Morgan History: Crafting Classic Cars with Timeless Elegance

Indulge in Automotive Artistry: Uncover the Timeless History of Morgan

1910 – 1919 – Birth and war

At the age of 25, Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan opens a workshop in Malvern (UK). The Morgan Runabout was born, a three-wheeled vehicle with a 7 HP twin-cylinder Peugeot engine. Although its commercialization is not initially planned, the positive reviews lead to some units being finally built. 

Henry began construction of the vehicles in 1910; the project drawings are the responsibility of a young man who will later go down in the history of the Standard Motor Company: John Black. 

That same year, the brand made its first public appearance at the Olympia Motor Show. Two three-wheelers get some orders, though it quickly becomes apparent that if the Morgans gain popularity, they will have to become two-seaters.

The first two-seater units arrive a year later: equipped with 8 CV engines, they attract the interest of Mr Burbridge, director of the Harrods department store: as a result, the Morgan is displayed in the window of the well-known shopping centre, something that will not get any other car. 

Orders exceed the production capacity of the Malvern facility, so Morgan proposes some major manufacturers to make cars for him. His refusal means that finally, and with the help of the order deposits, more machinery is acquired, and the brand’s facilities are expanded. 

In 1912, The Morgan Motor Company was established. HG During this period, the brand began to make waves in racing when Henry Martin easily won an international race at Brooklands.

It is the first of the achievements: at the end of 1913, the Morgan Runabout won more reliability and speed awards than any other light car. The company produced several racing cars equipped with a more extended chassis and a lower seat. 

One of them participates in the French Grand Prix of Amiens, where it beats its rivals equipped with four wheels. Although this feat increased the brand’s fame, the outbreak of the First World War brought the production of vehicles to a virtual standstill: ammunition and military machinery were in control.

The arrival of the first family model was produced in 1915 when a four-seater vehicle was created for the Morgan family. After the fight, the vehicle, marketed as the Family Runabout, had a great sales success. Demand continues to grow, and the brand builds a new factory on Pickersleigh Road ( 1918) to produce 50 units per week. By the end of the decade, Morgan has become one of the essential British car manufacturers.

1920 – 1929 – Sporting successes

The first Morgan models are so advanced that they hardly undergo any modifications in these years, except for some bodywork touches and the inclusion of elements such as the choke. The success of the vehicles reaches abroad: in France, Darmont buys the patent to build the cars under the name “Darmont Morgan.” On the other hand, the brand continues its sporting successes; in fact, the “three-wheeler” is so fast that it is forced to take a lap ahead of its four-wheelers in the Brooklands competition.

1930 – 1939 – The first four-wheeled Morgan

In 1930, Gwenda Stewart broke the speed record at the Circuit de Monthly, reaching 117 miles per hour (188 km / h) at the controls of a single-seater Morgan. A year later, the brand presents a model with three speeds and reverse. In 1933 the ‘F’ Super Two Seater appeared, equipped with a Ford 10 hp engine: its flat radiator is the most popular “three-wheeler” of all. You have to wait until 1936 for the first four-wheeled Morgan to arrive: the Four Four. After the success of this roadster model, another four-seater was presented and, already in 1938, the Drophead Coupe.

1940 – 1949 – Goodbye to the “tricycle.”

Throughout this decade, various mechanical ‘”experiments” were carried out, such as mounting a 22 hp Ford V8 engine on the Morgan chassis (the project was finally abandoned in the prototype phase). During the Second World War, the production of cars was stopped to prioritize the construction of all kinds of war machinery. Vehicle assembly restarted in 1945 with the 4-4, with a 1,267 cc engine. Despite the difficulty in obtaining steel, Morgan is one of the first manufacturers to resume business after the war. 

When the Government increases the provisions of this matter, the pressure rises about the company to export to the USA, Canada, South America, Australia, South Africa, and the rest of Europe. 

The 4/4 is a model with great acceptance in these markets, but the three-wheeler does not enjoy that popularity, and its manufacture is discontinued. The last one rolled off the assembly lines in 1946 and was shipped to Australia.

1950 – 1959 – Years of success and recognition

The Plus 4 arrived in 1950. With its 2,088 cc engine, it was an immediate success in competition and achieved victory in the RAC Rally in 1951 and 1952 with Peter Morgan, son of HFS Morgan, at the vehicle’s controls. Later, in 1956, the suspension was strengthened, and the steering improved. During this decade, the brand’s clubs began to be created around the world.

1960 – 1969 – Unbeatable

In 1962, a prepared Plus 4 Super Sports won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, covering a total of 3,638.73 kilometres at an average speed of 150 km / h. Two years later, the production of the SLTR begins, a racing car that exceeds 215 km / h. In 1968 the Plus 8 was introduced.

1970 – 1979 – The “eternal” car

The 4/4 achieves a world record: it is the model that has been in production for the longest time. In addition, this decade is characterized by the large number of victories achieved by the Morgans in both European and American races.

1980 – 1989 – Time of changes

In 1984 gasoline injection was introduced in the Plus 8. In addition, 1,200 Morgans from worldwide gather at Eastnor Castle to celebrate the brand’s 75th anniversary. In 1985 the Plus 4 returned with a Fiat engine, replaced by a two-litre mechanical from Rover two years later. 

In 1987 the Morgan SportsCar Championship began an annual competition that allows the owners of these vehicles to participate in a race. Almost at the end of the decade, in 1989, the Plus 8 increased its displacement from 3.5 to 3.9 litres, which maintains it as one of the series cars with the highest acceleration capacity.

1990 – 1999 – Adaptation to the new times

The 90s witnessed significant mechanical changes. In 1992 the 16-valve Ford Zetec engine was introduced, while the Plus 4 received the T16 from Rover. 

In 1996, a new aluminium chassis was designed to test Morgan’s ability in the demanding FIA GT Series. This means that, from then on, this material is the most common in the manufacture of the brand’s vehicles: the doors are lengthened, the nose is redrawn to install airbags.

2000 – Act – Surprises and anniversaries

Morgan surprises at the Geneva Motor Show (2000) with the presentation of the radical Aero 8. The Plus 4 ceased because Rover’s T16 engine was no longer available a year later: the model returned in September 2004 already equipped with a Ford drivetrain. 

In April of this year, the Plus 8 ceased to be marketed: its V8 engine did not meet gas emission standards. Its replacement is the Roadster, a model with a chassis similar to its predecessor and the three-litre Ford engine used in the Mondeo ST. 

In 2005, the AeroMax Coupé was unveiled, getting rave reviews. One year later, the brand celebrates its 70th anniversary from 4/4 with 142 numbered units. Activity continues at Malvern Link, and in early 2009 the 4/4 Sport, powered by a 1.6-litre engine, is launched. 

Likewise, the first unit -of a total of 200- of the Aero Supersport, a supercar with an aluminium structure, is the same chassis of the Aero 8 GT3 that competes in the GT3 championship, a BMW 4.3-liter V8 engine is manufactured. 

Likewise, production – started in February – of the Aeromax, a coupe with a BMW V8 engine continues.

In 2011 they launched the 3 Wheeler model on the market: it is an exceptional car that only has three wheels and moves thanks to a V two-cylinder engine. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h, exceeds 200 km / h. of maximum speed, and, luckily, it is sold in Spain.

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