The production line on Pickersleigh Road will never be the same. The Morgan Motor Company has rolled the last steel chassis off the line after 84 years of service. It’s been a good run and the future is bright.
Morgan introduced its chassis in 1936, a full four years before The Blitz and one year before Neville Chamberlain became Prime Minister. The chassis has been produced continually ever since (with the exception of factory closures during World War II and the coronavirus pandemic), giving it notoriety as the longest-ever running production car architecture.
The last steel chassis under assembly at Morgan’s shop.Photo courtesy of Morgan Motor Company
The steel ladder chassis initially appeared on Morgan’s first four-wheeled vehicle, the 4-4. The 4-4 was the first Morgan to have four wheels. Since the company’s founding in 1909, all Morgans had been three-wheelers.
It has underpinned iconic models from the British automaker including the Plus 4, Plus 8, and V6 Roadster. Every four-wheeled model Morgan produced before 2019, with the exception of the Aero range and second-generation Plus 8, has used a variation of the steel chassis. In total, 35,000 four-wheeled Morgan cars with a steel chassis have been made. Many have been exported to 65 countries around the world.
The final steel chassis car, a Plus 4 70th Edition, is going to a good home. It has been purchased by a long-time Morgan enthusiast and owner of other historically significant Morgan models including the famous Le Mans-winning Plus 4, TOK 258.
The chassis’s design elements include a combination of sliding pillar front and leaf spring rear suspension, a unique setup compared to what other automakers use. In this configuration, the hub and wheel assembly moves vertically, on a kingpin fixed rigidly at its top and bottom ensuring that there is no wheel camber change during compression or rebound, maximizing lateral cornering grip.
Morgan’s new CX-generation platform sits next to a steel chassis.Photo courtesy of Morgan Motor Company
Going forward, the company’s new CX-Generation bonded aluminum platform will underpin all four-wheeled models. The CX-Generation platform already underpins the new Morgan Plus Four.