04 Sep

Fettling with the 2005 Roadster Air Conditioner

It’s hot in Florida and most Morgan outings are top down.  But when it rains, and it does that daily, you have to put the top up.   Being in a Morgan with the top up, in Florida, is hot, very hot and humid.  But, I have air conditioning in the Roadster.  Yeah, right!

Well, the Roadster air conditioner is the subject of many jokes, and none of them are good.  If Morgan didn’t provide air conditioning, we would have suffered on, as we had before, but since the car supposedly came with ‘Air Conditioning’ we thought we were saved.   Not so.  It doesn’t work and if it does, it doesn’t work very well.

Turning On the 2005 Roadster Air Conditioning

The actual air conditioner lines are high pressure lines and are metal.

They go into an air condition assembly box on the car’s firewall.  This assembly box also houses the car’s heater core (sort of looks like a small radiator) and the heater / air conditioning fan.  The assembly box is covered with some sort of temperature insulating material that is silver-ish.

There is a knob about the size of a nickel near the upper right corner of the air condition assembly box (labeled as Condenser Knob, above, and shown as a red dot.)  This knob is supposed to be fully rotated clockwise.  This insures the air conditioning ‘compressor’ is not turned OFF.  It is rumored that some cars simply had this knob set somewhat counter-clockwise and the air conditioning didn’t work.

Also, inside the car, there is large rotating knob under the dash on the passenger side (LHD) that goes from Hot (Marked in RED) to Cold (Marked in BLUE).  There is also a switch under the dash on the drivers’ side (LHD) labeled with a snow flake (for air conditioning).  One side of the switch shows a vertical bar ‘|’ for ON and the other an ‘O’ for OFF.

  • Rotate the ‘compressor’ knob (the small knob on the outside of the air conditioner assembly box.) fully clockwise.
  • Rotate the large knob (inside the car, under the dash) to the BLUE side
  • Turn the air conditioning switch (inside the car, under the dash) to the ON position (e.g. with the vertical bar ‘|’ for ON).
  • Turn on the fan switch, which is inside the car, on the dash, to low or high.  (It is a two position switch.)

When I do all this, I get semi-cool air blowing into the cockpit.  Certainly, insufficient for the Florida heat and humidity.  It is not new car cold air, more like really old car cool air (someone said tepid).

So What Now?

I tried starting the air conditioning a few times, hoping for a different outcome each time.  Nope the same each time, nadda, still tepid air.

I studied the schematics and stared at the car.  I found a few things I thought I could do.  There are two coolant hoses taking hot coolant from the engine, running it through the heater core (little radiator) to provide the heat for the heater.  (They are shown in purple in the schematic above.)

The fan (switch to turn the fan on and off is located on the dash) blows air through this hot heater core into the car’s cockpit.  The air blown by the fan comes from the hot engine air leaving the forward bonnet louvers and then goes back into the engine bay via the rearward (near the windshield) louvers on the bonnet.  This air then goes into the top of the air conditioning assembly box.

This is the air that is used by the heater / air conditioning systems.  Hot air is fine for the heater but isn’t too good for the air conditioner.

Also, having these hot coolant lines and this hot heater core in the air condition assembly box cannot be good for getting cold air into the cockpit either.

Fixing the air flow looks to be somewhat arduous, at least in my simple mind, however eliminating the hot coolant hoses feeding the heater core looks doable.  So that is what I did.

Tools Needed

All this is really just to loosen and tighten hose clamps.  Your car may have different hose clamps and require different tools.  Well, the pry bar gave me some leverage with sticky hoses.

  • 1/4 inch drive ratchet
  • 6 inch extension for 1/4 inch drive ratchet
  • 7mm Socket (1/4 inch drive)
  • 8mm Socket (1/4 inch drive)
  • Slotted Screw Driver
  • Philips Head Screw Driver
  • Pry Bar
  • 90 degree ¾ inch (outside diameter) brass hose coupling (~$3 at Lowes)

Steps

The hardest part of this task is getting access to the heater core supply and return coolant hoses where they connect into the air conditioner assembly box.  Once you have access it is simply the matter of removing the two hose clamps that hold the hoses on the air conditioning assembly box and then joining the two hoses together with a 3/4 inch coupling.

  • Remove the two small overflow tank hoses. Remove the hose clamps using slotted screwdriver.  See picture of overflow tank with hoses removed, below.

  • Relocate electrical relays attached via an attached Velcro patch. Simply pull Velcro away.  See picture of velcro on electrical relays and on air conditioner assembly box, below.

  • Remove the large Air Flow hose. Again, remove the hose clamps and pull.  The hose is fairly pliable.  See picture of the void left when the  the large air flow hose is removed, below.

  • Now you can access the two hoses going into the air conditioning assembly box that carry the hot coolant water.  Note: When you pull these away, you will have some spillage of coolant as the heater core is most likely full.  It isn’t very much however.
  • Simply connect the two hoses together using the metal coupling (I tried it with a straight coupling and it was too difficult to get the hoses in the correct position, so I opted for a 90° angled coupler. This was much easier.) I found the coupling at the local home improvement store.  I suspect they are everywhere.  This removes  the flow of hot coolant from the heater core and of course, disables the heater. Now just put everything back.
  • Put the large Air Flow hose back on. Again, use the hose clamps on each end and push and pull to get it set on each end.  Then tighten the hose clamps.
  • Put the electrical relays back onto their Velcro patch.
  • Finally, reconnect the two overflow tank hoses.
  • Re inspect to make sure everything is reconnected and tightened up.
  • Take the car for a test drive.

The Result 

I think this simple modification greatly improved the performance of my air conditioning.  It is still not extremely cold, but it is quite a bit cooler than before.  Now, I suspect everyone’s car is different (these are Morgans, of course) so your results may vary.  I also think that reworking the air flow, as discussed above, will improve the air conditioning some more.

I believe a more elegant solution that addresses not only the hot coolant hoses, but also the hot air flow issues and a solution that doesn’t disable the heater, is in the works.  I will probably opt for that solution when it is here and tested, however until then, this is about ‘as good as it gets’.

Cheers,  Mark

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.

Regards,

Jack Claxton

 

30 Aug

WHITWHAT? THE WHITWORTH SYSTEM (Moss Motors)

[It happens to me all the time.  The wrench won’t fit, it’s too small, so I get the next larger one and it won’t fit either, it’s too large.  Nothing in between?  What now, darn, it’s probably ‘Whitworth’.  If you play with old British cars, you have most likely run into this situation.  An interesting read with the morning coffee.  Unless you abhor auto parts??  Mark]

Most of us think of car parts in terms of carburetors, engines, transmissions, brakes, and so on. The most common part in any car isn’t really noticed at all until you take one apart. Even then you don’t think much about it until it comes time to put the car back together again and, suddenly, you discover that you don’t have quite as many as you should. I’m talking about the nuts and bolts that hold a car together.

To make matters more interesting, a good many of the cars we deal with don’t use nuts and bolts that can be purchased from the corner hardware store. Much maligned and misunderstood, the Whitworth hardware used on older British cars has an interesting history.

Threaded fasteners go back a long way. In 1568, the first practical screw cutting machine was invented by a French mathematician named Jacques Besson. After that, things took off…after a fashion. By 1611 the idea had caught on in England well enough for it to be mentioned in a book, the significant point being that the companion piece to any screw—the nut—was mentioned as well. While the concept was basically sound, in practice there were a few bugs to be worked out. In general, a screw is a threaded fastener that is turned into a threaded hole; a bolt passes through the hole and is secured with a nut on the other side. In the 1600’s putting something together was a real chore. Once you found a bolt you liked, you had to find a nut, and that was a matter of chance [Still is, in my garage . . . . Mark] since nobody had any idea of making the treads the same. Once you found a nut that fit, (well, sort of) the nut and bolt were tied together with string. Since the threads on any one fastener were unique, taking something apart and putting it back together again could be a lifetime occupation. Just be thankful that the car had not yet been invented.

This happy chaos continued until well into the industrial revolution, when Henry Maudslay perfected a lathe that made it possible to adjust the thread pitch of a screw. This made it possible to make large numbers of identical screws. The idea of making the bolts for one machine all the same seems to have caught on. at least with the folks who had to put them together.

Making threaded fasteners on a lathe is time consuming, and therefore expensive. In 1850 a man from New York named William Ward perfected a system for forming the threads on a bolt by heating it to 1600 degrees Fahrenheit, and then rolling it between two grooved dies. The grooves on the flat dies were forced into the bolt, and the threads were formed as the bolt rolled between the fixed and the moving die.

This same basic system is used today, the only difference being that the bolts are not heated before being rolled. “Cold” forming produces much more uniform threads, allowing closer tolerances, and because the bolts are not heated, they are stronger.

Even today, the development of this technology would not really matter if there were no national or international standards for threads on screws and bolts. We would still be buying nuts and bolts as matched pairs. The man responsible for the development of the first standards for the production of threaded fasteners Is none other than Joseph Whitworth. [Who knew?? Mark] In 1841, his paper, “A Uniform System of Screw Threads”, set forth a concept that was to revolutionize manufacturing.

His idea was simple:

  1. Each diameter of bolt or screw will have its own number of threads per inch (TPI)
  2. The angle between the side of one thread and the adjacent thread should be 55°.
  3. Both the crest and root of each thread should be rounded.
  4. The relationship of the pitch to the radius of the rounded portion of the thread is defined by a ratio of l/6th; in other words, the radius r = (1/6) x (pitch).

Finally, there was a system. If adopted, that would allow the fasteners used on one type of machine to be replaced with another “standard” fastener. The logic was hard to beat, and England adopted the system to the extent that by 1881 it was the effectively the British standard.

The Whitworth System was used as proposed for bolts and screws from 1/8″ to 4 1/4″ in shank diameter up to 1908, when an additional thread form was proposed—British Standard Fine (BSF). Presented by the British Engineering Standards Association, BSF was identical to the original Whitworth form except that the pitch was finer—meaning more threads per inch. Now a bolt with a diameter of 1/4 inch could have either 20 threads per inch (BSW) or 26 (BSF). The advantage of the finer thread pitch is two fold. A fine thread bolt is about 10% stronger than a coarse thread bolt of the same size and material.  [I knew this but I didn’t know why I knew this.  Mark]  Fine threaded fasteners also have greater resistance to vibration. Those of you who have worked on cars with Whitworth hardware will have noticed that almost all the hardware is BSF for these reasons. Why use any coarse threaded bolts at all? Coarse thread fasteners are well suited for use in tapped holes in material softer than the bolt (such as studs in aluminum cylinder heads), and they are easier to assemble. It’s almost impossible to cross thread a coarse threaded fastener by hand.

For sizes smaller than 1/8″, the British adopted a Swiss Standard thread form for small screws and called it British Association Thread (BA). This thread form was adopted in 1903. Like the Whitworth form, it has rounded crests and roots, but the angle between adjacent faces of the screw’s threads Is 47 1/2°. Instead of being sized by fractions of an inch, they are numbered OBA, 1BA, 2BA and so on up to 22BA. For some reason, the larger the number, the smaller the screw. Other than that, the system is analogous to our “machine screw” system where numbers are used (e.g. #6, #8, #10).

A question often asked (well, once in a while anyway) is why didn’t the US adopt the Whitworth System? As it turns out, we did. By 1860, most of Europe and the US were using the system. In 1864, however, the move to establish a “National” thread system was under way. William Sellers was instrumental in persuading the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia to set up a committee whose prime goal would be to set up national (meaning American) standards. Sellers, who made machine tools, was dissatisfied with the Whitworth System on several points: The 55° angle was hard to gauge and the rounded threads caused an uncertain fit between the nut and bolt. He also argued that the rounded threads were weaker than a system he proposed where the angle between the opposing faces was 60° (not Whitworth’s 55°), and the crests and roots were flattened. The Franklin Institute adopted Seller’s system, and by 1900 it was in use throughout the US and much of Europe. The American system had both line and coarse threads called, logically enough, American National Fine (ANF) and American National Coarse (ANC).

The Whitworth system is further complicated by its tool size designations. American tools (and European for that matter) are sized by the head of the bolt or the size of the nut. A 1/2″ wrench fits a bolt with a head 1/2″ across. A Whitworth wrench is sized according to the diameter of the shank of the bolt, not the head. A 1/4 W (Whitworth) wrench is actually a bit larger than a 1/2″ American wrench—0.525″ to 0.500″. As if that wasn’t enough, in 1924 it was decided that the heads of the Whitworth bolts were too large, so they were down-sized.

The “new” bolts and nuts were made so that the old tools could still be used, but on different bolts. The old 3/8W wrench now fit the 7/16″ bolt. To enable the tools to be used easily, they are marked with both sizes. The old size, which stands for the diameter of the bolt’s shank, is marked with a “W”. The new size is marked with a “BS”, which stands for the bolt size and consequently the new wrench size. For example, the old 3/8W wrench also fits the “new” 7/16″ bolt and is therefore also marked “7/16 BS”. The head of the bolt it fits is 0.600″ across the flats, larger than 19/32″ but smaller than 5/8″.  [I am so glad there isn’t a test at the end!  Mark]

Because the wrenches are unique, there are no American counterparts. Use of the closest American wrench will often result in the rounding of corners and the springing of the wrench jaws.

The Whitworth System, with its associated BS thread system, was in use by British automobile manufactures until 1948, when Canada, the US, and the United Kingdom adopted a “Unified Thread System” that incorporated features of Seller’s and Whitworth’s systems. Actually, the push to standardize an international thread system was initiated during the First World War. The necessity for a system that both American and English manufactures could use was a direct result of the war effort. The fact that the allies shared much of the same machinery and equipment made interchangeable parts essential. The issue was the subject of various international conferences from 1918 to 1948, with the 2nd World War playing the role of catalyst for the adoption of the Unified system. The Unified System was adopted by the British automobile industry on a large scale in 1956, when most of the common fasteners on the cars built that year were of the Unified Thread System. The fact that the major market for these cars was in the US was no doubt a major factor in the decision. The Unified System is basically the same as the American system in use—the two thread systems were American National Coarse (ANC) and American National Fine (ANF). They became the Unified coarse and fine. A few related industries, notably SU, did not make the switch, and used Whitworth and BS hardware until they ceased production.

The Unified System was not destined to last. Having seen that everyone could change over from one system to another, the International Standards Organization launched a campaign to replace the Unified system with a version of the metric system that originated in Europe. It has been slow going. Since 1966 there has only been a partial changeover to the ISO metric system in the American and British automotive industries.

The Whitworth system should not be viewed as a stumbling block invented by the English to keep us from putting their cars back together again once we’ve managed to take them apart. I don’t believe it has anything to do with our minor disagreement back in 1776 either. The Whitworth system made it possible to manufacture complex machinery on a large scale, and it made it possible to work on that machinery without having a full-time clerk keeping track of the different nuts and bolts. Each system takes some special wrenches and sockets, and you might have to think for a minute or two about which wrench to use, but heck, if it were easy, anybody could work on these cars.

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.