a place for lethargic retirees.  Folks in the Villages have things to do, places to go, people to see!  And, they’re in a big hurry! 

Photo Courtesy of Rick Frazee. Thank you!

All-in-all there were seven Morgans in our merry band.  Most made the trip from their homes elsewhere in Florida, leaving early (well, not that early!) but with the tops down (remember this is Florida).  Some came alone and others in convoy.  Three 2005 Roadsters (joining Allan and MaryAnn’s Roadster for a total of four), two Plus 8s (1980 and 1998) and an early 4/4, so seven cars and thirteen Morganeers.  Not bad for an impromptu Morgan gathering.  (Really, we just dreamed this up a few days ago!)