01 Sep

New Orleans Permanent Canal Closures and Pumps (PCCP) Project & Patterson Pump facility in Toccoa GA

This message may be of interest to the club members that followed the story in the newsletter (Volume 6/14) highlighting the MOGSouth visit in June 2014 to the Patterson Pump facility in Toccoa GA where our huge New Orleans flood control pumps were manufactured.

This photo, from the MOGSouth newsletter, shows our tour group standing in half of the suction tube of one of the pumps.

I just received notification that the New Orleans Permanent Canal Closures and Pumps (PCCP) Project involving our monster pumps will be featured on the History Channel September 1st at noon (ET).

Briefly, the PCCP project is the last and largest of the post-Katrina flood protection improvement projects.

The 10 largest of the 17 pumps are the largest pumps in the U.S. hurricane protection system, capable of pushing 800,000 to 1.2 million gallons per minute EACH over the flood protection walls and into Lake Pontchartrain.

These pumps and the 7 “small” pumps that are capable of half these flow rates produce a combined flow rate equivalent to that of the Ohio River.

The pumps are 5 to 7 stories high.

It took 150 special flatbed tractor trailers to transport the 17 pumps to New Orleans. They were shipped in components (photo attached) and assembled on site while the pump stations were built around them.


Jack Claxton


18 Aug

Driving Innovation with Classically Inspired British Cars – Aug 2018 (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/)

As one of the world’s oldest makers of sports cars, Morgan Motor Company has found unique ways to stay ahead

It’s easy to spot a Morgan car in a line-up. The iconic vintage silhouette has nostalgic appeal, even if you aren’t especially motor-mad.

In a booming, increasingly tech-driven industry, these cars still speak to their roots. Established in 1910, the Morgan Motor Company is the oldest family-owned sports car manufacturer in the world.

But this legacy comes with a massive sense of responsibility. “There’s a real sense of stewardship running Morgan,” says chief executive Steve Morris, who took the helm in 2013.

Keeping our iconic shape allows people to relate to our cars, and strengthen our wider brand

“Having more than 100 years of experience in the automotive industry is a very powerful thing. Because of our history and where we’ve come from, we have a real sense of authenticity – and we really feel a responsibility to do our best for our audience.”

Though classic in style and handmade in the original factory in Malvern, these cars are all underpinned by modern automotive technology. This blend of old and new offers drivers an experience unlike any other. “Keeping our iconic shape allows people to relate to our cars and strengthen our wider brand,” says Mr Morris. “That’s very important.”

Road to success

Mr Morris joined the company aged 16 as a sheet metal apprentice, working his way up from the shop floor through to management. “There are many different routes into management, but I think I was very fortunate,” he says. “Being able to grow with Morgan, and having that grounding in the business itself, has helped me understand how the business ticks.”

I think in the next five years we’re going to see more change in the automotive industry than we’ve had in the past 100

Throughout his 35 years at the company, one thing that’s really stood out for Mr Morris is the loyalty of the customer base. “We’ve seen a lot of change but one of the fantastic things about working for Morgan has always been the friendliness of our wider audience,” he says.

“When you have that connection with them, they become your evangelists and your brand ambassadors.”

The business has tapped into this growing fan base. It now runs regular tours of the factory, which have been hugely successful. “We have 35,000 people paying to visit the factory each year. That in itself demonstrates a high level of enthusiasm for the brand – and that doesn’t happen overnight. That is part of our heritage.”

Wheels of change

But despite the dedicated customer base, being a niche manufacturer comes with a few challenges. “We’re still playing in an incredibly aggressive marketplace, with ever-changing technology,” says Mr Morris.

“I think in the next five years, we’re going to see more change in the automotive industry than we’ve had in the past 100, what with the onslaught of electrification, hybridisation and the pace of technology in general.

“At Morgan, we’re constantly trying to create and reinvent; I think we achieve that too. It’s interesting to talk to people who visit the factory regularly – even after a year’s interval, they’ll tell us how surprised they are at how things have changed.”

The Morgan Motor Company has seen more than a century of relentless change, though – and perhaps remaining true to its roots will ensure its survival. “I feel in some cases, we could be an ‘antidote’ to some of the things that are forced on the industry,” Mr Morris says.

“I’d like to think we’ll go from strength to strength, and we’ll continue to make cars that delight our customers.”


16 Aug

New (?) MOGSouth Supporter – Melvyn Rutter !!

Melvyn Rutter is back!!

Melvyn Rutter (and his business) have always been big supporters of MOGSouth.  Unfortunately, when our Newsletter died so did their advertisement.

Now Melvyn is back with a new advertisement on our website!

Melvyn’s advertisement provides a direct link to their main business website as well as a link to their extensive Morgan parts and maintenance services web site, https://mogparts.net.  His new parts website offers online shopping, parts and accessories for the all Morgans, to include the newer cars and the M3Ws.

While we have a great set of US based club supporters providing much of what we need to keep our Morgans on the road, there are times when Melvyn and his UK based business are desperately needed.  I have to admit I am a big fan.

Please go to http://www.mogsouth.com/supporters/ to see Melvyn’s new advertisement and follow the links to his websites.


07 Aug

The Story of ‘Dolly’ – the first prototype for Morgan’s Plus 8 (Hemmings on line – 7 Aug 2018)

Photography by Troy Ziel, John H. Sheally, Bob Dunmore, and Patrick Brinton; courtesy of Tcherek Kamstra and Morgan Cars USA.

Hemmings Editor’s note: We’re pleased to be able to share the story of “Dolly,” the first prototype for Morgan’s Plus 8, a model devised a half-century ago that debuted at the 1968 Earls Court Motor Show, and would first come to the U.S. around 1971. From 1974 through 1992, it would be available here in limited numbers thanks to a propane fuel conversion that was devised by Bill Fink, principal of San Francisco, California’s Isis Motors Ltd., now called Morgan Cars USA. The Plus 8 was built in two series — the original Rover V-8-powered version of 1968-2004, and the BMW V-8-powered version of 2012-2018.

This piece was written by Tcherek Kamstra, sales and marketing director of Morgan Cars USA, and Bill’s stepdaughter.

‘Sixty-eight was an auspicious year for Morgan, and the man who would become the longest-standing Morgan dealer in the United States. American Morgan dealer Bill Fink became enamored with Morgans during his years spent rowing at Oxford. He bought his first car in London in 1962, and soon after taking possession, he drove it to the factory for the first of innumerable visits.

From this beginning, Bill’s enthusiasm grew so much that, by 1968, he was regularly selling Morgan parts to grateful owners all across the United States. He named his business Isis Imports, after the river he often rowed on while at Keble College.
When American laws made it seemingly impossible to meet the stringent requirements for importation, he figured out how to legally bring Morgans into compliance by converting them to run on propane. This process took years to develop and implement single-handedly, however Bill is a determined sort and has always had a talent for finding solutions when faced with a problem.

Having spent quite a bit of time figuring out how to make the propane idea work, Bill obtained parts in the USA and brought them over to England. He then converted a standard car in a borrowed workshop and drove the car straight to Malvern, in hopes that Peter Morgan would be interested. Not long before reaching the factory, a red Morgan started coming up behind him. Suddenly, the car pulled out and passed him. Sensing a bit of a challenge was being instigated, Bill sped up and passed the red car. Not to be outdone, this Morgan was soon in front of him again. The two cars continued this for about three miles, and when Bill pulled into the Morgan car park, the other Morgan zipped around the building, out of view.

Maurice Owen inspects a mock-up of the V-8 in an altered Morgan Plus 4 chassis.

Peter Morgan came out to look over Bill’s propane conversion. After some discussion, he said he would like his chief engineer to have a look at the car. Bill agreed, and was soon face-to-face with the driver of the red Morgan with which he’d just been having a bit of one-upmanship. That is how Bill met Maurice Owen, the man who would end up being one of his closest friends. The car Maurice had been driving that day was a Plus 4 he had modified using a V-8 engine. Its license plate read OUY 200E; this was the first prototype for Morgan’s newest model, the Plus 8, which would be introduced in 1968.

Development engineer Maurice Owen (in white) and Dolly.

With Bill’s solution for bringing new Morgans back to American approved by Peter Morgan, the two men shook hands, and Bill was now the official dealer for the United States. Visits to the factory were increasingly frequent, and the red prototype Plus 8 caught Bill’s eye, as it sat unused in a shed. Over the years, he asked Peter about the possibility of buying OUY and bringing her to the States. After a period during which a previously interested buyer didn’t finalize that car’s purchase, Peter told Bill it was to be his. A member of the staff scoffed a bit at the American who was silly enough to want the car, but want it he did, and in 1977, the purchase was made.

Bill at the wheel of Dolly.

So why did Morgan go down the V-8 path 50 years ago? The answer is quite simple. By the mid 1960s, Morgan’s relationship with Triumph was coming to an end because the new straight-six engine would not fit into the Plus 4. An alternative would have been a V-6 from the other long-term engine supplier to the company –Ford– but their engine was too tall to fit under the bonnet. Then came a phone call from Peter Wilks, a director of Rover, asking for a meeting in Malvern.

During the meeting, Peter Morgan was asked if there was any possibility that Rover might acquire Morgan in a friendly take-over. Peter was polite with his response, saying he was flattered, but they’d like to soldier on for a while as they were, thank you. Then, turning the tables on the man from Rover, he asked if there was any possibility that Morgan could acquire some of the V-8 engines that Rover had just started to build under license from Buick. They were light and compact and would just about fit into a Morgan. Wilkes responded that he thought this might be possible. Was this a bargaining ploy to sweeten the bitter pill of selling the company? We will never know, as a few months after the meeting, Rover was itself taken over by Leyland, the owners of Triumph. After some torturous negation, the agreement to provide the Rover 3.5-liter V-8 was confirmed, and production started in 1968.

The SU dashpot-clearing bonnet bulges that called to mind a famously endowed country singer, inspiring Dolly’s name.

Of course, obtaining the engine was just the start. It was just about the right size, but a special engineer was needed to squeeze it into the little Plus 4. Maurice Owen, an experienced racing engineer, was that man. He’d previously approached Peter Morgan, inquiring if he had any special projects in mind, so when the V-8 project arrived, he was appointed. He worked, mainly on his own, in the development shed at the back of the factory. He was a practical man, so work was often carried out first, and drawings done afterwards. He was left very much alone squeezing that engine into OUY, principally by stretching her chassis by two inches. Indeed, the first time he drove her out of the factory gates, it was just after midnight on a cold February [1967] night; no one was watching.

Initially the car had a big Holley carburetor. After a drive at a Prescott test day, American driver Mike Virr, impressed by how quick she was by the standards of the day, said to Maurice, “You can’t sell this to little old ladies.” “Oh, that’s alright,” said Maurice, rubbing his hands. “We’ll just de-tune it a bit.” The car sprouted two SUs, with their distinctive covers, and became “Dolly.” All later cars, including the second prototype MMC11, did not have these appendages, as the engine was eventually mounted a bit lower.

Maurice and Dolly, here in racing trim with Bill’s preferred #61 livery. Dolly would be the only Plus 8 to run wire wheels.

Tcherek and Bill have told us that Dolly should be arriving in England now, traveling home by boat, for the first time in four decades to help celebrate the Plus 8’s anniversary. This car, driven by Bill, will participate in Morgan Motors’ annual “Thrill on The Hill” event, which begins with a car show jubilee at the factory in Malvern Link on Saturday, August 11, and culminates in the Prescott Hill Climb in Gloucestershire on Sunday, August 12. Also joining Dolly will be “MMC 11,” Morgan’s own 1968 Plus 8 that inspired the special 50th Anniversary Edition model; “AB 16,” Peter Morgan’s own Plus 8; “J 9546,” the final Plus 8; and “Plus 8 50th,” the first of those 50 cars built.

Steve Morris, managing director of the Morgan Motor Company, commented: “We’re excited to announce the return of Thrill On The Hill for 2018. Our annual Summer events have continued to prove popular among owners and enthusiasts alike, and we expect this year to be better than ever as we welcome visitors from around the world to celebrate 50 years of the Morgan Plus 8.

“I’m particularly excited that we are able to bring OUY 200E, the very first Plus 8, back to the UK from the USA specifically for the event. We look forward to seeing everyone on the 11th and 12th of August.”

It’s a weekend that no true Plus 8 fan will want to miss.

19 Jul

Thrill on the Hill to Honour 50 years of the Plus 8 (www.automotiveworld.com July 18, 2018)

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic Morgan Plus 8, Morgan Motor Company will play host to the UK’s largest gathering of Morgan cars at their annual Thrill on the Hill event, on 11th and 12th August.

[This looks to be good fun!  If you haven’t as yet been to one of the big MMC events in the UK, you should plan on it.  They are quite elaborate and well worth the effort.   Mark] 

Morgan owners and fans will come together across two days to enjoy an array of entertainment including a spectacular aerial display.  Marking 50 years of the Morgan Plus 8, there will be an impressive heritage lineup of this legendary model. Morgan have enlisted the help of their owners to put together a handpicked lineup of 50 Plus 8’s representing all eras of production.  Included within the lineup is;

  • ‘MMC 11’ The factory owned 1968 car that inspired the current 50th anniversary edition
  • ‘OUY 200E’ The first 1968 prototype Plus 8 that currently resides in San Francisco with Morgan Dealer, Bill Fink. This car is being brought over from the USA especially for the event.
  • ‘AB 16’ The original Plus 8 formerly owned by Peter Morgan
  • ‘J 9546’ The last ever original Plus 8 to be built, owned by Keith Ahlers
  • ‘Plus 8 50thThe first of the new Plus 8 50th special editions to be built, currently a factory owned vehicle

Festivities kick off on Saturday at the Malvern factory with live music from the UK’s most authentic soul band, Soul Traffic, who will be playing the biggest and best soul numbers from the 60s. The Rockabellas will also be serving up a mix of swinging big band hits from the bygone years and bespoke arrangements of modern pop songs.

The entertainment extends beyond Morgan motoring with pampering beauty treatments, classic barber service offering men’s grooming and traditional fairground rides for all. There will be delicious artisan food, the opportunity to earn some specialised crafts and even the opportunity to witness craftsmanship firsthand with a guided tour through the Morgan factory. A huge firework display will conclude the first day with a bang.

In amongst all of the other thrills that Morgan Motor Company have in store across the two days, fans will be delighted to be the at the forefront for official unveiling of not one but two new items of merchandise soon to be available.  [Now who will be the first in line?? Mark]

On Sunday, the action continues over at Prescott Hill Climb where visitors will be treated to a day of motorsport as 100s of Morgans take to the famous hill. Visitors will have the option to power around the course in their own Morgan or jump in the passenger seat of a factory car via pre-bookable timed runs. The lunchtime parade is an event highlight not to be missed as an entire squadron of Morgan machines take to the track for a full display before Richard Goodwin performs airplane stunts in his Pitts S2S muscle bi-plane.

After the excitement and success of last year’s inaugural Pickersleigh 3 run, Morgan are proud to be running it again. On Sunday 12th August the drive out of 3 Wheelers new and old will set off from the factory in Malvern, making the journey to awaiting crowds at Prescott Hill Climb. The Pickersleigh 3 is open to anyone with a Morgan 3 Wheeler and a valid Sunday ticket for Thrill on the Hill.

Steve Morris Managing Director of Morgan Motor Company, said: “We’re excited to announce the return of Thrill on the Hill for 2018. Our annual Summer events have continued to prove popular among owners and enthusiasts alike, and we expect this year to be better than ever as we welcome visitors from around the world to celebrate 50 years of the Morgan Plus 8.  I’m particularly excited that we are able to bring OUY 200E, the very first Plus 8, back to the UK from the USA specifically for the event.

18 Jul

TWI combines heritage with innovation for the Morgan Motor Company (www.cambridgenetwork.co.uk) July 17, 2018

[This is mostly a technical discussion about advanced manufacturing processes necessitated by the challenges faces with joining dissimilar metals, like those used by the MMC.  

For those of you that want the ‘CliffsNotes’ version the good news is that the Morgan Motor Company is now working with others, paid for by UK grants, on ways to improve joining dissimilar alloys, resulting in weight saving, strength gains and ultimately lower costs.   All good stuff!   

In my opinion, the MMC needs to keep up with evolving technologies, within reason, rather than become complacent in ‘old school’ ways.   Cheers, Mark]

Established in 1909, The Morgan Motor Company produces the longest-running production car in the world, the Morgan 4/4, which has been in production since 1936.

Famous for their heritage, the British manufacturer is rightly proud of their history of hand-built sports cars, but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t kept up with the times. Morgan collaborated with TWI in an Innovate UK project to further optimise the structural design of their vehicles, while reducing manufacturing costs.

Car manufacturers are being challenged by progressively stricter emission regulations and an overall demand for higher fuel efficiency. One of the most immediate ways to achieve this is to decrease the weight of the vehicles by using lighter materials and optimising the structure of the car body. A smarter use of materials often means lowering raw material and assembly costs, especially when several parts can be consolidated to form an integral piece. Lightening a car may also improve handling, which is paramount to a sports car manufacturer such as Morgan.

Car bodies are made predominantly of stamped sheet metal. One of the solutions for maximising the structural performance of stamped parts is a tailor welded blank fabrication. Dissimilar materials can be joined in the same blank prior to stamping, tailoring local properties like strength, ductility or corrosion resistance. Sheet thickness can also be tailored according to the expected load path, saving unnecessary material.

Although steel laser welded blanks have been an established solution since the 90s, there has been a progressive integration of aluminium alloys in car bodies. However, aluminium tailor welded blanks are not as widely available in the market. Suppliers typically offer laser welded products in 5xxx or 6xxx series aluminium alloys. Using a fusion welding process to join aluminium blanks has inherent drawbacks like porosity formation (which can be minimised, but not completely avoided) and solidification cracking, especially when joining 6xxx. Solidification cracking in 6xxx series can be mitigated by using a filler material (typically from the 4xxx or 5xxx series), but will require a slower welding speed compared to autogenous welding, making this application less cost-effective. The alloy of the joint made with a filler wire has significantly inferior strength and formability. Using a filler will also cause what is known as an overfilled joint (i.e. a weld bead proud of the sheet surface).  By standing proud of the sheet surface, an overfilled joint negatively affects the stamping operation making the joint more likely to split. Furthermore, aluminium laser welded joints often lack ductility, limiting the complexity of the stamped parts. Furthermore, there are no current offers in the market for supplying blanks in higher strength aluminium series, namely 2xxx and 7xxx.

Funded by Innovate UK, project LightBlank’s aim was to develop and fully implement a UK-based supply chain to manufacture aluminium alloy friction stir tailor welded blanks formed by a new stamping process called Hot Form Quenching (HFQ). HFQ combines solution heat treatment, stamping, quenching and artificial ageing. Complex aluminium blanks can be stamped while restoring the parent material properties. Friction stir welding (FSW) avoids many of the problems associated with joining aluminium using traditional techniques. It can also promote superplastic behaviour of the joint, enabling more ambitious geometries to be stamped. The consortium included Impression Technologies Ltd, PAB Coventry Ltd, Imperial College of London, Bombardier Transportation, Bombardier Aerospace, Morgan Motor Company Manufacturing and TWI Ltd.

The FSW-HFQ procedure developed was used to manufacture a prototype cross-member of the Morgan Aero 8 sports car. Replacing the main element of the cross-member with a FSW-HFQ blank reduced the weight of the assembly by 32%. Additionally, the new optimised design incorporated eight parts (instead of eleven), five of which can be pressed by HFQ in the same operation. This contributed to a significant reduction of the manufacturing and assembly lead times. A preliminary economic assessment shows that cost of manufacturing the new assembly is 37% lower, assuming an annual batch of 1000 units.

Upon the successful completion of this project, a prototype was placed on permanent display at TWI’s headquarters in Cambridge following an official unveiling attended by representatives from Morgan.


10 Jul

Latest News – New Morgan Four Wheelers (https://justbritish.com/ – 4 July 2018)

A long-loved British sports car is finally returning to the US. Morgan Motor Company, in response to U.S. Morgan dealers unfulfilled demand for 4 wheeled Morgans and also the disappointing lack of progress in implementing the Replica Car Bill, is now addressing the issue proactively.

Last week Morgan Motor Company announced that they are prepared to manufacture a functional rolling chassis in both Roadster and Plus 4 variants, that can then be shipped to the US, using the specially constructed vehicle route to market.

It is fully appreciated that there has been a significant hiatus regarding supply of four-wheeled Morgan vehicles to the US. Additionally,  the proposed Replica Car Bill has stalled significantly during the last 2 years and is still without any clear steer on the outcome with regards to both timing and legislative requirements. We believe there is a huge pent-up demand for traditional Morgans in the U.S.

Morgan plans an initial build of 40 Roadsters and 40 Plus 4’s during the remainder of 2018.

Upon hearing the news in San Francisco, Bill Fink of Morgan Cars USA was too jubilant at the prospect of new cars to dwell about the low number of vehicles.

“We have long awaited the opportunity to provide our customers with classic Morgans again. After the days without new 4-wheeled cars started stretching into years, and all the time spent waiting for implementation of the Fast Act – this is a very happy turn of events.”

Immediately available models include the Morgan Plus 4 (base price MSRP $69,995) and the Roadster 3.7 (base price MSRP $79,995.)  Freight, options, taxes, and fees are additional.

With the suggestion that as few as 80 vehicles will be built to meet the demand, and factoring in the Morgan devotees on dealers’ wait lists, the available build dates will be filled quickly.

Contact the authorized dealers (MOGSouth Supporters are listed here) to voice your interest and get any questions answered.


03 Jul

1968 Morgan Plus 8 A racer or a concours queen? The new owner gets to decide (Sports Car Market -July 2018)

Plus 8 Chassis number: R7022

Searching for new engines in the 1960s, Morgan concluded a deal with Rover for supply of its all-aluminum 3.5-liter V8, thus creating a car — the Plus 8 — that combined vintage charm with Cobra-like grunt.

Morgan’s Plus 4 chassis, strengthened and extended, formed the basis of the new car, while the existing Moss 4-speed gearbox was retained.  After a successful debut at the 1968 London Motor Show, production commenced at about 15 cars per month and continues to this day, although they now have BMW power.

While the traditionally styled Morgan’s brick-like aerodynamics restricted top speed to around 125 mph (more than fast enough for most people driving an open car), the Rover V8’s 168 bhp and 210 ft-lb of torque made for supercar performance through the gears. Indeed, in its later 3.9-liter form, the Plus 8 proved quicker by 80 mph than the contemporary Porsche 911 Turbo.

This all-matching-numbers early Morgan Plus 8 is the 22nd example of this landmark V8-engined model to leave the factory.

It was supplied new in February 1969 to the Half Moon Garage in Yorkshire.  [The picture shows a RHD car.  Reduced Value in the US?   Many would say so, but I personally like them.  In my mind, it adds credibility to a British Sports car.  Mark] 

Benefiting from a six-year, six-figure, ground-up restoration undertaken in the USA from renowned marque specialist and concours-winner the late Robert Couch, the car must be one of the best of its kind currently available.

Robert Couch is famous as restorer of the historic Morgan TT Replica CAB 652, previously campaigned by Peter Morgan, which in 1980 was overall winner of the prestigious Chinetti Concours at Lime Rock.

Carried on a new chassis, the aluminum body benefits from an all-new timber framework. Restored for Morgan’s 75th anniversary, although it did not make it to the U.K. for the celebrations, this Plus 8 comes with concours awards testifying to the quality of the restoration.

Acquired from the estate of the late Stephen S. Lester, SCV 901G has been stored in a climate-controlled facility as part of an extensive private collection of vehicles where it has been looked upon as a work of art.

The Morgan recently got an update that was done over two years. The work included a brand-new race engine installed by JE Developments, a recognized specialist in the preparation of Rover V8 engines.  This engine breathes via SU carburetors to accommodate FIA regulations.

The other race engine built by Robert Couch had on tap a massive 288 bhp and 275 ft-lb of torque (documented) and is included in the sale.

Despite its greatly enhanced performance, this car is said to cope equally easily with town driving or touring, and must be one of the quickest road-going first generation Plus 8s around.

For a year of its time away, the Morgan was at Richard Thorne’s workshop being fitted with every new FIA update required for historic racing, hillclimbing, and rallying anywhere in the world (Period G1 1966–69, valid to December 31, 2026).

All the work was bespoke in order to avoid drilling the body or dashboard to accommodate cut-off switches. The new FIA roll bars (front and rear) were custom made to ensure a perfect fit, while the side-impact bars were taken down below the door line to make getting in and out as easy as normal.

All this was done at great expense in order to preserve Robert Couch’s original workmanship. Even the spare-wheel cover has no external screws securing it to the rear frame; it simply slides in from underneath, making it easy to remove in order to refit the rear bumper and spare wheel for rally events. The car comes complete with full weather equipment, spare wheel, boot rack and tonneau cover (made to fit the new roll bars).

This well-documented car comes with its original restoration bills and is described as perfect for all uses.

SCM Analysis

This car, Lot 64, sold for £61,980 ($86,390), including buyer’s premium, at Bonhams’ Goodwood Members’ Meeting sale near Chichester, U.K., on March 18, 2018.

This is a slightly strange one. It’s a concours-restored car got up as a racer, but it doesn’t appear to have raced.  [A stock car prepared as a competition car but without any competition provenance is, in my opinion, simply a ‘bitsa’.  I personally question the value (the seller did really well here!) and would prefer to buy a stock car.  Mark]

It was offered — but didn’t sell — at Bonhams’ pre-Christmas sale at Olympia, London, when the original Holley-carbed engine was displayed on a stand behind it, but it had better luck here.

Lots of events — but not all of them

The car’s condition is beyond reproach, with several neat (though unnecessary for a racer) touches.  It could easily be raced.  Competition car sales history tells us that it’s always cheaper to buy someone else’s hard graft rather than build your own, but you’d have to accept that it would rapidly acquire some patina as some of the shine got knocked off.  [People are attracted to ‘shiney’ things . . . Mark]

But here’s the thing: It’s got FIA papers, but it’s Period G1 (1966– 1969) while most prestige events run to Period F (pre-1966) or have an even earlier cut-off of pre-1963.

As our subject car was built in 1968, circuit racing opportunities will not include such events as the Goodwood Revival. Perhaps its most obvious home is in the Historic Sports Car Club’s Historic Road Sports series, for road-legal cars manufactured up to 1970, with only mild modifications allowed. This series offers extra points for those cars driven to the races.

This car can take part in tour/race competitions such as Tour Britannia and Tour Auto, and it would do well in events such as the Manx Classic — a three-legged hillclimb competition whose classic category has a 1968 cut-off date.

This car is eligible for historic rallies, too. One brave soul once ran a Morgan in a British Historic Rally Championship when it was a mix of tarmac and forest events. He found that he had to rebuild the car after every thrash — and a sliding-pillar, ash-framed Morgan on rough gravel really is only for masochists. Discouraging competition use, however, this car was in super, near concours condition. I noted unnaturally shiny paint — although slightly

A big price for a terrific car

A Moss-box Plus 8 (made up to mid-1972, when the Rover 4-speed was adopted) would usually sell for about £30k ($42k) [I guess this has to be UK prices.  In my opinion, I would think a LHD Moss Box Plus 8, in the US,  should be valued at $55-60K.  Mark], perhaps a little more in this concours condition.

John Eales of JE Developments is “the man” as far as the Rover/ Buick aluminum V8 is concerned, so the currently installed FIA-legal race motor, making about 250 bhp, is the best there is.

These engines cost less than you’d think at £12k ($17k). The competition fuel cell, bespoke roll cage, Sparco harnesses and plumbed-in extinguisher probably cost up to $10k to add, but you never get your money back on “lifed” items like this, so technically this car’s value is something under $60k.

At Olympia, you can see how the seller might have arrived at the $113k to $140k estimate by adding up everything spent, but it was unsold at a reported top bid of $93,642.

The estimate for the second attempt, at Goodwood, was revised down to $85k to $100k. It hammered slightly behind that, but at a price approaching twice that of a standard early (narrow-bodied, as they got wider in tub and wings after 1976) road car.

Interestingly, a similar car, chassis 7259, also rebuilt on a new chassis and ash frame and race prepared to the same specs with a John Eales motor, sold at Race Retro the month before for £57,380/$80,250, having previously been privately advertised for £69k ($96k). This car was not as cosmetically sharp as our subject car.

As a 1970, that one becomes eligible for HSCC ’70s Road Sports, though it also qualifies for HRS, being the same type as “our” car.

And that spare motor that might have made up the difference or at least added back some of the missing dollars?  Well, it doesn’t have the value you might suppose — even though it’s the item that supports the catalog claim of “matching numbers.”

The car would be matching numbers if you reinstalled the spare engine, but there are several reasons why you wouldn’t.

Eales inspected the spare engine and told me it’s an early (weak) block, almost standard except for a mild cam, that Holley carb and a different set of pistons.  Eales said he’d be amazed if it made 230 bhp. That’s before a bolt got dropped into it, damaging a piston and one of the heads.  Eales estimates its value as £500–£1,000 ($700–$1,400) tops, as with the casting damage it’s not even an ideal candidate for rebuild.

A racer or concours queen

Even though the sums don’t quite add up, in light of the sale of the identical-spec blue car, we’ll have to call it correctly valued this time, and it would appear, also judging by the blue car, that knocking off some of the shine by racing it won’t hurt its value too much, so there’s an added bonus for the new owner.  Meanwhile, the old engine will make a stylish doorstop. ♦ (Introductory description courtesy of Bonhams.)

28 Jun

New Component Morgan Cars – Standard or Base Specifications

[Folks according to my simple mind these specifications are the base specifications for the cars being targeted for the US Market.  The dealers can better answer questions about what can be modified and what cannot.  I suspect you can add options to these base specifications as you desire.   Costs for these added options are available from the dealers and will increase the price of the cars, as previously published.  These specifications have been provided by MorganWest’s Dennis Glavis.  Thanks Dennis!!  Cheers, Mark]

To assist with your order process, please find below the standard specification of the +4 and Roadster models-





DASHBOARD – painted in body colour

SEATS – sports recliners


– (+4) – wires, painted grey, 6” rims, no spare wheel

– (Roadster) – alloys, painted grey, 6” rims, with spare wheel



22 Jun

New Morgans Coming to North America !

The Morgan Motor Company has just invited ALL North American Morgan Dealers to participate in a Component Car Program.

Morgan Plus 4s and 3.7L Roasters will be delivered to the US (without engine and transmission) where these driveline components will be then be installed.

Each Dealer’s Participation level and build slot availability may be different and each US State has different vehicle registration laws, taxes, etc.

Contact those Morgan Dealers of interest for specifics on costs, options, availability and to register your interest in a new Morgan.

Click Here for the Morgan Dealers supporting MOGSouth.