03 Apr 2019
Category: OnRouteMag, On Route News
The best of British coming together
The automotive industry in Britain is facing a number of challenges. Alongside diesel sales declines and the need to persevere with new technologies, Brexit is also adding a complication to many UK-based companies.
Britain has a strong engineering prowess, dating back to the industrial revolution and the Great Exhibition of 1851. Since then, companies have been established to take advantage of great strides in technology and the needs that surround them. While many have fallen by the wayside, a number have survived, adding heritage to a range of products that are moving from historical to modern-day. Two such companies are now joining forces to weather the storms of change and benefit from each other’s expertise.
A piece of history
Morris Lubricants was established 150-years ago and has been led by the same family for five generations, making it a true British manufacturer of oils and lubricants. The business grew to supply oils after the First World War, when JK Morris, the son of founder James Kent Morris, built on his experience selling for the Anglo-American Oil Company, to purchase surplus lubricant under tender from the Disposal Board set up after the war. This enabled the business to achieve a nationwide status as a supplier and developer of oils for the increasingly popular internal combustion engine.
The Morgan Motor Company may be slightly younger, at 110-years, but it too can look back over a rich history of engineering heritage. After setting up a car sales and servicing business in 1905, H.F.S Morgan started dreaming of a vehicle of his own design. These thoughts led to the legendary Morgan 3-Wheeler in 1909, a simple design that took a motorcycle engine and integrated it into a lightweight chassis and body. Although not originally intended as a commercial venture, the favourable reaction to Morgan’s machine encouraged him to consider putting the car into production.
Sense of tradition
History and tradition are a key factor in both businesses. Morris Lubricants established a base in Shrewsbury in 1912, and as its oil business grew, the company remained loyal to its roots. Oils are still blended in the town for all types of vehicle and industries including the classic range of Morgan sports cars. Being based in Britain allows the manufacturer to work closely with its suppliers, while also ensuring its main market can receive products as quickly as possible.
Morgan too has kept a sense of its history over the years. Away from the world of mass-production, the carmaker prefers for its vehicles to feature bespoke craftsmanship and quality. Building just 850 cars a year, each is put together by craftsmen using a combination of ash, aluminium and leather. These builders perfect their skills over a lifetime bringing together heritage, innovation and cutting-edge technology from the world today.
Look to the future
Both companies are facing challenges as the world moves on into the 21st century. For Morris, the increasing demand for economical and efficient engines in vehicles means more pressure on the lubricant system. The addition of a turbocharger and reduction in the size of the sump means oil has to do more work with less fluid. This brings unique challenges, developing products that can lubricate efficiently while working at higher temperatures, with thinner viscosities demanded by carmakers.
Historically, companies supplying aftermarket oils only had a small number of viscosities to work with, the most popular being 10W40. Today, however, vehicle manufacturers have their own specific requirements to match their finely tuned engines. From producing only two or three different blends, today Morris Lubricants develops multiple products for the many cars on the road today, alongside its range of classic oils, suitable for everything from vintage roadsters to Merlin aircraft engines.
Morgan itself is facing challenges, needing to adapt to the demand of modern motoring. Its current range, including the 4/4, the Plus 4, the Roadster and the Plus 8, was added to in 2011 by an updated version of the classic 3-Wheeler, after an absence of 50 years. In 2016, the company developed its first-ever electric vehicle, the EV3, taking its historic three-wheel design and adding electric motors to make it fully zero-emission.
The carmaker also needs to ensure that the engines in its Classic range run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Therefore, Morgan has come together with Morris Lubricants to source an engine oil that will protect its classic range of Plus 4, Roadster and 4/4 marques keeping them running smoothly, with the latest developments in lubrication benefitting the thousands of proud Morgan owners around the world.
To help promote this product release Morris Lubricants have called on their Racing brand ambassador Rebecca Jackson. They have recorded a video that demonstrates the elegance of Morgan’s vehicles and the benefits of using the specially formulated product that Morris Lubricants has blended for their vehicles. Rebecca has great experience in front of a camera following her time hosting the TV Show “Modern Wheels or classic Steals” on Dave. To watch this video head to the Morris Lubricants Youtube page https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYp6ELGt5AM1BBGAkP785BQ
As Brexit becomes bigger news, with uncertainty continuing over future relations with Europe, the story of two British brands with fantastic heritage and innovative ideas for future challenges shows that the UK’s industrial and engineering prowess will endure throughout.
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