Morgan celebrates 100 years on Pickersleigh RoadFew can make of heritage claims like the Morgan Motor Company.
- September 11, 2017
- Manufacturing, Morgan History, Production
- Posted by MorganWst
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Morgan Motor Company celebrates 100 years on Pickersleigh Road.
Many automakers can make claims about their heritage and old-world craftsmanship, but few can back up those claims quite like the Morgan Motor Company. Not only does Morgan still produce a range of ash wood-framed sports cars by hand alongside three-wheelers that are remarkably similar to Morgan’s Runabouts of the 1930s, but it does so in a factory built by Morgan in 1914. Though the Morgan Motor Company celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012, this year marks yet another milestone: the 100th anniversary of the Pickersleigh Road works.
n 1905, Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan (Harry to his friends, or simply H.F.S.) opened the Morgan & Company Garage and Motor Works on Worcester Road in Malvern Link, Worcestershire, England, in what was originally an automotive repair facility and automobile dealership. By 1909, H.F.S. Morgan had constructed his first three-wheeler, and one year later debuted the Morgan Runabout to the public at the Olympia Motorcycle Show in London. Though business was slow at first, increasing the seating capacity of the Runabout from one to two and changing from a tiller to a steering wheel significantly increased vehicle sales. Spurred by his success, H.F.S. formed the Morgan Motor Company as a private limited company in 1912, appointing his father, the Reverend H.G. Morgan, as chairman (and himself as managing director). Sales continued to grow in the years preceding the First World War, and by late 1913, it became clear that the firm’s Worcester Road factory would soon run out of space. When a nearby parcel of farmland, owned by Earl Beauchamp, became available, its size and proximity to the Worcester Road plant proved to be the deciding factor, and H.F.S. purchased the acreage on Pickersleigh Road in Malvern Link. By the summer of 1914, a pair of factory buildings had risen from the soil, but the onset of World War I would prevent Morgan from moving its manufacturing operations.
When the war ended in 1918, the simplicity of Morgan’s Runabouts allowed the company to resume manufacturing almost immediately. The majority of manufacturing operations were transferred from Worcester Road to Pickersleigh Road, and it soon became apparent that more manufacturing space would be needed. Plans were made to enlarge the works on Pickersleigh Road, and the new expanded facility opened in October 1919.
Since that time, the Morgan Motor Company has introduced four-wheelers into its product mix, debuting the 4/4 (denoting four wheels and four cylinders) in 1936. Today, the company may utilize modern components (often from third-party suppliers), but Morgan automobiles are still built by hand, using techniques pioneered in the last century. In recognition of 100 years at Pickersleigh Road, Morgan will be releasing a series of short videos on its history this year. The first installment helps to put a face on those who build Morgan automobiles today, and while production may have evolved in the modern age, it’s apparent that none of the passion has been lost.