The 2019 Morgan Plus Four in our July Estate Auction makes you look twice - and not only because of its undeniable style. At first glance, a Morgan is a sporty retro dream. But take a second look - is it possible that something with the styling of the 1930's could look so new?! Indeed it is, because this retro car IS new.

The Morgan is a stylish enigma, posing questions to which the answer is not quite "yes," and not quite "no." The resulting vehicle is charming beyond compare, but slightly inscrutable. So we're here to clear up just what shade of gray the Morgan takes in a few important areas, since it's almost never black and white.
Is it old, or is it new?

Both, sort of. The Morgan Motor Company was founded in 1910 by Henry Fredrick Stanley Morgan. A trained railway engineer whose love of cars prompted a career change, HFS began his company with a three-wheeler that gained fame on the racetrack. In 1936, Morgan made its first four-wheeled vehicle, the 4-4, and the design of the car has remained essentially the same ever since. The company has introduced several other models over the years, all of which retain the classic early 20th century aesthetic of the original. So while cars like the 2019 Morgan Plus 4 in our July Estate Auction are brand new, with all of the upgrades you would expect in a modern car, they have very, very old souls.
A 1939 Morgan 4-4
The wood shop at the Morgan Motor Company
Is it really made of wood?

Yes. And no. Perhaps the thing the Morgan is most famous for is its wood construction - and it really does have wood under those impossibly glossy panels. The frame of every Morgan is still shaped from hand-cut ash wood. But the chassis of the Morgan has always been made of metal - steel until very recently, and now aluminum. But Morgan is dedicated to an ash frame, which is both pliable and durable, and according to Morgan's own safety tests, responds better in crash simulations than a metal frame does.
Can you buy a Morgan in the United States?

Good question. Yes. Ish. By the 1950s and 60s, exports to the United States made up a substantial portion of The Morgan Motor Company's sales. But in the ensuing decades, the United States government adopted safety and emissions standards that conflicted with Morgan's classic design. Morgan was able to continue selling its three-wheeler in the US because it was classified as a motorcycle and therefore didn't require an airbag, but when stock of a specially-designed airbag for the four-wheelers ran out, Morgan discontinued American exports for a number of years.

Then, in 2015, the United States enacted the Low Volume Motor Vehicles Manufacturers Act. This new provision allows for companies selling fewer than 325 historical replica vehicles per year in the US to bypass certain safety tests, though emissions standards still apply. The Morgan Motor Company makes only around 800 cars per year total, so volume is not an issue. However, it was not until December of 2019 that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finally drafted the set of regulations that would govern the act, and so in the meantime companies like Morgan had to figure out a workaround. Their solution was to import their cars as a simple rolling chassis, and then have dealers in the United States finish constructing the body. The car in our July Estate Auction was custom-assembled by a dealer in Florida. And of course, then there's the waiting list. Wherever in the world you are, Morgan always runs at least a six month wait list for "build spots" - the moment when you get to have your Morgan constructed just for you, to your exact specifications.
P.S. One more British beauty

Since we've gone all the way over to England to consider the Morgan, we really ought to stop off at the Triumph while we're there. Also included in our July Estate Auction is this dashing 1971 Triumph TR6 in racing green. Like the Morgan, the Triumph declares its classic British heritage with unmistakable style, and since the Triumph marque was retired in 1984, a vintage offering like this one is the only way to enjoy the Triumph legacy.
See the full selection of vehicles in The July Estate Auction here.

The July Estate Auction
Thursday, July 16th
10:00am (EDT)