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!


18 Sep

2019 GatorMOG Fall Noggin – Daytona, FL (Nov) – Sep 18th Update

Each person must have a ticket for the weekend at the Daytona International Speedway. Your good looks alone (nor driving a Morgan) will not get you in without a ticket!! Buy your tickets on line as it is cheaper that at the gate.

There is a discount code provided here that will get you a reduced cost ($5 per ticket order) for your Daytona International Speedway tickets. It isn’t a huge discount but it is something. Every little bit helps!!

  1. Go to: https://www.hsrtickets.com/34-2019-classic-24-hour
  2. Select the ticket package you want
  3. Enter code: MOGCL24 to receive $5 off the online ticket order price. If you order two tickets you will get only one 5$ discount. (This will save you $10 off the price at the gate)

If you order each ticket separately you can save $5 per ticket. You must completely LOG OUT from the first purchase however and go back to the link and create a separate account (I used the Spouse’s name). It keys on the account name. (Only one discount per name.) I made it work and got two 5$ discounts.

The following picture includes a location map for the Morgan / George Waltman Celebration corral. (It is the green box on the map)

We will be on pavement, across from the Owner/Driver lot, with an easy straight walk to the paddock, where Christopher John LTD., will be located.

  • Event Schedule (15 / 16 November) Plaza Hotel in Daytona
  • Friday Schedule (15 November 2019)
    • Hotel Arrival – No Scheduled Events at Track (a Morgan Owners Noggin/Beer Call at 5PM in the Hotel Bar)
  • Saturday Schedule (16 November 2019)
    • 0730 – Morgans depart Hotel
    • 0900 – Lunch Hour Daytona Speedway Events. Car Corral, New Car Displays, Morgan Q&A
    • Lunch Hour – Parade Laps for Morgan Cars Only (3 Laps – TBD)
    • 1400 – 1500 –  Historic Racing Discussion Group w/ Morgan Racers Past & Present (if desired.)
    • 1515 – Tour of Daytona Speedway Archives (and Waltman Display)
    • 1700 – 1900 – Daytona Morgan Dealer Open House @ Christopher John Ltd. (Leave Morgans Parked at Christopher John Ltd.)
    • 1730 – Copper Bottom Distillery Tour and Cocktail Party (Vicinity of Christopher John LTD)
    • 1900 – Caribbean Jack’s Group Dinner (10 Minute Walk)
    • After Dinner Walk back to get Morgans, Drive to Hotel (1 Mile)
  • Sunday Schedule (17 November 2019)
    • 0730 – Morgans depart Hotel
    • 0900 – Lunch Hour – Daytona Speedway Events.  TBD
    • Lunch Hour – Morgans Depart for Home (Time TBD)

We will depart from the hotel at 0730 sharp on Saturday (16 November) morning. Make our way across town to the track, find our designated location and get set up.

05 Sep

2019 GatorMOG Fall Noggin – A Celebration of George Waltman – Daytona Florida (Nov) – Hurricane Update

All of the supporting cast (hotel, restaurant, etc.) have been called and everyone is fine following Hurricane Dorian. This is great news as the plans are set and everything is under control (well, as much as it ever is!)

The only thing still in work are our tickets to the event at the track. We have not as yet gotten our promised ‘discount code’ from HSR which will allow us to buy our tickets to the Daytona International Speedway (DIS) for the HSR Classic 24 hours of Daytona (November 15/16/17) online at some reduced or discounted cost.

I am sure we will have this code soon as I suspect that the folks at HSR and DIS are still busy with the post hurricane clean up. I will let you all know as soon as we get the word on how this will work.

As of now, we have about 35 people and 15 cars participating in the event. A great turn out! Thank you!!

26 Jul

2019 GatorMOG Fall Noggin – A Celebration of George Waltman – Daytona Florida (Nov)

If you didn’t know – George Waltman is our hero!!

As was reported, George took a 1964 Morgan Plus 4 out of an Police impound lot in the Bronx in 1968. He then drove the Morgan to Daytona Florida and entered it in the 24 Hours of Daytona. He drove the entire race by himself, without co-drivers or even a pit crew! He didn’t win but he did finish!

GatorMOG is honoring George Waltman over the weekend of the 15 – 16 November in Daytona, Florida.

This is the weekend that Historic Sports Racing (HSR) is holding their ‘Classic’ 24 hours of Daytona. We have this event labeled as a ‘GatorMOG’ event, but that is simply because it is in Florida. Really, everyone is welcome to come south and join us. It looks to be quite the weekend.

We are still finalizing the details with HSR but have confirmed our participation at the Daytona International Speedway, during their ‘Classic’ 24 Hours of Daytona. We have racing roundels for each participant Morgan. We plan to have a Morgan Car Corral right in the heart of DIS, hopefully laps of the famed Daytona International Speedway (DIS) for the Morgans (if time allows), a tour of the DIS Archives as well as commemorative T-Shirts for the Morgan participants.

We also have lined up a Open House at the local Morgan Dealer, Christopher John, Ltd on Saturday afternoon, followed by a cocktail party and a group dinner. FYI, the dinner is within walking distance of Christopher John’s dealership.

The designated hotel for the event is the Plaza Resort and Spa (600 N. Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118) and is just about 1 mile away from Christopher John’s.

To make reservations for this hotel, The Plaza Resort & Spa, click on the link or call 1-866-500-5630 and ask for the MORGAN CAR CLUB room block.

But, there is a trick to the link!! Click the link and when the calendar comes up, click on the day you will arrive and the day you leave. For example, if you plan a two day stay, click the 15th (arrival) and click the 17th (checkout).

Note:  If you would like to book room types other than Sunset View (the basic room rate) or if you would like to book nights other than 11/15 and/or 11/16, you will need to use the toll-free number rather than the on-line link.

This looks to be a grand celebration of George Waltman and his accomplishments, as well as the Morgan car! Please send me an email (mogsouth@yahoo.com) if you are planning on attending. This is just so I can manage the hotel’s and restaurant’s expectations. Thanks, Mark