03 Mar

NHTSA Approves Manufacture of Low-Volume Turn-Key Replica Cars (Road & Track)

[At this point, it is hard to say how this will effect the future importation of Morgan cars into the U.S. Morgan has been continually involved, as a potential Low-Volume Manufacturer, during this regulation’s evolution. They have commented on draft wording and supported the concepts inherent in the regulation. We shall have to see how this all works out, but, at this point in time, it can only be beneficial for us all. Mark]

After years of lobbying from SEMA, it’s now legal throughout the U.S. for manufacturers to build and sell brand-new replicas of cars over 25 years old.

Replica vehicles and kit cars have long been a way for enthusiasts to get a piece of some of the greatest examples of automotive unobtainium.  Thanks to the efforts of the Specialty Equipment Market Association and their partners lobbying Congress, the replica market is about to get a lot bigger.  Customers in the United States will now be able to legally purchase turn-key, factory-assembled replica vehicles, based on designs more than 25 years old, now that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has officially implemented the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act.

According to this new policy, low-volume vehicle manufacturers will be able to construct up to 325 replica vehicles a year—anything from old-school hot rods to mid-century muscle cars and more modern classics.  These vehicles will still be required to comply with some level of federal oversight, but not at the level of modern mass-produced vehicles.  This should allow small manufacturers that don’t have the resources of a legacy automaker to build limited-production replicas that comply with the new law.

That said, these replica vehicles will still be required to meet current model-year emissions regulations, and as such, all replica manufacturers must register with NHTSA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Air Resource Board in order to build and sell street-legal vehicles.  The process of verification with these entities may take several months, according to SEMA.  That means we still likely have a way to go before we start to see an influx of new pseudo-vintage machines powered by modern emissions-compliant engines. For those who don’t want to wait, we should note that this new policy has no impact on your ability to build a traditional kit car.

It doesn’t feel like automotive enthusiasts catch many breaks these days, especially as our zero-emissions future draws ever-nearer.  This is a win we can all get behind, and one that could help get some seriously cool cars on the road in the near future.  Let us know what vintage vehicles you’d like to see as turn-key replicas in the comment section below.

24 Feb

MOGSouth.com – We Have Had Over 1 Million Visits to Our Web Site!! Amazing!!

The MOGSouth web site (www.mogsouth.com) has reached a major milestone.  It has had its 1 million ‘Visit’ since inception.  (The MOGSouth web site has existed in its current form since 2016.)  

As you know, the MOGSouth web site is the primary communication tool for the MOGSouth Morgan Club. So, members in MOGSouth need to access the web site routinely to get MOGSouth scheduling information, news, activities details, etc.

That being said, the MOGSouth leadership is constantly trying to improve the communication with the membership.  The web site’s existence is a result of this effort. It was totally revamped in 2016, when the MOGSouth newsletter, the Southern Fours and Eights, was cancelled.  (This newsletter was last published in 2015. It was cancelled due to the lack of a Newsletter Editor (volunteer.))  The Newsletter Archives (on the web site) provide copies of these older Newsletters. 

18 Feb

Inside Morgan | Drone tour of the Morgan car factory production line (Video – MMC)

[Thanks to MOGSouth member Bennett Shuldman for alerting me to this video. Mark]

Per the MMC – ‘For the first time ever, a drone has taken flight around the historic home of Morgan at Pickersleigh Road. The 108-year-old factory – which welcomes around 30,000 visitors each year – is famed for being home to the production of the Morgan Plus Four and Plus Six, and will shortly be the site where the company’s all-new three-wheeled model will be produced. Viewers are transported in a one-take shot of the production line, moving through the Chassis, Assembly, Sheet Metal, Wood, Trim, Final Finish and Paint shops, before finishing in the Pre-Delivery Inspection department. Eagle-eyed viewers will spot a special project or two, watch the video to identify the special project cars for yourself.’

26 Jan

THE ALL-NEW THREE-WHEELED MORGAN

WILL BE UNVEILED ON 24 FEBRUARY 2022

Following the end of production for the Morgan 3 Wheeler, the Morgan Motor Company is delighted to confirm that an all-new three-wheeled model is undergoing testing ahead of its launch on the 24 February 22. 

Morgan have published images of a heavily disguised engineering prototype, a montage of early design sketches and one of the images from the pre-launch film and photo shoots.

Most details, including the name, will remain undisclosed until the global unveil on 24 February. But Morgan has confirmed the use of a Ford three-cylinder engine for the upcoming model, continuing the long-standing use of Ford powerplants in the company’s line-up.

The illustrations shared by Morgan show that the design of the new model is bold and eccentric, taking inspiration from mid-century jet planes, motorcycles, historic Morgan models and modern industrial product design — images of which adorn the walls of Morgan’s design and engineering offices.

Complementing this personality will be an extensive list of specification items and accessories available from the outset, making it Morgan’s most configurable vehicle ever. The model can be tailored to assume multiple identities, and cater for every adventure.

Intrigued? You can be one of the first to own the all-new model.  Our dealer network is taking deposits now for the first customer build slots.  Complete the form below to contact a dealer and find out more.

25 Jan

Progress Report: Morgan 4/4 vs Morgan Plus 4 (https://www.topgear.com/ 24 Jan 2022)

Five decades separate a pair of British sports cars with a very similar vibe..  Time to see what else splits them.

  • I’m not sure I can spot the difference.

Very funny. But I’ll concede that getting these two Morgans together is a very visual demonstration of both the company’s design language and its evolutionary philosophy. A number plate swap might just prove enough to divert your attention from the 56-year age gap between these cars. Yep, one of them really is as old as the England mens’ last major football success.

Photography: Jonny Fleetwood

With thanks to Chris Towner for the loan of his delightful Morgan 4/4

  • Surely there are other visual cues…

Back in the Sixties, exterior door handles were on the Morgan options list. And the 4/4 you see here is in ‘purists’ spec’ – aka it doesn’t have any. It’s best to keep the roof down at all times if you want to get into the car without looking like you’re breaking into it. Other differences involve a different layout of spotlights up front and a disparity in their number of hand-stamped bonnet vents; both cars sport eight each side, but the older car doesn’t require a stip of them on top.

  • Is that because it has less power?

Correct. In wonderfully period red ‘n’ black is a Sixties Morgan 4/4, with a 1.6-litre 4cyl Ford engine sending a supremely modest 75bhp and 98lb ft to the rear wheels via a four-speed gearbox. One which sees the shift lever emerge from under the dashboard; while its H-pattern is familiar, actually getting adept with it takes a minute. In blue is a brand-new Plus Four, a 2.0-litre 4cyl BMW turbo providing the rear axle – and much better tyres, I might add – with 255bhp and 258lb ft via a six-speed manual sporting an unglamorous knob but a slick, easy shift.

  • I’m guessing their performance differs.

With more than three times the power, the Plus Four is unquestionably a quicker car. But these things are all relative. The 4/4 carries barely more than half its newer relation’s weight, at 660kg, and with skinnier tyres and a surprisingly torquey old engine, it moves more than swiftly enough. On grimy roads you might find yourself managing the Four’s turbocharged delivery a bit, whereas the 4/4 gives you everything with zero drama, revving keenly around its quaint dial but delivering so much below 4,000rpm that you can exercise mechanical sympathy without stymying your pace.

  • And how about handling?

As well as smelling like it was made in the Sixties, the 4/4 brakes and steers like it, too. Halting for a roundabout needs forward thinking and the wheel is overly large. But it twirls around without much resistance and given how measured the game little Ford engine is in its delivery, you can drive this thing with vigour and trust implicitly in the chassis below taking the strain. Despite the Plus Four’s heap of extra performance – a 5.2-second 0-62mph time is probably about half its ancestor’s – the same is true in the ’22 car. ABS helps it stop keenly, too.

  • So come on – how different do they actually feel?

There’s less of a gap between them than I’d anticipated. I recently ran a Plus Four for 12 months and happily declared it a “a modern Morgan”, and yet with a bit of context the experience it delivers is astonishingly faithful to a car five decades its senior. Beyond the 4/4’s wing mirrors actually being on the wings, its glovebox locking like a Victorian dresser drawer and its lack of head rest or three-point seatbelt, the interior ambience and view up the road is all but the same as the Plus Four’s.

  • They’re even similar inside?

The newer car’s tech – Bluetooth audio, air con, heated seats, power steering, ABS – largely operates in the ether and doesn’t have overt visual cues. And with the side screens removed – the most authentic way to drive a Morgan – these two deliver an identical level of refinement and sense of safety on a 60mph country road. Which suggests Morgan makes the most tactful progress of any carmaker, keeping its models’ core attributes wholly intact while integrating the tech we all secretly want with real subtlety. What ho!