Morgan’s Handcrafting Factory

A century later and Morgan still (thankfully) does it the old-fashioned way

Morgan Motor Company is a British automobile manufacturer celebrating over 110 years in the industry. It’s not just that the name has survived, but the vehicle design and production are secured in the same century-long tradition.

This idea is more than just a theme that Morgan can use for brochures. The Malvern, England, facility seems to actively let modern technology and bustle pass them by. And that’s exactly what makes this such hallowed ground for classic car lovers.

There’s a great spirit within the factory. Morgan moved to this location on Pickersleigh Road in 1918. It’s easy to spot the centurial buildings that are like stair steps on the gradually sloping property.

This history makes touring the property like a fair attraction for car enthusiasts. It’s a Yesteryear Village of craftsmen who have apprenticed here and earned their way into trusted positions hand-building the body panels. From the curve of the hood to the cut line for the rear spare wheel, it’s all about a professional eye to get a precision fit.

No firm daily quotas or timers are chipping away on any job. The Morgan Motor Company is the anti-assembly line.

British ash wood has been a mainstay in Morgan cars from the beginning, and that makes the woodshop one of the most exciting places to visit. After all, nowhere else today is there real lumber being crafted into brand new vehicle frames. It feels like a time warp as a lathe slowly hand shaves silhouettes that are clearly integral to the car bodies.

Ash is also quite malleable, and it can bend into impressive shapes. The continual curve of the rear fenders starts with three thin sections of wood. They are bonded by epoxy and clamped within a unique mold holding the form as it dries. This mold is one of the oldest and most worn-in tools in any of the shops. Whiskey distillers would be jealous of the aged history within this shaping mold.

A small company with a single-minded attention to building craftsman cars has a hard time in the modern world. Morgan focuses most of its budgets on vehicles, and so they don’t have a full eye on the regulations. This includes at home, where Britain made changes to the license requirements for three-wheeled vehicles a few years ago, and Morgan never even knew to lobby against it.

Investindustrial is a massive conglomerate that now tucks Morgan into a portfolio with another legendary British marque, Aston Martin. It also has significant business and legal teams to protect investments.

It’s a new day at Morgan, and that ensures the old way of manufacturing will continue for future generations.