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Morgan history dates back to 1899 when the teenage son of a Hereford rector, H.F.S. Morgan, had a rather risky ride down a steep hill in a cycle car. Just over ten years later the first Morgan was born – in the form of a three wheeler with an 8 h.p. twin cylinder J.A.P. engine, a tiller and a single seat. It is interesting to note that the independent front suspension used on the first car was extremely advanced for its time and is almost identical to that used on the Plus 8 to this day. The coming of four wheels eventuated in 1935 and, sadly, three wheels were discontinued in 1950. The English Morgan Sports Car Club, (or Four Wheeler Club) was consequently founded in 1951.
The Morgan Motor Co. Ltd., is a family owned concern that continues to hand build that delightful anachronism, the Morgan motor car. The Morgan car is entirely hand built in a small factory in Malvern Link, Worcestershire, using construction methods and equipment dating back to the early part of this century. The body is constructed of hand beaten steel or aluminium attached to a framework of Belgian ash timber. This provides a body that is both light and strong.
The Morgan company has never produced its own engines, gearboxes or brake components, preferring to use Ford components where possible, although more recent models have been produced with Fiat, Rover and BMW engines and the early +4 used the Standard Vanguard and later the range of 4 cylinder Triumph engines. The Plus 8, introduced in 1968, uses a Rover 3.5 litre V8 engine and gearbox mounted into the same basic chassis as the Plus 4 and 4/4 models, producing a classic sports car with phenomenal performance.
The average production rate is about 9 cars per week, which is the same rate of production as the early 1920s. This has produced a waiting list of about 5 years, but for Morgan enthusiasts, the wait is well worth while. The last model change was in 1954, so there is little to fear from a model change during the waiting period. Indeed, the classic shape of the Morgan sports car is one of the few shapes that has a world wide patent. (One of the others is the curves of the Coca Cola bottle.)
However, in 2000 a new model was created, known as the Aero 8. This new car has a different look and uses brand new state of the art construction methods, although it is still recognisable as a Morgan. The car is powered by a BMW 4.4 litre quad cam V8 and uses aluminium honeycomb construction techniques with laser cut body panels where possible.
In 2004 the famous Original Plus 8 ceased production due to the non-availability of suitable engines and it was replaced with an even more potent Ford V6 model, called the Roadster. Some of these new models have now come to Australia. In 2012 a new Plus 8 was launched based upon the Aero 8 chassis. The Factory has also rekindled the magic of the three wheeled Morgans with the New Three Wheeler.
The tradition continues…….