Sunday, 11 November 2012

'Letter from Welshpool'

Try as I might, I can't get my head around the Librands replacement suspension for traditional Morgans and to the power-assisted steering system advertised by Classic Driving Development.  It begs the question, can a Morgan which has been so drastically altered from the original specification still be accepted as a 'proper' Morgan??!!

Let me make it perfectly clear that my comments are in no way intended as a criticism of those companies or their products.   The opinions expressed here are mine, and mine alone

Dennis driving his 4/4
For £6,000, Librands will remove the original front suspension and replace it with something completely different which gives a more comfortable ride.  For £3,000, Classic Driving Development will fit power-assisted steering.

Now it so happens I do have £9,000 available, though it is doubtful my wife would agree to spend that amount on modifying our 58-reg 4/4.  But even if she did, I would not want the work carried out.

Anyone who purchases a Morgan must know what they are letting themselves in for - the bone-shaking ride and (at least compared to a tin top) - the relatively heavy low-speed steering being just two items. They come with the territory, like it or not.  And if you don't like, or can't deal with it, then maybe you shouldn't buy one!

It is sometimes said that if God had intended us to fly he would have given us wings.  Likewise, perhaps if God had intended Morgans to float along effortlessly, and be steered by using one's little finger, he would have told Peter Morgan to make the relevant developments at the factory.

Part of the Morgan charm is that the cars are an anachronism, a throw-back to the thirties.  What other car looks old as soon as it begins life, and feels old in the suspension department and driving experience, yet is blessed with the latest technology under the bonnet?  I love the idea I am driving what is basically a no frills pre-war car, but one which is totally practical in today's traffic conditions.  Thus I am more than happy to put up with any perceived drawbacks.

Let me say once again that I am not being critical of Librands or CDD.  We know from items in Miscellany that the former product does exactly what it says on the tin, and I am sure the same applies to the CDD power steering system.  But is a Morgan fitted with one or both still a Morgan in the true sense of the word?  For me, the answer is no.

If you want a boulevard ride, and all mod cons, then why not purchase a Mazda MX-5, or perhaps a Jaguar/Audi/Renault/Vauxhall etc convertible?  You can't eat your cake and have it (but note you can have your cake and eat it - think about that!) 

I wonder how the modifications will affect resale values.  It is interesting to note that CDD mention the power steering system can be removed, leaving no evidence!

Dennis Duggan

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