Morgan Motor Works
Manufacturer of iconic vintage-style sports cars
Period of construction:
1900 - 1949
Transport Trust plaque:
Morgan Motor Company, Pickersleigh Road, Malvern Link, Worcs WR14 2LL
The Morgan Motor Company was founded in 1909 by H.F.S. Morgan and was run by him until 1959. Peter Morgan, son of H.F.S., ran the company until a few years before his death in 2003. Based in Malvern Link, Worcestershire, 163 people assemble the cars by hand, using traditional woodworking and panel forming skills. The waiting list for its annual output of around 650 cars has been as high as ten years.
H.F.S. Morgan's first design was a single-seat three-wheeler in 1909, which he displayed at the 1911 Olympia Motor Exhibition. He enhanced the brand's reputation by entering them in competitions - a Morgan winning the 1913 Cyclecar Grand Prix at Amiens - and this led to the Grand Prix model of 1913 to 1926, from which evolved the Aero, Super Sports, and Sports models.
These models used air-cooled or liquid-cooled variations of motorcycle engines, located ahead of the front axle in a steel tubed chassis. Production of these V-twin models ceased at the beginning of World War II. A new series of Morgan three-wheelers was launched in 1932 - the F-4, followed by the F-2 and F-Super - which mated together a pressed-steel chassis and the Ford Model Y's four-cylinder sidevalve engine. This combination remained in production until 1952. The first four-wheeled Morgan - the 4-4 Series 1 - was launched in 1936,.
A new variant, the Morgan +4, appeared in 1950. Unlike the 4-4, which was built around a Standard Special 1267 cc engine (1950-58), the +4 used the considerably more powerful 2088 cc Standard Vanguard engine. Later +4s used Triumph TR2 - TR4 engines (1958 -1969). Production of the +4 production ended in 1969, but was re-born in 1985, first with a Fiat engine (1985-1988) and then with a 4 cylinder Rover engine (1988-2000). After a four year break in production, the Plus 4 returned in 2004, much invigorated by its 155 bhp (157 PS) Ford 4 cylinder engine.
The 4-4 was replaced by the 4/4 in 1955 and now uses the +8 chassis and the Ford engine. In 1968, Morgan used the newly-available Rover V8 engine to dramatically increase power output and torque, as well as handling. Designated the model +8, engine displacement rose initially from the 2.3 litre Triumph TR4 engine to 3.5 litres, then 3.9 litres in 1990, then 4.0 litres in 1998. A 4.6 litre option was offerd between 1996-2000. In its final form, the GEMS Land Rover V8 produced 190 hp (140 kW), allowing the car to reach 0-60 mph in just 5.6 seconds, with performance enhancements readily available from the aftermarket.
To replace the +8, following the ending of production of the Land Rover V8, Morgan launched its Roadster in 2004, powered by a Ford Mondeo V6 engine producing 212 bhp. The company had not given up on the performance stakes, however, having launched the Aero 8 in 2000, built around a lightweight aluminium chassis and a BMW V8 engine. Offering 367 bhp (274 kW) and a top speed in excess of 170 mph (270 km/h), it can achieve 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in just 4.5 seconds.
Clarke, R. M., Morgan 1909-2009: Celebrating 100 Years of Morgan Cars, Brooklands Books, ISBN-10: 1855208423 (2008)
Harvey, Chris, Morgan: The Last Survivor, Oxford Illustrated Press, ISBN-10: 0946609284 (1987)
Miller, Peter, Morgan Three-Wheeler: The Complete Story, The Crowood Press, ISBN-10: 186126626X (2004)
Morgan, Charles & Bowden, Gregory Houston, Morgan - 100 Years: The Official History of the World's Greatest Sports Car, Michael O'Mara Books, ISBN-10: 1843172674 (2008)
Morgan Motor Company, Morgan Coachbuilders and Motor Engineers, Morgan Motor Company, ASIN: B001P410SQ (1994)
Tipler, John, Morgan - The Cars and the Factory, The Crowood Press, SBN-10: 1852237503 (1993)
Webb, Martyn, Morgan, Malvern and Motoring, The Crowood Press, ISBN-10: 1847970397 (2008)
Worrall, John & Turner, Liz, Original Morgan 4/4, Plus 4 and Plus 8: The Restorer's Guide, Motorbooks International, ISBN-10: 0760316449 (2003)
Guided tours of the motor works are offered at certain times of the year - see website, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01684 573104
How To Find:
By road: Off A449, Worcester Road
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