After meeting Bill, retired foreman of 25 years at Morgan Cars, who had rebuilt a 1920’s Morgan three wheeler, Abi bought me a ticket for a guided tour of the factory after she had seen my enthusiasm.
The day was Tuesday 20th June and I, minus Jackie, was booked on the 10:00am tour with about 15 other people. I’m not particularly a Morgan car fan, but I was interested to see a traditional British manufacturer of cars, now the oldest family owned car business in the world, started in 1909.
|A finished wooden ash frame for a Classic 4/4|
The factory in Pickersleigh Road, Malvern was first opened in 1914 and now produces between 800 and 1000 vehicles per year. It has been extended over the years but still retains that traditional look, inside there are no robots or rolling production lines, it’s all very much as it must have been 50 or 60 years ago, each car hand-made and finished and, being on a sloping site, they use gravity for moving vehicles around.
|Fitting a laminated ash wheel arch into the former|
|A Melbourne sourced rear axle fitted to a classic chassis|
|Line of chassis being worked on|
|Trimming the aluminium as it is fitted to the frame|
|Morgan assembly line, Morgan Aero 8's this side, Classics on the other side|
|Workers hand making the bonnets|
|Semi finished car showing the wooden door frame|
|And they look like cabinet hinges fixed with wood screws|
|Here's a guy cutting out some veneer for a dashboard|
|The leather sewing area and final finish department behind|
|Car wings being buffed up prior to final fitting|
|The three wheeler department. They built a couple in about 2014 to take to the Geneva motor show, expecting little interest, but they came away with orders for 200! They have now built about 800 of them|
|And they do look pretty good, the front mounted engine mimicing the original look|
|These are the motorcycle engines and MX5 gearboxes they use|
|This is a very rare car, they only built 26 of them, it's was unpopular|
|Morgan Classic 4/4 anyone?|
|Or what about an Aero 8?|
|It looks really different from the back|