Morgan Frame moves to a new architecture after 84 years


Change comes slowly to some British automakers.

The original Land Rover, for instance, came out in 1948 and soldiered on with minimal changes until 2016. The first-generation Mini Cooper debuted in 1959 and hung around until 2000.

But one British automotive architecture is the granddaddy of them all: the steel ladder frame under the Morgan Plus 4 sports car.

The shape of the car changed a few times since the steel ladder frame was introduced in 1936, but the rugged frame remained true to the original design, featuring a leaf-spring rear suspension and an unusual sliding-pillar front suspension.

The setup ensures the tire tread stays flat on the road as the shocks compress and rebound.

Morgan last week built its last steel-framed sports car and shipped it to one of the company’s most loyal customers.

Morgan has switched to a lighter, stronger bonded-aluminum platform, an architecture introduced last year on the Plus 6.

Morgan says the 84-year production run of its original steel frame is a world record. The total number of cars built using that frame over those 84 years: 35,000.

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