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What do you want from a Morgan?

posted Nov 15, 2010, 8:12 PM by L.D. McLaughlin Jr.
Spider, October 20, 2008
Ya know,

I think it comes down to thinking carefully what all it is you want from a Morgan.

In the Discourses by Epictetus (a Greek slave of Romans), he notes that the most important question in life is "What is it you want" followed closely by "How is it you intend to get it?" Epictetus of course does not assume goodness or badness of the person asking these question merely that they are to be asked and are of primary importance regardless of the ethical qualities of your intent.

So I know that with The Great White Hope, what I want is the driving experience of a Morgan in the late 1950's - which because of its inherent design harkens back to driving experiences of earlier times - in its entirety - not just the car but the entire environment through which I drive it. I even live in a place that seem similar to the country byways in old(e) England. My commute is up past lakes and on country roads that are arch-overhung with trees. I see cows and horses, occasionally a noisy John Deere. Sometimes there are more than 4 cars on the road with me. I try to be almost never on highways (except those built during the WPA and on which trucks and busses are forbidden). It's a time machine; in the force of my will I can rock the universe back on its fulcrum to a warmer, more pleasant day, and for a short while I feel the sweet taste of that universe in harmony. From a driver's perspective, it is the world as described in that first-ever driver's handbook, The Lure of Speed by Sir Henry O'Neal Dehane Segrave, delightful in its innocence, like a fire just lit or field grass in early spring, not of this time and fleeting at very best.

Who, in their right mind, would ever want to change the description in the preceding paragraph by "improving it". I work hard to not improve the Hope. Oh, OK, sometimes I'll replace a part with one that promises to not fail quite so often, but even some of the failures harken back to that time. It is a time when, presented with some failure (starter, points, regulator, tyre, etc.), it was expected that you would take an hour or two to repair it and (only then) continue on your way with any tardiness forgiven. Why would I want to sacrifice that ease and grace to convenience? Truthfully, I'm not into has become, in my estimation, the enemy of a civilized life in that it creates expectations of human behavior that are in and of themselves inhuman.

The 57 four seater is exactly and wonderfully an embodiment of that deliciously polite and peaceful time; every line in that car holds with no compromise to it's original intent; no need for better performance, or better braking, or better acceleration, or more appeal to popular sentiment and commercial viability; or better weather protection, or -dare I say again- convenience is evidenced.

I know I blaspheme but, if it were a better car I wanted, I already have that. My everyday car is a BMW Z4 (snow or shine) and I wouldn't trade it for a more modern Morgan. When I want to drive a vintage car, the Hope comes out under my loving hands.

Nor, in any of the above to I mean disrespect to those of you who see it differently, whose love of touring in a Morgan the way I might tour regularly in the Z, whose interest in high performance, or whose love of more modern technology is evidenced in their Morgan choice. I merely needed to put down how I , personally, see it (all) in Morgans.


Spider 3585 (high bodies, wide boards, and long grilles forever)