Royal coaches from Morgan land
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The first new model from Morgan since 1936 is the Aero 8. It is made of aluminum, ash, leather and a 367 hp BMW engine.
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Classic: the Morgan V6 Roadster – naturally open.
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The convertible has been built – more or less unchanged – since 1936.
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Archaic cockpit: in the V6 Roadster, the instruments are mounted horizontally.
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A Morgan Plus 4 in the field.
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It all started with the Morgan runabout with handlebar, here a picture from 1912.
The English car manufacturer Morgan has achieved what many other small manufacturers were not granted: It survived. The family company was founded exactly 100 years ago. Each of the approximately 580 cars sold annually is planed, hammered, bent, glued and screwed – by hand.
“I wouldn’t accept that from a Mercedes,” says Manfred Dreher with a mild smile. He’s been driving a Morgan V6 Roadster for almost two years and lists what he could reproach his English convertible with: “It rattles, rattles and is leaking. But if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be Morgan. ”He only mentions the gaps, which are always suspiciously observed in this country, with a dismissive gesture of the hand. What is it that makes this 70-year-old, sensible-looking person squeeze himself into a narrow, outdated vehicle with a leaf spring rigid axle??
"All Morgan drivers have a bird and the dealer must have the biggest," smiles Peter Becker, owner of the Stuttgart-based Morgan direct importer Merz & Pabst. In fact, the Morgan community is a collection of dreamers. Most of them are determined individualists who have flattened their noses against a Morgan shop window since they were a child or who saw their four-wheeled dream at classic car fairs and then never got them out of their heads. After a period of storm and stress, a family phase with house building and at least one vehicle suitable for everyday use, they finally return to the object of their lifelong desire – the average Morgan buyer is 57 years old.
Incidentally, the quintessential Morgan wasn’t a four-wheeler to begin with. The pastor’s son Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan, with the help of his father George, initially devoted all of his creativity to a three-wheeled vehicle with two wheels at the front and one driven at the rear. The Morgan Runabout was born and caused quite a stir at the 1910 Olympic Motor Show in Paris. It was not until 1936 that a Morgan 4/4 was produced for the first time. The number combination stands for four cylinders and four wheels – initially as a two-seater, later also for four people.
If one term fits Morgan, it is “continuity”. Charles Morgan – the grandson of the company founder – has been running the company in the fourth generation since the 1990s. Success in countless races and skill drives contributed to the myth of the classic 4/4 to this day. Morgan enthusiasts all over the world enable sales of around 580 pieces a year – the Malvern Link still planes, hammer, bends, glued and screwed – everything by hand.
Following the English model, Axel Beckert, the owner’s son, has now moved to the Morgan region in Stuttgart. "Germany is Morgan’s number 1 importer, 102 vehicles came through the canal last year," says the trained body and vehicle builder and trained business economist. There are currently three other private Morgan importers in this country in Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Munich, in Stuttgart they are silent about their own sales figures and, according to Peter Beckert, are simply happy: “Morgan simply has no competitor. Here we still have manual carriage construction, the appearance and the way in which the classic is manufactured has not changed much since the 1930s: The structure on the frame is made of wood, more precisely: Belgian ash. "
In addition to the 4/4 models, which are simply called “classic” among connoisseurs, the current range also includes the Aero 8, which is a tribute to the modern age. The roadster, which has also been built since the beginning of the millennium, is actually the first completely newly developed model since 1936: made of aluminum, ash and leather. Purists may shudder at the thought that the Aero 8, equipped with a 367 hp BMW engine, has both airbags and power steering, and an automatic transmission if desired. But the Aero is also a regal driving pleasure. The price list makes the balancing act towards the new development clearly visible: If the 4/4 Sport starts at 39,500 euros, the Aero 8 costs 107,800 euros. No wonder that 90 percent of sales go to the classics.
Always export-oriented, family-run, and to put it mildly: Morgan has survived the past 100 years without hasty model renewals – and it should stay that way. In the headquarters there is an idiosyncratic and highly remarkable saying from a German point of view: "In the future five brands will survive – Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes and Morgan."
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