Morgan Motors Co. Ltd.
Morgan with Ford Sidevalve Engines
Morgan Motors must be one of the few truly British car manufacturers to still survive. Henry Fredric Stanley Morgan who was the son of a vicar, decided not to follow the family tradition in to the church and became an engineering apprentice with the Great Western Railway. (Other car makers who were ex-railway apprentices include W. O. Bentley and Henry Royce.) Henry Morgan opened a garage a Malvern Link in 1908 and at the engineering workshop of Malvern College produced a single-seater 3-wheeler. It was powered by a V-twin Peugeot engine. Its most remarkable feature was the IFS by coil springs and sliding pillars, the basic principle of which is still used in Morgan cars today.
In 1910 Henry Morgan formed the Morgan Motor Co. Ltd and built a small factory in Malvern Link. In November of that year he exhibited two single-seaters 3-wheelers at the Motor Cycle Show, powered by 961cc JAP V-twin engines. Their lack of an extra seat limited their appeal, and in 1911 he began to make two-seaters. Orders for these came in very satisfactorily, and the make’s first sporting success was achieved with a Gold Medal in the Lands End Trial. By the outbreak of World War 1 production was nearly 1000 cars.
Early 3-wheeler Morgans used an exposed, forward-mounted V-Twin engine. In 1933, following the introduction of the Ford Model Y type, Morgan redesigned the chassis and the F-series cars became available, with a Ford Sidevalve four-cylinder engine under a metal bonnet. The new chassis were channel section steel frames in place of the tubular frames of previous Morgans, and conventional accelerator pedals were fitted, whereas earlier models had throttle controls on the steering wheel. By November of that year, a four-seater, four-cylinder model designated the F4 was on display to the admiring public at the annual Motor-cycle Show as the company’s new addition to their range for 1934. The F4 continued to be built in virtually unchanged form until 1952, except for the Second World War years when production was halted and the factory machined small aircraft components. A two-seater model, known as the F2 tourer and fitted with the same 8hp unit was introduced in late 1935 for the 1936 season. The 10hp engine could be obtained for an extra £7 10s. The F2 was dropped in late 1937 in favour of a more sporting looking two-seater model, equipped with cycle–type wings and known as the F-Super Sports. It was only available in 10hp form and production ceased along with that of the F4 at the outbreak of war. The model reappeared in 1945 when production recommenced, but without the cycle-type wings; fitted instead were the more familiar flowing ones. Production of 3-wheelers ceased in 1952 owing to lack of demand and the last twenty left the works later that year. Total postwar 3-wheeler production was 265.
Morgan F series
Morgan’s first 4-wheeler models were produced in 1936 with the 4–4, four-cylinder engine and four wheels. The car had a Z section full width steel chassis with boxed cross members and the body was an ash frame panelled in steel. This combination provided the durability of a coachbuilt car with the lightness required for a sports car.
The car was an immediate success. After the launch of the Morgan 4-4 Roadster a four-seater was introduced, followed in quick succession by a Drophead Coupe in 1938.
Morgan reintroduced its previously popular 4/4 in 1955, five years after the last 4/4 had been made. The Series II 4/4 used a tuned version of the 100E 1172cc Ford sidevalve engine. The 4/4 SII also shared the Ford 3-speed gearbox. The 4/4 now featured a raked radiator cowl which modernised the 1936-style body somewhat. The body now used a raked "slab tank" rear end which incorporated a recessed spare-wheel compartment. The car was designed to provide a sports car with a lively performance and appearance for the enthusiast with modest means.
1955-1960, 387 produced.
Morgan 4 - 4