Video: Last steel chassis Morgan rolls off the line after 84 years in production

Bonded aluminium ‘CX-Generation’ platform replaces steel ladder chassis first introduced in 1936

The Morgan Motor Company has this week finished production of its last-ever steel chassis car to be built.

Morgan’s replacement for its steel chassis, the bonded aluminium CX-Generation platform, was introduced in the Morgan Plus Six, at the Geneva International Motor Show in March 2019.

The CX-Generation platform has since gone on to underpin the all-new Morgan Plus Four, which saw its debut in March 2020.

Morgan steel steel ladder chassis

The momentous occasion marks 84 years of continuous production for the underpinning – barring factory closures during World War II and the coronavirus pandemic – making it the longest-ever running production car architecture of all time, anywhere in the world.

The firm’s steel ladder chassis was introduced in 1936, in the Morgan 4-4.

This car’s name came from the fact that it was the first Morgan to have both four cylinders and four wheels – Morgan’s vehicles before this point, since the company’s foundation in 1909, were all three wheelers.

The steel chassis, while undergoing many alterations, and improvements over its lifetime, went on to underpin the Plus 4, Plus 4 Plus, first-generation Plus 8, 4 Seater, V6 Roadster, and the 4-4’s eventual successor, the 4/4.

The chassis’ famous design elements include its combination of sliding pillar front and leaf spring rear suspension.

With this arrangement, the hub and wheel assembly moves vertically, on a kingpin fixed rigidly at its top and bottom.

It ensures there is no wheel camber change during compression or rebound, maximising lateral cornering grip.

In total, 35,000 four-wheeled Morgan cars with a steel chassis have been made, exported to 65 countries around the world.

The final steel chassis car, a Morgan Plus 4 70th Edition, celebrates 70 years of production of the Plus 4, which began in 1950.

Limited to a run of just 20 individually numbered examples, the editions feature a gold-painted chassis, Platinum Metallic paintwork, and a host of other upgrades.

Steve Morris, CEO and chairman of Morgan Motor Company, said: “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.

“Its unique driving charm is loved by many and, in fact, demand for steel chassis cars is still strong.

“However, with the introduction of our CX-Generation platform, which underpins our revolutionary new range of four-wheeled products, the time has come to bid farewell to the steel chassis.

“We are delighted to present this final steel chassis car to a long-standing friend of the factory, who we know will enjoy it alongside his extensive Morgan collection.”

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