Morgan is only a 4 mile drive for us. Before we moved house last year it was only a 2 mile drive.
We dropped Seventoddler off with his Grandparents and took the TVR out. After a month in the garage it took a few seconds to catch and then idled a bit low as seems to be the case after it has had a long time off.
Tyre pressures, oil and water were all fine, so with the roof off we drove over the hills to Morgan.
As we approached we saw a few other interesting cars heading in the right direction and, after a quick check of our names against a list of attendees, we were in and parked up in a big field that forms part of the Morgan factory grounds since they bought what was the Civil Service Sports Club buildings and fields (these had been getting as bit tired and membership was dwindling with changes to employment and social activities in the town). This purchase of adjoining land was good for Morgan since it gives them a lot of space, far more parking, and has allowed them to convert the buildings to a visitors centre, cafe, showroom and museum.
We had a little wander and then headed to reception to get (free) tickets for a factory tour. After quesing for a while we were told that the queue was for passenger rides in a Morgan and there was no queue for the free factory tour tickets. My wife still queued for a ride and, since the 3-wheelers were sold out, booked a ride in a Morgan Roadster (classic design, 280bhp 3.7 litre Ford V6 and apparently only 950kg) in return for a £10 donation to the Marfan Trust.
Each of the following photos can be clicked on to load a larger version, and a full set of photos are here.
With 30 minutes until the tour we wandered around the parked cars to see was interesting. Another Tamora was present (rare to see one, although 29 were at Burghley that day).
We assembled for the tour, which was being squeezed into 30 minutes rather than the usual 2 hours, and we were taken around as a group of 20.
It started with an assembly of cars that were on their way to customers and covered much of the model range. Morgan have 10 standard paint colours, 40,000 option colours, and will also match the colour of anything you want. Every Morgan is highly customisable in terms of paint and trim, some with better taste than others (IMHO of course).
At the top of the factory is a room with some of their race cars, including 3 endurance race / Le Mans cars.
We then moved into the room where the mechanicals are assembled onto the chassis (classic cars) or bonded aluminium tub (Aero cars).
Then followed the bodywork shop where all the panels are made by hand. They normally work a 4.5 day week, but had brought people in on a Sunday to show what normally goes on.
Then followed the wood shop where the ash frames are made.
Skipping the paint section we then went across to the trim room where the interiors and hoods are created. Again, very customisable.
And after peering into the pre-delivery inspection area where cars were being fettled / polished, we went to the 3-wheeler assembly room.
The tour then finished in the museum which had examples of Morgans through the ages, and two of the early JAP (J.A. Prestwich) engines which came in 4 hp single or 8 hp twin variants. For the time, a V-twin in a light 3-wheeler was a rapid car.
Having completed the tour we had some refrsehments and saw the artist’s work taking form as a pair of racing 3-wheelers.
We then did a little more looking at cars before Naomi had her ride in a Roadster, enthusiastically driven by the head of design. While she was out I had a wander and a chat to some chaps who were looking at the Tamora.
We were finished by about 12:20, by which time things were quietening down and a lot of cars had gone. We took a very non-direct route home which gave us a chance to exercise the TVR and enjoy the lovely day.
Very good morning out, thanks to Pistonheads and to Morgan 🙂