John H. Sheally II
A very well known personality in Morgan circles is John H. Sheally II. He has been around for over 40 years and because of his profession of photographer combined with the ownership of numerous Morgans over the years, the quantity of pictures he made of Morgan simply is countless. He published three Morgan books over the years.
What raised your interest in Morgans and when was this
. ----- My first owned auto was a 1953 Mercury Monterey. It was a beautiful machine White with red leather interior I owned it for 7 days. It was a used car and I liked it so much that I would park it under my bedroom window and after my parents would go to sleep I would climb out the window and sleep in the car, loved the smell of that leather. Unfortunately it caught fire when I was driving it due to bad wiring and burnt to the ground.
My next (second auto) was a 1953 MGTD, BRG with black leather interior , that was it what made me hooked on roadsters. I enjoyed the car for 5 years but always wanted more power and better handling, the little 3 main bearings engine would not hold up to the running pace that I like and was rebuilt twice. In the meantime a guy rolled a 544 Volvo on a exit ramp and I bought the engine and transmission from the salvage yard (only 5000 miles on it) and installed it in the 53 MGTD that worked for a while and had the power I was seeking .
But then I test drove a new Plus-4 Morgan and it was love at first drive so I purchased a brand new Plus-4 in 1967 directly from Peter Morgan . It happened that way as at the time in 1967 the Morgan was being declared not available in the USA as it didn't meet EPA rules.
The Dealer in Norfolk Va., John Copeland, informed me that he could not supply me with a Morgan because of the new law so I called Peter Morgan and got him personally at the Morgan Motor Company and explained that I had just gotten out of the U. S. Navy where I had saved enough to purchase a Morgan and had been told by the dealer that they were not available in the USA .
Peter responded that if he could get one done and shipped to me prior to December 1967, which was the cut off date in the USA, it would be legal. That was in April of 1967 and he shipped me the car on the 18th of December 1967. The rest is history and it started a wonderful personal friendship between Peter and me for decades.
I drove that 1967 Plus-4 (photo left) for 225,000 plus miles before I sold it to purchase a 1967 Plus-4 Super Sports that was a one owner with less than 10,000 miles one it and what a sweet machine it was. (photo below)
What was the first Morgan you owned?
............The mentioned 1967 Plus-4 in the first question.
Which Morgans you have owned over the years?
.........1967 Plus-4, 1967 Plus-4 Super Sports, Family four Three-Wheeler (PMs sisters car), 1971 Plus-8 , 1973 Plus-8, 1983 Plus-8. 1985 Plus-8 Full Race, 1964 4/4 Racer, 2 4/4 Racers #46 & #47, 1934 J.A.P Three wheeler, 2- F-Type Three Wheelers, 1935 MX4 Barrelback Super Sports, Two Plus-Four- Plus models.
What gives you the most pleasure of the Morgan hobby?
........ The feel and handling of a Morgan along with the sleek looks of the Roadster on great back roads roads and when I am beating cars that should be superior to the Morgan in competition.
How has your involvement with Morgan developed?
.........I like most all automobiles but the Morgan has been the mainstay and full time hobby for decades as I owned, restored and drive them. Other cars are fun but I always come back to Morgans as they have something that the others don't offer. They are unique in so many ways.
What do you consider to be your personal high point with regard to Morgan?
............Win after win in competition in and concours in Morgans that deliver and deliver and deliver.
Is there anything you personally wish for on the Morgan front?
Yes, That they celebrate 200 years or more of production with what they do best and that is build MORGAN ROADSTERS AND THREE-WHEELERS for others to enjoy.Because John is such a gifted photographer and has shot such a huge quantity of Morgan photographs over the years, John provided a special selection from his pictures, which will be shown in the slide show below. ENJOY!!!
John H. Sheally II