|So Fink gathered a string of used cars and came back to San Francisco to try and recover from the financial beating he'd taken in LA. But now more trouble arose: Legitimate Morgan dealers around San Francisco got a fix on the Phantom Fink, and he was forced to apply for a used-car dealer's license, which meant posting a $10,000 bond and coming up with premises.
In this hour of need, Fink met Steve Miller a shy, taciturn fellow who came to California with his parents from England in 1953, got an engineering degree and then went into the business of rebuilding English motor cars. This is a business at which an honest and skillful man can scarcely help but make his fortune, and indeed, Miller prospered. No man in the United States could resurrect a decaying Morgan more finely than Stove Miller.
Miller had a shop on Eddy Street in the heart of San Francisco's red-light district. Besides Morgans, it was filled with Jaguars. Fink knew the moment he walked in the door that he had found the right man. "Show me a man that loves old Jaguars, and I'll show you a man who can fix anything," Fink said. On that incontrovertible promise, Fink founded Isis Imports in Miller's shop.
They were an odd couple: Bill Fink with his blue-eyed mind forever on the stars; Stove Miller counting each cent, with faith in nothing but his own industry. Fink kept importing cars and soon added parts to his repertoire. Miller serviced and renovated what Fink procured.
Fink acquired his love of
things british while
rowing for Oxford University.
Then in 1970, the Morgan Plus 8 reappeared legitimately in the U.S., using the aluminum Buick V-8 which Rover had brought up to federal emissions standards. Peter Morgan did .what he could to meet DOT safety standards and obtained exemptions on the rest. But by the close of 1971, Morgan's exemptions were running out, and Rover announced it was pulling out of the American market. So there went the Morgan's engine and, once again, there went the Morgan.
Peter Morgan barely blinked. The French and Germans had developed a taste for his coat carts, so why did he need to bother with the U.S.? The leisurely Peter Morgan, sailing grandly into his middle-50s, likes to bother with very little. He is a wise man. He is happy as long as his old family factory in lovely Malvern, Worcestershire is turning out eight or nine cars a week and he can go rallying on weekends with his chums. He follows the lifestyle set by his father, H.F.S. Morgan, an engineer who first worked for the Great Western Railway. H.F.S. was torn between his love for great locomotives and automobiles, and there's no doubt that the confusion is still reflected in today's Morgan. Morgan built his first motor car in 1910. It had three wheels. At Brooklands the following year, he set a record for an hour's run; he covered almost 60 miles. H.F.S. produced the first four-wheeled Morgan in 1936. Since then the design has been altered as little as possible. Change is unwelcome at the Morgan works at Malvern. Production could probably be increased, but it would be difficult, if for no other reason than the lady who turns the wheel spin
|Main Page||More Info
|The Forum||The Morgan
|The Articles Page|