When you see a Bugatti, a McLaren, a Ferrari or maybe even a Lamborghini go by, there is a good chance you will turn your head and you might gasp, even just a little bit. All of those cars are extraordinary machines and most certainly are cars that scream, “look at me!”. However, Morgans are the ultimate “look at me” cars and designed for a very fabulous niche market. Although the style is certainly that of yesteryear, Morgans are the most unique cars available today. In fact, since they were first designed and built in the 1930’s, nothing about Morgans significantly changed.
To call Morgans “retro” vehicles, doesn’t do justice to their craftsmanship, design and beauty. “Retro” describes a Volkswagen Beatle, a Mini Cooper, or even a Fiat 500. To put it in perspective, Morgans are classically designed works of art that just happen to be stunning sports cars. Each one is built by hand in a family owned factory in Malvern Link, Malvern England. It is the same factory used since the company’s inception over 100 years ago.
Morgans are the coolest cars you aren’t driving. This is partially because you don’t just pay for your Morgan with money, you pay with time. You can’t just go to the dealership and roll out with a brand new car. It takes at least a year to have the car shipped from the day it is ordered. If you were wondering, no, you cannot pay your way out of the waiting line. Morgan says they have a staunch policy regarding “queue jumping.” So, if you want one, you just have to wait your turn just like everyone else.
The other reason why you aren’t driving a Morgan is because the factory can only make just under 300 cars per year. To compare Morgan’s production with a larger company, BMW makes just under 300,000 cars per year. Unlike most cars today, Morgan is one of the few independently owned automakers still in existence. So, if you want to take one out for a test drive, you might have to travel far from where you live to do so, as there are only fifty dealerships worldwide.
The aesthetic details of each vehicle can be fully customized by the lucky owner. The prospective buyer can spend hours or even days playing around with the car creator program on the Morgan website. There are over 50,000 bespoke paint colors for the exterior. For the interior, there are over 80 different leathers to choose from and you can even chose the color of the piping. There are also various options for the roof style, dashboard, steering wheel, etc. Understanding it is part of the appeal, Morgan allows factory tours and actually encourages customers to watch their own cars being built. However, custom doesn’t come cheap. Morgans range from £33,075 ($55,000) to over £85,200 ($141,500) for the most basic entry level models.
History of The Morgan Motor Company
The Morgan Motor Company has always prided itself on being family owned. Founded in 1910 by Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan, who was called HFS, ran the company until his death in 1959. His son Peter Morgan took over for HFS until 1977, when he passed away. Then Alan Garnett, who was not a member of the Morgan family, replaced Peter. After that, in addition to Alan, a four-person board was created to run the company, including Peter’s son, Charles Morgan. In 2013, Charles Morgan was controversially ousted from the board. Although the company is still family owned, it is no longer entirely family run. However, the spirit and many of the materials in which Morgan’s have been crafted remains the same. While it’s rumored they’re made entirely of wood, it’s true only for the interior of the car. Most Morgans have an ash frame and steel chassis. The classic styling of each model has stayed similar since the company began and the company doesn’t plan to change that any time soon.
The 3 Wheeler
The 3 Wheeler is perhaps the most well-known Morgan of all time. It has a wow factor that no other vehicle has ever possessed. Most onlookers can’t believe their eyes, as this unique machine is definitely a sight to behold. It almost looks like a turned over space ship on wheels. While this motor vehicle will garner a ton of attention from the other drivers on the road, it must be noted that the 3 Wheeler is not technically a car. When it was first designed in 1910, it was called a “cycle car,” which is a hybrid of a motorcycle and a car. The 3 Wheeler was actually supposed to be a practical, efficient way for the masses to get around, as opposed to its current purpose, as a luxurious toy to be seen in. The basic design of the car has steel tubular chassis, aluminum body, and ash frame. Despite its looks and low weight of 1200 lbs, the 3 Wheeler is powerful reaching a top speed of 115mph. It has a two-cylinder engine and no doors. If you are driving a 3 Wheeler, safety probably isn’t your first priority, but don’t worry, roll bars are standard and so is looking cool.
The 4-4 takes the title of the world’s longest running production vehicle. Not surprisingly, the 4-4 got its name because it was the first Morgan to have four wheels.
This very practical, everyday car, two-seat convertible, has a 1.6 liter, 4 cylinder Ford Engine that can reach a top seed of 115mph.
The Plus 4
The most popular Morgan model is the Plus 4. It is similar to the 4-4, but has better performance in the form of the V4, a 2.0 liter Ford engine. The front and rear track has been widened for increased stability. There are also more accessory options than you will get in the 4-4 that include a luggage rack. However, if you can drive The Plus 4, I do not see why you would want to ever leave town.
Not only is this Morgan vehicle beautiful to look at, but it is a powerful car fueled by a V6 3.7 liter Ford Cyclone Engine. It goes from 0-100 in 5.5 seconds and the top speed clocks out at 140mph. Should you choose to race your Roadster, there is a built-in stopwatch to keep track of your lap time.
The 4 Seater
If want to take the family along for an adventure, the 4 Seater is your ride. It’s also a good Morgan to use if you have to take something larger than a handbag or briefcase that you need to take from Point A to Point B, as the back seats fold down. It has the same engine as the Roadster, a 3.7 V6 Ford Cyclone. While it’s a fun car, the 4 Seater isn’t exactly a racing vehicle, as it won’t go faster than the top speed of 110mph.
The Plus 8 is the lightest V8 Passenger Car in the world. It has a 4.0-liter V8 BMW engine. It can go from 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds. The top speed is a lightning quick 155mph, which is unexpected considering its classic styling.
The Aero 8 is a very powerful sports car with a 4.0-liter V8 BMW engine. It is the only Morgan made with an aluminum chassis. It also has a removable Targa roof. This traditional style is perhaps a little deceptive, as the Aero 8 can reach a top speed of 170 mph. This vehicle is also offered in the coupe style, in case some buyers prefer the non-convertible look.