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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

People ask me, What is special about the Morgan Centenary Roadster 100 and our Register?

The Morgan Centenary Roadster 100





From time to time a very special Morgan Car is produced to commemorate a Landmark Event. The Centenary of the Morgan Motor Company in 2009 being such an event, has probably no comparison. 

Roadster 100 No. 012

It was sometime during 2009 that a group of Morgan Dealers led, we believe, by Melvyn Rutter and possibly with Phil Ledgerwood, convinced Charles Morgan that a Special Edition of the Series 2 Morgan Roadster be produced to celebrate the Morgan Company Centenary in that year.

Originally all of the cars were to be Right Hand Drive but that seemed to change as European orders were taken.

It was decided to utilise what eventually became known as The Centenary Trim Pack as the minimum specification for every car in this edition. 

This is the Centenary Trim Pack which was included as standard: 

1. A Matching Green Mohair Easy Up Soft Top,
2. A Matching Green Tonneau  Hood Cover, Spare Wheel Cover and Side Screen Bags were offered as optional extras.
3. Stainless Steel Wire Wheels with Morgan Spinners.
4. A Motolita Wood Rim Steering Wheel.
5. A Burr Walnut Dashboard.
6. Reclining Sports Seats with Perforated Leather.
7. Stainless Steel Chassis Cover with Morgan Badges
8. The Morgan Centenary Car Badge on the Dashboard
9. The Edition Number Plate on the Firewall.
10. The Body Colour of Mercedes Amazon Green, a metallic paint, was chosen as the editions only Colour available
11. The Interior Trim Leather Colour chosen was Biscuit. A second option of Black was the only leather colour variable.
12. Contrast Green Piping was an option for the interior leatherwork.
13. The Styling included Traditional Over Riders, but some Owners chose to change these to Bumper Bars.


The other visual difference on some of the early production are the addition of Wing Lamps. The Car above, which is Number 012, has no Wing Lamps. We know that No.s' 001 to 006 have them.

The Difference was caused by The Morgan Motor Company deciding to eliminate Wing Lamps on all of their Traditional Cars. 

This rule was introduced after making only the first few of the Roadster 100 Cars. Some owners now have had them fitted after purchase to make them more authentic.


There is some confusion about the actual number of Roadster 100's manufactured. It is estimated that there were only 63 made of what was obviously an intended production of 100. 

Production only began mid way through Centenary Year 2009 and went well into 2010 by which time the factory had other priorities and no more forward orders for 'Roadster 100's'. The first car was displayed at the Centenary Celebrations in September at the Cheltenham Racecourse.


The First R100 shown at Cheltenham, but only given Plate No. 030 much later.

The Roadster 100 Brochure & Centenary Calendar Photo

THE ROADSTER 100 REGISTER AND THE MISSING NUMBERS MYSTERY!

Apparently, because the Morgan Motor Company only keep Production Records by Chassis Number there is no record anywhere of the unused Plate Numbers. 

Those Unused Numbered Plates, which could have clarified the actual numbers made, apparently were lost or disposed of?

The Chassis of R100 No. 019 being assembled in the 'Goodwood Revival' Morgan Garage.

Some UK Dealers were able to request specific Edition Plate Numbers for their customers out of sequence just to add to this confusion.

For instance, Dealer SGT acquired Plate No.100 on their Directors 'Demonstrator'. We also discovered that Car No. 099 was also selected elsewhere by an owner who just missed selecting that No. 100 for himself. , Car No. 029 was selected to go with the owners TOK registration. No. 029 was the Racing number for the famous Le Mans Group Winner TOK 258.

A full calendar of events during that year was planned by The Morgan Motor Company, culminating with more than 3000 Morgan Cars assembling for a spectacular weekend held at the Cheltenham Racecourse in Gloucestershire.


MMC also decided to produce a Commemorative Car by planning to build one hundred 'Roadster 100’s' to mark the Centenary of the Company.

We understand that the Dealership Network was invited to specify the car and it turned out that all one hundred cars were to be identical.

Manufacturing Life in Malvern was frantic in 2009 with the conflicting priorities of another 'New Model' to add to the busy mix already in the pipeline.


It was late into 2010 that orders waned and the Centenary was almost a year away that the model was finally withdrawn. The Newtown Motors Dealership, it seems, sold the last Unnumbered Roadster Car built to the same identical specification as the R100.

All 100 were 'To be Identical' and 'Individually Numbered' using a special 'Bulkhead Plate'. The numbering should have been reasonably accurate and that seems to be where the Numbers Mystery begins.


We now know that there were 100 plates made although the myth spread that there was never an intention to build 100?

Many Morgan owners will know that the company only keeps build records by Chassis Number. 

With the R100 Chassis used for all Roadsters and not necessarily in numerical sequence it has been an added mystery trying to establish which of the 100 numbered plates were not used in a build.


Helen Thorne of Dealer Richard Thorne offered to investigate for us during a Factory Visit but it seems that the unused plates have gone Awol (absent without leave). We wondered if Car 013 had ever been built and Helen assures us that it was.

We are led to believe that the 100 cars were originally to be all 'British and Right Hand Drive'. 

Towards the end of the series, orders from Europe were fitted with Left Hand Drives by the Factory or Converted at their Dealerships if requested. One wonders which sweep their Wipers have? Car 012 now resides in Sweden and has been converted to LHD.


The standard cars have Over-Riders but a few owners chose Full Width Bumper Bars. Only the first few cars built had Wing Lights as MMC decided to cease fitting them about this time. 

Customers who ordered early were offered Black Leather trim rather than the specified Biscuit!
Some owners requested Oblong Wing Mirrors where the Standard Cars had Round. Some owners did not realise that their nearside round mirrors magnified to aid reversing and complained. Many owners have also changed the Large Black rear view mirror for a smaller, neater stainless steel one which does not have the blind spot of the larger original. 


Essentially, however, the cars are “identical” in appearance and all were built on the the traditional Roadster base with their Ford V6 3.0 litre power unit.

63 people purchased their cars as they were built and some were pre ordered, most of which were delivered during 2010. One R100 Rolling Chassis was actually being built during the Morgan Garage Demonstration at the Goodwood Revival meeting as shown in the Photo above.

SO WHY CREATE THE MORGAN ROADSTER 100 REGISTER? 

David Harris, who had the good fortune to purchase Car No. 001 from Phil Ledgerwood, came up with the idea that forming a Roadster 100 Register to gather together the owners of these cars before they were scattered far and wide.


David contacted myself (Frank Lomax) and together we began the search for Roadster 100s.
 With the Morgan Sports Car Club's  2010 MOGMMX, located this year in Buxton Derbyshire, just around the corner, a simple flyer invitation was created and I was able to post some of them through the side screens of the 7 Roadster 100 cars I discovered in the Hotel Car Park. 

I did not manage to find any of their owners during the event but they all made contact and the nine of us were the first members listed on the Register.


ATTENTION ALL MORGAN ROADSTER 100 OWNERS“

Before the dust settles on the Morgan Centenary Year, David Harris (Car No. 001) and Frank Lomax (Car No. 015) thought it would be a good idea to set up a Register of these Unique Cars.

Apparently a limited edition of only Sixty Cars in this series were actually manufactured.

We guess that they would already be spread far and wide in the UK and overseas.

We would welcome contact from all owners, so that experience is shared and modifications monitored.

Beyond that, it would be for owners to decide how the Register develops.

David may be contacted on davidharris144@btinternet.com and Frank may be contacted on frankwlomax@yahoo.co.uk

Meantime, we hope you enjoy your cars.”


A Copy of that very first Invitation Flyer

A similar but more updated 'Invitation' is always delivered to Dealerships requesting that they pass it on to new owners when a car comes onto the market again.


A Personal Invitation to Join the Morgan Centenary Roadster 100 Register“

In June of the Morgan Motor Company's Centenary Year 2009, David Harris and Frank Lomax, both proud Roadster 100 owners, decided to set up a Register for the Centenary Roadster 100, these Unique Morgan Cars,

Apparently, a limited edition of only 63 Cars, in this intended series of a 100, were actually manufactured, we believe, due to lack of production capacity. This reduction makes this Special Edition Morgan Model even more rare.

We guessed that, by this time, the cars would already be spread far and wide in the UK and overseas, which proved to be true, with members found in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany and Dubai as well as right across the UK. It took a long time to find these owners and invite them to join our group due to the Data Protection Act. However, by 2012, the membership has grown to some 44 of the 45 cars located.

Members of The Register would welcome contact from all R100 owners, existing and new, so that experience of owning the cars may be shared and any additions or modifications can be shared and monitored.

Beyond that, it is for Register's Member Car Owners to decide how we develop the group via our Register's email communication network.

In 2011 we held our Registers inaugural meeting by hosting an 'All Morgans' Day' on May 15th at the National Trusts fabulous Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire where, among the 220 Morgans attending our event, we joined together with 22 Roadster 100 owners and parked in a line across the front of the house. We chose Help for Heroes as the Charity we would support and raised £1200 on the day.

We would love to hear from you and Frank Lomax, owner of car No. 015, will provide more details for you if you are interested in joining the Register.

Frank may be contacted by personal email on frankwlomax@yahoo.co.uk


Meantime, we do hope that you enjoy your Roadster 100 cars.”

Our Updated Invitation Flyer

 
Car No. 006 found at the Buxton MOGMMX

Tracing Owners has been a hard slog always reminding ourselves that The Data Protection Act means that owners need to approach the Register and volunteer any personal information.

These days it is not possible for Factory, Dealer or MSCC to volunteer ownership information. For this reason we have maintained a Members Only Access to our internet site.

To date we have located 50 of the 63 cars. Already 9 cars have changed hands with some of them disappearing off the radar at the moment. Hopefully one or two owners may read this and make contact.

I keep the actual register using a Spreadsheet and this information is only shared among members if they ask for a copy.


Our Members Only website contains a simple listing of the cars by Series Number.  Here is a copy of my Car details


Morgan – Centenary Roadster 100 Register
              The Limited Edition Centenary Model of the Classic Morgan Roadster V 6 – 3 Ltr.





Car No.Current Owner DetailsOwned FromDealershipOwners Notes
015Ann & Frank LomaxNewSGT Station Road, Taplow, Maidenhead, Berks,SL6 0NTGreen Piping on seats etc. – Sump Modified by Peter Mulberry - Sump Guard - Top & Bottom Gaiters to Sliding Pillars - Bonnet Props – Sun Visors – Map Lamp – Luggage Rack – Autoglym Lifeshine – Librands Door Checks – Headlamp Grills

The Full Register information is much more detailed but that also only contains information which owners choose to share with other members.  






Our fame has spread gradually and one of our owners even managed to get his Car No.045 published on the front cover of the exclusive Morgan Sports Car Club magazine 'Miscellany', probably more to do with the Scene than the Register.


  

This Very Special Newsheet Clad Version is Car No. 038 which was chosen to be one of the Vehicles featured in the 2012 London Olympic Games Closing Ceremony. The Photo was used for the January 2013 Page of our Registers Calendar.



Early members were offered a numbered Car Badge which proved popular. Like many other badges , our badge has been offered on ebay by an Indian Copyist source. There is also a Special R100 Cap for the enthusiast.


The Roadster 100 cars are spread throughout the UK with some having crossed the Channel where we have members in Denmark, Sweden and Germany. One car, now back in the UK, had originally been delivered to Dubai. Another has moved with its owner to Canada. We believe there is at least one located somewhere in France.



One second owner in Germany following an accident requiring a total rebuild has changed the colour and some of the specification to suit his preference. So, where are all of the others and what Mystery Numbers could they hold?

We decided that, for our cars and owners with such a wide geographical spread, to hold Roadster 100 Register gatherings or events we would need to justify fairly long distance travel for most people. 

With this in mind, the now popular “ALL MORGANS’ DAY” was held in both 2011 and 2012 at the fabulous Waddesdon Manor near to Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. 


These events were thrown open to All Morgan cars with a staggering 160 cars attending in 2011 followed by a fantastic 220's cars in 2012, including our first group of 6 of the new Morgan Three Wheelers.


We have just agreed with the National Trust that Sunday 25th May 2014 is the date for our next Waddesdon event to which, once again, all Morgan Drivers are invited and next year we shall have extra dedicated “Front of House” parking for both the old and the new Three Wheelers which are arriving on the Morgan landscape in significant numbers! 

Hopefully the Three Wheeler Club will also help promote the event again next year.


It was during the 2011 event that the Register decided to adopt 'Help For Heroes' as the charity deserving of our support. 

Little did we realise then that this would stimulate member Frank Lomax (me) to embark on two fund raising drives around the UK which, coupled with the generosity of Morgan owners at both Waddesdon and elsewhere means that Frank’s Register fund raising now exceeds £10.000 - a magnificent landmark.


So that is the magnificent and very special (to us owners) Morgan Centenary Roadster 100.


We hope you enjoyed the mystery.

 
David Harris & Frank Lomax.





2 comments:

  1. Hello.
    There is a Roadster R100 Photo Build Record on Ebay. If any interest search
    MORGAN R100 ROADSTER OFFICIAL PHOTO BUILD RECORD
    Regards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You for the information Brian, I have passed it on.

      Hopefully you will get an early response.

      Best Wishes
      Frank

      Delete