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100 Horses

Driving a Morgan for 3 weeks around San Francisco, convinced me that I wanted a Morgan. However soon after the San Francisco experience, I bought a house while living in an apartment in Seattle. So I was paying a mortgage and rent too, and there wasn't enough left to buy a Morgan. I got to thinking of building a Morgan-like body on a Beetle chassis. It is likely you are aware that all the essential elements for driving are carried on a Beetle chassis; engine, gearbox, brakes, steering, and etc. And a Morgan wheelbase was 96 inches while a Beetle's was 94.5 inches. A Morgan's body frame is made of Belgian Ash, and I'm comfortable using wood and I had a pile of free Mahogany.

In 1983 I found a tired '68 VW sedan for $350. Removing the body, a Mahogany sill was bolted to the chassis sides, and uprights were placed by expanding a Morgan side view for reference, and another sill atop the uprights. Using hot melt glue and eyeball, when it looked right there were glue and screws, and hardwood dowels in places. The framing used was usually twice as thick as Morgan framing. When the framing was about right, the "fairing" began so the skin would lay smoothly over the frame. When the fairing was accomplished, .040 aluminum was nailed and screwed to the body frame. Meanwhile the engine went to a very good VW machinist. So the engine was swapped for a '72 case with a counterbalanced stock throw crankshaft. The machinist did the porting work on the heads, and told me the best pieces to make a nice set up. I made the rear fenders in Fiberglas, and bought Fiberglas front fenders. The cowl, or nose was made from a Morgan metal cowl in Fiberglas.All this took about 6 years of evenings and weekends. The finished car weighed 1525 pounds, and the engine produced around 100 horses.


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