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Kirkus's Blog

Adventures in Morganeering: Australian Reversing Lamp.

When a new 3 Wheeler ships to the U.S. from the factory, it comes with a European “Fog Lamp”. Now in America, a fog light is a yellow or clear light, facing forward, but across the pond it is a super bright RED light facing Backward!


The first time Beth and I tried to back into a parking space at night we realized just how much we needed a proper backup light. Red is one of the colors you have more difficulty seeing as you get a bit older….

Looking at the Morgan Parts book I noticed that the Australian specification car has just the clear light I needed.


First I had to remove the allens that hold the rear package tray in place to give me access to the rear wheel area.


The rear splash guard that protects the wiring at the rear is one complex piece of aluminum, 8 Phillips woods screws secure it.


Now we can access the wiring, and the plate to which the Fog Lamp is secured.



Next we disconnect the wiring connector, remove 4 more wood screws, and the mounting bracket is free.


Note the big heat sink at the back of the reversing lamp housing.  And the way that Morgan machines the counter-sinks into the mounting bracket? The same way I would do it at home.


The new lamp comes with the proper spade connectors to insert into the existing plug, A bit of fiddling and the old ones are out and the new ones in, for a complete factory installed appearance.




A few wire ties to bundle everything up snugly, then re-assemble.


2 hours and 14 wood screws later and success!

Here is the result!20170506_17583220170506_17583720170506_204607

Das Bike Projekt: Color Me Conflicted.

Hi folks, long time no blog!

Something interesting happened this week. And it happens every couple of years. After not thinking much about the BMW for a while (I just finished my work busy season, which coincides with the lovely grey Michigan winter) I received a message on Ebay from a pleasant gentleman who asked if the BMW was still for sale, referencing the ad I had posted two years ago.

From the ad: 

In October 2010 I bought what is call a BMW /2 “Conversion” Motorbike. It is constructed from taking a /2 bmw chassis (1955-1969), and implanting a /5 Engine (1970-1973).
In the years since it has been completely rebuilt mechanically, while preserving it’s look as an old bike.
I have kept a detailed blog, with thousands of photos and a few videos starting here:
You can keep hitting the “next” button in the upper right corner to read through it all, but here is the bike in a nutshell.
REAL 1966 R69s
1973 R75/5 motor with Siebenrock 1000cc Big Bore Kit
New Nikasil cylinders.
Stainless steel pushrod tubes.
Lightweight 9.5:1 1000cc pistons .
Dellorto carbs, Real Paul Dunstall Silencers (not copies), SUPER rare Sig Erson cam.
New /5 and /2 wiring harness, Rear Fender Wires Replaced, Valeo Starter, Dyna Coil, Uli Electronic Ignition with adjustable Advance Curves, Omega Alternator, 12v AGM Battery, H-4 headlight, new handgrips, mirrors and turnsignals.
All engine, transmission and Final drive seal replaced.
Final drive rebuilt with new gear and spacer plate.
Head redone: Valves, Guides, Springs, Pivots, lifters, and Hardened Valve Seats
Timing Chain, Tensioner, Front crank bearing, and sprockets replaced, later model engine front cover installed.
New period correct Metzler tires, stainless spokes, wheels trued, New High Friction Brake linings installed, wheel bearings packed.
Total R90s Heavy Duty Clutch installed, Oil pump and cover. Engine Breather
RARE tachometer installed, with specail cable to mate to the /5 engine.
All shock absorbers replaced, swingarms greased and adjusted.
All Bowden Cables replaced, Solo seat mounted back 3 inches,Stainless Seat Rail, Fibreglas Enduro Saddlebags,
Small windscreen, EZ_clutch
“How does It run?” I cant believe that in my effort to get all the mechanical details correct I did not talk at all about how it all works as a motorcycle.
It stars, runs shifts and stops just fine! Because of the cam its happiest at higher revs, and drives like a regular R1000 engined bike until about 3500 rpm, and thats when the cam really comes on, then it pulls like a freight train! The Dellortos have accelerator pumps in them and are very responsive. The brakes have a high friction lining, but are still R69s drum brakes……
I should mention that the full persormance potential of this bike has yet to be realized due to having less than 1000 miles on the new Seibenrock cylinders, pistons and rings.

I told him that I had not really been thinking about it, and the last ad had not met my reserve, but that I would take some fresh photos for him, and add up my receipts to try and come up with a price.

And then this happened…. The bike had sat all winter, I put air in the tires and well…

Now I’m conflicted.

I mean it starting like that, even better than my newer fuel-injected toys,  is no accident, its the result of 6 years of work, and a hot coil, and an electronic ignition, and endless fiddling with Italian carburetors.

Can I put a dollar value on that, even if I don’t ride it enough? To gain what? A wider driveway and a new fence in the backyard?


Rational brain, emotional brain…

Eros VS. Thantos … (Google that one)


John A. Prestwich Special

Beth and I decided to kind of “Go Dark” on the whole Morgan thing until the car was delivered. That was supposed to be at the end of May. The last minute changes, us ordering all those options from the Geneva Show Car, resulted in some extra waiting, since many of those options had yet to be prototyped.  Morgan and our dealer did their best to keep us informed, as nervous “parents” we were probably pests as the nice summer driving days ticked by. But we do have the first production car with the new 2016 options.

Here are some photos of the Geneva car.

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If you notice, it looks more GREEN then the Factory photos that were leaked the week before?

So, knowing what we wanted we contacted our dealer, who contacted Morgan who gave him the specs. The Prototype is Rolls-Royce Heather. Beth and I went to every Brand of car dealer we could fit into a Sunday, and after many photos and discussions decided that Mercedes-Benz Palladium Silver was the closest color to the one we thought we saw in those factory photos.


The finalized specification was:


Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your order , 3 Wheeler – Standard, chassis number x, for Kirk x.

The specification for the car is now finalized.

Your car is scheduled to go into build in week ’16-19.

Please be reminded that payment in full is required before the car is dispatched.


3 Wheeler – Standard (LHD) (MPH)

Quilted Leather Stitching – Square

Polished brass hex wheel centre caps

Rear mudguard

Radiator cowl with screw cap

AERO RACING Jap rocker and crank covers in black

AERO RACING New dashboard arrangement – Tawny

AERO RACING Blockley square cut wheels and tyres

AERO RACING Headlight mesh

AERO RACING Vintage bonnet catches

AERO RACING Full Morgan windscreen

Under bonnet storage box

Cream Bakelite Brooklands steering wheel

Body coloured wheels

Air cleaner in brass

Bonnet louvres

Centre split leather seats

Brass headlamp rims

Pin stripe graphics

Waterproof Leather – XT Saddle Brown

Welcome pack book and DVD

Paint (please include description and paint code)(Any non-standard solid or metallic from our comprehensive range of colours) – 792/9792 Mercedes Palladium Silver (6HYBB)

Black exhaust heat shields

Exhaust Wrap

Tonneau Mohair – Black

Photo build book

Heated seats

Leather storage pockets

ROW specification admin charge – USA

***Email Confirmation – Sent***

Kind Regards,

Morgan Group

So that meant week 19 of 2016 the car would be started, coincidentally, on my Birthday, then 3-4 weeks in build, then 3-4 weeks to ship it. Estimated Delivery: End of June, Coincidentally around Beth’s Birthday!

I wont bore you with the delays, there were issues getting the graphics, and windshield, and instrument panel, and rear fender right, and some slippage of the schedule. At one point, a couple months before the car was finished, Morgan even told me it was completed and awaiting my payment. I got a lot of emails from my dealer, I begged every friend and forum member going anywhere near the factory to send me build photos. Some were even taken by major people in the Morgan organization as they tried to figure out where in the process we were. See as we go from painted body, though 3 sets of graphics, prototype parts, right though Pre-Delivery Inspection, and then Shipping!

I took the day off of work on Delivery day, and took my first-ever UBER ride to pick the car up, Beth met me at the dealership on her lunch hour.




So, that takes us from Ordering to Delivery!

Watch this space for more Action, Activities, and Adventures to come!







“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change” ― Heraclitus

Well the Geneva Motor Show opens today!

On Tuesday Morgan unveiled a car that had the “Heritage” options on it.

Different paint, and Instrument Panel and scads of other cool stuff.

Beth loves them, ALL of them! So the order will be changed.

Goodbye Black Racer, Hello Retro Classic!

We hope you like our new direction!

And if you don’t that is fine too, because you don’t pay the bills around here!


Just a quicky update!!!

So… Times change, People change, The Earth cools, the Universe Expands, and I change my plans.

The Wagon sold, I didnt think that would ever happen, but then I didnt think the ’51 would ever go either.

But you can’t cling on to everything, right? Only so much time to enjoy these toys, and an old house, and old trailer, an old car, a sports car, and 6 motorcycles all take time to keep up, which, especially in Michigan, cuts into the time We have to enjoy the toys! Funny how it took me over 50 years to do that math.

Anyway, we are down to 5 bikes now, The CL450 that I restored was the fist to go.

I dont miss that one much, I pretty much finished it and sold it. I didn’t have much emotionally invested.

Now Beth Is talking about selling her 1968 Honda CL175 “sloper” a uper rare 1 year only bike. We bought it to use while camping, but with the truck being SO tall, its just too much of a pain to load. So she is looking for a good clean Honda Trail 70 or Trail 90 to replace it.

Next up, the 1991 Harley FLSTC Heritage Softail. I bought it as a base for Marcel to do the full MOTONISTO treatment on.  But then I git it home, and the 6 Month only paint grew on me, and it was in such good shape I decided to go my own way with it. ANd so, as per my usual, I did everything I could think of to make ir dependable, including a lot that probably didn’t need to be done!  New front and rear braided brake lines with black covers, new front and rear brake rotors, new front and rear brake pads, new tank emblems, new heated grips, new front forks complete, new hard bags leather covered with quick releases and World’s Fair emblems. New spark plugs. New Powerlet power adapter, new connector for heated gear, new running light bulbs, New Beck speedometer, new chrome dashboard and bulb assembly, new speedometer clutch and throttle cables, new from solo seat and chrome cover, new paughco 2 into 1 exhaust, new BSA gold star muffler, new Harley ignition switch, new battery, new remote starter switch. Removable windshield. Fresh engine oil, transmission and primary change. Its fun, now I totally get why people love these bikes, But, I need to thin the herd.

Then there is the Beast, Das Bike Projekt, Black Max, The BuzzBomb… 1966 R69s, 1973 R75/5 engine, Seibenrock 1050CC big bore kit. Sig Erson racing cam, 5 years of my life, the most comprehensive Motorcycle project I have ever done, the most expensive, AND the best looking, can a part with it now? is it time? …

We shall see what spring brings!

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1958 Ford Ranch Wagon SOLD

1958 Ford Tudor Ranch Wagon – Off to new loving owners!

Magazine Ad


If you really want to be different at your next collector car event, why not have a Big Block Muscle Car that you can haul 6 adults, the Dog, Coolers, and Camping Equipment in. How often do you see a Two Door Ford Ranch Wagon not to mention one with the first year of the F.E. V8. This rare and unique example is an original Arizona car that is straight and solid. The paint is tutone looks fabulous the 390 engine runs strong and it shifts smoothly. It is set up for cruising with a new high dollar MultiPass radiator and Electric fans to keep it cool.

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Features Crate detailed 390 V8 Ford C6 Automatic Transmission Mercury Turnpike Cruiser Steering Wheel Finished in Gloss Ford Commercial White and Ford Vermillion Red Tutone,  Immaculate Red and White Labarron-Bonney Interior Full Fold Down Rear Seat for flat load area Excellent Radial Tires Steel Wheels with spider hubcaps Magic Aire Heater and Defroster, and Step-On windshield Washer.
Full factory In Dash Instrumentation with all the chrome panels, “Interceptor Special” Badging on Glovebox Door Driver’s Side Chrome exterior Rear View Mirror, Interior “Day-Nite” mirror.

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Ultra Rare 1958 Ford Interceptor Special 2 Door Ranch Wagon.

Originally an Arizona Car, very few of these survived.

Up for sale is our 1958 Ford Two Door Ranch Wagon. It has a 390 engine, 4-barrel Edelbrock carburetor, 3 speed C-6 Automatic transmission. Restoration was started in 2000, new paint, interior, rubber, windlace, catwhisker,  all moving suspension parts, springs, engine and transmission.  Every thing on this car was evaluated and rebuilt, replaced, or repaired as needed. This car is a pleasure to drive on country two lane roads or down the expressway.  Many exta parts can be included too. This cruiser is ready to drive! Super comforable, and quick for such a big car.  Any questions or additional pics, concerns feel free to contact me. There’s not a better one on the road.

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California Custom Front Stainless Tube Grill from “Rocco and Cheater”

2-tone Paint – Ford Commercial white, and Ford Vermilion Red

Labaron-Bonney Interior – Red and White

Rare Mercury Turnpike Cruiser Steering Wheel

Interceptor Special Dash Emblem

Folding Rear Seat

Seat Belts

Electric Wipers

Windshield Washer

Power Front Disk Brakes

Trailer Brake Controller

Trailer Hitch

Electric Fan

4 Core Multi Path Radiator

High Output Alternator

Stainless Steel Dual Exhaust and Mufflers

Electronic Ignition

390CID F.E. Engine

Ford Aluminum Intake

Edelbrock Performer Carb.

Ford C-6 transmission with Cooler

9 Inch Ford Rear End

2 inch lowered front coils (not cut)

Brand new rear leaf springs from Eaton Spring.

17000 miles on completely rebuilt engine and transmission.


Must see, a rare opportunity to own a very rare Ford.