Back in 1990 the late business expert John Harvey-Jones analysed the commercial strategy of the Morgan Motor Company in one of a series of BBC television programmes called Troubleshooter. His conclusion was that the resolutely old-fashioned British manufacturer – which still creates the framework of its hand-built cars from ash wood – would soon go bust unless it moved with the times, dramatically increased production and modernised its methods.
Morgan’s management took his advice on board, but thought a little differently – and next year celebrates its 110th anniversary as both the world’s oldest automobile marque in private hands and the maker of the longest-running production car of all time, the 4/4.
To mark the occasion, the firm has announced a line-up of three anniversary models equipped with up to £8,900 worth of special features that will be included in the price of the standard cars on which they are based. The range comprises two four-wheelers and one three-wheeler, the former starting with the mid-range two-litre, 154-horsepower Plus 4 (from £44,106), which comes with 15 options such as special paintwork, a mohair roof, sports seats and exhaust system and anniversary bonnet badges.
A similar array of extras will also be fitted to the 3.7-litre, 280-horsepower Roadster (from £55,074), while the Three Wheeler – Morgan’s contemporary take on its original “cyclecar” – costs from £39,486 and can be ordered in any solid colour from the firm’s latest range. The anniversary car’s roll hoops and exhaust heat shields are available in contrasting black, the interior upholstered in quilted leather and the tonneau cover made from mohair.
Prospective buyers of the special cars are able to register interest on the Morgan website now, with first deliveries expected at the end of this year or start of next year. A series of 110th anniversary events will be announced throughout 2019.