[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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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.
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 email@example.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.
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
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.
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!
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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!!
North to the Villages – 10 April 2019
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
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!
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!)
Florida British Car Show – Central Winds Park, Winter Springs (Orlando) – 6
A new venue for the this show – Central Winds Park in Winter
Springs. Cheaper, more facilities, more
space and, IMO, a local community that is more welcoming as opposed to one that
is somewhat hostile. We had a great
day. Some ‘opening night’ jitters but
nothing that will be remembered for very long.
It was warm and this new venue is a bit more open than the last. We did find some sporadic overcast to provide
However, a highlight of this new venue is the acceptability
of adult beverages. Quite a few of the cars
had come well prepared. I saw Champagne
being poured from the boot of a Bentley and, of course, beer was being served around
the Triumphs. Even several of the
vendors had offerings, and certainly no one complained.
The Central Florida British Car Show (Orlando) has been held
now for 35 years. MOGSouth’s own Rick
Frazee was the show’s director in the past.
Quite a history. The cars this
year were superb with some very nice and very rare examples of the British
automotive past. A 1927 Austin Nippy, a
1954 Bentley parked right next to a 2015 Bentley Turbo R, all manner of BL
products, a good number of modern Jaguar F Types and of course 8 Morgans. We
had an early 4/4, Plus 4s, to include a Flat Rad and a Cowled Radiator 4
Seater, Plus 8s, and Roadsters. Several
of the local Morgan owners, that typically attend this show, were otherwise
committed, so the count would have been even higher had they come. It appears Morgans are, albeit slowly, taking
The show had the usual diversions and wasn’t all about the
shiny cars. Other aspects of the show
included food vendors, the silent auction, door prizes and the infamous valve
cover races. My Coventry Climax valve
cover was the only Morgan entry, but, once again, it didn’t win. It didn’t even go down the ramp forward, it flipped
immediately and then went down backwards, that is until it hit the pavement and
a wheel fell off. Typical Morgan! Next time! And, I think some redesign is in order.
We were joined by a Morgan owner who only recently relocated to Florida from the Northeast. Smart move, have you seen the weather reports?? Les and Joan Neumann are only some 15 miles from my house, and a few miles from another Morgan owner. Morgan owners seem to travel in packs?? Go figure? The more the merrier!!
Folks, we have begun to distribute the MOGSouth Membership Roster for 2019. It is being distributed as an encrypted PDF file. You should receive this file via email, to the email address you provided to us, sometime in the next week or so.
In order to ensure we secured this file, as best we could, we have undertaken the following precautions. First, this file is encrypted, meaning it has a password that you will have to enter each time you open / view the file. Secondly, we are distributing the PDF file itself and the file’s password in two separate messages. These methods are our attempts at keeping the information on the roster secure from the everyday hacker.
We understand the sensitivity folks have to sharing this information with just anybody, so we want to protect it. However, we also realize that one of the biggest benefits of MOGSouth membership is knowing who else, in the local area or region, shares your Morgan passion. So we want to be sure you to have the membership roster.
We struggled with distribution methods and in the end we came up with the two methods mentioned above. It is highly unlikely that a hacker will be able to get both messages and then put them together.
The other key element is the password itself. In the end we wanted to make the password something less likely to be hacked so we have used what is called a ‘strong’ password, e.g. one that is somewhat lengthy, uses Capital letters, numbers, punctuation and is relatively memorable (for a Morgan type, that is.) The password we chose is;
It must be entered exactlyas above, with the Capital letters, etc. When you attempt to open the PDF MOGSouth Membership file, you will be asked for the password. Simply enter it, as provided above, and hit enter. The file will open just as any other file on your computer.
It’s chilly outside . . . got to go south! Well it’s only 60° but even so I’m chilly, none
the less. Been in Florida too long. I think my blood has thinned.
This weekend is the Gold Coast British Sports Car Club All
British Car Show (actually the 26th annual). It is down in South Florida where it’s
warmer. We go every year as we have several
MOGSouth members down that way and it’s good to see them every now and
again. It used to be in Boca Raton but
now is in West Palm Beach. Still south,
We have few folks from North / Central Florida going along
with us, as well. Perhaps they too are
chilly? Allan and Mary Ann Rae, Chuck
and Karen Bernath, and Robin and Christine Bycroft. The others in the area are either predisposed
or in some other way committed . . . off racing or vacationing in Asia or some
such. But it won’t be a problem as I
suspect we will join another 4 – 6 Morgans once we get there. And a host of other British Cars.
Getting there is a logistics challenge. We all come from differing parts of Florida
and need to travel on different roads.
However, as it is more fun to travel in packs, we have a rendezvous or
two in the plan with designated gathering spots and hook-up times, along the
route. Gas and rest stops are always
I took the Roadster out this time. It has been a few months since the car has
had a good run. Also, I just changed the
oil and filter, and completed a full maintenance (112 tasks) session on the
car. This has got to make it faster . .
. right? The only problematic thing I
found during all that maintenance was an inoperable front (passenger side) turn
indicator. I figured a bulb was blown
but when I pulled off the lens it was much more than that. The whole thing was corroded. An entire new light or at least a new bulb
receptacle was in order . . . but then, after some thought and being cheap, I figured
I might be able to rebuild it!
I rummaged around in my bin of bits and found some derelict
light housings. Actually, I found three
old round light bases, complete with wires.
Two had a single wire to the bulb and one had two wires. And of course, the size and shape were
different from the corroded one on the Roadster. Progress, I assume!
I contemplated the differences for a few minutes, pondering
all sorts of Morgan induced gremlins, until it finally occurred to me that the
two with only the single wire were both steel and the one with the double wire
was aluminum. Why the change, I
thought. The steel ones said Lucas while
the aluminum one was devoid of any markings.
Perhaps someone was afraid to admit to making the thing or perhaps it
was just an aftermarket piece?
Ah ha! The steel ones were grounded directly when bolted to the car. No need for a grounding wire. The aluminum one however needed a grounding wire. Aluminum isn’t the best conductor of electricity. Again, that college education pays off!
I then decided that since the size and shape were different,
I would only use the inner bulb receptacle. I took the aluminum one, the one with the two
wires, and cut away all but the needed bulb receptacle. I then stuffed this bulb receptacle into the
recess left when I removed the corroded one from the Roadster. A tight fit, but a fit none the less. I tested it with a new bulb. And, there was light!
I tightened it all back up and bingo, I had turn
indicators! An hour of fiddling about
and it was all good again. Ok, the car
was ready for the road!
Now to gather all the requisite stuff. It’s not that Morgans lack storage space,
there’s plenty. It’s that we have become
too accustomed to travel with all sorts of crap. Chairs and hats and phones and blankets,
tools and rags and on and on. Not to
mention the bulging suitcase on the luggage rack!
Finally, . . . down the road we go!
We stayed at the designated hotel chosen by the Gold Coast
British Sports Car Club. It was right
next to the show field . . nothing too fancy, clean and affordable. Close to the show was good for us as we really
didn’t want to drive all over an unknown location, risk getting lost or arriving
late, or worse yet missing the show altogether.
And, this hotel had free breakfast and was in walking distance of a decent
restaurant. We gathered for dinner and
walked to the recommended sports bar, BJs, for our evening repast. A sports bar is fine for this crowd, lots of options
for food, beer and wine, and the noise level wasn’t adversely impacted by our raucous
The free hotel breakfast came earlier that I liked but there it was in all it’s glory . . . cardboard waffles and rubber eggs. I had coffee.
Then we all piled into the cars and drove, had to be all of a mile, to the show. We were parked all together this year (last year we were scattered about), except Robin and Christine Bycroft who were past Class winners and were parked in a separate ‘Prestige Class’ with the other past winners.
The Morgans had quite a respectable showing. We had 7 Morgans in the show counting the (1) Bycroft’s lovely BRG 1989 Plus 8.
(2) 1967 Plus 4 Drop Head Coupe (Cream w/ Brown Wings) belonging to Gil & Barbara Stegen (3) 1980 Plus 8 Fuel Injected Turbo (Gray w/ Black Wings) belonging to Chuck & Karen Bernath (4) 2003 Anniversary Edition Plus 8 (Aston Martin Green) belonging to Bennett & Mary Shulman (5) 2005 3.0L Roadster (BRG) belonging to Allan & Mary Ann Rae (6) 2005 3.0L Roadster (Cream w/ BRG Wings) belonging to Mark & Andrea Braunstein (7) 2018 3.7L Roadster (Blue) with only 100 miles, belonging to Lewis Pollack.
The Morgan Class winner was the ’67 Plus 4 Drop Head Coupe belonging to Gil & Barbara Stegen and rightly so. The car was lovely and superbly displayed (as always). Second in Class went to Bennett & Mary Shulman’s spectacular 2003 Anniversary Edition Plus 8. Third in Class then went to the extremely well prepared 2005 3.0L BRG Roadster, goggles and all, belonging to Allan & Mary Ann Rae. Then they announced the Prestige Class winners and Robin and Christine’s 1989 BRG Plus 8 took second in a group of quite stellar competition. I dare say the Morgans did quite well on the day!
A big highlight of the show, for us Morgan types anyway, was
ogling Lewis Pollack’s brand new, 2018, component 3.7L Roadster. What a lovely machine! We were all drooling. Blue over cream leather. Wow! Lewis
quickly fit right in with the MOGSouth crowd and as he is already a member of
the club, I suspect we will see this car again, quite soon.
After the show, it was back to the hotel for a nap. Then off to another sports bar for
dinner. This time we had to drive, but it
wasn’t far. Dinner came and went. Then back to bed. We were all spent. The midday sun and 85°+ temperatures had done
us all in.
Hotel breakfast again on Monday. There was a plan to convoy home, but it somehow
fell apart. The two Roadsters, Raes and
Braunsteins, set off together to explore the coastline and meander North. Banyan tree canopies, sparkles of sun light and
glimpses of the ocean. Marvelous! And, then there were the mansions.
Now, I understand large homes and even waterfront properties. But these were simply amazing! It boggled the mind. Most houses had a driveway, ok we all have one of those, but then 100 yards or more, further down, they had a ‘Service Entrance’. These houses must have been massive! Really, a Service Entrance? Wow!
Now I want a ‘Service Entrance.’ I may just make a sign . . .
The Bernath’s had taken off a bit earlier and found the Elliot Museum, in Stuart Florida. They stopped, so we stopped. What an amazing place! The collections at the museum were eclectic. Vintage cars, wooden boats, airplanes, dioramas of a vintage kitchen and a commercial pharmacy with soda shop, a model train collection, outboard motors, Frances Langford’s wardrobe (she sang with Bob Hope on many USO tours), and much more.
The most incredible thing, for me anyway, was the vintage
car storage machine (sort of like a car vending machine?) Just watching this thing was worth the entire
stop. Although there were many cars openly
displayed in the various rooms, there were some 54 cars stored in a large, temperature
and humidity controlled, glass enclosed machine / complex. They were stored three levels high and two
rows deep. The docent had a computer controlled
selector and when he selected a specific car, the machine went and found the car. It then lifted it up and put the car on an
elevator, which brought it down, moving it to the center of the complex, and
then displayed it (rotating it on a turn style) just in front of where we were
sitting. We couldn’t get enough of this
thing and asked to see some three different cars. The cars were cool, but the machine, moving
the cars around, was even cooler. We
stopped before the darn thing broke. We feared
the worst as the docent indicated the company that manufactured the complex
machine went belly up a year after it was created, and the machine was now the most
demanding maintenance item in the entire museum!
We soon left the museum and continued up the coast to a
water front restaurant (Kyle Gs) for lunch.
Chuck Bernath got there a few minutes before we did and wrangled parking
spaces, for the Morgans, at the front door.
Thank you, Chuck! This was certainly
appreciated (as the parking lot was overflowing.) Although the restaurant was pretty crowded, they
found us a table with a view. Excellent
service and excellent food.
Then it was back in the cars and up the coast. West to I-95 and a dash for home.
A bit hot in south Florida but all-in-all good fun! Great cars, great company and really another
great Morgan weekend!
Oh, and just as I pulled off the highway, with no more than a mile or two to get to my house, the turn indicator I had fixed, stopped working. Go figure? Oh, the pleasures of Morgan ownership!
It began with the 1961 Plus Four Roadster I
purchased from my father in 1966.
This was my everyday car while I was attending
Georgia State University where I had the good fortune to meet Dale, my wife of
now fifty plus years.
We dated in that car for almost a year until it
was sold and replaced with a yellow 1961 VW convertible (but that is another
Fast forward twenty years, we were raising three
children, both working and dealing with all that goes along with a dual income,
hardworking, busy family.
In celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary
Dale said she wanted to give me another Morgan.
The search for a car began the Sunday after
Thanksgiving of 1988.
Amy and Adam and I journeyed to a small British
Car event in downtown Atlanta where we met Lance Lipscomb as well as Bob and
Wynell Bruce and Maidie and Charlie Williams, all members of MOGSouth. I told
them of my quest for another Morgan and by Monday afternoon, Lance, called and
said he had found a car.
The car was in a basement in a home in Marietta
and was being sold because the owner had begun a rebuild but had by then given
up on the project.
I purchased the car on sight and all of the
various pieces and brought it home.
It needed painting as well as an interior and
reassembly and with help from Don Simpkins, Fred Sisson and Lance the car came
together in early 1989 and made its formal debut at the MCCDC National Meet
that summer after traveling in caravan from Atlanta along with Fred and Roni
Sisson and their three year old daughter Sam.
The car was frequently driven to many meets and
Morgan events over the next thirty years where we made long lasting friendships
with the many members of the Morgan community.
After the MOGSouth Christmas Party of 2016, Dale
and I made the decision that it was time to “freshen” the Morgan as it was
showing its age and the wear and tear of 30 years of enjoyment. This car is not
a “garage queen”. It was driven and enjoyed weekly for almost thirty years.
After several fits and starts, I reached out to
Mitch Bressler of MSA Classics in Carrollton, Georgia to handle the project.
I had met Mitch just after the car was first on
the road when he worked with Jon Stamps of Jon Stamps Racing and they had
performed several major repairs to the car.
Mitch had begun full time vintage race car
preparation and car restoration as well as general maintenance with his company
MSA Classics in a large facility in Carrollton.
As it turns out, what was to be a “freshening”
became a full body off frame up restoration and now it sports a completely
rebuilt engine and transmission, new brake and electrical systems, rebuilt
transmission, aluminum radiator and fuel tank, new floorboards, complete
respray and complete new custom fit leather interior.
In effect, it is a new 1967 Plus Four and in my
opinion, the result is stunning.
Thanks to Mitch Bressler and his company MSA
Classics and his local suppliers and craftsmen as well as Morgan Spares, Lonnie
Bailey, who painted the car and Northpoint Auto Upholstery, and especially to
Dale, my wife of now fifty plus years, the Morgan Rides Again!
We lost another MOGSouth stalwart. Bob Bruce passed away on Sunday, 30 December, just shy of the New Year. He was 81 years old.
Most of the relatively new MOGSouth folks wouldn’t remember the Bruces but those of us that have been around MOGSouth for a while certainly do. Wynell Bruce was a past president of MOGSouth so Bob was always there with the Morgan.
My first introduction to MOGSouth was when Wynell was the
president. I was in some position of
authority in MCCDC and had dealings with MOGSouth about support for a MCCDC MOG
meet or some such. This was around 1990
or so. MOGSouth was seen as the ‘standard,’
organized, vital and aptly led.
The Bruce’s lovely Blue Plus 4 2 Seater (Elizabeth) was always at the meets. (There was a three wheeler, called Angus??, as well, that needed a bit of TLC. ) Bob was pilot for Eastern Airlines, then Eastern Airlines did their thing and Bob was piloting aircraft, island hopping as it was, in the Caribbean. Bob took this all in stride and his understated sense of humor always rose to the top.
At one point a MOGSouth event in the islands was
discussed. Now that would have been
Eventually the Bruce’s came back to the cars and house in
Kennesaw. The most memorable Bob moment
for me was the phone call. There was a
message on the tape machine. Bob had called.
I returned the call, asking ‘what’s up?’
Bob was abrupt and asked frankly ‘What ever happened to the Five Dollar
Now that took me a bit by surprise. He was reacting to a recent MOGSouth event and
comparing it to earlier times. I think
the question may have been partially in jest, but I failed to adequate provide
a reasonable answer, so he kept hammering me.
Bob was a happy guy with an infectious smile. He always expected the best.
I do have to say, that I think of Bob and his question often
these days, especially when I am negotiating, on behalf of MOGSouth, something
that costs real money. I guess his
question left a mark!
After that the Bruce’s haven’t been seen too often, although they maintain their affiliation with the club but haven’t participated in any of the more recent MOGSouth events. I know, sometimes it is just too hard, or there are too many conflicts. The trike was sold to Lee Gaskins, if I remember correctly and the Plus 4, I believe, is still in Kennesaw.
The obituary as posted is as follows.
Robert S. “Bob” Bruce November 10, 1937 – December 30, 2018 Robert S. “Bob” Bruce, Sr., 81, of Kennesaw, died Sunday, December 30, 2018. A graveside memorial service will be held at 3:00 on Tuesday afternoon, January 8, 2019, in the Georgia National Cemetery, Canton. Mr. Bruce was born in Michigan but had lived in Kennesaw since 1972, coming from Miami. He retired from Eastern Airlines as a pilot and was Presbyterian. Surviving are his wife of 59 years, Wynell Bruce of Kennesaw; son, Robert S. (Laura) Bruce, Jr., of Dallas; grandchildren, Rob Bruce, Alicia Bruce, Tyler Bauch, and Austin Bauch; great grandson, J J Bruce.
Collins Funeral Home, Acworth, is in charge of arrangements.
GRAVESIDE MEMORIAL SERVICE – Tuesday January 8, 2019, 3:00 PM at Georgia National Cemetery, 1080 Scott Hudgens Dr, Canton, GA 30114
It was early morning on Christmas Eve that Betsy McOmber passed away. Her family was there and she was in no pain so that was good. Even if the Morgan Car thing was predominantly Gene’s she was always a vibrant presence at the MOGSouth gatherings. If she wasn’t there, her absence was always noted. ‘Where was Betsy’, everyone would ask. Betsy loved her music, her Church and she loved to play the piano and sing. It really is difficult for us, as a community, and we cannot adequately express our feelings of loss. But, we still have the many wonderful memories of car meets, road trips, omelet parties, racing trophies, the house in SC, the house in FL, the family and more. These we will not forget. A true and wonderful friend to us all and she will be greatly missed.
The Obituary in The Sarasota, FL Herald-Tribune is reprinted below.
McOmber, Betsy Lane Thomas – Mar 7,1940 – Dec 24, 2018
Betsy was raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan by her parents Byron R. and Mildred Stein Thomas.
Betsy graduated from Grosse Pointe High South in 1958 and went on to Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. She graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science Degree and in 1966 with a Master of Arts Degree. She was a member of Sigma Alpha Iota Musical Fraternity.
Betsy taught 3rd grade at Westwood Elementary school in Kalamazoo from 1962-1967. In 1963, she married Gene LeIsle McOmber of Allegan, MI. Their first son, Thomas Clair, was born in 1967 at which time Betsy began giving piano lessons in her home in Westwood. Two more sons were born in 1970 and 1978 – Richard Morgan and Robert Thomas.
While living in Kalamazoo, Betsy was very active in the Kalamazoo Orchestra League and also her church – 1st Church of Christ, Scientist. She enjoyed selling advertising for 5 years to the Christian Science Monitor, an international daily newspaper. Betsy loved opportunities to play piano background music for various social events and singing in Jan Berghorst’s Women’s Choral group. She greatly admired her parents’ musical talents, both of whom were professional musicians. Her mother was her first piano teacher and instilled in her a deep love of music.
In 1994, Betsy and Gene retired to beautiful Keowee Key in Salem, SC where they lived for 17 years and enjoyed sharing their deck boat with family and friends. Betsy continued her musical involvements by singing in the Key Koraliers and joining a piano group called The Piano Connection where she played solos, duets, and quartets. Betsy and Gene were both very active in the Blue Ridge Art Center and Betsy became coordinator of an art program called Picture Person involving eleven elementary schools. At the 1st Church of Christ, Scientist in Seneca, she was Keyboardist for many years. In 2011, Betsy and Gene re-retired to Sarasota, FL to be closer to their son, Tom, his wife Melissa, and their grandson, Cole. More musical opportunities opened up for Betsy as she joined the Village Walk Singers and two piano groups – Piano Friends and Musical Friends. At Third Church of Christ, Scientist, she was the music coordinator.
Being married to a car enthusiast, Betsy was an active member of The Foothills British Car Club in SC, the Suncoast British Car Club group in Sarasota, and the Morgan Owners Group South. Betsy loved sharing her husband’s interest in cars and touring in their Morgan. Supporting Gene’s 47 years of racing a Morgan was a highlight of her life.
Betsy’s most favorite hobby was playing the piano and sharing her talent with others. She also was very devoted to writing – keeping in touch with friends and helping them through tough challenges consumed much of her time. She valued each person who came into her life.
She also loved remodeling homes with her husband, doing yard work, entertaining, and going to concerts and plays. Sharing musical time with her grandson, Cole, in Sarasota was especially meaningful to her. Betsy’s husband, three sons, two daughter in laws, and three grandchildren made her very proud and she will be forever grateful for their loving attention to her.
Betsy was predeceased by her parents and only sibling, Terrell E. Thomas, of Mt. Dora, Fl in 2017. She is survived by her husband Gene McOmber and Thomas & Melissa (Sarasota, FL), Richard (MI) Robert & Francheska (UT) Grand children Morgayn, (NV) Cole (FL), Camilla (UT).
“A Celebration of Life” will be held at the Turtle Rock Community Ctr. (8500 Turtle Rock Blvd. Sarasota 34238) on Friday evening January 18th from 5 to 8 PM.
An open house is to be held at the Turtle Rock Community Ctr., 8500 Turtle Rock Blvd. Sarasota 34238 on Friday evening January 18th, from 5 to 8 PM. Please bring your British car (weather permitting) if possible.
[2018 was a great year!! Let’s see if we can make 2019 even better!!
Happy Holidays to you and yours. Mark, Andrea and the rest of the MOGSouth team.]
“Twas the night before Christmas and out in the shed
Sat a tired old Morgan, It’s battery near dead,
Its wings were rusted and the doors wont close
The seats and carpets look like old Renault’s.
The tyres had dry rot, the fuel tank was leaking,
And a turn of the wheel sent the tie-rods a-creaking
So I put on my coat with a weight in my heart
And went to the shed to get it to start.
The engine turned over– there arose such a clatter!
And I knew from the sound it was water-pump chatter.
From under the dashboard there came a bright flash,
The wiring harness had just turned to ash!!
I’ve had it with this Morgan I finally swore.
Enough is too much, I can’t take anymore:
When what to my red teary eyes should appear,
But a little old bloke–(Hell I need a beer).
“Cheers” he said grinning from ear to ear,
“You need my help, I’m an engineer”.
“This one can be saved, there’s no need to grieve,
All you need is faith; You gotta believe”
A hammer, some duct tape, get me more tools!!
When you work on these cars, just make up the rules,
We’ll get her cranked over, and no way will she stall
But stand over there with your back to the wall”
A cough and a sputter, the cacophony was stunning!
I couldn’t believe it the damn thing was running.
The ghost winked at me, and said kicking a tyre.
“What ever you do: Don’t touch this wire!!”
The old bloke then vanished amongst sneezes and snorts
But when the smoke cleared he had left me some parts!!
So I opened the shed door and let the top down,
Put pedal to metal and went out on the town,
And I thought to myself as I missed second gear,
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR
Reprint Courtesy of Barry Marshall of Talk Morgan.