A-Z Of Marques No 48: Morgan

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The marque: Britain's living-history sports car museum, now with high-tech features.

The marque: Britain's living-history sports car museum, now with high-tech features.

The history: H F S Morgan of Malvern, Worcestershire, devised a three-wheeled car in 1909: two wheels in front, one at the back. During the 1920s the Morgan three-wheeler became quite a sporty item with its JAP or Matchless vee-twin engine. Great skill was required to drive them, as they had a hand throttle with no return spring, a two speed crash gearbox and a footbrake working on the lightly-laden rear wheel only.

In the 1930s the three-wheeler gained a Ford engine. In 1935 came a four-wheeler, with a Coventry Climax engine (the 4/4). After the Second World War this became the Plus Four with Standard Vanguard engine. Morgan made the transition, under H F S's son Peter, from current sports car to lovable classic, creating the Plus Four Plus coupé in 1963, but no one took it seriously. Salvation came in 1967 with the Plus Eight powered by Rover's then-new V8 engine. Today's Aero Eight, with BMW V8 engine, proves that Morgan can move with the times.

Defining model: Plus Eight. Old looks, modern power.

They say: Sir John Harvey-Jones? Who's he?

We say: Old Morgans never die. They just get rebuilt.

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