Morgan Motor Company: where craftsmanship meets technology

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An Autodesk Alias render of a Morgan Aero Coupe

The Morgan Motor Company is over 100 years old and uses very traditional techniques to hand build its distinctive cars, but this craftsmanship is married with cutting edge digital technology.

For those who aren’t familiar with the company, it was founded in 1910 by Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan, and it’s still family owned today.

Its sport cars are certainly distinctive, with the high performance ‘Aero’ and the Morgan three-wheeler (a 2011 remake of the company’s first ever car) standing out.
A trip round its factory, which very much feels like a step back into the past, you’d never guess that inside the design studio the team use advanced digital design tools, including Autodesk Alias, powered by HP Z Workstations.

The person responsible for introducing digital design and modern rendering capability to the company is head of design Jonathan Wells. When he started five years ago his task was to bridge the gap between sketch work and the engineering side.

Today, its use of tools and technology matches that of many other automotive manufacturers and in some areas supersedes them, as is the case with the car configurator.

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Working with the team at Autodesk the car configurator was built as a point-of-sale solution to be used on Morgan’s stand at this year’s Geneva Motor Show to promote the Morgan three wheeler.

Based on Autodesk VRED, visitors to the stand could use an iPad to configure their dream car based on an array of options.

The car configurator allows Morgan customers to visualise exactly how they want their car to look

I’m not going to go into any more detail about the design and tools, you’ll have to wait a few weeks until the July/August lands, but in the meantime, below are a few photos from the factory, which sees 1,200 cars produced each year.

A display of Morgan cars that have been entered into races

The Morgan Plus Four from 1963. An interesting fact that amused me about this car is that it has a domed roof to accommodate the popular beehive hairstyle of the time

The Morgan roadster in production – all cars feature an ash wooden frame

A wooden frame on plinths that date back as far as 80 years ago

Our tour guide John explaining the process of constructing the wooden frames. This is a frame for a three wheeler

The jig that presses the planks of ash wood together to create the curves for the frame

Due to the popularity of the three wheeler, a space in the facility was dedicated just to its production. Around 500 are sold a year and with its BMW engine (which are also used in Harley Davidson motorcycles) is classified as a motorcycle and is the only Morgan that can be sold in the US.

Autodesk’s Christoph Sahner and I grinning at the camera before embarking on a test drive. Such fun! If only I had a spare £30,000


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