Your correspondents who hasten to the defence of the Morgan 4/4 may rest assured that I am not quite the unmechanical clot suggested by “Morgan Enthusiast.” It just shows how unfair the world is. When you, Mr. Editor, are truthful and tell us what happened to the Morgans driven by Motror Sport in 1951 no one complains. When I do likewise I am immediately set upon by these touchy enthusiasts and am accused of being (a) a raving lunatic, (b) a liar, (c) a clumsy clot, (d) unfair, (e) a ghost, ie, not a person, (f) a wrecker of radiator grilles, (g) windy, and (h) lacking in enthusiasm.
Without going too deeply into all these amusing suggestions, might I point out to “Morgan Enthusiast” that I am well aware of the art of meshing bevel gears, tuning carburetters, adjusting tappets and so on. Like him I can also change a rebound spring in under two hours, and never use the synchromesh. This latter refinement, however, in my car persistently refused to assist my wife and when tested was in fact found to be inoperative. As for the rear axle, I regret to say that the agents advised me that if I returned the car to the works I would lose sight of it for at least six months. A bit hard, I feel, after only three months’ use.
The starting handle wear was not due to ruffled desperate use, but was just damned bad material. When the factory proved so uninterested I rebuilt the dogs myself and had no more trouble—sorry, “Morgan Enthusiast,” whatever your real name is, but I can also weld and fit as well as tune engines.
I do not agree that all these petty troubles I experienced were due to lack of maintenance or that I lack enthusiasm. They are things that simply should not happen with a new car, bad luck excepted. For example, one is always liable to wreck a road spring over rough stuff, but you don’t break both rebound springs twice in three weeks on main roads and wax enthusiastic over it. My car was extremely well looked after and gave me endless trouble despite this (not because of it).
So far as roadholding goes I must admit that my model was not fitted with shock-absorbers. Morgans made quite a point about this, stressing that the springing was so matched that they weren’t necessary. It appears that this was a bad year in this respect and there was no doubt whether the front of my car hopped about or not—it did, and broke its rebound springs.
I notice that in the same issue in which your correspondents slang me, the following extracts appear : Page 123, “An endearing little vehicle, quick yet economical, until it broke and there were no new bits with which to mend it.” If I remember rightly the gearbox packed up on that car. Page 125,” A Morgan Plus Four, least expensive of sports cars, has had more teething troubles than it should have had.” This included clutch trouble and steering damper failures, if I remember correctly.
These are not new troubles, they happened in 1947 and still happened in 1951. Surely Morgans can do better than that, but they seem to take so long, one wonders if they are impervious to criticism. I repeat what I said in my previous letter, for a car costing £919 5s 9d these defects are quite inexcusable.
For the information of Mr Harris, I am now very happy in a car whose cogbox is almost silent even when fully exposed and which does not rely on a roaring engine to drown its noise. It is incidentally far from placid, being a very interesting Atalanta home-brew, inspired from RG Shattock’s car described in the December 1947 issue of Motor Sport.
One sincerely hopes that Morgans will eventually overcome their difficulties so that this type of correspondence will be impossible. After all, even the critics can change their minds and become satisfied customers. Like most people, however, I prefer my cars to be reliable as well as potent.
I am, Yours, etc,
AE Marsh, BAOR 31.
[This correspondence is now closed.—Ed]