13 Apr

Orlando All British Car Show – 6 April 2019 – Event Report

Photo Courtesy of Karen Bernath. Thanks!!

35th Central Florida British Car Show – Central Winds Park, Winter Springs (Orlando) – 6 April 2019

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 shade occasionally. 

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 over Florida!!  

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!! 

09 Apr

2019 MOGSouth Holiday Party – 6 & 7 December 2019

Given the very positive response to the 2018 Holiday Party in St Simons Island (lots and lots of emails!) as well as the overwhelming membership desire to return to St Simons (We had a survey and 77% of the responses said to return to St Simons) – We got the message!! 

The 2019 Holiday Party will again be held at the King and Prince in St Simons Island, GA, Friday and Saturday 6/7 December.

Our hosts this year are Debbie and John StanleyThank you!   

The Hospitality Suite will again be at the Wesley Cottage.  Times that the hospitality suite will be operational will be published once we have a better handle on the overall sequence of events.

Holiday Banquet (Saturday Evening 7 Dec) – The banquet will be similar to last year’s buffet.  The price remains the same as last year, $41 per person.

Hotel Rooms – We have just been given the go ahead from the hotel.  They are ready to take your reservations.  You have to call the King and Prince hotel directly and make your own reservations.  The hotel is holding a block of rooms for us, at a discounted rate.  They have identified a group of rooms at a rate less than last year’s best rate.  That being said, they also have some premium rooms and villas in our group, with better views (ocean, etc.,) or accommodations, however these rooms come with higher rates. 

The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort reservation phone number is (800) 342-0212.  Be sure to tell the hotel you are with MOGSOUTH.  Discuss the various room options with the customer service representative and then decide what works for best for you!  Upon your arrival, be sure to ask for your MOGSouth Goody Bag upon checking in at the front desk.  

Trolley Tours – Only one trolley tour will be arranged this year, on Saturday morning (Arrive at Hotel Lobby at 0945 AM, Tour Departs at 1000 AM 7 Dec) and given this, there will be a limited number of seats available.  Please send Debbie Stanley an email (pockets5@live.com) if you want to be added to the Trolley Tour list.  Get your emails to Debbie quickly or risk not getting a seat.  The tour price is 20$ per person. 

Special Morgan Parking – We believe we have negotiated special parking for the Morgans adjacent to some new construction underway at the hotel.  It should be quite nice when completed and quite convenient for us all.  Now we aren’t holding our breath, as anything can happen with construction projects, so we need to be prepared for change.  St Simon’s weather is generally nice (last year’s rain wasn’t so special, but . . . ) during early December (50° – 65° F), so think about bringing your Morgan. 

New Stuff – This year we will change it up a bit (just to keep you on your toes!) 

Silent Auction – The ad hoc Silent Auction we had last year was a disaster but now we made it an official MOGSouth Holiday Party Event!   We will have a ‘real’ Silent Auction so identify what you want to donate to the Club and bring it to St Simons in December.  All proceeds go to MOGSouth.  Items should preferably be auto related (no toaster ovens or baseball gloves!) however we cannot really deal with greasy auto parts.  Auto parts can be donated however just take a few pictures of the parts and print them out.  We will simply use the pictures for the Auction, and not the actual parts.  Winners of the bidding for the Auction will be announced in/or around the banquet room immediately following the banquet.

Ugly Sweater Contest – Also, this year we will have a formally judged Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest.  These sweaters are to be worn to the banquet!  We want to be sure everyone knows who is playing so we will have special name tags or other identifying items to distribute so do let Debbie Stanley (pockets5@live.com) know if you are playing.  The winners of the contest will be announced in/or around the banquet room immediately following the banquet.  And, there will be ‘wonderful’ prizes awarded so do participate!! 

Other Activities – All the other normal stuff will continue, e.g. Mother Courage Awards, etc.

12 Mar

How do you say ‘MOGSouth Noggin’ in Italian??

Actually, it does translate! ‘boccaletta’ !

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 freely. 

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 and tent.

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 there!)

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 good.  

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!

Cheers, Mark  

03 Mar

2019 Cars & Coffee at Amelia Island (8 & 9 March) – Last Update – as of 3 March 2019

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!!

Cheers, Mark 

24 Feb

MOGSouth Membership Roster 2019 V3

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;

Morgan’sPlus8Speedster

It must be entered exactly as 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.

Cheers, Mark

21 Feb

2019 MOGSouth Spring Meet 17 – 19 May (Update – 21 Feb)

The MOGSouth Spring Meet will be in Augusta GA, May 17-19. The designated meet Hotel is the Partridge Inn, 2110 Walton Way, Augusta GA 30904.  (Tel. 706-737-8888)

FIRST THINGS FIRST, MAKE YOUR HOTEL RESERVATIONS NOW! 

The Original Block of Rooms are gone!! The hotel has added just a few more rooms, so make your Reservations NOW!!

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.

Don’t Forget to Send Dorothy an Email with the Following information.

Please send her an email to moore_dorothy@bellsouth.net or call 678-513-2931, (c) 404-678-4236.  DO THIS NOW !!!

NAME:______________________________________________________

__(Check Mark for Yes) Staying at The Partridge Inn, 2110 Walton Way, Augusta GA 30904 – 706-737-8888

__(Check Mark for Yes) No hotel needed, NOT staying at the Partridge INN, but attending the Fall Meet

__(Check Mark for Yes) Bringing a Morgan    ________

Trailering ________

(If Yes) Year ________Model__________Color____________

__ Number of People for Dinner Saturday evening at The Cucina 503

(Note: Things always seem to change, so stay flexible as we work through the details.) 

If there are questions, Please Ask.

Looking forward to seeing you all at The Partridge Inn!!

 Thanks….

19 Feb

2019 MOGSouth Noggin (8 Mar) and Cars & Coffee at Amelia Island (9 Mar) – 3rd Update – as of 19 Feb 2019

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!!

Cheers, Mark 

19 Feb

2019 MOGSouth Spring Meet (May 17-19)

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.  

Please send her an email to moore_dorothy@bellsouth.net or call 678-513-2931, (c) 404-678-4236.

NAME:______________________________________________________

__(Check Mark for Yes) Staying at The Partridge Inn, 2110 Walton Way, Augusta GA 30904 – 706-737-8888

__(Check Mark for Yes) No hotel needed, NOT staying at the Partridge INN, but attending the Fall Meet

__(Check Mark for Yes) Bringing a Morgan (Bringing a Morgan IS NOT required! Come and join us with or without the car!)

(If Yes) Year ________Model__________Color____________

__ Number of People for Dinner Saturday evening at The Cucina 503

(Note: Things always seem to change, so stay flexible as we work through the details.) 

If there are questions, Please Ask.

Looking forward to seeing you all at The Partridge Inn!!