British classic car brands have a long, proud tradition and the Morgan Motor Company is no different. Established in 1909, Morgan build over 1300 cars per year. The Morgan three-wheeler set the pace for what was to come, when it was designed by H.F.S Morgan. Famous cars to come from the company include the 4/4, Aero 8 and AeroMax. We take a look back at the history of this impressive brand.
The company’s founder, Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan, developed a passion for cars from a young age. After working on the railway, he decided it wasn’t for him and moved into the automotive industry. In 1905, Morgan set up a garage in Malvern Link and became a car dealer for Darracq, Wolseley, Siddeley and Rover.
In 1909, Morgan created his first car that would prove to be a success for the company. The Morgan three-wheeler had a simple, lightweight design that featured a Peugeot V-twin motorcycle engine. This kind of design became known as a ‘Cyclecar.’
The first production Morgans featured a single seat and were powered by a single cylinder 4 horsepower V-twin engine. They came to be known as Runabouts, but only a few were sold, due to the lack of a two-seat version. This was remedied with a two-seat Runabout in 1911.
In the lead up to WW1, Morgan had expanded with two large workshops on Pickersleigh Road, Malvern Link. When the war started, car development dwindled as men were called on to fight for their country.
After the war, Morgan produced a number of memorable cars. One of the most influential was the 1936 Morgan 4/4, which became the longest running production vehicle in the world. With a 1122cc Coventry Climax engine, it proved popular enough to be entered into the 1938 Le Mans.
Morgan’s production of high-quality cars continued for decades. Another well-known car was created in 2000 in the form of the Aero 8. The Aero 8 was the first new design since the 1964 +4+ and sported the first aluminium chassis on a Morgan car. It came with a BMW 4400cc V8 engine combined with 6-speed Getrag transmission.
In the past, the Aero 8 had been criticised for having a ‘cross eyed’ look. Morgan updated the design in 2007, replacing the VW New Beetle headlights with Mini lights. The Aero 8 paved the way for the AeroMax coupe version. The AeroMax was limited to one hundred cars and people who’ve owned them in the past include Rowan Atkinson and Richard Hammond.
Throughout the years, Morgan have proven why they have a reputation for excellence. Each car is crafted by hand, demonstrating a mentality of quality over quantity.