Morgan Sports Car
The Morgan Motor Company is a British motor car manufacturer.
The company was founded in 1909 by H.F.S. Morgan and was run by him
until 1959. Peter Morgan, son of H.F.S., ran the company until a few
years before his death in 2003.
Morgan Car: a revival of traditions
Comment "Nice to see our 'Moggie'
featuring on yet another site! the 1934 Super Sports has been in the
family since 1950 and is still entering rallies and shows - so keep an
eye open! Cheers, Dave - UK"
Have your say
The factory is located in Malvern Link (an area of Malvern,
Worcestershire) and has 163 employees. All the cars are assembled by
hand. The waiting list for a car has gone as high as 10 years (now
approximately 1-2 years). Production is 14 cars a working week or 640
units a year (2007). Present production is made up of traditional (aka
Classic) models (85%) and Aero 8s (15%).
Early cars - three-wheelers and 4-4s
The early cars were two seat or four seat three-wheelers, and are
therefore considered to be cycle cars. Three-wheeled vehicles avoided the
British tax on cars by being classified as motorcycles. Competition from
small cars like the Austin 7 and the original Morris Minor, with
comparable economy and price and better comfort, made cyclecars less
in state of restoration, showing internal bodywork
V-Twin three-wheelers (1911-1939)
H.F.S. Morgan's first car design was a single-seat three-wheeled
runabout which was fabricated for his personal use in 1909. Interest in
his runabout led him to patent his design and begin production. While he
initially showed single-cylinder and twin-cylinder versions of his
runabout at the 1911 Olympia Motor Exhibition, he was convinced at the
exhibition that there would be greater demand for a two-seat model.
Pass It On
Morgan built his cars' reputation by entering them in competitions.
One of his racing cars won the 1913 Cyclecar Grand Prix at Amiens in
France. This became the basis for the Grand Prix model of 1913 to
1926, from which evolved the Aero, Super Sports, and
These models used air-cooled or liquid-cooled variations of
The engine was placed ahead of the axis of the front wheels in a chassis
made of steel tubes brazed into cast lugs.
The V-Twin models were not returned to production after World War II.
F-Series three-wheelers (1932-1952)
Beginning in 1932, a new series of Morgan three-wheelers began with
the F-4. The F-4, and its later siblings the F-2 and the
F-Super, used a pressed-steel chassis and the four-cylinder Ford
Side valve engine that was used in the Model Y. Production of the
Ford-engine three-wheelers would continue until 1952.
Morgan's first four-wheeler was the 4-4, for four-cylinder engine and
four wheels. The first production 4 wheeled Morgan was released to the
public in 1936 and is known as the Morgan 4-4 Series 1. Three-wheeler
production continued along side the 4-4 until 1952.
1934 Morgan Super Sports at Bristol Car Show, England.
Postwar four-wheel cars
The Morgan +4 was introduced in 1950 as a larger ("plus") car
than the 4-4. The +4 used the 2088 cc Standard Vanguard engine, while
the 4-4 used a Standard Special 1267 cc engine (1950-58). Later +4s used
Triumph TR2 - TR4 engines (1954-1969). +4 production was suspended in
1969 but brought back in 1985 with a Fiat engine (1985-1988) and then a
4 cylinder Rover engine (1988-2000). Production was again suspended and
the Plus 4 returned once more in 2004 with a 155 bhp (116 kW/157 PS)
Ford 4 cylinder.
Morgan Plus8 3500 ccm 157 PS 1986
A version of the +4, designated the +4+, was made from 1964 to
1967 with a contemporary fibreglass coupe body. The light weight and
reduced drag characteristics improved the performance of the +4+ over
the regular +4 in every aspect. However, the traditional Morgan
enthusiasts did not embrace this departure from Morgan custom, and
mainstream enthusiasts did not embrace the seemingly archaic +4 chassis.
Only 26 +4+ cars were built.
The 4-4 was replaced by the 4/4 in 1955. The 4/4 now uses the
+8 chassis and a Ford engine.
Faced with the decreasing availability of large four-cylinder engines
for use in their +4 models, Morgan began to install the
recently-available Rover V8 engine in their cars in 1968, giving these
cars the model designation +8.
The engine displacement jumped from the 2.3 L of the Triumph TR4
engine to 3.5 L, then 3.9L (1990), 4.0 (1998-2004) with and optional
4.6L (1996-2000) all based on the same Land Rover block. However, the
V-8 was no longer than the Triumph. These features made the +8
accelerate much more quickly than the early +4 and also improved its
Horsepower (143-204 bhp), weight and performance varied with emission
and structural laws through its history. In its final form, the GEMS
Land Rover V8 produced 190 hp (140 kW). Thus powered, the car could
accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds. Many enthusiasts work on the
engine, exhaust, carburettors or EFI systems and improve this figure.
In 2004, Morgan came out with a trad model to replace the departing
Plus 8. The new model, named the "Roadster" is powered by a Ford V6
producing 212 bhp (158 kW/215 PS).
Availability in the United States
For part of the 1950s and 1960s, the USA provided the company with
its largest market worldwide, taking up to 85% of all production.
This ended with the first wave of US safety and emission regulations in
1971. For many years (1974 to 1992), all Morgans imported into the
United States were converted to run on propane as fuel to pass the U.S.
emissions regulations. However, this conversion, along with bringing the
cars into compliance with US vehicle safety legislation, was carried out
by the dealership, and not by the factory, making the cars grey market
However, when the Rover Group re-certified their V-8 engine for use
in the Range Rover 4x4 sold in the U.S., Morgan was able to use the same
engine for a fully US compliant stock Morgan from 1992 to 1996,
and again from 1998 to 2004. In
2005, the engine was replaced with the US version of another
traditionally-shaped model (with a V6) called the Roadster.
In 2002, Morgan centralised its international compliancy development
and regulatory interaction in-house.
In 2005, its right to import its classic models ceased when supplies of
its necessary airbag were exhausted and no replacement was developed. In
2006, a request for an airbag exemption to the NHTSA was refused, and
the importation of classic Morgans ceased.
In 2005, the new Morgan Aero 8 model (vers. 2 and 3) received a 3
year exemption from rear impact non-compliance,
along with a separate exemption for compliance with "advanced airbag
rear-impact exemption lapsed in May 2008 without further application.
Morgan has indicated to its US dealers that it plans to re-apply for US
certification for some model at as yet an undetermined date in the
Morgan Aero 8
In 2000, the Morgan Aero 8 was introduced and, as always, the
wooden body substructure was ash. (Contrary to popular myth, however,
the chassis is metal; aluminium for the Aero 8). The Aero 8, with a BMW
V8 engine in a car half the weight of the BMW, is even faster than the
Plus 8, delivering what Autoweek magazine termed supercar
performance. The Aero 8 puts out 333HP @6100 rpm giving it a top speed
of over 160 mph. Due to the Aero 8's light weight it can do 0-62 in 4.5
Morgan Aero Max
The Morgan Aeromax, a coupe variation of the Aero 8. It is a limited
production of 100 cars. The cars cost £110,000 each and have been sold,
including one to Richard Hammond, and one to Rowan Atkinson.
In spite of their traditional design, Morgans have always had
sporting or 'sports car' performance, due to their extremely low weight.
This is especially true of their V-8 powered models, the +8 and the Aero
Among their enthusiasts, Morgans are affectionately known as Moggies.
Their owners tend to be very traditional in their approach to sports
cars; the failure of the +4+ and the sales of the Aero 8 are generally
used as examples of this.
In October 2006 Morgan announced it would produce a fuel cell based
sports car called the LIFEcar and based on the Aero 8 as an
experiment. It is being built in collaboration with the UK Department
for Trade and Industry (DTI), fuel cell maker QinetiQ, BOC, and OScar,
and educational institutions. Morgan will present the car in 2-3 years
time.  This car has been
designed and styled by a young new Morgan designer, Matthew Humpheries,
and has excited much interest.
A Modern Morgan Aero 8 Sports Car
- 1909 Runabout
- 1911-1939 V-Twin 3 wheeler
- 1932-1952 F-Series 3 wheeler
- 1936-date 4/4 Two Seater and Four Seater
- 1950-1969 Plus 4
- 1964-1967 Plus 4 Plus
- 1968-2004 Plus 8
- 1985-2000 Plus 4
- 2000-date Aero 8
- 2004-date V6 Roadster
- 2005-date Plus 4
- 2008 Morgan AeroMax
- 2008 Morgan LIFEcar
Morgan Aero 8 GT3 at the FIA GT3 European Championship 2008
Really eccentric Morgan car from
Nice to see our 'Moggie'
featuring on yet another site! the 1934 Super Sports
has been in the family since 1950 and is still entering
rallies and shows - so keep an eye open! Cheers, Dave
Williams - UK
My uncle has one and he let me have a
go the other day down his farm track, wow !