History of the Morgan Motor Company
No other automaker has stayed true to its style over the years as Morgan Motor Company. For 112 years, this iconic English manufacturer has lived in the era of bygone three- and four-wheelers.
Plus, the brand gets nothing but praise for its vintage design philosophy even today. Ask any equipment manager if it will be fun to drive one of the Morgan models in 2022, and you’ll get the same answer: a resounding yes! Very few automakers can boast of having such a large and dedicated fan base.
Do you know how Morgan Motor Company became so popular that they take a look at their cars in 2022 to create in us the urge to put on the best leather driving gloves and immediately jump behind the wheel? Learn more about this British automaker in our brief history overview while taking a look at some great Morgan cars.
The beginnings of the Morgan Motor Company and a reputation built on three-wheelers
For most of its history, Morgan Motor Company was a family business. HFS Morgan founded it in 1909, after first opening an engine sales and service garage and designing a car for himself. A year later, the now well-known star was born.
The Runabout was commonly known as a Three-Wheeler or Cyclecar because it featured two front wheels and a rear wheel drive. It was brilliantly simple and light, packing the Peugeot engine with a total of 7bhp up front.
Although not originally designed for commercial use, the Morgan Three-Wheeler has become very popular and has seen many updates over the years. First he added wheel steering and a cowl, then a changing rear wheel, and more.
Following the growing popularity, the Morgan Runabout appeared in the window display of Harrods, and the Morgan Motor Company officially became a limited company, with the HFS Morgan and his father, George Morgan at the top.
The Morgan Motor Company: racing success and pre-war four-wheeled vehicles
After the success of the first four-seater family car in 1921, Morgan took a bold new approach and introduced a four-wheeled car named the Morgan 4-4 (four cylinders and four wheels). The immediate success of the four-wheeler brought new models like the Roadster and the Drophead coupe.
The 1936 Morgan 4-4 was powered by a Coventry Climax engine which developed 34 horsepower and featured two spare wheels. Over the next two years, two more models of this vehicle rolled off the production lines. The 1938 one also entered Le Mans and completed a 24-hour race, but it was not the first nor the last race the Morgan company entered.
The Morgan Motor Company’s racing success began even before World War I when its teams won over 24 gold medals in all manner of racing. The brand has also obtained 10 local and world records for its car-cycles. The successes have accumulated over the years, so it is difficult to name them all. The one we shouldn’t ignore, however, is the world hour record in 1930 when Gwenda Stewart hit over 100 mph in Paris.
The glory of Morgan Motor Company after World War II
Fast forward to a better time after WWII, and we come to more 4-4 models and a new Plus 4 with a bigger engine and more horsepower. The Morgan Plus 4 could produce around 68 bhp at 4,500 rpm, and it had a longer wheelbase, but was otherwise virtually unchanged.
Notably, the real big update came in 1966 when Morgan used the Rover V8 engine to power its new Plus Eight models. It was one of the most successful cars in the British marque’s lineup, and it continued to grow over the years.
The Plus Eight was not only a powerful, fast and attractive vehicle to behold on the road, but it was also a racing star. He brought his maker many medals throughout his life.
The Morgan Motor Company adopted an old style for its new models in the 2000s and beyond
Development of the next big thing in the Morgan range began in the 1990s and finally took shape in 2000 as the Morgan Aero 8. The newest vehicle was an updated representation of vintage styling, with an engine BMW V8 beastly as well as the signature wooden frame. It was the result of perfectly balanced power and classic styling, delivering 286bhp, a top speed of 160mph and acceleration to 62mph in 4.8 seconds.
As expected, the stunning Aero 8 has been continuously updated over the years, delighting fans with new specs and design tweaks. Various iterations were also produced including the Aeromax, Aero Supersports and Aero Coupe. The Aero 8 GT even entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Over the past decade, Morgan Motor Company has come full circle in history by announcing new production three-wheelers. This year alone we saw the Morgan Super 3 in the automotive market. So, the bottom line is that this British automaker has gained enormous popularity with its collector (racing) cars throughout its 112-year history, and it doesn’t plan on slowing down. We can still expect plenty of new (but still vintage) vehicles to come from Morgan Motor Company, and we couldn’t be happier.
Jay Leno dresses up in a heated Harley jacket and cruises in a Morgan 3-wheeler
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