Born in 1881, Henry Francis Stanley Morgan was the son of a vicar who, unlike his father and grandfather before, eschewed a life in the church in favor of a life in engineering. Morgan studied at Crystal Palace Engineering College and apprenticed on the Great Western Railroad, unknowingly following in the footsteps of fellow motoring icons Henry Royce and W.O. Bentley who both served apprenticeships on the railroad. Morgan soon set up a small shop in Malvern Link, Worcestershire as a service and sales agent for Darraq and Wolseley. But H.F.S grew bored with selling other people’s products and he decided to build a motorcar of his own design, the first of which was built in the engineering workshop of Malvern College.
Morgan’s car was an innovative single-seat three-wheel design, with two wheels up front and a single driven wheel in the rear. It was powered by a Peugeot V-twin sending power through a dog transmission via chains and sprockets to the rear wheel. The most innovative feature, however, was the “sliding pillar” independent front suspension – the basic concept of which is still used on Morgans nearly 110 years later! A £3000 loan from his father (no small sum in 1910) allowed H.F.S. to set up a manufacturing facility where he could build his new machine. Morgan unveiled his creation (now powered by a J.A.P. V-Twin) at the Motor Cycle Show, though the single seater configuration did limit initial interest, a two-seater variant introduced in 1911 finally saw orders flowing in. Sporty and economical, the Morgan three-wheeler’s popularity grew exponentially, its image cemented by the company’s participation in trials and track competition. Initially all Morgans were two-seaters, powered by a succession of J.A.P., Blumfield, and Precision V-twin engines. Front brakes were added in 1923, the year total Morgan production surpassed 40,000 units. A Family model, with a modest rear seat, was added to the line in 1925.
Late 1931 saw a new chassis design as well as a three speed gearbox with the rather handy addition of a reverse gear. Two years later, even more changes were brought with the addition of a four-cylinder Morgan, powered by an 8-horsepower, 933-cc Ford engine. A completely new Z-section frame was supplied by Rubery-Owen, Ltd., and Ford’s three-speed (plus reverse) gearbox was used. Designated as Model F (for Ford) it would remain in production even as a four-wheeled Morgan was introduced in 1935. V-twin Morgans ceased production at the beginning of World War II, but the F model was continued until 1952. Both two- and four-seat Fs were built, and from 1937 an F-Super was added with cycle fenders and a 1,172-cubic centimeter engine rated at 10 horsepower (30 brake horsepower). It is one of these rare F-Supers we offer here, one of just 129 built after World War II.
This delightful Morgan F-Super was treated to a complete and meticulous restoration by the previous owner. It presents in fabulous condition, looking fresh and cheerful in its distinct shade of light green accented by black front wings. Paint quality is excellent with high quality detailing throughout. As part of the restoration, the wood body framing was renewed as needed and the car remains in outstanding order. Chrome trim is likewise in excellent condition and the car retains pleasant details such as leather bonnet straps and an original 1953 tax disc.
The interior is charmingly spartan, with room for two on the black leather seats. The upholstery has been beautifully crafted and looks fresh and inviting. Black carpets and door cards are similarly excellent and the polished wood dash stands out, accented with a body color instrument panel. Instrumentation is limited to the very basics, just a fuel gauge and speedometer keep the driver informed. Should you find yourself in adverse weather conditions, there is a full canvas top to keep out the elements. But for sunny days, this Morgan is best enjoyed with the top stowed and the windscreen folded for the full wind-in-the-face experience.
The 30 hp Ford engine is simply presented but pleasingly detailed down to a set of spare plugs on the firewall. As part of the restoration, the engine and associated mechanicals were rebuilt. A jack bag and period trouble light are found in the cowl-mounted tool box. Since the restoration was completed, this wonderful Morgan has been shown at a number of prestigious events including Keels and Wheels, Boca Raton, Ault Park, Meadowbrook, and Hilton Head Island Concours where is received numerous class and special awards. Most notably, it has scored an AACA Grand National First Place award. Rare and eminently charming, it remains in excellent condition, an outstanding early example from this most quirky of British car companies.
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