09 Mar

2020 MOGSouth Noggin and Cars and Coffee at Amelia Island – Report from the Field

The MOGSouth Noggin was held on Friday evening (6 March) at Salt Life in Fernandina Beach.  A good number of folks started the weekend early with a lunch gathering prior to the Friday evening Noggin at the Salt Life. 

Friday lunch prior to the Noggin – Photo courtesy Karen Benath

The Salt Life Restaurant gave us their roof bar again this year, complete with comfy chairs and a fire pit.  It was perfect for us, but . . .

We had some 20-30 Morgan folks (not all were MOGSouth members) join us for drinks and Morgan chit chat.  I only saw one Morgan there, a Roadster, a lovely car that had traveled up from Marathon Key in south Florida.   

We had plenty of space for our group and before the sun went down, you could see forever.  But when the sun did go down, we lost the sun’s warmth and it got cold and windy.  That was also about the time folks wanted dinner, so the crowd dispersed to the inside (warmer part) of the restaurant.  And, Andrea and I were among them.  Our Momma’s didn’t raise no fools! 

Dinner at Salt Life – Photo Courtesy Karen Bernath

We will have to find a different location for the Noggin next year.  This location is superb, with great parking and food, but unfortunately, it was a bit too windy for the crowd.  And, this cold and windy weather seems to be the norm for this time of year. 

The Saturday (7 March) Cars and Coffee at Amelia (Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance) was held on several holes of the golf course used for the formal Concours on Sunday.  Thus, we had to be on the field early, and then leave the field early enough for them to set up for Sunday.  The word for the day was obviously ‘early.’

Andrea on the show field – Photo courtesy of Karen Bernath

Well, we all met quite ‘early’ along A1A at the Surf Restaurant’s parking lot.  The parking lot is big enough and was empty as the restaurant hadn’t yet opened!  We wanted to be sure the Morgans were grouped together once they entered the show field.  We had been scattered in the past and that wasn’t good.  Going in together solves this problem.  Once we were all at the Surf Restaurant, we headed south towards the show field. 

The turnout was a bit light all around.  Perhaps the virus thing kept folks at home but we still managed a good selection of Morgans.  4/4s, Plus 4s, Plus 8s, Roadsters (both 3.0 and 3.7L) and a Plus 8 Speedster (supposedly only in the US for display?).  Christopher John LTD had a few new 3 Wheelers at his display.

Cars and Coffee Field – Photo courtesy of Rick Frazee

We needed have not worried about being scattered.  It appears that our participation these past few years has paid off and we (Morgans) are now on the planner’s field layout map.  ‘Morgans’ are now expected and they’ve designated a part of the show field for our cars!  And, it is a good location, right next to the new car displays.  The best new car display was obviously the Morgan display from Christopher John LTD, the Morgan dealer in Daytona Florida.  Being right next to Christopher John’s display was tremendous.  We sent lots of folks interested in buying Morgans over to see the new cars and other Morgan paraphernalia on offer.  Hopefully, he found a few new customers!!

Morgans on the Field – Photo courtesy of Rick Frazee

The show ended around 1 PM and we proceeded down the golf course paths to the designated exit.  Most of us went south about 10-15 miles to the Sand Dollar Restaurant for lunch.  This was a smart move as everyone else was going north into Fernandina Beach for lunch.  We had gone north in prior years and the traffic going into Fernandina Beach is impossible, stop and go for the better part of an hour, and once you get there, the parking around the restaurants is nonexistent.  The Sand Dollar Restaurant was also able to accomplish our large group (15+) with a minimal wait. 

A great lunch, with a wonderful view of the boat traffic coming and going along the St. Johns river.  Then we were off.  Some went south while others went north.  We were staying in Jacksonville for the evening and soon found our hotel.  A nap before dinner? Yes, please!!  A busy morning followed by a nice lunch!  A nap was just the thing. 

It was hard getting up from that nap!  It could have lasted for the entire evening!  However, time to eat again!  Dinner with the Frazees and the Bernaths was on the docket at a local sports bar.  Nothing too fancy and we were soon back at the hotel.  I was bushed and went straight to sleep. 

We met the Frazees for breakfast at the hotel. Oh boy, cardboard waffles, rubber eggs and other delicacies were on offer.  I had some coffee and Raison Bran.  Finally, it was time to go.

Andrea and I traveled back to Orlando with Rick and Sam Frazee.  We started off going south on I-95 but soon exited for the back roads.  We couldn’t resist.  Morgans, with tops down and sun shining, traveling on rural roads with minimal traffic.  Hard to do better!!  

Another great Morgan weekend!!  If you weren’t there you missed a great one.  Well, perhaps we’ll see you next year??   Cheers, Mark

04 Mar

Final Reminder – 2020 Cars and Coffee at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance (Mar 6 & 7)

This year will be similar to the previous few years. We have our MOGSouth Noggin on Friday (6 March) evening and we will participate in the Saturday (7 March) Cars and Coffee.

As is the norm you should have to registered for the 2020 Cars & Coffee at Amelia Island (if you plan is to bring your Morgan) and you have to be accepted.  (They sent a letter with a sticker.) You need not register if you don’t want to bring your car and simply want to spectate.

The MOGSouth Spring Noggin will again be on Friday (6 March), starting at 5PM until going until whenever, at the Salt Life Food Shack, 39 N Fletcher Ave Fernandina Beach, FL 32034. Note: They plan to have us at the roof b bar, same as last year. Which worked quite well, however, it was a bit cool last year so bring a jacket. If you have friend(s) that are’t in the club, bring them along to the Noggin, we don’t care!

Then Saturday morning (7 March), those of us with Morgans, will all gather at 0730 at the Surf Restaurant’s front parking lot, along A1A (3199 S. Fletcher Avenue, Amelia Island, FL.) 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 a few minutes so don’t be late!

If you are coming you should have already booked your hotel. A few folks are staying in Fernandina Beach, but I suspect you can’t get a room this late. Your best bet is to stay in Jacksonville and travel to Amelia Island early Saturday morning. There is a Hampton Inn, Jacksonville East, Regency Square that is just south of the Jacksonville -395 bridge over the St Johns River and just a short (45 – 50 min) drive along FL-105 to Amelia Island.

Plan on a great Morgan weekend and we hope to see you there!!

Cheers, Mark

04 Jan

More Hotels in Luray, VA for MCCDC’s 50th MOG Anniversary, 3-5 July 2020

The MCCDC’s 50th MOG (Morgan Owners Gathering) Anniversary is the headquartered at the Mimslyn Inn (401 W Main Str., Luray, VA 22835) over the 4th of July, 2020. The Morgan events will span Friday 3 July to Sunday 5 July.

The Mimslyn Inn is supposedly full and now working on a waiting list. Judy Heck got this list of other hotels in the Luray, VA area and suggested I pass it on to those of you also be looking for accommodations in Luray.

  • Laurance Hotel, (540) 742-7060, 4.5 stars
  • Mayneview B&B, (540) 669-5105, 4.8 stars
  • Luray Caverns Motel – East, (540) 743-6551, 4 stars
  • Quality Inn, (540) 743-6511, 3.4 stars
  • The Cardinal Inn, (540) 743-5010, 3.4 stars
  • The Inn of the Shenandoah, (540) 300-9777, 4.79 stars
  • Peabody’s ‘Hip Little Stay,’ (540) 742-0696, 4.9 stars
  • Hawksbill House, (540) 742-1553, 4.1 stars
  • Days Inn, (540) 742-4521, 3.2 stars
  • Budget Inn, (540) 742-5176, 3.1 stars
  • Luray B&B, (540) 743-4947, 4.0 stars
  • Woodruff House B&B, (540) 244-7588, 4.9 stars
  • South Court Inn B&B, (540) 843-0980, 4.7 stars
  • Ruffner House B&B, (540) 743-7855, 5.0 stars
  • Hillside B&B, (540) 743- 6322, 4.4 stars

Some of these might already be full, I don’t know and I have no specific knowledge of any of these other hotels, so I cannot make any suggestions. None of these is endorsed in anyway by MCCDC or MOGSouth so use you best judgement and check on line reviews best you can. Cheers, Mark

02 Jan

2020 MOGSouth Spring Meet, Little Switzerland, NC., 8 – 10 May

Lodging – The Meet Hotel is the Little Switzerland Inn. 86 High Ridge Rd, Little Switzerland, NC 28749.  FYI, Exit 334 off Blue Ridge Parkway

  • Our hosts (Jim and Colette Clark) have negotiated an amazing discount for each room ($20 per night off their normal starting prices of $169 per night), so be sure to make your reservations online at switzerlandinn.com using the group number 998642439836795 for the discount.  If you don’t use the group number, you won’t get the discount. 
  • It’s easy to book your room.  Simply go to the Inn’s web site and click Book Now (yellow button in the upper right of the screen)
  • Input 8 May as check in and 10 May as check out (unless you are arriving early or staying later!)
  • Select Advanced Search, select I have a Group Number, enter the Group Number.  Then hit GO. 
  • You’ll then be shown available room types and prices.  Select more info and you’ll be given the opportunity to select that room type that you want.

Note:  There is a ‘bug’ in the Switzerland Inn’s web site.  The room choices, after acceptance of the group number, all show an occupant limit of 1; this is a program glitch – ignore it.

Hospitality Room – The Hospitality Room will be in Balsam Cottage.  (Map of the grounds on the Inn’s website, if needed.)  The hospitality room will be open:

  • Friday: 4 – 6 and 7 – 10 PM
  • Saturday: 4 – 6 and 7 – 10 PM
  • Sunday: 8 – 9 AM

Activities – Friday Night Dinner is on your own.  FYI, If you choose to eat at the Switzerland Inn’s restaurant anytime during your stay (other than Saturday Night) you must make your reservations at the Main Desk in the Lobby.

Saturday:

  • 9 AM drive south on the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) 25 miles to the summit of Mt. Mitchell, 
  • 12 PM lunch at the Little Switzerland Inn
  • 1:30 PM drive north on the Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) 20 miles to Linville Gorge
  • 6 PM dinner at the Inn in the”Chalet Restaurant” (FYI, Reservations for the entire MOGSouth Group have already been made. We’ll order off the menu and pay individually/charge to room.)
  • After dinner gathering either on the “Terrace” or alternately in the “Lobby”, depending on the weather.

Sunday:

  • 9 AM drive of the infamous DIAMONDBACK, which starts and ends at the Inn.  This drive takes 30 minutes.
02 Dec

A CHRISTMAS TALE by John Chatwin (MTWC)

Reprinted with the kind permission of the author and the Morgan Three Wheeler Club.  Previously published in the MOGSouth Newsletter (Vol 12, 2015)

The Club Christmas party was always enjoyable and this year Gary had an extra reason to be there. He stood in the garage proudly surveying his toys. On the right was his 1931 Aero Super Sports looking rather dusty and neglected, whilst today the recipient of his attention was the gleaming new 5 speeder.

Although he had tried to convince himself that he’d bought it to run alongside his old Aero, he had not looked at anything else for the last few weeks. He was hoping that the evening would be fine so that he could tum up in his new pride & joy.

The weather forecast was looking good so he did not even have to think about it when Barbara asked if he would mind if she didn’t accompany him. as she would really like to go with her sisters to the German market in the city. This of course would mean that she would need the BMW. Gary agreed as it gave him the excuse to arrive in style rather than a boring saloon car.

Gary made sure his new sheepskin jacket and leather helmet were squeaky clean as the day approached. The winter’s morn dawned with a hint of a watery sun coming up over the horizon. This was enough for him and as soon as he had breakfasted he opened the garage doors, carefully he removed the dust sheet unceremoniously dumping it in the Aero, pressing the aircraft type starter switch he eased the new car out onto the road.

Within minutes he was rushing along the road trying hard not to laugh out loud as his pleasure knew no bounds. After ten miles of ‘testing’ he turned for home and as soon as he had reversed into the garage set about wiping the bodywork down and applying a lick of polish Barbara brought him a cup of coffee and smiling, said ‘you’ll wear it out’. Taking the coffee he replied, ‘you have to admit, it’s a bit gorgeous’.

As evening approached, they got themselves ready for their respective evening trips. Barbara was first to leave, and Gary had already called his mate, Trevor, asking him to secure a parking space close to the front door of the pub so that he could show off his new pride and joy. He opened up the garage and jumped into the new trike. Switching on and uncovering the fancy starter switch he pressed the button. The engine spun over and that was it. It didn’t fire up. Trying again he got the same negative result. He checked the fuel which of course was how he had left it, almost full, checked plug leads and the multi-plug connections that seemed to surround the engine, everything seemed fine.

He assumed he had flooded it, so fetching his plug spanner from under the seat of the old Aero he was upset to find that it did not fit. By now he was getting rattled but eventually he found a long socket that just fit enough to remove the plugs. Both looked dry as well as being the right colour. Putting them back resulted in the spanner slipping and skinning his knuckles. This left a blood stain on his clean shirt.

The engine still refused to start and was turning over ever more slowly. As he jumped out he slipped and hit the floor with his knee, leaving a dirty mark on his trouser leg. At the next try the battery gave out and there he sat with no way of starting the device even if he had known what was wrong. Looking at his watch, which, to his chagrin now boasted a cracked glass, he saw that he was now late. I’ll just have to go in the BMW he murmured to himself until he remembered where Barbara had gone.

He sat for several minutes with his head in his hands quietly swearing until he spied the old Super Aero sitting there. For a second he sword that he saw the one headlight wink. He realized that it must have been a reflection of some sort and dismissed (he thought, well, he mused, better than nothing.) As he had not even started the engine for a long time he was full of trepidation as he turned on the petrol, tickled the carb. Putting the handle in the side he turned it a few turns before dropping the valve lifter. The big JAP instantly crackled into life and settled down to a steady tick-over.

As he turned into the car-park, Trev and the others were standing by the vacant space waiting for him. Gary swung the old Aero up the slope and with practiced skill rolled back into the space. Trevor walked up to him and said. What . . . ?’ ’Don’t ask replied Gary, just get me a bloody drink’. As they walked away Trev remarked,

‘Hey one of your headlights just winked!’

28 Nov

2020 MCCDC’s MOG50 – 50th Anniversary Meet (4 July, Luray VA) – Registration Forms

The Registration Forms for MCCDC’s MOG 50 are here!! Hot off the press!!

As you know the Morgan Car Club of DC has played a role in creation of many of the regional clubs, to include MOGSouth. 

The MCCDC MOGs were, at times, the only Morgan events going.  Folks came from all over the US, and even from Canada, to play in Luray, Virginia and help the MCCDC Club with the meet’s many events. For MOG 50, MOGSouth will take on the task of planning and running the Gymkhana event.

MOG 50 will be in Luray Virginia, at the Mimslyn Inn (401 W Main Str., Luray, VA 22835) over the 4th of July, 2020. Since this is a historical event, this all makes sense. The Morgan events will span Friday 3 July to Sunday 5 July.

I plan to attend and if you also decide to attend, please send me an email (series1@cfl.rr.com) so I will have an idea of the MOGSouth presence at MOG 50.

Please note, there is fee to attend and form to fill out to register. There is also a Liability Waiver. These forms need to be completed and sent to the address on the forms. Links to these forms are provided below (scroll down).

So, ACTIONS REQUIRED are as follows.

  1. Please let me know via email (series1@ cfl.rr.com) if you plan to attend.
  2. Book your rooms at the Mimlyn Inn. (Arrival in Luray should happen on Thursday 2 July, with folks departing on Monday 6 July.  (Book hotel rooms at the Mimslyn (866-375-3925 or 540-743-5105) if these numbers don’t work, let me know!) for Thurs night, Fri night, Sat night, and Sun night.  There is a discount code – GR48 – that you will need to provide when you register for the hotel.) 
  3. Fill out the MCCDC Registration Form and Mail it in, with your check for selected options.
  4. Fill out the MCCDC MOG 50 Waiver Form, Sign it and Mail it in.  

MOG 50 Registration Form

MOG 50 Waiver – ALL MUST SIGN AND MAIL

If anything changes, I will let you know. 

Cheers, Mark

18 Nov

MOGSouth’s GatorMOG Chapter’s Fall Noggin – Daytona Florida 15/16 November 2019 – Report from the Field

MOGSouth’s GatorMOG chapter help their Fall Noggin in Daytona Florida this year.  We all (well, mostly all) stayed at the Plaza Hotel and Spa right on the Atlantic Ocean.  They gave us a good rate and had a parking garage for the cars.  The weather was atypical Florida, cold and overcast.  So we put the tops down and bundled up.  Sorry Andrea, we have no heater is this car . . . (Come to think of it, we have no heaters in any of the Morgans.)  Lap blankets, yeah that’s it!

We were in Daytona to celebrate the Solo finish of George Waltman in the 1968 Daytona 24 Hour race in a 1964 Morgan Plus 4. The Plus 4 came out a Police impound lot in NY, and was then driven south and raced by George.  He had no pit crew or co drivers.   Wow! 

To add to our fun, we had commemorative T Shirts (to keep us warm(?) and Racing Roundels, with George’s number 35, for all the cars.  We also had a few ‘on track’ pictures of George passing (?) a GT40 and another passing a Corvette (?) taped to the Morgan Car Corral fencing.  The wind was a bit much for our easels.  We had a few ‘postrace’ pictures as well, one even with Bill France, Sr.  Cool stuff! 

We had a Morgan Car Corral with 15 Morgans to include a 2019 3.7L Roadster belonging to MOGSouth member John Pokorny.  As is the norm when Morgans gather we attract the crowds and all day Saturday I didn’t leave the Car Corral.  Too many folks to talk to and too many questions to answer.  Also at the track Christopher Sylvestri (Daytona Morgan Dealer, Christopher Johns’ LTD.) had a new car display right in the heart of the Fan Zone and he too was pretty busy. He had a large crowd of potential customers (future MOGSouth members?) milling about his display all day.  We sent a good number of interested folks his way.  

Christopher Sylvestri in Plus 4 Club Sport

Tara Waltman, George’s lovely daughter joined us for our celebration and lapped the track in a Morgan, just like her father had some 51 years ago (albeit a bit slower!).  We lined up a few minutes before we were supposed to go out, but the race beforehand had an ‘off’ or other incident and the pace car came out and slowed the race for three or four laps.  This ate into the time available for parade laps and we only go a single lap.  It was great however and Tara Waltman took a video of entire lap.  You can view the video at Lap of Daytona Video or go the the Video Category of www.mogsouth.com. 

Tara Waltman and Debbie Stanley Waiting to Lap Daytona

After the lap of the track we reconvened back at the Car Corral and stayed a few more hours.  Then it was off to the hotel to freshen up (and thaw out?) for the evening.

The Wait – Pace Car on Track

After the sun went down, Christopher Sylvestri welcomed the entire Morgan gang to an open house of his Morgan dealership in Daytona, Christopher Johns’ LTD. Some beautiful cars were for sale to include a rare 4 Seat Drop Head Coupe.  Oh, I did want to bring that home but I have no space and there was that look from Andrea . . .

There were many other odds and ends, clothes and hats, etc., and I dare say some Holiday stockings will be full of Morgan bits and the like from Christopher’s dealership.   We had great things to eat and drink and only the call of an oceanside dinner, in a private room, drew us away. 

Dinner was delightful and we complimented the restaurant on their quick service and ability to manage our large and somewhat challenging gaggle.  We have done this enough to know that patience and tolerance are the norm.  But, not this time.  We were pleasantly surprised, they were great.   

Unexpectedly our waitress appeared with a fancy dessert, candles lit and lots of spoons.  We celebrated John Stanley’s birthday with cake and ice cream (Congrats John!!) and then back to the hotel for the night.  Sunday was again cool and cloudy but a good number of us went back to the track. I personally wanted to see some the action as I hadn’t left the corral on Saturday.  John and Debbie Stanley stopped on the way at Krispy Kreme for donuts and coffee and soon arrived at the corral with offerings for us all.  Wonderful!!

We were just a few yards away from a small grandstand and I went there with a few others to watch the racing.  It was a great spot with the racing cars slowing right in front of us for a hairpin turn, the accelerating off after hard breaking.  Breathtaking sounds and sights.  And, just off in the distance the cars are racing up on the high banking.  Amazing stuff! 

Eventually, we packed up or chairs and the like and left.  It was mid-day on Sunday.  We all had a decent drive home and wanted to get on with it.  Ian and Barbara Shelmerdine followed us home, as we traveled the back roads, through rural Florida and fields of cows, etc.  

Another great Morgan outing!  Each one seems to be better than the last.  Perhaps is the group of folks that come out to play?   We do have a good time and folks make a concerted effort to join us.   This time we had folks come down from Virginia, and even within Florida some folks travelled a good long way, more than 250 miles away! 

Well, until next time.  Have fun stay safe!

Cheers,
Mark