In a world where machines and huge assembly lines rule, Morgan stands out like a sore thumb. The Malvern-based company is one of the few UK car manufacturers left, and its traditional approach has helped it to to carry on through difficult times.
The cars that Morgan currently sells look near identical to models that have been on sale throughout the past century, and although there have been some changes and upgrades under the skin, the cars are still put together by craftsmen using the same time-honoured techniques and tools.
Cars like the Morgan Plus 4 and the (all new, despite appearances) Morgan 3 Wheeler are the only modern cars to use an ash wood frame, for a start. The wood is crafted by hand, with some pieces moulded to shape using bucks that are well over 50 years old.
The wooden frame isn’t the only part of a Morgen to receive the hand-crafted approach, with hand-beaten aluminium bodywork that sits over the top, giving each car its distinctive silhouette. The more expensive models also get a bonded aluminium chassis, following in the footsteps of Lotus and Jaguar.
There are no expensive robots to move cars down an assembly line, with Morgan employees instead wheeling each car between bays, where more parts can be added and worked on.
Engines are attached to the cars at an early stage in each model’s life, and once the aluminium bodywork is in place it’s time for the car to head for paint. Once again, Morgan does everything by hand, although it’s not all old-fashioned – Morgan was the first manufacturer to switch to water-based paint, with bigger companies following closely in its footsteps.
As with the exteriors and frames, the interiors are all hand-crafted, with materials and colours available to suit any individual taste.
The overall result is like nothing else currently on the market. Sure, the panel gaps on Morgan’s cars can’t rival computer and robot-made cars from companies like Porsche, but the finished car is closer to a fine hand-made suit than a mode of transport, tailored to your every need and done so with love, care and passion.
Could you live with a hand-made car though, or would you prefer something more uniform? Leave a comment and let us know.