A closer look at iconic Mor­gan cars

Th­ese iconic au­to­mo­biles have been beloved for more than 100 years but they’re also very much a prod­uct of the 21st cen­tury. Here’s a look at their seam­less blend of her­itage and high-tech.

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Un­like to­day, when car­bon fi­bre, ti­ta­nium or other such al­loys are syn­ony­mous with lux­ury su­per cars, ev­ery Mor­gan that leaves its work­shop at the foot of the Malvern Hills in Worces­ter­shire, United King­dom is still cre­ated us­ing wood as a start­ing point be­fore the iconic form takes shape. Th­ese spec­tac­u­lar au­to­mo­biles are in­di­vid­u­ally hand­crafted by skilled men and women, from the frame­work made of the high­est qual­ity ash wood on to which the alu­minium pan­els are at­tached, to the hand­worked finest leather trim sur­round­ing the cock­pit, th­ese cars are more than just a driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, they are works of art.

You will hear Mor­gan own­ers speak lov­ingly of their cars, de­scrib­ing them as “mod­ern clas­sics” and for James Gil­bert, head of me­dia at Mor­gan, this ti­tle is more than just a lit­tle ap­pro­pri­ate.

“It’s the mix of crafts­man­ship and tech­nol­ogy that goes into each car, it’s the clas­sic and time­less de­sign, it’s the way it feels to drive. The fact that a mod­ern Mor­gan has all the ap­peal of a clas­sic sports car, but with mod­ern com­po­nents and re­li­a­bil­ity makes it a far more us­able sports car,” says Gil­bert.

How­ever, the use of wood as a key el­e­ment is not just a nod to the past. The Mor­gan Mo­tor Com­pany has been cre­at­ing their unique sportscars from the same fac­tory since 1914 but that 104-year le­gacy does not mean they are be­hind the times when it comes to the lat­est tech­nol­ogy.

Old-school crafts­man­ship meets mod­ern tech

While the core of each Mor­gan is made up of ash, alu­minium, and leather, each car also sports the lat­est high-func­tion­ing mod­ern 21st cen­tury heart be­neath its hand-crafted bon­net. Whether it’s the clas­sic Mor­gan Plus 4 with its Ford GDI en­gine de­liv­er­ing a top speed of just over 120 mph (189kph) or the beau­ti­ful Mor­gan Aero GT with a BMW V8 that gets you from 0 to 62mph in just un­der 4.5 sec­onds and rock­ets to a top speed of 170mph (273kph), there is noth­ing last cen­tury about the per­for­mance of th­ese clas­sics.

“With a unique el­e­ment of mod­ern car pro­duc­tion and ownership, Mor­gan own­ers are in­vited to wit­ness their new Mor­gan be­ing hand-built be­fore their eyes at our fac­tory in Malvern,” Gil­bert says. “We en­cour­age cus­tomers to visit the fac­tory, of­ten sign the frame, and meet the crafts­men who will build their car. In­deed, our Spe­cial Projects divi­sion will work closely with cus­tomers to cre­ate their very own, one-off Mor­gan. Of course each re­quest is re­viewed on its own merit be­fore pro­gress­ing.”

On the road

Con­sider too, Mor­gan’s rac­ing pedi­gree. Since the com­pany’s birth back in 1909, Morgans have been cir­cuit rac­ing, even win­ning at Le Mans with a three-wheeler, or at nu­mer­ous ral­lies and even hill climbs to name just a few. And to­day

Mor­gan’s ded­i­cated mo­tor­sport divi­sion AR Mo­tor­sports con­tin­ues this il­lus­tri­ous con­nec­tion to high-speed rac­ing with events held across the globe.

“Morgans are a joy to drive, you feel very con­nected to the road. There are very few driver aids which means the driver is in to­tal con­trol; as such, driv­ing a Mor­gan is in­cred­i­bly re­ward­ing. Put sim­ply, they will make you smile, and that can’t be said for many cars on of­fer to­day,” Gil­bert says proudly.

One clas­sic that just begs to be un­leashed on the open road is the Mor­gan V6 Road­ster, the most pow­er­ful of all the cars in the Clas­sic Range. The Road­ster is pow­ered by a 3.7-litre Ford en­gine, and is an ex­hil­a­rat­ing clas­sic to drive, ac­cord­ing to lucky own­ers. Mor­gan also man­u­fac­tures the world’s long­est-run­ning pro­duc­tion ve­hi­cle – the Mor­gan 4/4, which has un­der­gone some im­prove­ments since it rolled off the pro­duc­tion line in 1936, though not a lot. En­thu­si­asts can still have a 4/4 that looks ex­actly like the first model but with 21st cen­tury in­no­va­tions added. The 4/4 may be the light­est car in the Mor­gan range, weigh­ing in at just 795kg, but this hand­crafted clas­sic sports a 138bhp Ford sigma en­gine with a top speed of 115mph. Mor­gan has also re­leased a lim­ited edi­tion range of the car for its 80th birth­day two years ago.

A her­itage of pas­sion

To­day Mor­gan is look­ing to the fu­ture as the com­pany’s re­search and devel­op­ment unit works to achieve the next step for­ward for their iconic cars. As with other mar­ques, Mor­gan is ex­plor­ing electric cars with the EV3.

“The fu­ture is very ex­cit­ing for Mor­gan, as we con­tinue to progress through our sec­ond cen­tury in busi­ness,” says Gil­bert. “Our model range is stronger than ever, and our in­creas­ing Re­search and Devel­op­ment Depart­ment con­tin­ues to de­velop ex­cit­ing new prod­ucts such as the all-electric EV3, our first ever pro­duc­tion electric car.”

It might be adapt­ing for the fu­ture, true, but Mor­gan’s pop­u­lar­ity has en­dured for more than a cen­tury be­cause of one thing.

“For over 100 years peo­ple en­joyed driv­ing Mor­gan sportscars be­cause own­ing a Mor­gan is all about pas­sion – from the fam­ily, the work­force, the deal­er­ships and of course, the own­ers. When you pur­chase a Mor­gan you are buy­ing into a lifestyle, there’s a real ca­ma­raderie among the Mor­gan own­ers around the world.”

Be­spoke and hand­crafted, the EV3 is Mor­gan’s an­swer to the electric car

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