The Restoration of ‘Sol’ The African Rally Morgan +4 (Chapter 4)

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As those who have been following our story will be only too aware, the deadline has now passed and Sol has set off on the first leg of the journey, but what happened following the last video instalment?

Work continued at an ever gathering pace to get Sol to a point where the car was ready to go to be trimmed, this involved making and fitting a wiring harness, made by The Wiring Harness Company just a few miles from our Bromyard Workshop, collecting and installing both a fuel tank and a radiator and ensuring that anything needing fitting or drilling both under and indeed on top of trim had been drilled. One item that roved a bit of a challenge at this point was a mounting bar for the seat belts – the car being fitted with 4 point competition type harnesses – as this has to be fitted to the rear wheel arch, but of course, there was no trim on the wheel arches, so after a couple of discussions with the trimmer, a suitable gap was left and holes drilled!

Sol was now ready to go to Custom Coach Trimming, again a local company, run by an ex Morgan Factory Trimmer who set about the interior, making door cards, wheel arch tops and sides, a gearbox cover and sundry other bits and bobs. Custom Coach Trimming were also going to make a hood, but this was to come at a later date.

Once trimmed, the car returned to the Holden Workshop and work pressed on to get it all together. The braking system pipework was checked over before being filled with fluid and the air bled out of it, providing us with a fully functioning braking system. Once this was done, the front wings were fitted and the lights wired up and tested. Finally at the front, the cowl was added and the bonnet fitted to line the cowl up correctly. The bonnet was then removed to allow for better access to the mechanicals. Correct water hoses, and an exhaust silencer together with a tailpipe were all sourced from Melvyn Rutter. Our local Motor Factor was able to source a length of flexible exhaust pipe, which was used to connect the manifold to the silencer, in order to offer an amount of movement to the exhaust and remove any stresses that may come from rougher roads.

At this point, Sol went back to Custom Coach Trimming for the hood and side screens to be fitted. Here we discovered that the windscreen was fitted at the incorrect angle, so had to make a hurried correction, thus enabling the use of standard Morgan sidescreens, a decision which saved time and the need for a custom made set! It soon became clear that the original pattern hood frame would not work with the addition of the roll over bar, so this was put to one side – it will be used for the Interim +4 project that is in the Workshop as the hood frame for this has all but returned to nature! Meanwhile, a more modern Morgan hood frame was modified to fit, providing enough support for the hood and giving a line that was pleasing to the eye from the side, whilst also being able to offer enough headroom inside.

Once the car returned to the Holden Workshop, engine, gearbox and axle oil was added, together with water to allow us to start the engine. Loose ends of wiring and pipework were clipped up safely out of the way and tidied up whilst the fluids settled in. A small drip of oil became evident under the engine – difficult to see as it was beautifully clean – seemingly coming from the sump plug and dripping on to the sump guard that had been fitted. Applying a spanner revealed the plug to be tight. Careful inspection of the sump pan, having removed the now slightly oily sump guard showed a dent, possibly from an impact at some point, or an over enthusiastic mechanic jacking the car up under the sump, which was leaking! This was deemed to be somewhat less than ideal and all the clean oil was hurriedly drained out! The sump pan, once removed, revealed a small crack inside that had gone unnoticed. Fortunately, the sump from the TR2 engine that is destined for the Interim car was on the shelf, having been cleaned ready for the engine build at a future date, so this was commandeered, fitted and refilled. No more leaking!

Now we could finally start the engine! After spinning the engine over without plugs to obtain oil pressure and roughly setting the ignition timing, plug were refitted, leads connected in the correct order and the fuel system primed. Happily, we were soon making a noise and filling the Workshop with the smells of a freshly built engine running for the first time!

As the hour was advancing and progress was good – it ran and sounded really good, was all together and would be driveable in the morning – it was time for home. Arrival the next morning however was a bit of a low, as the contents of the radiator was found on the Workshop floor! The water pump it seemed, was leaking from the gland seal within. Hurried phone calls were made to Moss Europe to try to locate a TR water pump. Our nearest proved to be in Bristol, so Charlotte sallied forth to go and get it. A chance phone call with a colleague, who as it turned out was in Bristol and a mere 5 minutes away from the Moss premises helped a great deal, and the 2 were able to meet at half distance and exchange parts. By lunch time the new pump was installed and the front end of the car going back together. All we had to remove was the radiator and front cowl box, the outer panel staying in place!

So, all back together and holding fluids, Sol was removed from the ramp and set on the nice flat Workshop floor to set the front wheel alignment and adjust the ride height on the front suspension. With this done, it was time for a drive around the yard. It seemed to be ok, although adjustment to the clutch was required as it slipped a little, and some ignition and carburettor tuning was required. With this done, we set off firstly around the yard, then up the service road around Linton Trading Estate, and after a few further adjustments, a trip up the road! The clutch required a little more adjustment and a few carburettor tweaks before a bigger journey, from Bromyard, along the main A44 towards Worcester and around a favourite and testing route. Those familiar with the area will have heard of Ankerdine Hill, used years ago as a hillclimb course and a real test for an engine’s state of tune. Although going gently as the engine was fresh, it pulled well and reached the top with ease.

Adjustments to the front dampers improved the handling characteristics greatly and the journey back to the Workshop ended with a broad grin and a feeling of great satisfaction that all worked well and was getting better with every mile.

After a thorough check over and a few more little adjustments, further and longer journeys over Herefordshire Roads were covered, before loading Sol with the kit that had been put ready, the last minute realisation that the fire extinguisher needed permanently bolting in, before the journey to the shipping company who were handling the first ‘leg’ of the adventure.

 

3 Reasons to Hire A Morgan For The Weekend

Very few cars emulate the class, nostalgia and performance that a Morgan offers, and at Holden Morgan, we want as many people as possible to experience this iconic car in all its glory. That’s why we provide a hiring service that allows you to make memories while experiencing the Morgan’s many unparalleled features.

But why should you want to hire a Morgan for the weekend? Here are three very good reasons:

Treat yourself to a weekend away

A weekend spent in the countryside helps you to restore and rejuvenate, and we think there’s no better way to spend this quality downtime than with good friends and a classic Morgan. You can pick up your Morgan at 4pm on a Friday, drive in style to a destination of your choice (see our blog post on our favourite romantic drives for inspiration) and keep it all the way until 10am Monday morning, with an opportunity to travel up to 250 miles in one weekend. Pack a picnic, enjoy a spot of top-down driving if the weather permits and take in the views as you enjoy the full Morgan driving experience. You can also visit a local attraction such as Hampton Court or Chase Distillery to make it even more memorable.

A gift for a special someone

Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or special occasion, giving a loved one the opportunity to drive (or be a passenger in) a Morgan for the weekend is bound to go down well. They might already be a Morgan enthusiast, or perhaps you’re keen to share with them your own passion for this iconic car. Either way, this unique and memorable experience gift is a fantastic way to show someone you care.

Try before you buy

It could be that you’ve been toying with the idea of buying a Morgan for a while, but are still on the fence about such an important purchase. And that’s why we encourage you to hire a Morgan for the weekend to really get to know the car before you make up your mind. The great news is that, should you absolutely love the car you’ve hired (and we’re sure you will), and you decide to purchase it, we will refund you either a day or weekend’s hire cost (depending on whether you buy a used or new Morgan).

Am I eligible to hire a Morgan for the weekend?

At Holden Morgan we like to give as many people as possible the opportunity to enjoy the full Morgan experience. We do, however, have some eligibility criteria that you should be aware of before trying to hire a Morgan for the weekend.

You must be:

30 to 70 years of age
A resident in Great Britain, Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man
A holder of a current, full, valid UK driving licence and have held this for 1+ years
Free from any disqualification on the driving licence
Free from any special terms imposed by insurers in respect of driving or had an accident in the past 3 years
Free from any current or pending offences on the driving licence, with the exception of parking and up to 2 speeding offences
Free from any medical conditions requiring referral to DVLA
Willing to complete a questionnaire to satisfy the above requirements

Next steps

If you’d like to enquire about hiring a Morgan for the weekend, please contact joel@holdenmorgan.co.uk or click here to get more information on prices and terms & conditions.

 

 

 

* Please note that the Morgans pictured in this article are not guaranteed to be available for hire at the time of reading. Please check with the team at Holden Morgan about current Morgan hire availability.

For Sale: 2005 Morgan Roadster 3.0 V6

There are few British classics as instantly identifiable as those made by Morgan. Hand-crafted with thorough attention to detail, Morgan cars are unparalleled in their performance and aesthetics.

This Morgan in particular is the Roadster, a V6-powered car that sits in Morgan Motors’ ‘Classic’ range of vehicles. That means it has traditional looks and building methods, with a few modern touches thrown in for good measure.

Introduced in 2004 as a replacement to the Plus 8, this incredible car is the most powerful of all the models in the Morgan ‘Classic range’. It is fitted with Ford V6 mechanicals, giving it momentous power thanks to the combination of its engine and lightweight frame. This means you can enjoy unmatched driving performance while easily controlling and manoeuvring the car on lengthier drives.

We are pleased to offer this stunning four-seater dark blue Morgan Roadster with extremely low mileage (just 8600) and superb features for just £37995.

Aesthetic features of this Morgan Roadster include a dark blue paint finish with a contrast tan leather interior and gorgeous blue carpets with contrast piping. There is also a Mohair Hood Pack with Tonneau Cover and a walnut dash.

Other features include front and rear over riders, a radio and CD player and stainless-steel wire wheels plus a spare. There is also only 8600 miles on the clock!

Given the fine craftsmanship this Morgan offers, as well as the high levels of care given to it by its previous owner and extremely low mileage, we are confident it won’t be with us for long! This car, as well as many others, is just one of the Morgans you can view up-close at the Holden Morgan Dealer Open Day on Saturday 18th August.

If you’d like to enquire about this car ahead of the event, please email joel@holdenmorgan.co.uk.

 

 

The Charging Bullet: Crowdfunding

With their planned Land’s End to John o’Groat’s run fast approaching, we called in to Fred at Spaven Engineering to see how he’s getting along with his electric bike; the Charging Bullet.

Since our visit last month, the bike has come a long way yet looks like he’s back at square one! Following the successful dry build and testing it has now been stripped right back for painting and powder-coating ahead of the final assembly. The only evidence of the hard work to date are shelves of batteries and electrical gubbins. Quite a few of the smaller parts have been finished now, such as a set of aluminium covers for the various battery boxes and the vital homemade ‘state of charge’ meter (the finished bike’s fuel guage) sits on the bench awaiting one final resistor.

To keep everyone up to date on the project they have just launched an Instagram , Facebook and of course @chargingbullet Twitter account so click and ‘follow’ them for the latest updates!

There has also been a lot happening outside the workshop and filmmaker Finn Varney , who is documenting the build and long distance adventure, has been back getting the final shots for the next short update film. As Fred rides the length of the country he will be visiting fellow engineers he has met while researching and building the bike, and filming their projects to show how much progress is being made in cleaning up our transport infrastructure. If you would like to support the making of this film (and receive some exclusive Charging Bullet goodies in return) check out their kickstarter crowdfunding page or for regular updates keep an eye on:

www.charging-bullet.co.uk

An American Classic – Ian Hadley’s 1970 Chrysler 300

This week it has been a pleasure to receive a guest post from Ian Hadley, who took a leap of faith and purchased a 1970 Chrysler 300 from the States, relying only on photographs and a bit of courage to seal the deal. Read his personal account below:

“The car was a 1970 Chrysler 300, 2 door hardtop (Coupe), 440 Cubic Inches (7.2 Litres), 350 hp, 480 ft lbs of stump pulling torque. Near 20 ft long, 7 ft wide and weighs just north of 2 tons. Three speed automatic transmission (manual not available for this model). She had allegedly been a one family owned car and spent her entire life in and around the environs of Pasadena (a suburb of Los Angeles, California). Originally purchased new by the vendor’s great aunt. I guess that makes her the original “Little Old Lady from Pasadena”! There are two basic types of American car which every enthusiast finds desirable. The first I would term the “Daddy’s Girl Car”; usually a sporty model with upgraded brakes, handling package and all the toys but with the base engine. Just begging for an engine swap. The second I call the “Sunday Go To Meeting Car”; a personal luxury coupe or sedan, little used, low mileage.

With 56k genuine miles on the clock, this old girl of a Chrysler falls into the latter category. Whilst not my first rodeo concerning the importation of a car from The States, one never quite knows what to expect until the vehicle gets here. Relying entirely on photographs and the vendor’s description requires a great leap of faith and is not to be recommended to those faint of heart. In this case she lived up to expectations and I find myself well pleased with my purchase.

The car proved to be totally rust free, an advantage of importing from a dry State. Unusually for a 300, the car was not highly optioned having no Air Conditioning, no Power Windows, and just the basic Bench Seat interior. I managed to extract the Broadcast Sheet from it’s under seat hiding place and discovered the car came with the “fuel economy” rear axle, a fact I found hilarious! Having been maintained in an excellent mechanical state, she needed very little to pass her first MOT. The rear indicators required a rewire and colour change. The washer bottle was non existent. Old technology plastic bottles do not last and are virtually impossible to obtain NOS or used. The old sealed beam headlights needed improvement too. Now in the old days, when headlights came in standard sizes, one only needed to visit the local automotive factor for an off the shelf replacement. Not so easy in the 21st Century.

This is where Holden Vintage and Classic came to the rescue.

These fine folks carry a range of suitable replacements, enabling one to convert your classic to utilise more modern halogen lighting. Whilst I was shopping, I purchased a generic aftermarket washer kit too. Not being a matching numbers aficionado, the lack of originality does not bother me. Suffice to say, MOT passed first time! And finally, just to answer the often-asked questions; you can get four bodies in the trunk and it does 12 – 14 mpg on a run which falls to 5 – 6 mpg in stop start driving. If two litres did it for me, I’d have got me a Pepsi!”

If you’d like to share your classic car story, please email us today on charlotte@holden.co.uk.

Charging Bullet Update: Test Ride

A lot has happened at Spaven Engineering in the last few months and the Charging Bullet has progressed from a collection of parts to something vaguely resembling a motorcycle. The plan to convert an old 350cc Enfield Bullet to pure electric power and ride it from Land’s End to John O’Groat’s is coming together, slowly but surely.

Since we last spoke to Fred, he has finished welding up the main component; the subframe which bolts to the original Enfield engine mounts to hold the motor, batteries and all the electrical gubbins. This has now been mounted in the 1961 Enfield Bullet Frame, the motor and a small, tester battery pack was installed before wiring could begin and tangles of multicoloured spaghetti began pouring from the bike.

Finally, with the bike up on stands to keep the rear wheel off the ground the ‘ignition’ switch was flicked. The Battery Management System (BMS) went through it’s obligatory cell checks before turning on the main contactor (a giant relay) a half a second later. This satisfying clunk signalled that the battery power was ready to be unleashed and a gentle twist of the grip sent a swarm of electrons down the hefty 350 amp cable to the motor. With the bike still largely unpainted and still lacking (among quite a few other things) a front brake, it was time to wheel it outside for a spin around the yard.

The best way to describe the ride is: easy, the Enfield’s laid back handling works perfectly with the zero fuss electric drive. The clutchless operation doesn’t take much getting used to but I did keep feeling my toes reach for a gear lever that isn’t there! Handling was excellent and, at least up to 25mph or so in the yard, the bike felt stable and controllable just as it should. Of course brand new bearings, tyres, forks etc. help enormously and everything felt tight and new making for a very confident ride. It’s never going to win races but the easygoing feel and lack of fuss make the bullet a really user friendly machine and it should fit the bill as a daily commute down country lanes or city streets.

The bike is far from finished, however, and Fred’s still got a lot to do before the big Land’s End to John O’Groat’s run later in the year, from fabricating covers that will keep the Scottish rain away from the batteries to fitting the instruments: a speedo and State of Charge Meter, effectively the electronic ‘fuel’ gauge.

For more information and updates or to get in touch check out: www.charging-bullet.co.uk

Bringsty Grand Prix 2018 Roundup

 

It was a pleasure to see so many of you at Bringsty Grand Prix over the weekend. The event was an enormous success and we’d like to extend our gratitude to the organisers and supporters who helped bring this historic event back to Bromyard for the first time since 1947, including The Bromyard Speed Festival crew, Cotswold Youth MX and local land owners. You can see some videos and pictures of the day on our Facebook page.

As many of you already know from our previous blog updates, The Bringsty Grand Prix took place over two consecutive years in 1946 and 1947, with the latter being politically significant due to the large public rally that took place on the Common to protest the loss of the basic fuel ration for private motorists. The pressures of post war Britain were too much for the event to continue past this date, which is why it was so exciting to see it launch again in 2018 after last year’s pilot event to mark its 70th anniversary.

Participants on the day included David Weaver, Marcus Doughty, Andy Carter, Alastair Garness, Vincent Hale, William Holden Jon Britton and many more, as well as Richard Williams who won the event and who is pictured below winning the Bringsty Grand Prix cup. The event was a classic ‘grand old scramble’, with ledges, bog watersplashes and steep climbs and as well as enjoying glorious weather, several participants commented on how the 1 mile period circuit was one of the best they’d experienced in years.

We’d like to once again thank everyone who made this event possible, and very much look forward to seeing its return next year.

 

A big thank you to ESL Photography

The Restoration of ‘Sol’ The African Rally Morgan +4 (Chapter 3)

A year ago, we introduced you to ‘Sol’, a tired Plus 4 in desperate need of some restoration. Over the last 12 months, the team at Holden Morgan have been working tirelessly to restore sorry Sol in time for RallyRound’s Rally Africa. You can read more about the steps taken to this stage here and here.

Below, you’ll find a video of Jeremy and Adam demonstrating the latest project developments from the Holden Morgan workshop. We don’t have long to go and very much look forward to sharing with you this amazing car’s journey through Africa in October.

 

A customer’s restoration journey

This week we are honoured to have spoken to Peter Linn, a lifelong classic car enthusiast and owner from Essex who now lives in Brisbane, Australia.

Peter currently owns a selection of cars, including a 1955 Austin Healey 100, which was bought part restored in 2008, and a 1947 MG TC/Q type special, which was purchased as a basket case in 2016. These are the last of a string of British classics starting with a 1952 Series MM Morris Minor in 1966, through 1953 MG TD owned from 1970-1986 (in the UK), 1966 Daimler 2.5 litre V8 (1992-2003 in Australia), 1955 Special bodied Austin Healey 100 ‘the Ward Special’ (2003-2015) which is now in Holland, and an Ausca bodied Healey 100.

The current Healey was found in a paddock in NSW where it had sat for 20 odd years. Most of the mechanical bits were long gone, so it needed a replacement engine (3.8 litre Holden V6). The MG was bought from a friend as a project. The chassis is one from a car he owned in the ‘60s which he crashed. He then replaced the chassis and subsequently straightened the original one and collected bits to build another car. That’s what Peter bought. The body is a fibreglass Q type replica of which a handful were made in Melbourne.

A personal passion for restoration

Peter gets a particular kick from building something out of nothing (or very little) as well as resurrecting cars that very nearly cease to exist. That was the case with both the Healey and the MG, and also the Ausca bodied car, which was built from scratch after finding the body in Victoria.

Holden Vintage & Classic have helped Peter bring these cars back to life

Peter has used Holden Vintage & Classic products in many of his restorations. In the MG, he used an alloy rocker cover, sidelight innards, reflectors, halogen headlamp globes, electronic SU fuel pump, badge bar clips, cabling, spark plug caps, spring bonnet catches, and a pair of goggles and driving gloves!

In the Healey, he needed headlamp seals, Healey-specific rear indicators, headlamp stone guards, reflectors, lift the dot studs and decals.

And in the Ausca bodied car (now sold) he required complete headlamp units, MGA tail lights, reflectors, indicator lamp lenses and a few other small parts.  When asked about his experience, he said, “HVC is the first place I refer people too when they’re looking in particular for electrical and hardware bits”.

 

So how does Peter enjoy his projects once they’re finished? Well, as a member of GEAR (Golden Era Auto Racing), Peter told us he runs the Healey and the Ausca at the club’s two monthly track days at the 2 Queensland race tracks – Lakeside and Queensland Raceway. He also enjoys taking his classics to shows such as the annual All-British day. We are pleased that Peter has found the right hardware, electricals and accessories to help him enjoy his restored cars to their maximum potential and look forward to seeing what he has up his sleeve in the near future!

If you’d like to share your restoration story, get in touch with us today!

 

 

 

 

 

June Classic Car and Motorcycle Events 2018

Expect an exciting line-up of classic car and motorcycle events this month, from the historic Bringsty Grand Prix to the fun-filled Fathers Day Motorfest – whatever takes your fancy, we’ve found an event that’s just right for you.

1st-3rd June 2018 Vintage Nostalgia, Stockton Park

Enjoy this summer family classic car festival with an eclectic autojumble, over 100 vintage stands, classic cars, children’s activities, live music and more! Set in the beautiful surroundings of the Wylye Valley, you’re welcome to bring your tent, yurt, caravan, classic car, vintage motorbike, and join in the fun. Tickets from £10 a day.

3rd June 2018 Brighton Beach Classic Car Show

Opening at 10am on the Brighton Beach promenade, this fun and sunny family day out is perfect for the classic car enthusiast who also enjoys a stick of rock or a rum and raisin ice cream. Featuring an array of cars spanning the era, as well as activities, children’s entertainment and runs throughout the day, this is an event you won’t want to miss.

9th June 2018 Loch Ness Classic Car Tour 

The Loch Ness Classic and Vintage Car Tour is a non-competitive event restricted to entries from classic and vintage cars plus cars of a sporting nature as well as vintage and classic motor cycles. This year, the car tour is raising money for two charities –Children 1st and the Charity Account of the Rotary Club of Inverness Loch Ness. To take part in this scenic event, simply visit the website. 

9th June 2018 Jaguar XK70 celebration Shelsey Walsh

Dress up in your best motoring heyday outfit and head to the oldest hill climb still running in the world, Shelsley Walsh, to celebrate all-things-Jaguar. View a spectacular range of Jaguars, enjoy Q&A sessions with a panel of Jaguar experts, eat and drink from a variety of vendors and watch some incredible runs throughout the day.

9th June 2018 Bringsty Grand Prix

Returning for the first time in almost half a century, this incredible motorcross event will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view some beautiful motorcycles from across the decades. The venue will be Tiblands Farm, Linley Green Road, Bromyard WR6 5RE.

10th June 2018 Manchester to Blackpool Classic Car Run

Back for its 55th year, the Manchester to Blackpool Classic Car Run is an enjoyable event for any classic vehicle owner. Starting from Worsley Old Hall near Manchester this Touring Assembly gives entrants a choice of 3 routes tailored to cars of different types. Veteran and Edwardian entrants can elect to start from the lunch halt. This year the route takes in many ‘new’ roads as it makes its way from Worsley to a rest halt at Haslingden then on to a lunch halt in Fulwood Preston. From Fulwood the route takes in Wrea Green to finish at the Italian Gardens in Stanley Park Blackpool where a simple Concours will be held with awards for the different classes.

17th June Fathers Day Motorfest

Treat your Dad (or son) to all-things-classic-motoring at Barleylands, Billericay CM11 2UD. Enjoy a display of incredible vehicles, a chance to watch live demonstrations, as well as some great entertainment on the main stage from DJ Crazy Nadge rock n roll and The Foxy rock Dancers, Motorbike football, Amazing Stunt Team and a huge kid’s area with fun fair rides, huge bouncy castle village and kids entertainers.

23rd-24th June 2018 The Classic and Sports Car Show in Association With Flywheel

For transport lovers everywhere, this year’s show features classic car, aircraft and military machines, as well as club displays, trade stalls, autojumbles, entertainment and refreshments. MGB fans will be delighted to see one of the very earliest MGBs in action – one of the first 20 ever made, in fact, and amongst those taking to the demonstration course will be a 1926 Bentley 3 Litre Sports works car that competed in the 1926 Le Mans 24 Hours. You can read more about the lineup on the day by clicking here.

24th June 2018 Really Retro Show

Now in its 4th year, the Really Retro Show will feature world-class cars and bikes, a dazzling array of vintage aircraft, an impressive collection of military machines and incredible live demonstrations both on the ground and in the air at the historic site. There’s also a Vintage Village featuring period fairground rides, live music performances, shopping and food stalls.

For any parts, accessories or clothing you might need to attend one of these events, visit the Holden Vintage & Classic website.