On the morning of Sunday May 5th 2013, five Morgan sports cars will leave the company’s historical Malvern factory in Worcestershire and head north to a small municipality in Finnmark county, Norway.
The municipality’s most famous place, named Nordkapp (North Cape) is often referred to as the most northernmost point of Europe, and although not quite true, it’s close, and certainly as far north as you’d consider driving from the UK.
As you’d imagine, daylight is at a premium near the northern tip of Norway. As is warmth.
According to the Honningsvåg weather station, right now the temperature is just above freezing – which doesn’t sound too bad, until you realise that this time last year it was covered by four metres of snow..
Why Are They Doing This?
So spare a thought for our intrepid explorers who will be driving an Aero Supersports, Plus 4, Roadster, Plus 8 and Morgan 3-Wheeler the full 5,000 mile journey with their tops firmly stowed away.
The challenge was initiated by Andy Abbosh and Simon Murphy of Talk Morgan, who’ve been joined by fellow Morgan enthusiasts, John Richards and Brian Voakes. Steve Morris and Tim Whitworth, both Directors at the Morgan Motor Company, were quick to volunteer their resources as well as themselves for the trip.
The team will be accompanied on the trip by Matti Rogers, publisher of MogMag, and Tom Abbosh and Alfie Johnson of Tenkara Films, who will be creating a documentary of the entire trip. Look out for this in the coming months here on SkiddMark.
The two-week, 5,000 mile rally begins in Malvern, Worcestershire, on 6 May, before it makes its way south through Folkestone, across the English channel, then up through Belgium, Germany, Denmark and into Norway.
During the course of the next 150 days, the drivers will pass through 9 countries travelling for a minimum of 9 hours each day. To keep them company, as many as 40 Morgan owners could join them to complete some of the route.
It will be a journey of endurance, but one which challenge co-founder Andy Abbosh is looking forward to, “Other than donate money and the odd sponsored walk or drive I have never really done anything out of the ordinary for charity. As such, one day I pondered about a trip that would challenge me, raise money for a good cause and incorporate driving/cars.”
“We dismissed going to the Equator for ‘staying alive’ reasons, but then looked North to the Arctic and more pertinently the Arctic Circle. I am now looking forward to a great drive, some challenging times, but most importantly raising lots of money for a very worthy and underfunded cause.”
When I spoke with co-founder Simon Murphy, he was busy clearing his work diary for the fortnight ahead, “It doesn’t take anyone long to realise just how much passion Steve Morris has for the Morgans the factory produce. Having seen Lucy go through the process of misdiagnosis, and the risks associated with this, I jumped at the chance to support Steve and his family.”
“I’ll probably feel more excited once the journey is underway, we’ll be driving in temperatures down to minus 8 degrees, while potentially experiencing snow and ice, but we’ll try and keep the roofs down as much as we can.”
Enthusiast and close friend Brian Voakes said “I’ve been a lifelong fan of Morgan cars, having owned 11 of them in total, and this is an opportunity to travel to the North Cape on an exciting land trip with congenial friends. What’s not to like?”
Most people planning a 5,000 mile journey are unlikely to choose either a Morgan 3-Wheeler, Plus 4, Roadster, Plus 8 or Aero SuperSport as their mode of transport.
When such a journey promises sub-zero temperatures, howling winds and the prospect of snow (even in May), then you’d probably choose an SUV, with heated seats and all the mod cons. Instead the cars are fitted with winter tyres and.. well, that’s about it. The team have also packed every type of thermal clothing they could find.
Snow chains and studded tyres are not an option, so it’s a good job Morgan cars are so light – if needs be, the boys can always get out and push (or is that pull?).
Still, it could be worse.
Back in 1653, Italian priest Fransesco Negri took more than two years to reach Nordkapp. He travelled on foot, by boat, on horseback, on sleighs and on skis, becoming the first “tourist” to climb the plateau.
He noted in his travel log at the time, “Here I am now on the North cape, at the extreme tip of Finnmark, really at the end of the world”.
What Negri would have done to have a Morgan sports car at his disposal, even one so sparsely attired as a 3-Wheeler.
The cars have been expertly wrapped by graphics solution company MAP Group, so they’ll be easy to spot, but otherwise are completely standard.
Most powerful is the Aero Supersport, powered by a 367bhp 4.8-litre BMW V8 engine. Weighing just 1,180kg, its 315bhp per tonne can propel it from 0 to 62mph in 4.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 170mph.
Slowest of the five cars is the Morgan 3-Wheeler, powered by a 115bhp 2.0-litre ‘V twin’ engine, it weighs just 550kg, so is still capable of reaching 62mph in around 4.7 seconds although its Vmax is only 115mph.
The limiting factor though, is unlikely to be their speed – while the other four cars feature 55-litre fuel tanks the 3-Wheeler has to make do with 42 litres. At least it’ll be frugal, as will the 40.4 mpg Plus 4, while the Aerosport and Plus 8 deliver around 23mpg on the combined cycle.
Show your Support
You can show your support (and you really should, if you can), by one of two ways. Firstly by making a donation via the team’s Virgin Money Page – they’re aiming to raise at least £50,000, with 100% of the donations going to The Marfan Trust.
You can also buy Nordkapp Challenge headgear from MogMag Magazine – at £12.50 each, 50% of the proceeds will go directly to The Marfan Trust.