Morgan Cars, Sales, Imports, Isis Imports Ltd.
Morgan Cars, Sales, Imports, Isis Imports Ltd.
Reprinted from Road and Track Magazine August 1980

British sports cars have always been a bit on the old-fashioned side, thus admirably suited to the public they served, and except for a few remarkably horrid examples have escaped the wilder flights of fancy such as found (a-hem!) on the sinful Continong. In the palmy days following the collapse of 'itler,'irohito, Musso and that lot, the first appreciable trickle of MG TCs began to find its way to these shores, and to a public tired of the war, tired of austerity, tired of big heavy cars and even big heavy motorcycles, the graceful TCs spelled freedom and also a stylish way of picking up pretty girls. Many other competitors followed: Singer, Triumph, Healey, Jag-u-ar and even the A 90 Atlantic, God save the Queen. Sometimes an occasional Morgan lurked among these, usually brought back by some GI whose English bride refused to be separated from her beloved "Mog," and its uncompromising lines fitted right in with an epidemic of Anglomania. Historians never tire of pointing out how conquered or occupied peoples swiftly absorb the more salient characteristics of their new rulers, just as the pagan Berbers became fanatical Muslims, the even more pagan Bulgars embraced Byzantine Orthodoxy, and purchasers of BSA motorcycles crept out at night to spray oil spots under the primary case. So it was that the members of quickly formed sports car clubs became more English than the English, uttering words like "tiffin" of which they had not the slightest cognizance (not to mention "bloke") and even wearing tartan ties. Morgan, more British than the British, fitted right in.

The sainted H.F.S. Morgan, appropriately enough son of a clergyman, grew up in rural Worcestershire already aware of the burgeoning torrent of mechanical development around him. After a false start or two, he and friends decided that the future lay in manufacturing a cyclecar, in effect a 3-wheel motorcycle, as that sort of thing was very popular and had been for some time, "proper" cars usually being much heavier and expensive.

Most of these devices were very much stick, string and knicker-elastic and the fertility of the inventors¹ minds is absolutely amazing. In 1910, after construction of a tubular frame single-seater which set his engineering style permanently (independent front suspension via sliding gizzies in pillars a la Lancia, a bevel box at the back with 2-speed dog and sprocket transmission, giving one chain to each side of the rear wheel), he decided to make a 2-seater version for "the" Olympia Show in 1911. At this time the car, I think, used a Peugeot air-cooled twin, Peugeot along with many other manufacturers supplying proprietary engines to constructors (including Norton) much as JAP did later, and Morgan's little machine made such a good impression that the giant London store Harrods took it on. In that era there were hundreds of little manufacturers, all squabbling for a place in the sun, and the best way to advertise a new product was to race it or run in the numerous reliability trials put on by local Club Centres.

Continued on pg 2

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