World War II and the Covid-19 pandemic were the only two events to disrupt its continuous production.
Nothing much about the Morgan Motor Company is typical. Although the UK-based manufacturer's cars are quick, they have styling from a bygone era that's difficult to compare to any other modern sports car. Caterham has its old-school range of lightweight racers like the Seven 360 that don't even attempt to compete with modern alternatives, but these sports cars aren't anywhere near as luxurious as a Morgan.
Morgans have featured truly unique construction, with wood as a prominent material over the years. But the modernizing of its cars is unfolding gradually, and this month, the automaker bids farewell to its steel chassis which spent a remarkable 84 years in production.
Last year, Morgan introduced a new CX-generation bonded aluminum platform that underpins the latest Morgan Plus Four and all other four-wheeled models.
The steel chassis was first introduced way back in 1936 - no other production car architecture has had a lengthier lifespan. Amazingly, this chassis only saw two breaks in production: during World War II and, much more recently, due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was first used in the Morgan 4-4, the marque's first four-wheeled vehicle; before this, every Morgan made do with just three wheels. The chassis was used in everything from the Plus 4 to the first-gen Plus 8.
The last car to use the chassis, a Morgan Plus 4 70th Edition, was one of 35,000 four-wheeled Morgans to use a version of the steel chassis. One of Morgan's most esteemed customers purchased this special car, which is one of just 20 examples that each have a gold-painted chassis.
"The steel chassis has been fundamental to Morgan's production for more than eight decades, found beneath the skin of some of the most important and successful models in the company's history," said CEO Steve Morris. "Demand for steel chassis cars is still strong," he added.
The new bonded aluminum chassis is a big step forward for Morgan, with its first recipient being the Morgan Plus Six, a car that looks like a museum piece yet is powered by the same engine as a BMW Z4. The chassis took a full four years of development, although Morgan promises that while technically superior, its cars remain as enjoyable to drive as ever. The brand's exceptional craftsmanship featuring many natural materials remains, too.
Now more than ever before, a Morgan's old-school appearance has little to do with its thoroughly modern underpinnings.