Morgan bids farewell to the steel chassis

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In 2020, following an 84 year production run, the Morgan Motor Company has built its last four wheeled car on a traditional steel framed chassis, marking the end of an era for the company.

In 1936, 27 years after its inception, the Morgan Motor Company launched its first four-wheeled car. A strange statement, on the face of it, until we remember the company’s roots in three-wheeled vehicles. It would be called the 4-4, a reference to its wheel count and – another Morgan first – its four-cylinder engine.

The 4-4 was based on an all-new steel chassis, featuring a unique ‘sliding pillar’ front suspension design. The venerable chassis would go on to underpin almost every four-wheeled Morgan model from that point on, including the famous Plus 4. In total, 35,000 four-wheeled Morgan cars with a steel chassis have been made, exported to 65 countries around the world. Many of these models, adored by their owners, are still in active use today.

H.F.S. Morgan, the founder of the Morgan Motor Company, sitting on an experimental steel chassis at Pickersleigh Road, 1945

Now, 84 years on, the last steel chassis Morgan has rolled off the production line at Morgan’s Pickersleigh Road factory. It makes the underpinning the longest-ever running production car architecture. The car in question, a Plus 70th Edition, is doubly significant, it also being the last of 20 cars built to celebrate seven decades of the model. Purchased by a long-time Morgan enthusiast, it will sit alongside a host of famous cars from Morgan’s past, including the Le Mans-winning Plus 4, ‘TOK 258’.

The last steel chassis in build at Pickersleigh Road

Morgan’s current range of four-wheeled cars – the Plus Four and Plus Six – are based on the bonded aluminium CX-Generation platform, which was introduced in 2019. While almost a century newer in technical capability, it maintains the level of driving pleasure that has always defined Morgan sports cars.

The final Morgan with a steel chassis in the Assembly Shop

Steve Morris, CEO and Chairman of Morgan Motor Company, said: “The steel chassis has been fundamental to Morgan’s production for more than eight decades, found beneath the skin of some of the most important and successful models in the company’s history. Its unique driving charm is loved by many and, in fact, demand for steel chassis cars is still strong. However, with the introduction of our CX-Generation platform, the time has come to bid farewell to the steel chassis. We are delighted to present this final steel chassis car to a long-standing friend of the factory.”

The last steel chassis Plus 4, and the first CX-Generation Plus Four, photographed at the foot of the Malvern Hills

More to explorer

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Morgan has a long history in trialling, the all-terrain endurance events which test man and machine to their very limits. As early as 1911, Morgan sports cars were competing – and winning – in these competitions around the UK.

Morgan Plus Four race cars hit the track

The Morgan Motor Company, the University of Wolverhampton’s School of Engineering, and the University’s racing team (UWR) continue their long-standing technical partnership with the creation of a motorsport-focused variant of the Morgan Plus Four.

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