Saturday, January 31, 2009

Morgans Over America IV 2005

Morgans Over America IV was held in May and June of 2005. Approximately a hundred Morgan owners with 45 Morgans gathered in San Francisco for a six week adventure. The group would travel the Great Pacific Highway, Highway 1, follow Route 66, visit the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley, take a cruise on the Mississippi River, take a deak north into Canada and much, much more.

If you'd like to get straight to the photo album, click here:
Note the slideshow tab and if you click on a picture you can change the speed of the slideshow or even pause it.
This car is also found on The New York Times site:
... or stay here and just read on.

My wife, Judy, and I left our home in London, Ontario, Canada, in late April in our 1969 Morgan Plus 4. We took mainly two lane roads across the continent to San Francisco where we met up with other Morgan owners from the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Europe. The europeans had their cars shipped, three to a container, to San Francisco, retrieving their cars from customs for the tour.

It truly was an adventure, especially for us. On our way to San Francisco, just outside Salt Lake City, Utah, we had our first flat tire. With spoked wheels and an odd tire size, we were lucky to get it fixed as we needed a replacement inner tube; the tube stem had failed. We had our second flat on day two of the tour and it, too, was caused by an inner tube stem failure. It was then that I realized that even though I had had a number of sets of tires over the years, no one had ever replaced the inner tubes. I'm not rich and always make this clear to those installing new tires. To save me money everyone had reused the inner tubes. No one realized that these tubes were the originals. We were driving on 36-year-old rubber!

Then, just days into the trip, the tappets began to clatter. Not being a mechanic, I knew little about tappets, other than it was not good to hear them as while driving. As we crossed the States, the tappet noise grew louder and louder. But we made it all the way to our hotel in Toronto before the engine died. It only refused to start once on the trip and that was at our hotel in Toronto and then it just refused.

We had the car towed to CMC Enterprises in Bolton, Ontario, where Martin and Steve Beer diagnosed the problem; my camshaft was pooched. We ended our segment of MOA IV by train. I had only been able to arrange a block of five weeks away from the newspaper and so Judy and I had not planned on doing the Toronto to New York city leg of the MOA IV. My little car had completed its part of the tour with one camshaft tied behind its back, so to speak.

Before we picked up our car from the Beers, they installed a complete new set of inner tubes. We haven't had a flat tire since.
This is my first blog. I recently retired from The London Free Press, London, Ontario, Canada - they had a layoff and I took the fall for our department. But, I must say that the company and our union working together made the layoff less painfull than it might have been. I am planning on blogging about retirement, travel, finance, Morgans and more. Please give me a few weeks to get this off the ground, hope you visit again and I look forward to your comments and suggestions. Cheers, Ken Wightman