DEVELOPMENT OF THE THREE WHEELER, THE 20s & 30s

 

When peace returned in 1918 Morgan was one of the first manufacturers to resume full production mainly due to the simplicity of the design. Most manufacturing operations were now moved from the original Worcester Road works to the new factory in Pickersleigh Road.

 

Almost immediately the new works were enlarged, with extensions to the two existing workshops and the construction of two additional workshops further down the hill to the east. Harry Morgan’s eldest daughter Sylvia laid the foundation stone for the extensions and the new works were officially opened on 16th October 1919. To celebrate the occasion, a dinner dance was held in the new paint shop (Row 4) for the employees, their families and friends, many of whom having returned from military service resumed their former jobs at Morgans. There was cause for further celebrations the following month when Peter Morgan was born on 3rd November, the only boy of Harry & Ruth Morgan’s five children.

 

New models were added to the Morgan range, and for the first time a four-seater “Family” Runabout was available. This was launched at the Olympia Show in London in November 1911.

 

Another special Morgan, inspired by Capt. Albert Ball’s specially bodied Grand Prix car, was introduced in 1920. This was called the Aero in recognition of the famous aviator. 

So advanced had H.F.S. Morgan’s first designs been, that little alteration, apart from bodywork modifications, were needed for several years. The car retained its sturdy, lightweight construction and the two-speed transmission system remained in production until the early 1930s. Electric lights replaced acetylene lamps and starters were added. As a result of experience gained in reliability trials, front wheel brakes were installed, the Morgan car being one of the first in the field to enjoy this innovation. More powerful overhead valve V-twin engines were fitted, giving the Morgan an exceptional performance for its time.
Throughout the 1920s the Morgan continued to have success after success in racing and was so fast that at Brooklands it was required to start a lap behind four wheeled cars in the same class.

 

Likewise, Morgans were dominant on the trials hills, where they won more medals and trophies than any other comparable machine. 

 

Morgan three-wheelers sold well abroad. In France Monsieur Darmont bought a licence from H.F.S. Morgan to manufacture the Darmont Morgan in his Paris factory.

Mr George Goodall joined the firm in 1925, taking over the position of General Manager from Alfie Hales who had been with H.F.S since 1911. Alfie sadly died in 1927. George went on to become Managing Director of the Company, a position from which he retired at the end of 1958 whilst still retaining a seat on the Board.
Throughout the 1920s the Pickersleigh Road factory had been enlarged still further and this artists impression from 1925 shows six rows of workshops. The 7th row (later to become the machine shop) was added in 1931.
 

Racing successes encouraged the introduction of another sporting model in 1927, called the Super Aero with lowered streamlined bodywork. 



Following the successes of the earlier cars, the Super Aero was immediately in action on the trials hills and on the race track.

Not only were the cars dominant in motorsport, they were now one of the most fashionable machines to be seen driving on the open road

In 1930 Mrs. Gwenda Stewart broke the One Hour World Record at the banked race track at Monthléry, south of Paris, at a speed of over 100 m.p.h.. She was later to achieve 117 m.p.h. in a single-seater Morgan on the long straight at Arpajon nearby.

1931 brought a new transmission system with a three speed and reverse gearbox, a single chain and detachable wheels. This arrangement was eventually used on all models, with engines now supplied by Matchless, the high performance machine (a development of the Super Aero) being known as the Super Sports.

Morgans remained at the forefront of competitive motoring and even Harry’s daughters were seen at Donnington at an A.C.U. rally.

Robust and reliable, Morgans were also exported worldwide as with this example seen alongside the Egyptian pyramids.



The factory also made more modest vehicles, the entry level machine being the Standard Runabout, plus the more luxuriously equipped DeLuxe, as well as the four-seater ‘Family’ model. Morgan even introduced a commercial Delivery Van based on the three wheeler chassis.



1933 was a vintage year for Morgan, bringing in its train a large number of World Records. 1933 also saw the advent of a new model known as the F-type fitted with a Ford engine. The prototype was photographed at the back of the factory. The first production F-type was a four-seat family tourer called the F4, this was followed soon after by the F2, a two-seater version. Rather than the tubular steel chassis, the F-types used a Z-section steel ladder-frame chassis. Featuring a conventional bonnet and radiator, this was one of the most popular three-wheelers ever produced and encouraged a number of other firms to copy the idea.

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