If you know anything about strange British cars, then you have probably already heard of the Morgan. It is the only car built with ash frame rails, used right up to the 21th century…yes, real wood! Morgan has always been different. It is a company that started making three-wheeled vehicles in 1909, founded by HFS Morgan, passed to his son Peter, and then Peter’s son, Charles. Morgan only produces a handful of cars (640 in 2007) and has long waiting lists for its product. In the past, people have had to wait ten years for a new car.
Morgan sells a unique group of cars, from its roadster, to its child “pedal car,” to its Life Car; all are strange in a comforting sort of way. It is a company with a peculiar habit of having one foot in the past, and one in the future. Morgans were once the cars of university professors, writers, and raconteurs, and now they are spotted at the trendiest nightclubs and premiers.
Not long ago, Morgan updated its line with the Aero8 and Aeromax (also with ash rails). These cars were famous for their modern interpretation of classic styling, with long hoods and flowing fenders. They were also famous for being very cross-eyed.
Slowly, Morgan tried to fix the problem by moving the lights to the center of the fenders, but it never completely went away. These cars were stunning, with flowing pre-war styled fenders, a Bugatti-like back shell, and reverse gothic styled windows. The front was bug-ugly. They were cursed with being walleyed, but also with a strange covered side-pipe exhaust system, guaranteed to slow roast the lower side body paint. Finally, in a nod to grand Tudor-styled country homes, the car was endowed with a wood-beamed ceiling and fine leather seating.
Eventually, Morgan started to think of the American market, and developed the SuperSports, which toned down some of the styling, and gave it a targa top. Only 150-200 of these cars will ever be made, and it is expected to retail at $150,000.00 US.
Of course, Morgan still had time to create bizarre concepts like the Life Car. This car was originally a Hydrogen/proton membrane exchange fuel-cell vehicle, but now uses hybrid technology. Using aluminum and lightweight materials, including unusual wooden seats, the car is another example of a stunning, but strange style.
Now, the new Morgan has had Lasik surgery (or I have) because it looks amazing. It is called the EVA GT concept, and it looks like an Aeromax did the nasty with a Life Car. The new EvaGT is a four-seater, with the usual huge front end, swoopy lines, and Morgan performance. It looks like the car John Steed from “The Avengers” would drive if he were in “Minority Report.” Worse, it looks as if someone squished an Aston Martin Vanquish. The EvaGT has beautiful styling, but remains quirky and strange.
The car is powered by a BMW 3.0L twin turbo straight six, giving it 300 horsepower, and a 0-60 time of just over 4 seconds. With a top speed of over 170mph, this car is no slouch. Though, even at 55mph, the car will look like it is doing 100. Sleek, to the point of almost being comical; the car does not look like anything ever produced. At first glance, the car seems like a movie prop, and looks out of place in normal traffic. It seems too low, too sleek to be a real car.
One of my favorite cars was always the Morgan Aeromax, basically due to the back windows. I could never accept the front design, with its crossed eyes. Now, I may have a new favorite car, the EvaGT. There is still something very wrong with the design, but I just cannot figure it out. Morgan has never been a “normal” car company, but they still make the most striking cars in the world.
Article courtesy of Chris Raymond
Photos courtesy of Morgan Motor Cars, Netcarshow, and Google Images