Founded in 1910 by Harry Frederick Stanley Morgan with financial investment from his father, the company was, and still is, a family business based in Malvern, Worcestershire, in the west of England. HFS (as he was known to all) died in 1959, leaving the firm to his son Peter Morgan who passed the company to his son Charles on his retirement. Peter Morgan died in 2003.
HFS wanted to build performance sports-cars before there was any `tradition` to follow. Therefore it is fair and accurate to refer to him as a true pioneer. Morgan Motor Company is the most traditional of makers because it began with a design principal at it`s heart and adheres to that principle to this day. That principle focused on power-to-weight ratio. All Morgans are extremely light and therefore the highest performance is obtained from whatever `stock` engines are available at the time. Morgan does not make engines and transmissions, they have always been sourced from the greater industry. HFS reasoned that if his car was lighter than the car the engine originated in, it would automatically be faster. Tuning specifications were always bespoke and so power-output was and is, always impressive.
From the beginning he used `sliding pillar` front suspension, his own invention. The car had a little button on the floor which when pressed squirted engine oil onto the sliders. Although a little strange, this gave the early cars a handling advantage over the competition. Another advantage over the competition was the ability to modify and tune engines to produce more power.
Through the years there have been few changes to the original production methods, including hand building. There is no `production line` at Morgan. An ash timber body-frame built onto a steel tube chassis was the foundation for the body. Strong and light, no reason was ever found to change it.
HFS had a fixed idea on what a sports-car should look like and was never influenced by fashion. To this day this principle is alive and thriving at Morgan. Another of HFS`s talents was `market knowledge`. Because the cars were such fun to drive he quickly built a loyal customer base. As fashion and design changed he maintained and defended the Morgan principles. Traditional looks, high performance and hand-built quality were and still are, at the core of Morgan success. It never pretended to be a luxury car, just a first-class high- performance sports-car.
HSF laid the foundation for the classic British sports-car long before any other marques were even available. Morgan Motor Company led and the rest were forced to follow. The Morgan is honest, genuine and totally unpretentious. It is a joy to drive and is a lot quicker than many contemporaries. It was never cheap and still isn`t. It is, however, very good value for money. This classic is sure to be a good investment, now and always.
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I was born in Hereford UK in 1948 and brought up in Gloucester UK. I played Rugby football internationally as a schoolboy. At the age of 17, a new and wet driving license in my paw, I entered motor racing. I was supported and financed by my parents and so my journey began.
In 1965 I bought a 1293cc Mini-Cooper `S` and campaigned it for a season. Having quickly made some good friends in the racing fraternity, several interesting opportunities came my way. I joined a sports-car team and raced in the Le Mans 24 hours in 1968 and 1969 in a Lola T70. Mechanical failure defeated both efforts. During that period I owned and raced a `D type` Jaguar and an AC Cobra. In those days cars like that were available and not too expensive, now they reside in museums and private collections. I had a chain of interesting cars through my youth including Jaguars, Minis, Mustangs and Lotus-Cortinas.
As a young driver I had my share of accidents too. Often the car would only be worth scrap-metal value by the time I got it home! I worked for an Aston-Martin/Jaguar dealership for a while, which enhanced my experience and gave me the opportunity to sample some very exotic machines, Ferrari, Facel-Vega, Iso and Maserati to recall a few of them.
At the end of 1969 I moved to South Africa to work on my uncle`s farm but the S.A. government had other ideas and drafted me into the army. After five years had passed I was thanked and released from the service. While I was there I bought a beige Cadillac Eldorado, previously the property of Marilyn Monroe. While I was away on a patrol my girlfriend had it re-sprayed pink! I was unimpressed by both the joke and the bill for the work!
When I returned to UK in 1974 I left it behind. On my return I found that the once-mighty British motor industry was in decline and was headed for oblivion. Motor racing was now very expensive so I turned to commercial transport. Driving large trucks gave me freedom and a chance to see some of the world. I don`t remember ever making a career choice but for the next thirty years a truck was my home. For about ten years in that period I owned two trucks of my own.
I also owned a famous MGB-GT, known as `Lucky`. If you`d like to read `The Story of Lucky` there is an article in Inopian`s archive. I finally retired, due to ill-health, in 2008. Since I had varied knowledge and many experiences on our subject I decided to share the stories of the cars I enjoyed (and hated) with the new generation.
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