This ‘MOGSouth – Past Events and Other Activities’ category has reports from previous events. It will contain reports similar to those previously published in the Newsletter. Also, If you click on the name of a upcoming MOGSouth or GatorMOG event in the Calendar you will be taken to the specific detail page (if there is one). Or you can just scroll down and see what’s what!
As a new owner of what has to be one of the most interesting British marques still in existence, I gladly joined MOGSouth after finding my Morgan last fall. The club covers the southeast and includes several British Car Club of Charleston, SC members. I was determined to attend the Spring Meet and registered early. John Scott and I thought we could gather a few more Morgans from our area but we ended up being the only brave (crazy may be a better word) souls from here to drive a Morgan to Augusta, Georgia during a heat wave!
On May 17th John and Laura in their beautiful 1961 Plus 4 and me in my 1966 Plus 4 left Charleston around 10:00 AM headed to hot Augusta. The drive started out quite pleasant with shaded country roads and nice scenery. Did I mention a heat wave? By the time we hit the small town of Williston I was getting nervous watching the temperature gauge, so we made a stop at the local gas station to cool us all down a bit. It’s kind of hard watching things like the speedometer, oil pressure, water temp and oil temp with sweat rolling down your face and hot air swirling around your head! As we were heading out John spied a local store named Morgan’s and started pointing to it. I must say my eyes were still blurry with sweat so I wasn’t sure what he was pointing at till we arrived for a late lunch in Aiken. John’s plan was to stop and take pictures in front of Morgan’s Drug Store on Sunday morning on our way back home.
After a delightful lunch in beautiful downtown Aiken we readied ourselves for the hottest part of the day and aimed for Augusta. That drive was HOT! Thanks to our excellent navigator, Laura, we managed to get through all the turns, traffic and stoplights and land at The Partridge Inn on Walton Way. We parked our Morgans with several others that arrived early enough to have cooled off (owners and cars) and eagerly watched other Morgans and their owners arrive.
MOGSouth put on a really nice reception with some fun snacks like Nuts and Bolts, which were root beer looking life savers and candied pretzel sticks. They had several other stations with other clever names and goodies all relating to driving, cars and car parts. Something we might be able to copy for our upcoming reception!
Saturday was Rally morning and after a 9:00 group picture we were given our instructions, and by 9:30 our Morgans were rumbling to life in our private parking garage. Now that was a cool sound! As we headed out of Augusta and started getting closer to open hills (yep) you could see the long string of Morgans as they climbed up the next hill in front of you. Oh, forgot to say we were headed to Washington, Georgia via the bridge over Clark Hill Lake. Once again, our navigator, Laura, kept us on the right track. With all the turns, traffic and stoplights our caravan did not stay together but we all managed to get to our first pit stop in time to parade downtown Lincolnton to the visitor center where they had a wonderful reception awaiting us. They were so happy to have us they ran a story in the local newspaper announcing our arrival with history and picture!
When we returned to our cars, we each had a copy of the local paper with a Morgan article folded for us to see on our front seats. Now that’s southern hospitality!
We continued on to Washington, Georgia that is, for lunch and touring. There we were parked around the historic town square and were free to roam around what is an interesting small town. There were several options for lunch and snacks and quite a few folks checking out the unusual cars in their town square. Did I mention it was HOT? Some of us toured the local museums and some traveled up the road to see an American car collection.
All in all, a pretty neat old southern town that I would recommend going to if close by. I think it’s sad that we all seem to be in such a hurry to get to our destinations that quaint towns with interesting history get left behind with the rush to find the fastest route.
The caravan was quite scattered on the drive back to Augusta. We headed out mid afternoon and it was HOT. The directions back to the hotel were supposed to be a shorter route back but didn’t allow for a freight train to stop us in the middle of nowhere, in the blazing HOT sun! This is where I decided I was crazy! After carefully getting over the railroad tracks, we resumed our journey back to the hotel. I think at that time we were still an hour and a half or so from our destination (lord knows what it was as my brain was fried from the heat). The three very hot cars managed to get through busy Augusta late afternoon traffic and into our cool garage by 5ish. Cocktail hour was looking really good now as was our club dinner!
Sunday morning, early Sunday morning, was our target for heading back to the coast and hopefully cooler temps. We were on the road again by 8:15. We stopped for gas and we stopped for a picture in front of Morgan’s Drug Store in Williston. As we crossed the old Ashley River bridge, we waved goodbye as John and Laura headed downtown and I headed to Mt Pleasant. I pulled into our garage around 12:30 and changed “Morgan’s” name to “Sir Morgan” which I had told him that morning I’d ceremoniously ‘Knight’ him, if he got us both back to Mt. Pleasant!
A few years ago, I was in Augusta GA in May and it was very hot. This year I was again in Augusta, GA in May and it was again very hot. I may not be too bright (or at least that is what Andrea says?) but twice is good enough for me! I have concluded Augusta, GA in May is very hot.
Good thing I took the Morgan with Air Conditioning!! Yeah, right. I have a switch and wishful thinking! I guess that is about all we can ask for. (Maybe it will be better with the new cars, if and, when they ever get here?)
This year the MOGSouth Spring Meet was hosted by Dorothy and Glenn Moore, and they did a wonderful job! Everything was delightful and all of the arrangements came off like clockwork. As you know, this MOGSouth Spring Meet event was really the MOGSouth Fall Meet event from last year, which unfortunately got preempted by Hurricane Florence, so it was rewickered as the Spring Meet. The necessitated quite a bit of rework and adjustment by everyone involved, but in the end, it all worked. Again, a great job!
The chosen hotel was the Partridge Inn and it was wonderful. An historic hotel with character and charm, somewhat improved by the efficiency and cleanliness of Hilton. I do, however, think our crowd over-powered the staff somewhat but it that seems to happen just about everywhere we go. Collectively, we must be somewhat demanding?? All in all, the hotel staff was extremely courteous, professional and ultimately accommodating. I heard nothing but good things about the rooms, the restaurant and the glorious roof top bar. (When the sun went down you could see the lights of downtown Augusta and we even had a full moon both nights we were there!)
The MOGSouth membership turn-out was unexpected!! (Other clubs may be losing their members but we certainly aren’t!) We had a lots of folks we haven’t seen in eons. And we had Morgans! 4/4s, Plus 4s, Plus 8s, Roadsters and Aero 8s. The only thing missing were the purple squirrels. Unfortunately, we had no Drop Head Coupes or vintage three Wheelers. There were reports of the blue Graeme Addie M3W but I didn’t get a chance to see it. Not sure what it was that brought everyone out for this meet, perhaps it was the ‘wonderful (?)’ weather in Augusta in May?? Did I mention it was very hot in Augusta in May?
This week was one of anticipation, for me at least. I was feeling a bit house bound and needed a good Morgan trip. Andrea and I started out, alone this time, with no one else to convoy with. The Frazees were unavailable, the Bernaths had an ill timed automotive failure, the Stanleys were off RV’ing in middle earth, and so on. Not a problem, we had the GPS and anticipated hours of scintillating conversation. Travelling up I-95 is always great fun, and with a stint of I-16 thrown in, wow!! And, as expected, it was boring, repetitive, and uneventful. We eventually got to the Partridge Inn and after a quick hello in the ‘Cigar Bar’ (hospitality suite) we checked in and washed up for dinner. Dorothy had welcoming gifts for everyone. A lovely metal wine cooler (floral vase?) with Morgan Car Club emblazened on the front and filled with all sorts of cookies, caramel corn, etc. Very thoughtful!
Friday evening was one of reacquainting ourselves with the in and outs of everyone else’s lives and a dinner in the hotel’s restaurant. Nothing too special and early to bed. Our room was fine. The only complaint we had was an overly active air conditioner. Andrea tried adjusting it, and I just pulled the blankets up. Did I mention it was very hot in Augusta in May?
Following breakfast on Saturday morning, a group photo was planned and I wanted to look my best, you know ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’ . . . well, I tried, but alas, we can only do what we can do! After the photo, we were off, as a group in our Morgans, roaring up the hill (marching to the sound of gun fire?) to see the wonders of north Augusta. A good run, with minimal traffic and some good twisty bits. Lincolnton was the first stop. Lincolnton is a little town northwest of Augusta and it seemed the whole town came out to welcome us! We stopped for a nature break at the Visitor’s Center and we were greeted with iced lemonade, homemade cakes and cookies, and all sorts of other edible wonders. Amazing hospitality on a Saturday morning. It was difficult to pull ourselves away but we did, eventually, and headed up the road to Washington GA. We even had a police escort out of town!
Washington is another
wonderful village just northwest of Augusta.
Getting there was good fun in the Morgan. Interesting farms, rural property and historic
estates were everywhere. It was really a
bit difficult to concentrate on driving with so much to see. When we arrived in Washington, there was reserved
parking for Morgans on the town square. We parked, stretched and chatted some. Then we all found lunch in one of the cafes along
the peripheral of the square. I had a flat
bread / pizza sort of thing but is was way too big. It seemed I was more thirsty than hungry (too
many cookies in Lincolnton?) and drank a half dozen glasses of water.
There were opportunities
to visit a few local museums and a private car collection after lunch, but I
was ready for a nap so we just headed back to the hotel. The GPS worked for us, once again. I wonder what we all did before these things??
or read maps . . . oooh, how archaic!
Saturday dinner was a short drive from the hotel. Cucina 503. A well thought out menu with Italian(esce?) offerings. It was quite tasty and I heard no complaints. Well, except about the ‘balsamic vinegar’ butter? A bit odd and I am not sure it really works?
A moment or two of club business, we celebrated a few birthdays and I paid up on my debt (I lost a bet!) to Pat Buckley. Then it was back to the roof top bar at the Partridge Inn. Sunday morning came too early and those of us that milled around the restaurant trying to look awake said our goodbyes and then got back on the road.
A great MOGSouth event. Lots of fun, lots of folks and everything worked as intended. Dorothy and Glenn were marvelous. As has been said many times, but it is really true, it is the people, the volunteers that make MOGSouth a different sort, but an ultimately appealing car club.
A big thanks to Glenn and Dorothy Moore for being our hosts! Also, for everyone who attended. Thank you! I hope to see everyone again very soon, at the 2019 MOGSouth Fall Meet in Pinehurst, NC. Cheers, Mark
[There will be a photo gallery posted when I get my act together. It will take a few days so watch for the email notice! Mark]
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!!
Greetings!! The MOGSouth Spring Meet will be headquartered at The Partridge Inn, Augusta GA, 17-19 May, 2019. (2110 Walton Way, Augusta GA 30904, 706-737-8888 )
Modern convenience meets
historic charm in this renovated inn that dates to 1910. It’s a favorite of golf greats Paul Azinger
and Curtis Strange.
Please make certain you have packed your MOGSouth Club name tags…
Friday May 17, 2019
Arrival – Registration/Check in 3 pm, Complimentary Reserved Parking in covered, lower level of Parking Garage – receive breakfast vouchers for Saturday and Sunday mornings
Hospitality Roomopens at 3:00 pm – The Cigar Bar– but no smoking allowed!!!
Due to Partridge Inn restrictions we will have a bartender and cash bar, a selection of 5 beers, House wines, plus water and soft drinks.
Dinner is on your own at The Partridge Inn or out and about at a restaurant of your choice. You may call the Partridge Inn and make a reservation for Friday night dinner before your arrival. They do take walk-ins if you choose to make your decision on arrival.
Some Dinner Options (If not choosing to drive, book the Hotel shuttle for going out in the evening.)
Partridge Inn Bar and Grille with live local Jazz (second floor & veranda)
Raes Coastal Café (Extensive Menu), 3208 W Wimbledon Dr, 706-738-1313
Crab cakes from the Outer Banks of NC and shrimp and grits from SC Low Country
Popular restaurant, Manager recommends coming as close to 5:30 as possible for good service
Finch and Fifth Charcuterie (Americana Bistro) 5 mins away, 397 Highland Ave., 706-364-5300
Edgars Grille (Fried green tomatoes, fig salad and filet mignon) 14 mins, 4.99 miles, 3165 Washington Rd., 706-854-4700
Friday Evening Options
Partridge Inn – Cigar Bar open until 10 pm
Partridge Inn – Roof Top Lounge opens at 5 pm, open until 10 pm
Saturday May 18, 2019
Breakfast – 6-10 am, included with your room. $12.99 if not a guest at the Inn
9:15 am – Gather on the front side steps for a group photo and pick up car rally directions before going to your Morgans
9:30 am – Depart for Washington, GA our destination via the bridge over Clark Hill Lake and through Lincolnton, GA
10:30 – Rest stop in Lincolnton, rest rooms and coffee
11:15 – Lunch in Washington, GA
12:15 – 1:30 pm or as late as you want to stay.
James Jones Auto Museum
12:15 – 2:00 pm if not going to Auto Museum
Stay and see Historic Washington’s museums, the Historical Museum is recommended if you have time for only 1 museum visit….or just drive and/or walk and shop in the town
2:00 pm Drive back to the Partridge Inn.
You may choose to drive back at your leisure but be at Cucina by 6:30 PM
Cigar Bar opens at 3:00 pm
Dinner at Cucina 503 (502 Fury’s Ferry Road Suite 503 ) @ 6:30 pm
private dining room, full menu, separate checks
if not driving please book the shuttle (762-994-0142) in advance
18 minutes from the Inn; about 7.5 miles
Saturday Evening Options
Partridge Inn – Cigar Bar open until 10 pm
Partridge Inn – Roof Top Lounge opens at 5 pm, open until 10 pm
Sunday May 19, 2019
Breakfast from 6 am – 10am, included with room, $12.99 if not a guest at the Inn
2019 MOGSouth Spring Meet is Adjourned (FYI, check-out time is 11:00 am)
You dont have to leave. Augusta is great! Stay and see Augusta’s Broad Street downtown, Ride the Canal Boats or walk the Riverwalk. There is the SouthStar Trolley Tour or get lunch at WifeSaver (414 E Martintown Rd, North Augusta). This restaurant catered the Masters. It is famous for pimento cheese sandwiches.
Safe Driving…See you in Augusta!!
And in case you need it or have questions, Dorothy and Glenn Moore cell: 404-630-4236
The weekend was grand! Top down the entire time! I did flop the top up on the car up at night but never really secured it. It was just to give the storm cover some support. I don’t even think Allan and Mary Ann Rae, who traveled with us from central Florida, did even that much.
There weren’t any storms or even strong winds. The weather was glorious! A little cool when the sun went down, but
otherwise spectacular. Certainly different
from past years in Amelia.
This one was a bit special. The announcements from Geneva this year were
certainly thought provoking. Also, we
had the MMC factory folks and many of the US Morgan dealers in town for a ‘big’
dealer meeting. I invited a good number
to the Friday evening Noggin and many came.
It was great for the MOGSouth members at the Noggin to chit chat with
folks they know and love. Well, ok
perhaps ‘love’ is a bit strong, but . . .
Andrea and I, along with Allan and Mary Ann Rae, traveled up
on Friday morning in the Roadsters. It
was really a sprint up the highway.
Amelia Island is not too far north of Jacksonville, Florida, so a
pleasant enough drive for us. About 3.5
hours. We chose this year to stay in
Jacksonville and drive back and forth along the St Johns river, as needed. This was necessitated by the limited hotels
on the Island itself. You really have to
anticipate and book a hotel room some 6 – 9 months out. And, then you have to save your Nickles and
Dimes to pay for the room and be willing to accept the minimum number of nights
demanded. The Amelia Island inn keepers
tend raise the rates quite high for the big Concours weekend.
Alas, supply and demand . . .
Once we tucked our bags and such into our rooms in
Jacksonville, we headed back out to the cars and meandered our way up to
Fernandina Beach for lunch. The drive
along the river during the day has a different feel than the drive at dawn, but
it is still quite pretty, nonetheless. Lots
of twisty bits, lots of water and lots of folks fishing off the bridges. You could tell it was Concours weekend as 90%
of the oncoming traffic was something noisy and interesting. Porsches, Ferraris, a Deux Chevaux? and
others. Very neat!
Once there, we found lunch with a view of the water after
parking on some grass next to a Blood Bank table. The kids at the table assured us that the
grass was a fine place to park (some others had just left!) so we parked and
walked away. Parking is quite difficult
in Fernandina Beach during the Concours weekend and I suspect (well, I hope!) the
parking police are pretty lenient during the weekend. It seems like there were cars
everywhere. (And, there were many, many
folks with yellow tape or rope barriers across their home’s road frontage,
trying to protect their lawns from folks looking to park.)
This was only our first taste of the parking challenge . . .
After lunch, it was over to the location of the Friday
evening Noggin. I wanted to get there
early as this was a new location for us, the Salt Life Bar and Grille. It was fairly close to the sports bar we have
used previously but this place had oodles and oodles of parking. Something lacking at our previous spot. (ah, that ‘parking’ thing, again!)
The restaurant manager, Tina, had us set up in a roof top ‘lounge’ complete with propane heaters, couches and overstuffed chairs. It even had a fire pit. Not too bad a spot for us, albeit a bit chilly when the sun went down. The view of the ocean was stunning!
Taking on a big group like ours is always difficult. 30+ folks are always in need of something,
whether it’s food or drink, so the staff was constantly jumping to keep us all satisfied.
And, I have to be somewhat appreciative of
their efforts as this restaurant doesn’t take reservations but did reserve this
‘prime’ spot for us!
A very good turn-out!
Lots of MOGSouth folks attended.
Some we hadn’t seen in quite a while. We also had a good number of the US Morgan
dealers at the Noggin. We talked mostly
about nonsensical stuff, all-the-while trying to eek out some tidbits of
information or get some sense of their feelings about the big Geneva
announcements and the forthcoming dealer meeting. I didn’t get any earth shattering nuggets but
did sense a feeling of ‘concerned’ optimism.
Other comments about the component cars, future business outlooks, the
very different and misunderstood American market, etc., seemed to flow
Then we had to head back to the hotel. The drive in the dark was uneventful. We got the cars home safely and tucked them
in. Prime parking spots right out front
next to the hotel portico. Diamond
Members (I think not!). Then up to bed
with an early rise in the morning. The
convoy back to Fernandina Beach was to start at 6:30 AM. Yikes!
The drive from Jacksonville to Amelia Island, along the St Johns River,
at the crack of dawn is truely amazing!
The sun coming up over the horizon, peeking through the swamp
grass and the masts of the boats in the marinas is very special. Getting up early to make the drive, however,
is not so special. This year we had the
two Roadsters, ours and the Rae’s, and Harry Gambill’s Aeromax with Rick
Fraser’s Aero Eight in our convoy.
As we have done in past, we all met at a convenient diner,
and then convoyed down the road, into the cars and coffee display area, as a
single gaggle of Morgans. Typically, if
you don’t come in as a group, the organizers will just park you wherever they
have space. This year was
different. With the Morgan factory folks
and the Morgan dealers having a new car display, they wanted the Morgans to
park in a specific location on the field, just adjacent to the new car display
We were directed to our predefined spot which was fine, but
it was a bit far away from the coffee and donuts. I don’t think we could have gotten much
further away. I finally walked back to
the coffee tent, got a cup, and started the trek back. I think I was all but done with my cup by the
time I got back. Oh well, there was
probably some overly caffeinated Porsche owner, vibrating right next to the
tent. (Who knows, he may still be
As usual, the Morgans were a big hit. Lots and lots of interested folks and lots of
questions. We had a very good display
with almost all model variants represented.
Roadsters, Plus 8s (early and late), Plus 4s (Larry Erd was there with
his freshly restored SuperSports clone, still not totally sorted), a Four
Seater, the Aeromax, the Aero 8, M3Ws, and Austin Britton’s early 4/4. And, when folks asked about availability, we
pointed to the new car tent. It was all
There were also a number of MOGSouth members, or other Morgan
owners there without cars or supporting some other marque, who came by to say
hello. Tony McLaughlin of Morganville
fame, Jon Scott from Charleston, Charlie and Beth Miller, Stu Mosbey was there
with his Porsche(?), Ray Morgan was running around the Ritz, getting ready to show
a car on Sunday, and Ian Levitt from Nashville all came by.
Again, I tried to get some information out of the MMC folks and
Morgan dealers. I spoke to the two
factory employees (Mark and Mike?) for a few minutes and I spoke to six Morgan
dealers. Again, I came up empty. Nothing, nada, zilch . . .
I really wish I could report on some momentous tidbit of
information, but I never got any. And,
my attempts to get feedback from the dealers following the afternoon’s big
meeting have also failed.
I suspect the dealers are all confused somewhere, hunkering down under the
‘cone of silence’. . .
Following the show, a dozen of us or so ventured downtown to
find a late lunch. The traffic leaving
the Cars and Coffee was nuts, every intersection was backed up, so a short-cut
through a neighborhood freed us from our confines. We found the restaurant but, again, were
challenged to find a spot for the car. Around the block a few times, then a couple
guys, car enthusiasts I guess, found me a spot.
It wasn’t optimal but it was a spot.
I had to go the wrong way down a one way street and then back into the
spot. It was a bit chaotic getting in, it
was tight and I hit the curb a few times, but I had a parking spot, and an
official one at that. And, it wasn’t all
that far from the Restaurant. Score!!
After lunch, we drove back to the hotel. Tired and ready for a nap. We had the hotel booked for another night so
no need to hurry home. We drove back
along the St Johns one last time and parked out front once again. We found dinner in the adjacent sports
bar. Nothing fancy just a salad bar, a
‘pork’ chop and a ‘belly-up gold fish’?
Breakfast at the hotel Sunday morning was abandoned in hopes
of something better. I think we found
it. Then it was time and we reluctantly headed
south down I-95 for home.
It was a lovely weekend. Lots of
cars, plenty of sunshine, good company and nothing broke!! Can’t ask for much more!
It all starts this Friday, 8 March! Are you Ready?? Amelia Island here we come !!
The MOGSouth Noggin will start Friday evening (8 March) at 5PM and last until we all give up! This year we are going somewhere new. Everyone complained about the parking at the last place so we will try the Salt Life Food Shack, 39 N Fletcher Ave Fernandina Beach, FL 32034.
Then Saturday morning (9 March), those of us with Morgans (that have been accepted and have been sent windshield stickers) will gather at 0730, in the morning (yes, I know that’s early!), at the Surf Restaurant’s front parking lot, along A1A (3199 S. Fletcher Avenue, Amelia Island, FL.) We know that if we don’t all go into the event together, we will be parked where ever they have a space. We will only wait at the Surf Restaurant for 10 minutes or less, so don’t be late!
This year we will have something special to look forward to! The Morgan Motor Company (MMC) will be there with 3 – 5 new Morgan cars on display. Since the factory is here for a Dealer Meeting many of the US based Morgan Dealers will also be there!
A few folks are staying off the island at a Hampton Inn, near Jacksonville. There will be a convoy of Morgans leaving the Hampton early (06:30 or so) on Saturday morning to get to the Surf Restaurant by 07:30.
Plan on a great Morgan weekend and we hope to see you there!!
The MOGSouth Noggin at Amelia Island will occur Friday (8 March) evening and we will again participate in the Saturday (9 March) Cars and Coffee.
The MOGSouth Noggin will start at 5PM and continue until whenever. The location for the noggin is new this year (after all the complaint of difficult parking). It is now being held at the Salt Life Food Shack, 39 N Fletcher Ave Fernandina Beach, FL 32034. Note: Still good food and beer, but better parking.
The formal Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for Sunday 10 March but has in the past been moved up to Saturday if the weather is challenging.
Last year we had more than 50 folks from the Morgan community attend the Noggin. Folks from all over, not just MOGSouth. This year we will have special guests, as well. So you will want to be there.
Then Saturday morning (9 March), those of us with Morgans, will all gather at 0730 (yes I know it’s early) at the Surf Restaurant’s front parking lot, along A1A (3199 S. Fletcher Avenue, Amelia Island, FL.)
You will have to had to apply and been accepted (they have mailed a windshield sticker to those that have been accepted) to get onto the Cars and Coffee field. They do this because they are space limited.
From experience we know that if we don’t arrive together, we will be parked where ever they have a space, and most likely not together.
We will only wait at the Surf Restaurant for 10 minutes or less, so don’t be late!
You need not register if you don’t bring your car and simply want to spectate.
This year we will have something special to look forward to. The Morgan Motor Company (MMC) will have 3 – 5 new Morgan cars on display at the MotorXpo area (the first hole of the Golf Club of Amelia Island.)
For those coming from out of town, there are a number of Lodging options. You can stay on Amelia Island or you can find something around the North- Eastern side of Jacksonville. It is really just a short (30-45 min) drive along FL-105 from Jacksonville to Amelia Island.
If you have questions, please ask.
Plan on a great Morgan weekend and we hope to see you there!!
As you all know, the Spring Meet will be in Augusta GA, May 17-19. The designated meet Hotel will be the Partridge Inn, 2110 Walton Way, Augusta GA 30904. (Tel. 706-737-8888)
FIRST THINGS FIRST, MAKE YOUR HOTEL RESERVATIONS NOW!
The Hotel is holding rooms for MOGSouth until APRIL 16TH . . . and according to the latest reports they are going fast! Do it now, or risk not getting a room at the hotel. They report they have wedding and such the same time so rooms might not be available if you procrastinate.
Guests need to call the Partridge Inn directly (706-737-8888) for their reservations and use the ‘MOGSouth’ group name.
This MOGSouth rate includes breakfast for all of the room occupants. Standard Rooms are $139.00 per night, Suites are $149.00 and rooms with Balconies are $159.00.
The Partridge Inn is an historic southern style and quaint hotel, but now in the hands of Hilton and is efficient, clean and well-managed. It has a roof-top bar that overlooks the city and balcony rooms that overlook the beautiful pool and lounging area.
NOW A FEW MORE THINGS – Dorothy needs to know the following information for the Hotel, the Restaurant, the Hospitality Suite, etc.