Having taken delivery of the car on Tuesday, I couldn’t wait any longer before taking it out on its first trip (and indeed my first trip in a Morgan that I own as opposed to dealer demonstrator)
I didn’t have anywhere to go so just trolled around local backroads taking some routes I used to do on motorbikes. (The Morgan has kind of been purchased to replace what I used to do on 2 wheels ).
Although the temperature was pretty cold 5 degrees, over cast and a bit mizzley it was entirely necessary to have the hood down, although I did leave the side screens in place. I remembered the sequence for dropping the easy-up hood and that went well, until the bit about “refasten the Tennex stud”. It took a good 5 minutes for me to realise that there is a different Male end to fasten it to when the hood is down...lesson 1 learned.
So off we go, well wrapped up given the temperature.
First stop was at the local petrol station, which is a great little traditional petrol station where they fill the car for you (downside is it’s cash or account only so you have to have the folding in your pocket ..) .This is where I learned the second lesson. You need to allow plenty of time to talk to people when you are stopped with the car. I also broke my duck with the “ oh yes, they have a wooden chassis don’t they” conversation with a local shopkeeper who was passing by..
Headed out of the village, over the cattle grid, and onto the moors.
OMG the steering doesn’t quickly self- centre after a junction turn and the throttle pick - up is pretty fierce. Especially if you’re not quite where you thought you would be in the road. Hmmm, that’s lesson 3 and 4.
Burbling along, through the gears, vaguely keeping in a straight line as we bounce from bump to bump. Quite hard to see though as by now I had tears of laughter running down my face, bl——dy brilliant, why did I wait so long before buying one of these .
A bend approaches, so I’ll drop down a gear (lovely exhaust popping) and brake a bit...brake a bit....BRAKE A BIT.....eventually they respond, reminding me so much of the brakes on a Defender I once owned. Perfectly efficient but not in the same “ breathe on the pedal and you’re stopped” fashion that a modern car has. That’s lesson 5 then...
Naturally, not only was it cold but a bit damp in the atmosphere. Luckily the heater is very good, particularly when you actually put the fan on...is that lesson 6? Probably not, because now it’s on I’ll probably just leave it there.
Relying on the interior mirror (as the standard rectangular ones are as much use as a one legged man in a bum kicking competition) I noticed it had got a film of road muck on it and couldn’t see much. Give it a wipe...I’ve got gloves on....oh! That’s worse. So eventually came to some traffic lights, red naturally, licked my glove and wiped the mirror....ok, let’s give it another go, lick the finger on the glove again and BARF that was salty...but at least the mirror was clean. So that was lesson 6, keep a damp cloth handy just as I did when on motorbikes. Yes, definitely more like the bike than I’d thought!
After that it was just a case of enjoying the back roads, realising how much I’d missed the smells of the country and feedback from road surfaces due to spending too long driving modern cars. Driving the Morgan definitely brings you back into being part of the movie as opposed to watching it through a windscreen.
As the miles ticked by, a whole 30 of them, the bouncing from bump to bump seemed to get less intense. Either I was getting used to it or the suspension was settling in a bit? A rattle from behind the dashboard (in the middle) will need looking at, nothing obvious/hanging down so will look under the bonnet to see if it’s the other side of the bulkhead. If not, I’ll get it looked at at the 3 month service.
Approaching home I was starting to get cold and wondered if the heater wasn’t as good as I first thought. I stopped for obligatory gratuitous pictures, which I hope to attach to this post, and realised just how cold it actually was outside the car! Back in the car, and wow, that’s lovely and toasty so lesson 7 is when driving in winter, make sure you realise how cold you have actually got...
Overall, what a brilliant, wonderful, life enhancing experience my first drive was. Why did I leave it so long!
The car is in many ways exactly what I expected, but the handling at modest speeds is much better than I expected from a ladder chassied leaf sprung car. The pick up is better than I thought and will of course only get better as miles get put on.
The brakes are fine when you get used to them and how the operate (as in the pedal is almost a horizontal press and not downwards).
The smiles and sheer pleasure are way beyond expectations
That’s all for now, thanks for joining me on my first journey!