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01-24-2010, 08:49 PM #1
OT: modern Morgan cars still use Wood frame
Interesting to see that Morgan cars still are made with ash frames.
01-24-2010, 09:34 PM #2
cripes i woulda been shocked if they stoped using ash.
side note, i read somewhere for propeller bearings they use lignium vitae (hard hard wood, very oily) and it outlasts steel and brass sleeve bearings something along the lines of 10 to 1
01-24-2010, 11:19 PM #3
While the modern Morgans still use ash in the frames, I have a car that has a plywood frame and a fiberglass body. It is a 1966 Marcos 1800 GT and it was made in England. It is 41.5” high and weighs 1756 pounds with full fuel and a spare tire. The Marcos Company made the frame out of plywood because the frame would be stiffer and lighter, both qualities desired in performance cars. The wooden framed Marcos cars are eagerly sought for race cars where they are very competitive in their class.It actually cost more to produce the wooden frame that the steel frames they used later… plus the cars with the steel frames were 300 pounds heavier and the frame was not as stiff. More information can be found at www.marcoscars.net. Be sure and look through the entire range of cars as some of the early cars (pre 1963) were rather ugly.
01-24-2010, 11:36 PM #4
The "frame" of the moggie is steel. The coachwork,is; doors, cowl, cockpit, ect., are "framed" in ash. There is a big difference. The ash supports and shapes sheet steel. The "frame" is what everything else is attached to, including suspension,drive train, and coachwork.
hickstick, unless Morgan has started building ships, there are no wood bearings.
01-25-2010, 12:29 AM #5
Thoroughly Modern Moggies
Ash framing onto a steel ladder frame is an old, old technique dating back to the beginning of the motor car. It then changed to unsupported steel panels on the ladder frame and with the demand for more and cheaper cars, the monocoque shell arrived.
OK, let's leave fibreglass and ply as in Lotus and Marcos and in my day, Clan Crusaders.
Sadly, it might be nice to have something built over the top of chassis, engine, transmission, wheels etc as in yesteryear, but it ain't as safe as a decent highstrength low alloy shell.
I recall, with some quirky humour, a Reliant Rebel of mine from the 1968's and with some more horror of a Lotus Elite literally folding up- with my son on board. My wife had a Triumph Spitfire 111 which had a body shell on the ladder that 'shimmied and shook my Sister Kate' on removal.
When you've wheeled panels, it's no great thing.
01-25-2010, 01:13 AM #6
01-25-2010, 01:52 AM #7
Instead of using the word 'Frame' it would be easier to use and undrestand the word 'chassis'. After all, car construction evolved from carriages drawn by persons or animals. In the case of the Morgan, it really hasn't changed a lot. A friend of mine is still repairing/replacing ash framing on relicts of the past such as Austin 7's, Morris Minors and MG's of all shapes and sizes.
What is becoming lost is that cars from factories like Rolls Royce, Bentley, Daimler and so on produced a set of wheels and their own engine etc and the delivery was to a coach builder who added a tailored 'top' seats and whatever to the chassis. If we are going off into the realms of 'all our yesterdays' I recall canvas sided vehicles in Prague afterr the war and if memory holds out, Peter Seller's Mini had cane pseudo panelling in the 60's.
Bluntly, some of us are forgetting but to others it's new.- which, frankly, it isn't.
As for stern tubes in lignum vitae, exotic hardwoods are in such short supply that there are waiting lists for things like musical instruments some of which are made from the turnings- glued back together with epoxies.
And , if push comes to shove, I've got rosewood and grenadilla still around in my little workshop.
01-25-2010, 03:00 AM #8
I owned a 1932 "M" type MG.
I am led to believe that MORRIS , to compete with Austin 7 at Brooklands race course, took their then family saloon, whipped the body off the STEEL chassis, and constructed a sports type body of aluminium sheet, beaten round a FRAME of Ash wood.
It was the "Morris Garages" entry abreviated to "MG", and a new Marque was born.
I really must learn how to post a picture!
Incidentally it had an overhead cam. The original saloon also had the overhead cam as far back as 1929, and yet I have heard it clamed ( incorrectly) that the first overhead cammed saloon car was the much later Morris Minor.
01-25-2010, 03:38 AM #9
01-25-2010, 04:04 AM #10
Morgans and that
I passed my driving test on a Morris8 1935 but so what?
It had an ash and steel shell on top of a steel ladder chassis.
I recall that it had plywood floors which unscrewed to give access to the hydraulic master cylinder. Now that was progress--- high bollocks!
As for a Morgan- nah? Now a nice Mercedes 230 SLK with a top that folds at the touch of a button? Oh, and toddles along at a modest 146mph- when the governor kicks in and stops one from being silly.
And virtually no mileage to speak of. Sorry but the plate is not for sale as it came off a --family Lagonda with a County of Durham family registration.
01-25-2010, 05:40 AM #11
Morgan just had 100th year celibration!!!!!!!!!!!!
01-25-2010, 05:55 AM #12
01-25-2010, 06:29 AM #13
Thank you for the clarification. I always thought the frame itself was wood.
Had a neighbohr who worked in a US plane factory during WW2, Saint Louis?. they made a plywood plane, copy of a British one, spitfire/Hurricane? she was offered to go up as passenger on first flight. She declined, the glue failed and, she watched it crash. Not sure but I think it was too cold for the glue in winter in USA or something.
01-25-2010, 06:46 AM #14
A Morgan is a fine thing, But S. Allard was a true hot-rodder!
01-25-2010, 07:32 AM #15
In L.A. in the fifties, I discovered 2 Morgan 3 wheelers on a backlot, unloved but in good condition, though I didn't see either run.
The owner wanted the princely sum of $125 each, I bought a $125 '40 Ford Delux convertable coupe' instead, had a cramped back seat, indispensible to an American teenager. It did however, have a vee'd (matched the windshield vee) oak header in the convertable top, finger jointed of 2 substantial pieces.
I spent an hour or so inspecting the Morgans, noting the similarities of the prominently featured, (served as the front bumper) J.A.P. engine to the H.D. engine and the differences, I was very entrigued, which prompted further study.
I was struck by the wood framing melded with the steel chassis and ever since, I've tried explain to my countrymen that in England the structure of the body is called the frame and the structure supporting the mechanical components is called the chassis. This to such assertions as "yeah, them Morgans got's wood frames, don' no how they keep the axles on though." I seldom bothered with, "on many Morgans it's axle, in the singular."
It went something like, "cabinets have wooden framing and stage coaches had wooden chassis' but Morgans always had ash frames and steel chassis," some got it, I think but most looked a little cross-eyed at chassis, french being foreign to most.....
Though I had no finances with which to alter the situation, I've always been sad that I had to pass on the Morgans. No regret's on the Ford however, I made big bucks on that thing, sold it for $225!!
Oh yeah, we pronounce it "cha-see", as in chaff, rather than "sha-see", as in shack, again, "french being foreign to most.....".
01-25-2010, 07:36 AM #16
01-25-2010, 07:44 AM #17
So the story goes to the US from Burma, perhaps as there were problems with insect borers etc and steamy conditions.
At the end of the war, DH De Havilland brought out two metal aircraft called the Heron( 4 engines) and the Dove( military Devon) which had Mosquito similarities.
Oddly, the Devon as a Dove is still flying as VP-981 and ' my' others were from the VP-950-971 series in the RAF Museum at Cosford. They were all at Hendon now the RAF Museum and VP-981 became the 'hack' to the BBMF before going civilian.
So the story looks well distorted now. However, there is a Fibreglass replica Spit and a Hurri at Hendon but long after my time there.
01-25-2010, 08:38 AM #18
Norm, I remember a story I read not long after the end of WWII, where Sir Geoffrey proposed to the Air Ministry, a wooden, twin engine fighter/bomber that would demonstrate excellant war plane qualities while conserving critical war material. Antique wooden plane indeed, the Ministry gave an emphatic "no", whereupon Sir Geoffrey covertly assembled a group of cabinet makers and other wood worker, at his Estate to the North of London and built one. Autoclave curing utilized?
When he publically demonstrated it before the Air Ministry, it so dazzled the crowd that his nay-sayers couldn't push the insubordination button. Any truth?
Of course it went on to be one of the toughest and most able aircraft in it's class ever, totally exonerating DH, the inimitable Mosquito! Some saying it influenced Howard Hughes to develop the H-4 Hercules, dubbed the "Spruce" Goose.
01-25-2010, 08:59 AM #19
What bearings in a Morgan are lignum vitae or any other wood?
01-25-2010, 09:10 AM #20
I think that was a reference to ships. I don't think he was saying that Morgans have propellers.
Lignum vitae for ship bearings is an age-old things, still practiced: