A Very Bent Morgan

DO NOT try to drive a Morgan under a pickup truck. It doesn't fit. The crash drove my hands through the dashboard and destroyed it. The frame was severely bent as well. In fact, with the exception of the left front fender, everything from the steering wheel forward was scrap and the steering wheel itself needed to be straightened. I walked away with a broken arm and bruises. I think that car saved my life. It didn't crash as much as it crumpled. The sound of the crash wasn't a "bang" or " thump", it was more of a drawn-out "cruuunnnch". Happened relatively gradually and, I think, since the entire car is one crumple zone, its gradual collapse saved my bacon. As a reward, I decided to rebuild it and promised it never to do That again.

Starting the reassembly process. The frame, as supplied by Morgan's did not have the holes drilled for the front crossmember. I had to measure the old components to locate the holes. Note the famous Morgan sliding pillar front suspension.

Getting the rear end components located. The frame on this car is underslung ie., the rear axle goes over the frame rail. This design inherently limits spring travel particularly on the rebound and is responsible for much of the Morgan's rough riding reputation. When you suddenly unload the rear end, the rear axle slams down on the frame with a jolt that will loosen your fillings and, if you don't know better, cause you to stop and look for what broke.

Here, I am fitting things up. That front fender was in aluminium and, as supplied, had the headlight pod moved out about 2" further than the one on the other fender. I had to slice the pod off-move it inboard about 2" and reweld it-with a torch. Any of you who have tried ally welding with gas outfits know how tricky this is. I practiced for some while on scraps before I attempted the real weld. As an aside, Morgan's do not fabricate these fenders, they don't own a wheeling machine big enough to shape the required radii. They have contracted out fender construction to a company located in Bury(pronounced "Berry") which is to be found to the Northeast of Manchester.

Fitting up some new wood. The wooden frame supporting the dash and cowl was completely shattered but I reassembled the pieces and bandsawed replacements out of hardwood. Used oak primarily and, when I ran out, used some teak.

Almost done now. I have just finished the wiring and fitting the new dashboard which is made out a nice bit of walnut stock.