1953 Morgan +4 "The Flying Haggis"

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The Flying Haggis on Page Mill Rd. on Father's Day 2005
The Flying Haggis on Page Mill Rd. on Father's Day 2005

Old 3 Eyes
Old 3 Eyes (photograph by Bob Wall)

Great Britain My brother Marty took me to the mechanic's shop where I picked up The Flying Haggis after buying it. (Where else would you expect to find a British car?!)

United States

These photos were taken by Ferrari of Los Gatos when they had the car for sale. It looks a bit different now, with a new instrument panel and turn signals, amongst other improvements.

front view rear view
cabin engine compartment
Photos courtesy of Ferrari of Los Gatos.

The Flying Haggis was originally built with a 2088 cc Standard Vanguard four-cylinder engine rated at 68 BHP. When prepared for racing, it was fitted with a 2138 cc Triumph engine from a late 1962 or early 1963 +4, the same engine used in a TR-4. In stock form, this engine produces 105 BHP @ 4750 RPM, but a three-quarter race cam, higher compression, headers, and other mods have brought it up to around 120 BHP.

La Carrera Panamericana It participated in the first three modern runs (1988, 1989, and 1990) of La Carrera Panamericana, the Mexican Road Race, from the Guatemalan border at Vera Cruz to the Texas border at Nuevo Laredo. Driven by then-owners Dennis Glavis and Jackson Gordon, it placed 20th overall (and 9th in its class) out of a field of 87 cars in the 1989 race. They also drove it in the 1988 La Carrera Classic, across Baja from Ensenada to San Felipe. (More race results will be posted when I get a chance.)

My first track outing with it was the HMSA vintage races at Laguna Seca on 16-17 October 1999, celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Morgan Motor Co.. Having owned the car for little over a week I didn't race it, but did take it out for a few laps during the lunch breaks.

In the autumn of 2000, I took it on the track for real at Thunderhill, thanks to some friends in the Golden Gate Lotus Club who invited me to join one of their events. Alas, some minor post-event maintenance revealed a not-so-minor cracked head, which resulted in an extended stay at the shop.

The Flying Haggis and Libby at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering 2005 The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering 2005 featured a collections of veterans of La Carrera Panamericana, including The Flying Haggis. Note the gorgeous girl behind the wheel!

placard from show

Video of drive on Alpine Rd.
Video of a drive on Alpine Rd. in October 2012.

Alex and Karl in The Flying Haggis Alex had been eagerly awaiting a ride in The Flying Haggis since he first saw the car. He finally got his wish on Thanksgiving, but found that he didn't fit very well! He finally curled up and went to sleep with his head on my lap. He stuck with the Beetle for subsequent open-air rides.

The Flying Haggis gets a tow
Only the finest British parts are falling off my car!

Many people ask when Morgan stopped building cars. They haven't, though to many people a 2007 Roadster doesn't appear to have changed much in the 50+ years since The Flying Haggis was built. If you want to buy a new (or old!) Morgan, check out Morgan West in Santa Monica, California, whose proprietor Dennis Glavis raced The Flying Haggis in Mexico.

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Copyright © 1999-2003,2005,2007-2008,2019-2020 Karl L. Swartz. All rights reserved.
All trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.

Flags courtesy Mooney's MiniFlags.

Karl Swartz <karl@kls2.com>
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