What this film does do is bring to life all that you have read about the building of the car in the Morgan books. But more than that it adds tasty little insights into the making of the car that were new to me, such as the fact that the factory uses separate right and left presses for the bonnet louvres; the bonnet halves after passing through the bending machine as sheet metal are finished off by hand by shaping the curve over a 120 year old log that is suspended between two machines; and that the sheet metal workers are known as ‘The Tin Gods’. More seriously comes over the message that Morgans are always willing to try new materials that are compatible with the traditional construction methods. No component on the car is sacrosanct, except the body shape, if it can be demonstrated that the new product really is better as far as the Morgan car is concerned.
The opening and closing sequences of the film show evocative scenes of the prototype Plus 4 16V two seater driving through the Malvern Hills to the sound of Elgar’s ‘Nimrod’ (Elgar being a son of Malvern).The film is split into sections to cover the building process and none the worse for that; it carries interviews with Peter and Charles Morgan (both in casual dress - like it but wonder why?); and excerpts from Jane Morgan’s Standard 8 cine film of the 1962 Le Mans Class Victory. Chris Goffey, magazine and television motoring journalist, does the voice over commentary very effectively, but best of all Richard has got members of the factory workforce to tell us what they do towards building the car.
I’ve tried to be objective and look for any shortcomings in this film in order to give a balanced review. My answer, or rather question, to that is: where are they?”
Editor Miscellany August 1988
“This 45 minute video film about the building of Morgans, which is by Richard Atherton, a Morgan owner and club member
who works in the world of television, film and video editing, is not only very good, but is, in the old cliche, very professional. There is always a danger of someone already committed to his subject becoming sentimental and coming up with a product that is just preaching to the converted. That this film will appeal to red-blooded Morgan enthusiasts there is no doubt, but I think it will go much further than that and please all fans of the motor car. If Morgan ever wanted a promotional film to win converts to the marque this one fits the bill in selling the philosophy behind the car in 1988.
The quality of the filming (camera angles, tracking shots, etc) and the production is excellent and it seems incredible to me that the filming was all done over three days at the factory. What Richard Atherton has taken the trouble to do, and what so many people fail to do with the incredibly complex story of the Morgan, is to get the factory to check for any factual howlers. I don’t think there was any conscious attempt by the factory toget their message across through the film but I did detect many of the points they make about the car these days coming through it.
The original VHS cover from 1988.