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HG2549 Best in Show, at the 2011 Autumn Mog , Newport, RI
HG 2549 was included in exhibitions at the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum in Owl’s Head Maine and the Saratoga Auto Museum in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Also featured in Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car April 2013:
A bit of background:
I acquired the car late in 2008 in boxes. It was in need of a thorough restoration but all of the correct parts were there. In 1934 the Morgan factory was using the then new “barrel-back” body style for the Super Sports model. This car is unusual in that it was one of approximately 200 cars built using the older “Beetle-Back” style. Of that 200 only about 20 are still around.
CHASSIS: The original chassis was in remarkably good shape and required only stripping and repainting. The gearbox and internal gears also looked good and just needed cleaning. The trunnions and rear forks were rebushed and brought back to new dimensions. All of the suspension parts, front and rear, were refurbished to as-new condition or replaced.
Body Frame: All of the parts for the original wood frame were present but many bits, particularly aft of the front bulkhead were either worm eaten or partially rotted. The body frame was rebuilt using original parts where possible or carefully duplicated wood replacement parts where necessary.
The Engine: The Matchless MX4 (water cooled) is correct but probably not original to the car; the hairpin valve springs having been introduced later. All internal bearings were replaced with new and a Torringon needle bearing assembly with a seal was fitted to the rear main. As part of the Torrington conversion an additional oil feed was plumbed to the rear main bearing from a dash mounted, period appropriate, drip feed. A new Mogspares camshaft and new roller followers were used as was new pistons and rings. Basically, all of the parts that move or wear were renewed or replaced using Mogspares components.
SHEET METAL: Three major pieces; bonnet, beetle-back and skirt. The skirt was in good shape as received so was only cleaned and painted. The front ears of the beetle-back, where the hinge bits are, were missing so new metal was formed and welded in to the original pattern. Aside from that, much dent removal filling was required. The original bonnet had been butchered by some previous owner and had to be completely duplicated.
Petrol/Oil tank: 70 years is a long life for a petrol tank. The original tank had many previous repairs and was still leaking so I made a duplicate.
ELECTRICS: The original 6 Volt electrics are retained. The dynamo, driven off the left side of the gearbox is original and was professionally rebuilt using new field coils and brushes. All wiring was renewed with fabric covered wire using the correct colors based on the published wiring diagram. The wing lights while not original were required and added by a previous owner. The Mayflower tail lights are also are a common addition and, in this case, have dual (brake/running) filaments as does the repro Vincent stop light.
HOOD: Patterns were made over the original hood bows and sewn by our friend Shayna.
DETAILS, DETAILs, DETAILs…
Vacuum Windshield Wiper: Works; more or less…
SPEEDOMETER DRVE: The speedometer, cable and drive are complete and all work but I have the drive gear removed from the head. The parts are not replaceable and I feel they are too fragile and vulnerable for everyday use. Someone else may not agree.
HOOTER: Professionally rebuilt. It hoots.
RADIATOR: The original radiator was disassembled and several new gilled tubes fabricated. All chrome was re-plated and the original badge reused.
What was changed and why:
EXHAUST The MX2 and 4 Super Sport models were shipped with high exhaust pipes. I have owned several other cars with the high pipes and currently have OF7062 (shown in another section of this site) which had high pipes added by a previous owner. High pipes look great but both my wife and daughter have incurred serious burns from them. For this car I copied the exhaust/silencer configuration of the older JAP engined Super Sports. The downpipes are chrome plated, stainless steel and the silencers/baffles are carbon steel. No burns; looks good; nice sound… why not?
BATTERY: As mentioned earlier all the original 6Volt electrics were reconditioned and retained. However, the 6V battery just did not have enough “grunt” to spin the starter reliably. I added a 12Volt battery behind the seat bulkhead solely to energize the starter. Works great! Engine spins quick and fires instantly.
INTERIOR TRIM All of the interior trim is high grade leather instead of the original “Rexine” (kind of an oilcloth vinyl). No excuses, I like it. The sewing was done by Barbara Willburn in Cypress, CA. Also, I used Wilton carpeting over the original floorboards.
BRAKES: The original brakes have been refurbished and new cables fabricated. I had to make a sudden stop once to avoid someone making a U turn in front of me. The rear brake locked and both hands were needed to make the sharp turn to avoid the target. After that experience I redesigned the brakes so that the foot pedal operates the front wheels and the hand lever the rear. The system works very good and stops are predictable and straight. The original system can be reinstalled easily should anyone desire.