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GBGary Avatar
GBGary Gold Member Gary R
Burbank, CA, USA   USA
1963 Morgan Plus 4 (+4)
1969 Alfa Romeo Spider
1972 MG MGB "Frankenstein"
1972 Rover 3500 "Bertie"    & more
I have recently rejoined the Morgan experience (where have you heard that before?) and Broadcasters comments really hit home, "the car picks you". Well, that was certainly true in my case, because the car that picked me, I probably would not have recommended to anybody. It really did go against all of my collective knowledge, but, I had to have it. Now the advice previously is all very good advice, buy the best you can afford, talk to some owners, try to test drive a few models, or just be seduced and live with it. Personally, I would have preferred a solid decent looking car with mechanical issues, but, what I got was a fairly good car mechanically but needing a fair amount of body work and paint. So, the car is stripped on the way to the metal shop and hopefully it turns out right.

One of the best things I learned here on the forum was, these cars are really different than the other sbc's and you need to think differently about them. Once I got that into my head, my enjoyment went up about ten fold. Some of the frustration I was having sorting this thing was because I was thinking conventionally. I know this is a bit "zen", perhaps someone with more 'seat time' can chime in and explain this better. Good luck and I hope the right Morgan finds you. Gary

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Broadcaster Avatar
Broadcaster Silver Member Bob RA
Glendale, CA, USA   USA
I studied Morgan for 5 years , learned everything I could bought books, even traced old magazines and bought them. I bought all the posters and reproductions that were there and formulated my plan of action
Meanwhile my brother handed me over a basketful case to restore. Like an idiot I thought that would be a good idea. 6 to nine months down the line I decided this was a suckers game. I gave the basket ful back to the brother who was not amused to say the least . This is quite a few years back.Meanwhile I bought a Miata which I still have which I think if looked aftered carefully is arguable a better car than the Lotus Elan 2000. For sure it has an 1800 Dual Overhead camshaft and air conditioning too,.......ABS the lot
Then there was this idea Morgan have used so many different engines including Lotus. So why not a Miata. With that thought in mind I was looking for the car to insert this engine in there

Logic

Morgan is about 284 lb lighter than Miata, Standard Plus 4 engine (Triumph) I believe 98 lb heavier than Miata engine. Triumph engine produces 100bhp . Miata Standard engine without mods produces 128bhp. As Morgan plus 4 of the sixties do not require any catalytic convertors ar any sensors you pull those out of the Miata engine and you increase the power by another 10bhp. The running gear comes with standard 5 speed gearbox so all is needed in theory is a drive train transplant plus a custom made drive shaft. I am going to get a picture of my completed engine and you would not believe it is a Japanese engine

Back to Morgan
So I am sitting here minding my own business while rummaging the internet, magazines, private individuals asking if they know of a Morgan and having refused such things as Victorian Morgans (If you don't know what that is...... Victorians used to sweep all the crap under the carpet while the outside looked good) ....Suddenly I see a BRG car somewhere on the East Coast. At first I think she may be the one. Then I think no forget it........three months later it is still there. Then I think there may be something wrong with that. Still she is calling with those nice wire wheels. Then I think I am not flying out there spending over $1400 only to find it is heap. Another few months pass...it is still there calling. So I gamble. I call a local Morgan dealer and ask him if he would inspect that car for me which was dully done for 1/4 of the price of the flight. It turned out 1 owner since new, wood totally OK, Floor boards like new Frame and metal no rust no cracking of headlights side screen like new, Serviced every 6 months regardless of miles done. I came away........ and another 3 months I did not do anything. at the beginning of the 4th month The car's calling came and I had come to some money having completed a contract and having been paid without hassle I thought its now or never . The rest is history . Car is in the garage , Engine is about to be finished soon the two will unite. Meanwhile the original engine will go up the mezzanine floor and get covered up for the future custodian after my demise...as I will not sell the car even if I starve. ...and that my friends is how this morgan chose me.

MoodyManitobaMorgan Avatar
Winnipeg, MB, Canada   CAN
In reply to # 13176 by Broadcaster I studied Morgan for 5 years , learned everything I could bought books, even traced old magazines and bought them. I bought all the posters and reproductions that were there and formulated my plan of action
Meanwhile my brother handed me over a basketful case to restore. Like an idiot I thought that would be a good idea. 6 to nine months down the line I decided this was a suckers game. I gave the basket ful back to the brother who was not amused to say the least . This is quite a few years back.Meanwhile I bought a Miata which I still have which I think if looked aftered carefully is arguable a better car than the Lotus Elan 2000. For sure it has an 1800 Dual Overhead camshaft and air conditioning too,.......ABS the lot
Then there was this idea Morgan have used so many different engines including Lotus. So why not a Miata. With that thought in mind I was looking for the car to insert this engine in there

Logic

Morgan is about 284 lb lighter than Miata, Standard Plus 4 engine (Triumph) I believe 98 lb heavier than Miata engine. Triumph engine produces 100bhp . Miata Standard engine without mods produces 128bhp. As Morgan plus 4 of the sixties do not require any catalytic convertors ar any sensors you pull those out of the Miata engine and you increase the power by another 10bhp. The running gear comes with standard 5 speed gearbox so all is needed in theory is a drive train transplant plus a custom made drive shaft. I am going to get a picture of my completed engine and you would not believe it is a Japanese engine

Back to Morgan
So I am sitting here minding my own business while rummaging the internet, magazines, private individuals asking if they know of a Morgan and having refused such things as Victorian Morgans (If you don't know what that is...... Victorians used to sweep all the crap under the carpet while the outside looked good) ....Suddenly I see a BRG car somewhere on the East Coast. At first I think she may be the one. Then I think no forget it........three months later it is still there. Then I think there may be something wrong with that. Still she is calling with those nice wire wheels. Then I think I am not flying out there spending over $1400 only to find it is heap. Another few months pass...it is still there calling. So I gamble. I call a local Morgan dealer and ask him if he would inspect that car for me which was dully done for 1/4 of the price of the flight. It turned out 1 owner since new, wood totally OK, Floor boards like new Frame and metal no rust no cracking of headlights side screen like new, Serviced every 6 months regardless of miles done. I came away........ and another 3 months I did not do anything. at the beginning of the 4th month The car's calling came and I had come to some money having completed a contract and having been paid without hassle I thought its now or never . The rest is history . Car is in the garage , Engine is about to be finished soon the two will unite. Meanwhile the original engine will go up the mezzanine floor and get covered up for the future custodian after my demise...as I will not sell the car even if I starve. ...and that my friends is how this morgan chose me.

"I will not sell the car even if I starve"..........A man after my own heart! smileys with beer

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Broadcaster Avatar
Broadcaster Silver Member Bob RA
Glendale, CA, USA   USA
Just to bring everyone up to date

The good News

Miata engine is superb and has a polished cam cover boasting a Morgan aluminum wings where it supposed to say Mazda and and looks a million dollar

The bad News

Inlet manifold and exhaust manifolds of the two engines are in a totally opposite side of each other

Engine is a bit wider that Triumph

The bell housing of the Miata is bit bigger which will mean losing legroom in an already crammed cockpit

There has to be some surgery done on the metalwork of Morgan

While we are all contemplating the way forward I drove the Morgan the first time (experiencing Morgan dance) for the first time and quite frankly it is a nice car and sounds nice as it is

Long and short of it is due to the fact that it is a genuine 1 owner low mileage car with all original frame and wood and original black California plate issued in 1962, with no ailment, I was advised by the knowledgeable folks that it would be detrimental to its value if we took on any surgery. Best is to keep it as is.

Which leaves me a Miata Engine with a Morgan cam cover which may turn my other car (Miata Automatic) to a stick shift 5 speed

I wish that the exchange was more feasible...there we have it we must be big enough to admit mistakes

GBGary Avatar
GBGary Gold Member Gary R
Burbank, CA, USA   USA
1963 Morgan Plus 4 (+4)
1969 Alfa Romeo Spider
1972 MG MGB "Frankenstein"
1972 Rover 3500 "Bertie"    & more
Bob, I've seen your car and I believe you most certainly made the right decision. It takes a big man to admit his mistakes and you are indeed a 'big' man...cool smiley

Gary

Button Avatar
Button Silver Member Bill B
Seattle, WA, USA   USA
I have a 1961 DHC that was converted to a Fiat engine and GM 3spd automatic by Lee Spencer of Southern California. To do this Lee Modified the chassis with a cross brace made of channel iron. I have since removed the Fiat/GM Automatic and replaced it with a Ford 2.0 ZETEC engine and T9 5spd. So it can be done. If the modification is done very, very nicely it will not detract from the value. Also if it is done by a known shop it can hold its value. But if it looks like a DIY job it will loose value. It is hell for the details.

DuncanCharlton Avatar
DuncanCharlton Duncan Charlton
Elgin, TX, USA   USA
1967 Morgan 4/4 "Toly's Car"
1967 Unknown Unknown
1971 Morgan Plus 8 (+8)
Bob, what you need now is a 4/4 in need of an engine and gearbox! Series III 4/4s had a pretty anemic engine and a 3-speed. I've seen a 4/4 fitted with Miata mechanicals, but unfortunately it's been too long since I looked at it so I don't recall the details, and he's sold it on to a new owner so I can't just call him to go look. A 4/4 weighs around 1450 lbs with the cast iron Ford engine and gearbox so I would think a Mazda engine might be a good fit, although it'd be up to you as to whether it seems "right." I remember Jim Besst was selling a Series III with a Pinto ohc engine (don't recall whether it was a 2 or a 2.3 liter version) years ago and I bet it had some scoot, given how much power can be gotten out of that engine.

Duncan

Broadcaster Avatar
Broadcaster Silver Member Bob RA
Glendale, CA, USA   USA
In reply to # 13767 by GBGary Bob, I've seen your car and I believe you most certainly made the right decision. It takes a big man to admit his mistakes and you are indeed a 'big' man...cool smiley

Gary

I have also seen your British cars and knowing the detail connoisseur that you are with your cars, I appreciate and value your comments...I made a judgement call ...but deep down if that conversion had taken place I am sure it would have been a hell of a car. It is going to be strange seeing a Miata boasting a Morgan casting on its polished cam cover :-)

Broadcaster Avatar
Broadcaster Silver Member Bob RA
Glendale, CA, USA   USA
In reply to # 13769 by DuncanCharlton Bob, what you need now is a 4/4 in need of an engine and gearbox! Series III 4/4s had a pretty anemic engine and a 3-speed. I've seen a 4/4 fitted with Miata mechanicals, but unfortunately it's been too long since I looked at it so I don't recall the details, and he's sold it on to a new owner so I can't just call him to go look. A 4/4 weighs around 1450 lbs with the cast iron Ford engine and gearbox so I would think a Mazda engine might be a good fit, although it'd be up to you as to whether it seems "right." I remember Jim Besst was selling a Series III with a Pinto ohc engine (don't recall whether it was a 2 or a 2.3 liter version) years ago and I bet it had some scoot, given how much power can be gotten out of that engine.

Duncan

Duncan

Thanks for your feed back

I value your comments as not only for the fact that you are knowledgeable but also the fact that you are so hands on. There are a number of guys here that their experience is unbelievably detailed and you are certainly one of them.

After my bother took my original basket case away from me (Thanks Bro) I knew the next Morgan would be something that I can toy with. At that time I decided I wanted something looking like TOK 258 even though performance was no way near that...yet cosmetically similar yet possible to go back to original with minimum alteration.

Soon I will post some pictures right now I am trying to fix the hard top. Next Saturday the car is receiving its racing livery from a local customizing Company. Everything can be peeled off if and when needed.

I don't have any space for another car my boys drive a G37, I drive the Miata for fun and the Solara for work and once a week the Morgan comes out for the Cars and Coffee show but Morgan is a work in progress and whenever I have issues I bring them to this forum because the expertise here is second to none. So purchasing another is beyond financial, and logistical spectrum unless I have a windfall..... and that I cannot predict :-)

Broadcaster Avatar
Broadcaster Silver Member Bob RA
Glendale, CA, USA   USA
In reply to # 13765 by MoodyManitobaMorgan
In reply to # 13176 by Broadcaster I studied Morgan for 5 years , learned everything I could bought books, even traced old magazines and bought them. I bought all the posters and reproductions that were there and formulated my plan of action
Meanwhile my brother handed me over a basketful case to restore. Like an idiot I thought that would be a good idea. 6 to nine months down the line I decided this was a suckers game. I gave the basket ful back to the brother who was not amused to say the least . This is quite a few years back.Meanwhile I bought a Miata which I still have which I think if looked aftered carefully is arguable a better car than the Lotus Elan 2000. For sure it has an 1800 Dual Overhead camshaft and air conditioning too,.......ABS the lot
Then there was this idea Morgan have used so many different engines including Lotus. So why not a Miata. With that thought in mind I was looking for the car to insert this engine in there

Logic

Morgan is about 284 lb lighter than Miata, Standard Plus 4 engine (Triumph) I believe 98 lb heavier than Miata engine. Triumph engine produces 100bhp . Miata Standard engine without mods produces 128bhp. As Morgan plus 4 of the sixties do not require any catalytic convertors ar any sensors you pull those out of the Miata engine and you increase the power by another 10bhp. The running gear comes with standard 5 speed gearbox so all is needed in theory is a drive train transplant plus a custom made drive shaft. I am going to get a picture of my completed engine and you would not believe it is a Japanese engine

Back to Morgan
So I am sitting here minding my own business while rummaging the internet, magazines, private individuals asking if they know of a Morgan and having refused such things as Victorian Morgans (If you don't know what that is...... Victorians used to sweep all the crap under the carpet while the outside looked good) ....Suddenly I see a BRG car somewhere on the East Coast. At first I think she may be the one. Then I think no forget it........three months later it is still there. Then I think there may be something wrong with that. Still she is calling with those nice wire wheels. Then I think I am not flying out there spending over $1400 only to find it is heap. Another few months pass...it is still there calling. So I gamble. I call a local Morgan dealer and ask him if he would inspect that car for me which was dully done for 1/4 of the price of the flight. It turned out 1 owner since new, wood totally OK, Floor boards like new Frame and metal no rust no cracking of headlights side screen like new, Serviced every 6 months regardless of miles done. I came away........ and another 3 months I did not do anything. at the beginning of the 4th month The car's calling came and I had come to some money having completed a contract and having been paid without hassle I thought its now or never . The rest is history . Car is in the garage , Engine is about to be finished soon the two will unite. Meanwhile the original engine will go up the mezzanine floor and get covered up for the future custodian after my demise...as I will not sell the car even if I starve. ...and that my friends is how this morgan chose me.

"I will not sell the car even if I starve"..........A man after my own heart! smileys with beer
:-)

Broadcaster Avatar
Broadcaster Silver Member Bob RA
Glendale, CA, USA   USA
In reply to # 13768 by Button I have a 1961 DHC that was converted to a Fiat engine and GM 3spd automatic by Lee Spencer of Southern California. To do this Lee Modified the chassis with a cross brace made of channel iron. I have since removed the Fiat/GM Automatic and replaced it with a Ford 2.0 ZETEC engine and T9 5spd. So it can be done. If the modification is done very, very nicely it will not detract from the value. Also if it is done by a known shop it can hold its value. But if it looks like a DIY job it will loose value. It is hell for the details.

Button is yet another guy with knowledge of our Morgans .......I take a bow :-)

This for me is a bit confusing the guy who was an avid racer of the Morgans in the sixties is often in same documents named as "Lee" and the next breath is "Lew"
My car was his daily runner in California while he held the dealership and was used as demonstrator then was sold to the first owner so I am told ......with licence plate similar to his name.
I still have the licence plate in fact I was lucky to be able to get the plate back from DMV

Button Avatar
Button Silver Member Bill B
Seattle, WA, USA   USA
Lew Spencer and Lee Spencer are two different people. Lew was the racer and Lee built several racers called "Skimpys". Dennis Glavis once owned My DHC and still owns a "Skimpy Race Car". Lew and Lee are not related.

Button

Broadcaster Avatar
Broadcaster Silver Member Bob RA
Glendale, CA, USA   USA
In reply to # 13776 by Button Lew Spencer and Lee Spencer are two different people. Lew was the racer and Lee built several racers called "Skimpys". Dennis Glavis once owned My DHC and still owns a "Skimpy Race Car". Lew and Lee are not related.

Button

Thanks Button
This was a confusion for me for a long while. I am familiar with Dennis's Skimpy

Morganaddict Ronald Blair
Phoenix, AZ, USA   USA
Dear Dave,
Always great to have another British car enthusiast in Arizona. Feel free to contact me when you get back. My cell is 775 848 1407. You can take my 1977 Plus 8 out for a drive. Once you have driven this car you will never go back to any other. Like you I have owned just about all of them. Pure fun. Quick, corners like a slot car and gets constant attention. Ron Blair

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