Coventry & Warwickshire

Morgan's 1,000th three-wheeler rolls off line

Company founder Harry Morgan with the first three-wheeler
Image caption Company founder Harry Morgan with the first of the firm's three-wheeler vehicles. The cars have gone on to become legendary among collectors
A morgan three-wheeler
Image caption Morgan Three Wheelers are unusual in having one wheel at the rear of the vehicle and two at the front.
Morgan cutting machine
Image caption Cutting edge: the Morgan body panels were cut by laser at Coventry's Power Group manufacturing site
Morgan car
Image caption The finished product - manufacturers say they believe the Morgan Three Wheeler has "helped put Coventry industry back on the map"
Graham Chapman from Morgan
Image caption Morgan's technical director Graham Chapman tests out the 1,000th Morgan Three Wheeler

A "historic milestone in car manufacturing" has been reached with the Morgan Motor Company's production of its 1,000th three-wheel car.

The firm's legendary Morgan Three Wheeler went back into production in 2011 after a 60-year break, with plans to create just 400 of the cars.

Staff said "global success" meant the production lines kept rolling until 1,000 had been produced.

Bosses said the production has "helped put Coventry industry back on the map".

'A manufacturing gamble'

Production of the Morgan Three Wheeler stopped in 1953, having been hit by post-war material shortages and the rising popularity of four-wheel family cars.

By this time, the cars had established a reputation as high-performance vehicles, winning performance awards year after year and setting early speed records, such as travelling at 60mph for almost an hour in 1914.

Sixty years later, the 1,000th vehicle in the relaunched range was unveiled at the group's Walsgrave site in Coventry. The Premier Group, Coventry-based engineers who helped work on the cars' development, was also in attendance.

Graham Chapman, technical director with the Worcestershire-based Morgan Motor Company, said the decision to produce the cars was not an easy one to make at first.

He said: "A few short years ago, we were not sure how successful it would be. It did seem like a bit of a gamble.

"But the brand is very strong and demand for the cars has just kept growing.

"I think that is down to the unique look of the cars and the constant interest in them."

Lee Cliff, 53, was one of the first customers to purchase the new batch of three-wheeler cars. He said he felt as though he "owns a part of history".

He said: "I waited in temperatures below zero during a snowstorm to pick up my car.

"I just love their unique style and appearance.

"I had wanted since I was a teenager, and am thrilled to finally own one."

'More to come'

The Premier Group, which also works with vehicle makers Bentley and Jaguar Land Rover, worked with Morgan through the initial design stage of the Three Wheeler.

Chairman Dennis Meagher said the cars had helped promote Coventry industry and manufacturing around the world.

"On the launch day alone a couple of years ago, 30 of the cars were purchased, and everybody who purchased a car knew it came from the Midlands.

"This is really all about getting Coventry back on that global manufacturing map.

"This is the third vehicle we have helped produce with Morgan, and we are looking forward to producing more in the future."

Mr Chapman said that the production lines will not stop at the 1,000 mark and that more of the three-wheel vehicles are due to be manufactured next year.

"Hopefully, this time next year, we will be here celebrating the production of the 2,000th car," he added.

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