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Ron Gray



Ron Gray is one of the Morganeers "Further Down Under". Once bitten by the Morgan bug, the virus also has spread with him. Here follows his own story.


Morgan cars, why a Morgan one could ask the Question? Well, I've always had a leaning towards a motorcar which is a real head turner, with perfectly presented lines, just like one sees in a woman.

 

So what really sparked my interest in Morgans, was when A friend of ours, sold us his MGTF, from which the proceeds from the sale, was going towards his final payment of a new Morgan +8. The year was 1996 and back in those days, there was a seven year waiting list. Two years later, I was to make an inquiry with the factory, about placing an order, but didn’t pursue it.      #R9300, the prototype fuel injected +8, run by Peter Morgan, alongside another +8 at a New Zealand event                                                                                                        

Then in the millennium year of 2000, we got our opportunity of becoming a Morgan owner. We had just completed a classic car tour in the South Island and while relaxing at an after match function, the discussion turned to Morgans. A certain car was mentioned that could be on the market. A week later, I made an approach by phone and yes, the gentleman was prepared to sell the car. So, a figure was agreed upon, a flight south booked, along with a ferry crossing booked for the car. From another source, I was informed that the recent restoration had brought this car up to, as good as and if not better than new.

 

So we had now purchased our first Morgan, being R9300, the 1984 works prototype fuel injected +8, which had been Peter Morgan's personal car for three years and in that time wore the factory plates, MMC II. Just prior to the Company's 75th Anniversary Celebrations, for which the car was being launched, the Morgan Personality John Sheally was to test drive the car at Silverstone. Hermen has compiled a very comprehensive history file on the car, complete with a good story, or two told by John.

 

With the Centenary Celebrations drawing near, we weighed up our options as to whether we ship R9300 over, or take delivery of a new car. Seeing you only live once, we agreed upon the latter and this period would have to rate as the personal high of our association with Morgan.

 

The sheer joy and excitement from securing a build slot three years prior, to planning our personal specifications and those being put in place by the very able Mark Ledington. And then the big day of delivery arrived at the factory, with Mark taking us across to the despatch bay, where I was found to be lingering, as I was a little apprehensive as to whether we'd got the two tone paint scheme to how we had envisaged. I was soon reassured with Di catching the first glimpse and letting out a gleeful yelp.

 

Factory sales man Mark Ledington, Ron & Di Gray and Dixon Smith posing next to "Spider Man's" Aero 8 at the Factory entranceThen the lovely faithful Dixon Smith familiarized us with the car and also took us on a very interesting extended tour of the factory, followed by a photo shoot with the man himself, Charles Morgan, Matthew Parkin and Mark Ledington. A few days of touring followed before arriving at Cheltenham, to attend what was to be a fantastic weekend of celebration, being capped off by that grand open air concert and with all good things having to come to an end, the fireworks was a fitting finale. And if that wasn’t enough, we went on to enjoy another six weeks of touring Wales, Ireland, Scotland and England, clocking up 7,600 km's, before returning the car to the factory, in readiness for shipping.

 

Oh, what unbelievable memories, which could be mistaken for a dream and still stirs the blood at the thought. So this car, an Aero 8 is the second Morgan in the stable and early 2011 we added a third, being a delightful 1930 Aero Three Wheeler. This car had spent time in the U.S.A., where in the late eighties, it was restored by Larry Ayers and returned to the U.K. in 1990.

 How do you ever get into a car like that?? One has to be a real athlete to do so! Yet, a beautiful three-wheeler Aero like this is meant to be driven open!

The most satisfaction I receive from Morganeering, is the sheer pleasure and joy it brings to other folk. Whether it be from friendly waves, to huge grins, or the comments received while parked, or refuelling. Some have to take a close look to determine the make of the car and others may have family or relatives, who have had, or still own, a Morgan. While passing through a town in Ireland and we were stopped at a set of lights, I heard the chatter of, '' Stay Red, Stay Red.'' This group of teenage boys were wanting time to take a photo with their mobile phones. Another time we booked into a B&B within a small country town in Wales, with the Aero parked on the main street outside. The proprietor told us later that a group of young boys were around the car taking photos and a comment was made as to who would be driving a car like this?

One of the boys was heard to reply, ''It would have to be Spider Man.''

 

Future wise, it would be my greatest wish to see the Morgan Motor Company, secure a firm, sound future, so they can keep producing these adorable hand built cars, to bring so much pleasure and thrill seeking for the future generations to come. We salute you, ''Morgan".