Gables Service Station
30 June 2005
1916 MORRIS COWLEY 11.9HP BULLNOSE SALOON
Registration No. LP 4731
Chassis No. 3729
Engine No. 10575
Green with yellow coachlines, with a beige cloth interior
Engine: Continental four cylinder, side valve, 1,495cc, 11.9hp; Gearbox: three speed with reverse; Suspension: front, semi-elliptic leaf spring, rear, three-quarter elliptic leaf spring; Brakes: rear wheel, internal expanding drum. Right hand drive
For a firm that had originally been set up in a Military training facility, it was perhaps ironic that with the outset of war, the Morris factory was so based on the specific manufacture of cars from bought in components that its ability to assist the war effort was limited. Consequently, they continued to make cars initially in much reduced numbers, 143 being produced after the outbreak of war in 1914 and 320 in 1915. But by 1916 this began to rise again, as the fortunes of the company changed somewhat when the Ministry of Munitions accepted Morris's proposal to assemble mine-sinkers at their factory. By this stage all of the other manufacturers were at full stretch and a recent success of such equipment led to the change.
Surviving information for these cars is extremely detailed and confirms that chassis 3729 would have been dispatched from the production line in August 1916. It would have then been registered in London to receive its 'LP' registration number. But, the subsequent history of the car is not known, until later on in its life when the car was discovered in somewhat dilapidated condition by Morris enthusiast Norman Routledge. A pair of photographs in the excellent reference work The BULLNOSE and FLATNOSE MORRIS by Jarman and Barraclough, depicts Mr Routledge towing this car home behind his 1924 Cowley Tourer, and then later, the post-restoration result. This would almost certainly have been the period when the car received its Veteran Car Club of Great Britain dating, its number being 527.
Today that rebuild has somewhat mellowed in condition, the paintwork showing some age generally, but remaining tidy as does the beige cloth interior. The handsome bodywork is equipped with Lucas head and side-lights, as well as horn.
A rare, war-time production Morris, in charming and presentable order.
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