When my daughter was born, I named her Morgan after the legendary English car company. Throughout the years I have exposed her to many different species of collector cars, but Morgan cars have remained some of her favorites. She recently graduated from high school with honors, and is ready to attend Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., starting in late August. I wanted to instill one more good, lifetime memory of her dear old dad before she flies the coop, so I thought it would be fun to teach her how to drive a stick in an honest-to-God, bona fide vintage Morgan.
While searching for the perfect Morgan, I met a man named Ernie Michne, who, on his honeymoon 42 years ago, visited the Morgan factory with his new bride. They took many photos of themselves tooling around the factory floor among the workers, who were forming the handmade ash wood chassis, body parts and interiors. Ernie ordered this Morgan Plus 8 directly from Peter Morgan himself, who was running the company at that time.
Two years later, the car was delivered to Ernie. During the ensuing 40 years, he coddled the car and so it has covered fewer than 2,000 miles! The car, of course, still has its original set of tires, and the factory top and side curtains remain in their original Morgan factory packaging, having never been removed during all those years.
So, I went to see Ernie in Ohio, stayed at his home and spent a day with him and his lovely wife Wendy. I brought the Morgan home to L.A., and last week finally was able to give my daughter Morgan that long-awaited lesson on driving a stick. It was a blast — she did great and did not grind the gears even once. Every time she drives the car, she has a big smile on her face. Fun, fun, fun!
Working at Hagerty for nearly two years has shown me how much this company cares about the community, its employees and its customers. It’s a privilege to call Traverse City my home and Hagerty my employer. If I could have any classic car, it would be a black 1970 Chevelle SS Convertible.