Bill Fink, savior of Morgan in the U.S., passes away in tragic house fire

Bill Fink, 77, widely regarded as the man responsible for keeping Morgan sports cars alive in the U.S. in the 1970s and beyond, died Sunday when his home in Bodega, California, caught fire. According to SFGate.com, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s office says that Fink’s wife and two friends managed to escape, but that the blaze’s flames and heat kept firefighters from being able to access the single-family home, with Fink still inside.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2020/02/11/bill-fink-savior-of-morgan-in-us-passes-away-in-tragic-house-fire

Very sad to hear of this. I read about him and Isis
Imports for years, Not being able to afford a Morgan
As. “Toy”, I still loved them and never missed an opportunity to drive one,
And always tied that joy to Bill Finks efforts. Prayers for his wife and family.

Did he actually convert new Plus Eights to right hand drive for import to the US?

No, must be a mistake. Although Bill was such a dedicated iconoclast, I suppose he could’ve brought left hand drive Morgan’s into the US and converted them to right hand drive.

Back in 80s I built a Plus 8 from the remains of 2 wrecks. Bought most of the parts from Mr. Fink. He made it plain that he was in the business to sell cars not parts but then said what do you need? A frame! A whole frame.
Anyway Mr Fink had the new frame tied to one of the cars he was importing. Saved my customer a lot of money.
Mr. Fink will be missed.

Please consider donating to our campaign to help Bill Fink’s family recover after a devastating fire: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-bill-fink-family-after-a-devastating-fire

First, please let me extend my sympathies to his family.

Second, I had the same thought. Sadly online posting creates crap due to no, or rushed self-editing.

Should have been from instead of to.

I first met Bill in 1972 and in my mind he ranked with Peter Morgan as a Morganeer always willing to help when issues arose. A huge loss to Tcherek, Judy, the Morgan Community, and those who knew him. I wish I had the words to properly honor him, RIP Bill.

In the mid 1990’s one of our oldest and dearest friends lost his brother. As we were cleaning out the brother’s garage in Alameda, Ca.,there stood a propane powered Morgan and a propane powered 1939 Dodge truck. The Morgan disappeared somewhere, and I am the proud owner of the Dodge which runs and idles perfectly and does not leak oil.
Anyway Mr. Fink was correct in converting Morgans to propane as it burns clean is half the cost of gasoline available everywhere and can sit almost indefinitely without degrading. Wouldn’t someone in the auto industry think this might be a fuel to pursue for all the above reasons?

Morgan has always made LHD and RHD 4 seaters. In fact, its largest market in the late 1950s was the USA…as high 80%+

Yes. The article has many inaccuracies…which is very sad considering the circumstances. But this is the nature of the media in some nations. Bill Fink was a much finer human being than what is written of him here. Here is an example of what has been posted to a forum, in this case a private one made up Morgan knowledgeables. It does not attempt to cover Bill’s entire adventure of a life…but it gives a sense of the man.

"My first encounter with Bill Fink was by phone in the 1990s. I was writing one of my early articles on Plus 8s, the one called Power & the Plus 8. I felt it was vital to have a section on North America versions fo the model…they were inspired by Bill Fink. At the time, the Morgan community was more territorial than we are now, and not nearly as much of international community as we were all able to create later with the internet. It created a decade long Morgan Renaissance.

Bill picked up the phone right away. He was kind and informative. He was always unfailingly humble…giving himself credit only where credit was due, and then only reluctantly. I remember thinking that was odd for a man of his accomplishments, (Rhodes Scholar, Cambridge Rowing Team with the looks of Warren Beatty). Yet he seemed actually shy! He told me that credit for the propane conversion idea came from two sources, a kind bureaucrat at the EPA and a chance tour he had of the testing division of Land Rover in Solihul, UK, where they used LPG to test run all engines. He would NEVER have made claim to half the Morgan feats attributed to him.

Yet over the ensuing years I was intrigued to see how many Morgan ideas we take for granted today were his…or those concocted in partnership with his hero, Maurice Owen, then development chief of the Morgan company. For example, American moggers had stock telescopic shock rear ends long before the rest of the Morgan world, even in the UK. And in my case and others, his Morgan re-structuring for safety spared the lives of my wife and I. His later design improvements would also have vastly improved the product but…but those ideas were not to be after 1996. By then company politics had intervened.

It must have been wondrous for Bill during those early years. A young man becoming the only US Agent for Morgan in the 1970s. And what a better place to be a young man than San Francisco in that era. It was then the world Mecca for so many young minds!! Bill was also a close favorite of Peter Morgan…and often referred to privately as “the son Peter should have had.” Sadly, that did not make a Fink a idol of the real Morgan son…and that had consequences for the company and the Overseas Market that reverberate to this day.

He and I became regular correspondents. Ideas, Morgan politics. …We exchanged many phone calls and emails and after a few years, the initiation of those contacts became 50-50 bilateral. I felt very honored about that…as he was SO reticent.

Yes, Fink was anything but a salesman. And we met face-to-face only once (this is how the internet world has changed how we all socialize!) My perception will always be of an extremely courageous soul who went his own way, when any choice based on today’s standard (money) were at his feet. But Bill made decisions based on beautiful settings in which to live and a beautiful community to become a part of.

We were lucky to have him in our worlds.

Bill and Issis were a great asset to U.S. Morgan fans. Though I never met him, It was always a comfort to know Issis was there for support and parts. Loved stopping by Pier 33 in the old days when I was in the bay area