Fancy a Morgan as your everyday workhorse?
There can be few people in the world who know more about Morgans than Melvyn Rutter – he’s been selling them for 42 years, during the last 36 of which he has traded from his eponymous garage in the Hertfordshire village of Little Hallingbury.
Rutter’s first car was a three-wheeler, and he still owns the Plus 8 that he bought in 1976. “It was that car that inspired me to kick off the business,” he says.
“Back then, if someone wanted a convertible sports car they had relatively few to choose from and, since Morgan was only building eight or nine vehicles per week, the time from ordering to delivery was about five years,” Rutter recalls.
“Sometimes people would get a car after the long wait, decide it didn’t suit them after all and advertise it for a higher-than-new price in The Sunday Times. There were always people who were willing to pay a premium to avoid the queue, and the length of the waiting list often increased people’s urge to own one.”
The days of the five-year wait are long gone, with delivery times now down to a few months – and the fusion of classic, pre-war looks and simple but up-to-date engineering makes a modern Morgan an entirely practical proposition.
“Some of our customers do extraordinary mileages in them and quite a few have a Morgan as their only car,” says Rutter. “Their smaller-engined models are very economical to run, they are simple to maintain – and, unlike a more track-inspired convertible such as a Caterham, you still feel reasonably comfortable when you get out after a long journey.”