A-Z Of Marques No 47: Morris

The marque: Quintessentially English make of economical and dependable cars.

The history: Established by William Morris, industrialist and not to be confused with his wallpaper-loving namesake. An Oxford cycle and motor agent, Morris sold his first car in 1913. Through most of his early career, he tended to assemble (on Henry Ford lines), rather than engineer, vehicles. Grew by acquisition in the 1930s, buying such names as Wolseley and, of course, spawned MG (Morris Garages) sports cars in 1924. Bullnose Morrises before the First World War and Morris Eights before the Second established the Nuffield organisation, as it was known by then, as a major force. But Morris found itself effectively taken over by arch rival Austin in 1952 to form the British Motor Corporation. Morris, who became Lord Nuffield, had little control in the new organisation and turned to philanthropy, founding, among other institutions, Nuffield College, Oxford. Morris as a make of car died with the last Morris Ital in 1984.

Defining model: The 1948 Morris Minor, or "poached egg" as Morris called it.

They say: British to the backbone.

We say: Much missed.

Comments