9 May 2018
More than an old car #64: Morgan 4/4 1600
Back in 2017, I had the chance to pop by the F1 Pit Building for the Racing Hearts fund-raising, a few days before the start of the F1 Singapore Grand Prix. There were a lot of supercars there, including an admittedly gorgeous Koenigsegg Agera on display. However, I was there obviously for the vintage parade and it never failed to disappoint. Out of the antique machines there, I was drawn to this 1969 Morgan 4/4 1600.
The Morgan Motor Company was founded in 1910 by Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan, who started out making 3-wheeled cars. This avoided the British tax on cars by being classified as motorcycles. Morgan only made their 1st 4-wheeled car in 1934, which was the first edition of the 4/4. Even till today, Morgan is still producing the 4/4 and it is really difficult to differentiate the new models from the older ones. Unusually, many Morgans have their frames made out of ash, a certain type of wood before being covered by aluminium. All Morgan cars are assembled by hand and about 1300 cars are made each year, leading to a waiting list of 6 months to 10 years!
The 4/4 1600 was the 6th edition, produced from 1968-1982 with 3513 made. It was powered by a 1599cc Ford Kent straight-4 engine,allowing it to reach a top speed of 150km/h with an acceleration of 14.9 seconds [0-100km/h]. It was 3658 mm long and weighed a surprisingly light 660 kg.
This specimen is currently owned by an advertising agency owner who often takes it out for events like this. Through my brief interaction with him, he shared that he had acquired this in 2013 and that it had passed through more than 10 owners. He admitted that parts are hard to come by and that he has to source them from overseas when needed. This is part and parcel of owning an old car here, but the rules makes it even harder for car lovers to hold on to their oldies. I am aware of at least 5 others registered here, if you're lucky you can spot them!