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The Real Sideways: Jayne’s 400hp Getaway

Jayne in San Francisco next to the Morgan Plus 8

Jayne in San Francisco astride the Morgan Plus 8

Jayne managed to extricate herself from the clutches of the late April heatwave to make a getaway to Napa along with longtime friend and San Francisco fashion stylist Ameliana Kamstra.  Ameliana’s stepfather is none other than Bill Fink, sole US importer of the great Morgan motorcar, affectionately known as a Mog.

Bill started doing left hand conversions of the vehicles for US export back in the late sixties while studying and rowing crew at Oxford.  Great way to make a few bob for the enlightened greaser.  Suddenly Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful were seen cruising around London in their Yellow Mog Plus 8 during the much publicized Old Bailey drug bust when Mick, Marianne, Pattie Boyd, George Harrision and Keith Richards were busted for drug possession at Keith’s London flat.  Its came as no surprise that suddenly everyone wanted a Morgan.

Bill found his way back to San Francisco where he was intent upon importing his beloved Mog.  He spent years wrestling with the DOT and EPA to be able to bring this vehicle into the states and sell it legally.  It was the early seventies at this point and there was a serious overhaul of vehicle standards.   Sleek, thin chrome bumpers turned into masses of plastic and rubber, engine compartments were packed with emission equipment and major crash standards were implemented.   Fink spent years going back and forth retrofitting with Pinto, Triumph and Cortina engines, running on gas then propane then gas again, fitting the car with the required safety featured before finally being able to trickle the car into the states.   The whole story can be read in this article from 1977 Issue of Car and Driver.

Jayne was up for a big weekend so she and Ameliana asked Bill if they could borrow one of his cars. Not only were they able to borrow one but Bill outfitted them with one of his Plus-8 Mogvettes, a Morgan retrofitted with a 400 hp LS2 Corvette Engine.   The result is a car clocking in a neck snapping 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds.  Not bad for a car looking more Chitty Chitty Bang Bang than Ferrari.

Decked out in driving caps with their faithful 4 legged companion “Lovelight” riding shotgun, the gals were ready to hit the road.

It was a beautiful drive up to Napa and the blazing hot weather Jayne left in Southern California seemed to extend all the way up into wine country. Perfect weather for the convertible. 

Note Ameliana ridiculing Jayne’s fiance Jon slaving away back at Jaynes in the second video below.

First stop was a cave party at Chateau Boswell.  There is a growing number of wineries carving out their own caves for wine storage and aging.

Entrance to the Chateau Boswell Cave

Entrance to the Chateau Boswell Cave

Festivities continued in St Helena at Tra Vigne with amazing rustic wood fired pizza, made to order mozzarella and some desert island whites including the 2006 Hofstatter Kolbenhoff Gewurztraminer and the unbeatable 2001 Trimbach Clos Ste Hune Riesling.

Woodfired Pizza and Trimbach Riesling at Tra Vigne, St Helena.

Woodfired Pizza and Trimbach Riesling at Tra Vigne, St Helena.

Stunning Hofstatter Gewurktraminer on right from Alto Adige, the predominantly German speaking province of northern Italy.

Stunning Hofstatter Gewurztraminer on the right from Alto Adige, the predominantly German speaking province of northern Italy.

Made to order mozzarella in olive oil

Made to order mozzarella in olive oil

Festivities continued with some fiercely competitive rounds of bocce at the absolutely beautiful home of Jayne’s friends Joseph and Caroline.

Barefoot Jayne in Marc Jacobs

Barefoot Jayne in Lavender

Jayne wearing her Kate Moss for Top Shop dress

The gals made their way back to San Francisco with an especially beautiful drive over the Golden Gate where their return was documented by an endless barrage of tourist flash photos.   Our girls returned their trusty Morgan back to its home at San Franciso’s Pier 33.   An epic weekend with great friends.  Special thanks to Bill, John, Joseph, Caroline, Lonnie and Lisa.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. trip was a blast. the two girls were the hit of napa! let’s do it again. (jon must come next time 🙂

    July 16, 2008

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