Interestingly enough, the first Morgan four wheel automobile was the 1936 Morgan 4/4 Series 1. Prior to that the company spent 26 years building three wheel vehicles with the third wheel in the rear. The first Morgan 4/4 was also built as a four seater beginning in 1939 and after the war until 1950. Only about 240 of these two seaters were produced.
The Morgan Motor Company
The Morgan Motor Company was established in Britain in 1910 by Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan. The company built it's early reputation with their three wheeled vehicles. Morgan began his career as a railway apprentice, but in 1906, and with the encouragement of his clergyman father, opened a garage in Malvern Link. Three years later he designed a lightweight chassis for a three wheeler to use an air cooled vee-twin engine and employ a tiller for steering.
The vehicle was called a "Cyclecar" which was a motorcycle engine and a two speed transmission put on a lightweight chassis. Morgan came out with this small vehicle years before the craze hit it's peak in the early 1920's.
The first Morgan three wheelers allowed people with modest means to purchase a motorized vehicle. In a way it was a vehicle for the masses in Britain the same as what Henry Ford accomplished in the U.S. with the Model T. The Morgan Cyclecars were considered the best engineered and most successful of all Cyclecars of the era. By 1915 the Morgan Cyclecar won many competition awards including over twenty gold medals.
The Morgan Motor Company came out again in 1955 with a reborn 4/4 model that was built on the Plus 4 chassis. This was four years after the Morgan 4/4 Series 1 ceased production when the Morgan Plus 4 was introduced.
The first 1955 Morgan 4/4 was built with a four cylinder Ford side valve engine delivering 36 horsepower. The car's 0 to 60 time was about 26.9 seconds with a top speed of about 75 MPH. The Morgan 4/4 Series II was a charming relatively inexpensive sports car with not a lot of power. The gearbox was a three speed. A reported total of 387 Morgan 4/4 Series II models were built.
There were a lot of differences of course between the 1936 Morgan 4/4 and the modernized Morgan 4/4 that was produced beginning in 1955. These include a drivetrain from Ford Britain rather than from Triumph. The Morgan 4/4 remained a two seat roadster but had a cowled radiator and a sloped rear similar to the mid 50's Plus 4 model.
Morgan 4/4 Series III
The Morgan 4/4 Series III models were not around for long and are rare since only 59 vehicles were produced. The Morgan 4/4 Series III came out in October 1960 and were built until November 1961.The car had the same chassis as the Series II and the track was increased two inches. The Morgan Series III models also had hydraulic shock absorbers. The Series III also had a four cylinder Ford engine delivering 54 horsepower. The gearbox on the Series III was a four speed. The Series III had a top speed of about 81 MPH.
Morgan 4/4 Series IV
Changes to the Morgan 4/4 Series IV were disc brakes and a more powerful Ford inline four cylinder engine. The length of this model was 144.0 inches, a width of 56.0 inches, and a wheelbase of 96.0 inches. Curb weight was 1,520 lbs. Gearbox was four speed. The Series IV had a reported top speed of 84 MPH. The Morgan Series IV came out in October 1961 and ended production in March 1963. A total of 114 vehicles were built.
Morgan 4/4 Series V
The Morgan Series V was introduced in February 1963 and continued in production until March 1968. When production ended a total of 639 vehicles were built. The car had a four speed transmission and an inline four cylinder engine that delivered 65 horsepower. Dimensions were the same as the Series IV models. As with all the various series of the Morgan 4/4, the big difference essentially was the engine. The Morgan 4/4 Series IV was built with an engine with 92 cubic inch displacement.
List of Morgan 4/4 Engines Series II Through V
1955-59 71 cubic inch L-head Inline-4
1959-61 91 cubic inch V-4
1962-63 82 cubic inch Inline-4
1963-68 92 cubic inch Inline-4
1968-82 97 cubic inch Inline-4
1982-87 97 cubic inch Inline-4
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Morgan Motor Company Today
The Morgan Motor Company today produces automobiles in Malvern Link, United Kingdom. The company assembles all vehicles by hand and the waiting list for ordered cars can be in years.
The Morgan Motor Company built three wheelers from it's inception in 1910 all the way until 1952. The company through a subsidiary began once again building three wheelers in 2012.
The Morgan Motor Company today builds a variety of two and four seat roadsters as well as a coupe and three wheelers.
Morgan 4/4 Prices
An average selling price as of this writing for a Morgan 4/4 Series V is in the area of $25,000. Condition, originality and the degree of restoration will be the main factor and you'll find some models being offered in the $30,000 and $40,000 range. You may also find Morgan 4/4 Series I models offered at about $30,000 depending on condition and originality.
(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)