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Istoria marcii Morgan

Da 8 Vizualizari: 65590

morgan classic morgan logoCompania de automobile Morgan inca este detinuta si administrata de catre familia Morgan, asa cum a fost inca de la inceputurile sale, in 1909.
De la disparitia lui Peter Morgan, conducea a fost preluata de  fiul acestuia, Charles Morgan. El este sustinut de Matthew Parkin, Steve Morris si Tim Whitworth.
Automobilele Morgan s-au fabricat dintotdeauna in jurul unui cadru de frasin si al unui sasiu de otel. Compania de automobile Morgan inca este detinuta si administrata de catre familia Morgan, asa cum a fost inca de la inceputurile sale, in 1909.
De la disparitia lui Peter Morgan, conducea a fost preluata de  fiul acestuia, Charles Morgan. El este sustinut de Matthew Parkin, Steve Morris si Tim Whitworth.
Automobilele Morgan s-au fabricat dintotdeauna in jurul unui cadru de frasin si al unui sasiu de otel.

The man who guided the destinies of the Morgan car for almost fifty years, H.F.S. Morgan, was born at Morton Jeffries Rectory, Herefordshire in 1881. His father was the Reverend Prebendary H G Morgan at Stoke Lacy and he married Ruth, the daughter of the late Reverend Archibald Day, formally vicar of St Matthias, Malvern Link.

H.F.S., as his loyal workers and personal friends knew him, was educated at Stone House, Broadstairs, Marlborough College and at the Crystal Palace Engineering College. He began his career as the 18 year-old pupil of William Dean, Chief Engineer of the GWR Railway Works at Swindon, where he worked as a draughtsman in the drawing office of seven years.

Whilst making a modest contribution to the history of steam H.F.S. s loyalties were divided between the locomotive and the motor car.

After a hair-raising first drive in a 3 _ h.p. Benz that ran away with him down the 1-in-6 gradient of a hill between Bromyard and Hereford, he emerged intact but considerably poorer. Damages to the car cost about £28 for repairs and delayed his ambition of owning his own car.

He left the GWR in 1906 and at the age of 25 opened a garage and motor works in Malvern Link where he ran a most successful bus service with a special 10 hp Wolseley 15 seater. These ran from Malvern Link to the Wells and later from Malvern to Gloucester. He also became the district agent for Wolseley and Darraq.
The original Morgan three-wheeler as shown at Olympia.

Eventually he could afford to purchase a motor vehicle an Eagle Tandem. Previously he had hired his cars including the ill-fated Benz, from a Mr Marriot, the first motor trader in Hereford. The Eagle was a three-wheeler fitted with an 8 h.p. water-cooled De Dion engine and it was from his experiences with this machine and a 7 hp. two cylinder car called "The Little Star" that he had the idea of making his own three-wheeler.

He bought a 7 hp Twin-cylinder Peugeot engine and mounted it into a light Three-wheeled tubular chassis. The first Morgan Runabout had been born!

With very little facility for machine work in his garage, help was gratefully received from Mr Stephenson Peach, then Engineering master at Malvern and Repton Colleges and the grandson of the designer of the "Rocket".

The first design was successful due to its rigid frame, light weight and independent front suspension. Another important factor was the unusual power to weight ratio of 90 brake horsepower per ton, which enabled this little vehicle to accelerate as fast as any car being produced at that time.
Prototype Four-seater

The evolution of the Morgan with a model of family dimensions (designed in 1912) came in 1915 when a four-seater was produced for Mr Morgan and his family. After the Great War this model was marketed as the Family Runabout and sold in large numbers.

The demand for inexpensive transport was great and a new factory was built at Pickersleigh Road to enable production to reach fifty cars a week. This made Morgan one of the largest British car producers at the time.
1925 - H.Beart in the record breaking Morgan with Blackbourne engine

The Morgan continued to have success after success in racing and was so fast that at Brooklands it was required to start a lap behind fourwheeled cars in the same class.
Mrs Gwenda Stewart in her record breaking Morgan with J.A.P. engine at Monthlery.

During 1930 Mrs Gwenda Stewart broke the one hour Record at Monthlery at a speed of over 100 mph. She was later to achieve 117 mp.h. in a single seater Morgan on the long straight at Arpajon nearby.

1931 brought a new model with three forward speeds and a reverse, a single chain and detachable wheels.

The rugged strength of the Morgan and its excellent traction meant that it performed well on muddy hills when taking part in reliability trials.
933 was a vintage year for Morgan, bringing in its train a large number of world records and the advent of a new model fitted with a Ford engine. With its flat radiator this was the most popular three-wheeler ever produced and encouraged a number of firms to copy the idea.

In 1936, after a prototype had been tested in trials and on the track, a four-wheeler was exhibited at the London and Paris Exhibitions. The new model was called the Morgan Four Four to differentiate it from the three-wheeler, indicating four cylinders and four wheels. The car had a Z section full width steel chassis with boxed cross members and the body was an ash frame panelled in aluminium. The combination provided the durability of a coachbuilt car with the lightness required for a sports car. The car was an immediate success.

In 1937 H.F.S s father Prebendary George Morgan died peacefully at home. Mr H.F.S. Morgan became Chairman and Governing Director and his board included Mrs H.F.S. Morgan. Mr George Goodall and Mr T.H. Jones who had been with the firm since 1912.

After the success of the Morgan Four Four roadster a four-seater was introduced, followed in quick succession by a Drophead Coupe in 1938.
n 1937 a few special sports models were built for racing fitted with 1098 c.c. Coventry Climax engines developing 42 b.h.p. with balanced crankshafts. Prudence Fawcett competed at Le Mans in 1938 and qualified for the Biennial Cup. White and Anthony again came first in class at Le Mans in 1939 and one of these cars was very successful after the war in the hands of Geoff Sparrowe in club racing.
In this period some interesting experiments were made. A Ford 22 horsepower V8 Pilot engine was fitted to the Morgan chassis, which gave a most vivid performance. Due to a taxation increase from 15 shillings to 25 shillings per horsepower, this project was abandoned at the prototype stage. This second experiment was to fit a car with A Anott supercharger. This vehicle, although only 1000 cc. was capable of over 80 mph.

During the Second World War car manufacture ceased and only two departments were retained by the Company for repairs. These were the Service shop and the Spares department. The remainder of the factory manufactured a variety of components for the war effort, which included parts for the Oerlikon anti-Aircraft gun, aircraft undercarriage and other precision engineering work.
Half way through the war the wood shop and mill was leased to the team developing in-flight refuelling. Sir Alan Cobham, who invented the process, modified a Handley Page "Hereford" Bomber at the factory to take on fuel whilst airborne.

In 1945 many skilled employees came back from the Forces and rejoined the factory. Access to steel was difficult but the fact that the cars could easily be coachbuilt from aluminium helped Morgan become one of the first British car factories to resume building cars.

Reproduction of original Plus 4 catalogue

Production was restarted with the Four Four fitted with the 1267 cc. Special Standard engine.

In 1947, after being demobilised, P.H.G. Morgan joined the firm as Development Engineer and Draughtsman.

After the Government linked steel supplies directly with the number of export customers so there was increased pressure on the company to export. Distributors were appointed in the USA, Canada, South America, Australia, South Africa and Europe. The Four Four was successful in these markets but the three-wheelers did not enjoy this popularity and the decision to discontinue their production was made in 1950. The last twelve twin cylinder three-wheelers were manufactured in 1946 and shipped to Australia.

In 1947 the announcement by the Standard Motor Co. of their "One Engine Policy" meant that no 1267 cc. Units would be available after 1949 and Morgan found it necessary to consider alternative power units. A prototype was built in 1949 with the Vanguard 1.8 litre engine, which gave a much-increased performance.

1952 - Winning Team of the R.A.C. International Rally.

1950 saw the production of this car as the Plus Four. The engine eventually fitted was the 2088 cc. Vanguard 68 bhp. Unit. The chassis frame was strengthened and a four-speed Moss gearbox and a Salisbury 4-1 rear axle was incorporated.

The Plus Four had immediate success in competition, with Morgan winning the team award in the RAC Rally in 1951 and 1952. H.F.S s son Peter Morgan was a driver in both teams. These rally successes were to be repeated in 1990 when the Plus Four enjoyed a strong revival in classic car rallying.

1962 - First at Le Mans in the 2 litre Grand Touring Cars Class.

In 1962 success was achieved again at the 24 hours endurance race at Le Mans. A Plus Four Super Sports prepared by the company and Christopher Lawrence competed and won the 2 litre class. The car was driven by Lawrence and Richard Sheppard-Baron and covered a total distance of 2,261 miles at an average speed of 94 mph. Driver changes, refuelling and adjustment took a total of 32 minutes, so the actual running speed of the car was 97 mph. After the race the car was happily driven back to England on public roads.
The Morgan SLR

In 1964 the Morgan chassis was used as the basis for the SLTR, a racing car designed by Chris Lawrence and John Sprinzel. The aerodynamic body gave a top speed far in excess of the 134 mph. Achieved by the Plus Four at Le Mans on the Mulsanne Straight.

1962 marked the introduction of the Four Four Series Five which was fitted with a 1500 cc. ohv. Ford engine in place of the earlier 1340 cc. Unit.

In 1966 the Triumph TR engine was nearing the end of its life and a suitable replacement was sought. The Rover Motor Company offered the forthcoming aluminium Rover V8 engine. Mr Maurice Owen joined the firm to take charge of development on the new car, the Plus Eight, and this model was announced to the public at the Earls Court Motor Show of 1968.

The racing pedigree of the Morgan was enhanced in 1972 and 1975 when Robin Grey driving a Plus Eight won the Fred Dixon Modsports Championship. Chris Alford won the BRSCC Production Sports Car Championship in a Four Four in 1976 and MMC 11, the first production Plus Eight tested by "Autocar" magazine, took the BRDC Production Sports Car Championship in 1978 with nine wins and three seconds in twelve races. This was followed with victory in the BRSCC Production Sports Car Championship in 1979. The drivers were Charles Morgan, the grandson of the founder, and Rob Wells.

In the USA Tony Arutunoff won the US National Production Championship in class H and in 1982 both British National Sports Car Championship belonged to Morgan with Steve Cole winning in Prodsports with his ultra lightweight Morgan famous for its one-piece alligator body.

Morgan were prominent in the only 24 hour race held in Britain at this time covering the greatest distance by a singe car entry in the Willhire event at Snetterton in 1980, 81 and 82.

In 1984 fuel injection was fitted to the Plus Eight and over 1200 Morgans gathered from all over the world at Eastnor Castle to celebrate the 75th Anniversary. In 1989 the capacity of the Plus Eight was increased from 3.5 to 3.9 litres and this ensured that the Plus Eight continued to be one of the fastest accelerating roads cars. The German magazine "Auto Motor und Sport" crowned the Morgan Plus Eight as the fastest car they had ever tested in fifth gear, the world champion for flexibility".

The early 90 s saw a rapid series of engine changes. The Ford engine was updated with the 16 valve Zetec in 1992, whilst the M16 Rover engine in the Plus 4 was updated to the T16 specification.

A BBC television programme, entitled "Trouble shooter" caused quite a stir. Industrialist Sir John Harvey Jones visited the factory, and analysed the business. His conclusions were significantly at odds with the views held by the Morgan family, who said so. Even today, many conversations start with reference to the programme, which has entered British folk lore.

His programme had the effect of including hundreds of orders into the factory, and ironically is one of the principal reasons behind the extensive waiting list.

Charles Morgan and dealer Bill Wykeham raced a specifically designed aluminium chassis Plus 8 in 7 rounds of the international 1996 BPR race series which became the FIA GT series in 1997. This car proved that the factory were capable of making and running a successful race car, but also that with the higher performance requirements of this series, the aerodynamics of the existing shape were the major limiting factor to success.

In 1997 the production models were extensively overhauled, with the standardisation of the new Aluminium superform wings (all except the 4/4), longer doors, redesigned facia to allow for airbags the introduction of a 4.6 litre V8 version and generally improved materials throughout.

Production improvements also included a new paint shop, a major investment which uses water based paints.

With output at 11 cars per week from February 1999, the yearly output of the factory had not been greater since before the war.

With the arrival of a standard European Whole Vehicle Approval System, much work was undertaken to ensure all of our cars complied. Most small manufacturers used and still do to this day a low volume exemption. With our reliance on Export markets (approx. 50% of sales) Morgan felt they could not rely on this as a solution.

The expertise gained in this, development of the +8 model for the Federal market and the racing programme provided the backbone to the launch and development of the most exciting new product in the companies history to be launched at the Geneva show on the 29th of February the new car sets the scene for a most interesting part of the companies history.

March 2000 saw the surprise unveil of the all new Aero 8 at the Geneva show.  One of the most radical cars on display, it literally stole the show with journalists fighting for press packs at the end of the unveil.  Morgan was on the front page of everywhere.
Successes in the US market with the +8, and numerous developments for type approval kept the small but dedicated technical team at morgan hugely busy.  Frontal impact tests, then the more strict 40% offset frontal, side impact, rear impact for the US not to mention Federal emission standards, Euro 3, then Euro 4 which all contrived to keep the company at full tilt just to comply.  The last big effort was the engine change and addition of ABS and Airbags for the second development Aero 8 which was launched for the US market at the LA Autoshow and the New York show.
The +4 ceased production in 2001 when the Rover T16 engine became unavailable from Rover.  This model was not re-introduced until September 2004, and continues today fitted with the superb Ford Duratec 2 litre which develops 145 Bhp.
The final +8 was producued in April 2004, stopped only because the Rover V8 would no longer meet the emission standards. Morgan fitted that engine for longer than anyone else, including Rover and Land Rover themselves!!  A big party was had at Prescott Hill Climb in Gloucestershire, with over 1000 Morgans in attendance and over 600 runs up the hill.  A great day.
How though can you replace an Icon like the +8.  With the Roadster of course.  With the same body and similar chassis to the outgoing +8, the Roadster benefitted from many years of technological engine development. Using the 3.0 litre engine from the ST220 Mondeo/Jaguar S type this lightweight package offers +20% more power, similar torque and a fabulous rev range.  0-60 takes just 4.9 seconds so the newcomer is faster, more fun and thanks to the lighter engine and better packaging, a better balanced motorcar.
2005 saw the unveiling of the spectacular AeroMax Coupe at the Geneva show.  Wowing the crowds with its outrageous looks, this one off coachbuilt car used Aero mechanicals clothed in a stunning aluminium coupe.  Such was the response, that the Morgan Factory are still considering series production.
So what of 2006.  70 years of the 4/4 thats what!  1936 saw the first 4 wheeled Morgan, and to celebrate the company has announced a run of 142 Morgan 4/4s.  2 of these will each celebrate 1 year of manufacture ie. 1936 will have 2 numbered cars, 1937 etc etc.
With a number of styling queues from yesteryear, inlcuding steel wheels with proper hubcaps,  fold flat screen, wood rim steering wheel, special instruments and a styled hood, these cars are selling fast. With yet another first, the Morgan website shows actual factory availability of these unique and desirable cars.
For several years, we have missed the 4 seater in the range. We are delighted that the new version has been such a success.  Available with both 2 and 3 litre versions, the factory have been building these at the rate of around 2 per week since 2003.
For further information on our full range of cars, please visit our home page.

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