Morgan prices

Sir,

I write to point out the hopeless position many prospective Morgan owners find themselves in following the latest price increases announced on February 28th 1977.

Since I was 14 the only car I really wanted to own has been a Morgan and when I started my first job in February 1974 I put my name down for a 4/4 4-seater. The price then was £1,695 and when my order was confirmed I was told the waiting period was 2-2 1/2 years. Accordingly I started to save and wait until the day would come in 1976 when I could take delivery of my first new car.

In February 1976 I telephoned the factory to enquire as to progress and was informed that delivery was now running some three years behind orders—"We're just starting the January 1973 cars, sir". Oh well, I thought, only 12 months more. I duly telephoned in February this year to be told that orders were now four years behind and my car should be ready early in 1978! The explanation given was that there had been delays with supplies.

Now it does not take a genius to work out that if in February 1976 production was three years and one month behind orders and in February 1977 it was four years behind then either there can have been no car production at the factory in the intervening year (unlikely) or something is going wrong with the allocation of cars.

All of this might be considered an annoyance to be suffered stoically were it not for the massive rise in prices over the past six months. The 4/4 4-seater now costs £3,942 or about £4,000 on the road for a very basic car—"extras" such as individual seats or reclining seats and tonneau cover have to be added. Even the most basic Morgan is fast becoming a rich man's toy rather than an enthusiast's sports car—a sad story.

"Why is he moaning—all cars have risen in price"—I hear readers say. True, but whereas until a short time ago a Morgan 4/4 2-seater cost the same as a MG-B the Morgan is now £800 more expensive. The cause of this disparity is an increase of no less than 32% in the base price since October 1st, 1976. It is difficult to imagine the justification for such increases unless Peter Morgan imagines that all his car buyers are three-car, £20,000 a year executives. I can assure him that there is a substantial body of sports car enthusiasts who want a Morgan and do not fall into the above-mentioned category and who see their chance of affording the car becoming more and more remote.

It would seem that the only hope I have of meeting present prices is to sell my wife and children, a course of action they seem curiously reluctant to accept.

"DESPAIRING MORGAN LOVER" (Name and address supplied.—Ed.)