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Great expectations – the Morgan

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2002 Morgan Plus 8

The Morgan stopped me cold in my tracks one hot LA afternoon. I had never seen a Morgan before. I had never seen a car I wanted more.

Andrew English writes that "Morgan's values encompass decency, craft, longevity, conservatism and, above all, shapes.” They also encompass the trademark leather belt tying down the bonnet (the hood, as we Americans persist in calling it).

The waiting list for a classic Morgan is about a year, and three months. Charles Morgan, only the third Morgan to own and run the firm, which was founded in 1909, wouldn’t mind if the wait were longer.

On the other hand, he has a futuristic project up his sleeve. British partners Morgan and QinetiQ, Europe's largest science and technology solutions company, are developing the world's first environmentally clean sports car powered by a fuel cell which converts hydrogen into electricity. (Cranfield and Oxford universities, BOC and OSCar are also partners.) The ultra quiet new vehicle, known as LIFECar, will produce only water vapour. The challenge will be finding a cost- and energy-effective way to produce the hydrogen fuel.

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The fuel-cell powered LIFEcar built on a Morgan chassis. William Grove invented the forerunner of the fuel cell. Image: QinetiQ

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