Certain Morgan enthusiasts seem to be rather touchy and unable to absorb a few blunt truths from Mr Thomas Archer. One presumes that like PH Jacques, they possess pre-war models made for a buyers’ market, when they had to be good. If they are certain that Mr Archer is suffering from delusions, perhaps they could explain the troubles I experienced with a new drophead coupe which cost me £612 in 1947. I had always coveted the “4/4” and bought the car on the strength of reports on the pre-war models. I regret I was grievously disappointed. Within four months, after 8,000 miles of careful running, the following troubles occurred, and I do not exaggerate : the rear axle developed an incurable howl ; the. front rebound springs broke twice in three weeks ; whenever it rained a stream of water dripped on to our ankles from the engine bulkhead : the dogs on the starting handle wore out in the first month : some of the slats on the radiator grille came adrift; the hand-brake persisted in flying off; the paint flaked off in several places. The final straw came when the main beam of the scuttle frame broke where it is drilled to take the screen-wiper, and required a major coach repair. The engine was always difficult to keep going when cold, and required repeated use of the starter, to the detriment of the battery, hence the starting handle trouble. The valve gear was noisy, as also was the clutch withdrawal mechanism, which seemed to be made from Meccano. Furthermore, the gearbox was noisy on first and reverse, and the so-called synchromesh never worked.
As for roadholding, the front of the car always hopped excessively regardless of tyre pressures, and fast cornering was often quite an alarming experience. The ride generally could only be described as “lousy.”
It is possible that these defects could have been overcome in the course of time, but I was saved the trouble by being posted overseas and sold the car. When I complained to Morgans about the starting handle trouble I was informed that as the director concerned had never had to use the handle on his own car he could not understand my complaint. I thought this was a very helpful reply.
An extract from a report in another journal, dated December 28th, 1951, is Interesting: “The suspension gives a very hard ride compared with other contemporary cars but this is, after all, a sports car. Perhaps, in consequence, I have had some trouble with broken spring dampers and a broken suspension rebound spring, in a mileage of 7,500. A clutch lever has also broken and I have met other ‘Plus Four’ owners who have also experienced these troubles.”
For a car which in 1947 cost £612 and is now £919 5s 6d, these defects are quite inexcusable and I agree with Mr Archer entirely. One is entitled to expect rather more for this money than a pansied-up cyclecar. It seems a great pity that such a good design should he spoiled by trifles.
I am, Yours, etc,
AE Marsh, Stonehouse.