Bringing the Morgan story to life
The Morgan Motor Company is completing the redevelopment of its visitor attraction, the Morgan Experience Centre, with the opening of its all-new interactive museum experience, The Archive Room. In line with the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, The Archive Room is now open to all visitors to Morgan in Malvern, both throughout the week and every Saturday.
The Archive Room is home to the full company archives, containing more than a century of artefacts, documents, photographs and footage that chart the unique history and heritage of the brand. The centrepiece of the room is a full-length cabinet that houses individual items of historical significance, each with their own story. Next to each item is a button that allows visitors to bring the artefact to life as part of an audio-visual installation. Some of the more prominent items include a 1930s Leica camera belonging to the company’s founder, HFS Morgan, thousands of original press cuttings dating back to 1910 – each beautifully documented in ‘scrap books’ by George Morgan (father of HFS) – and original blueprints and historical parts from the earliest days of the company.
Five large-scale projectors situated around the room display rotating content that delves into all aspects of the company’s history and provide a backdrop to the room. The remaining walls are adorned with artwork and abstract frames, Morgan parts and trophies. In the centre, seven cars are displayed and represent all eras and models, with a mixture of company heritage fleet and vehicles loaned by private owners. At launch, models including a 1910 Runabout, 1938 4-4 previously owned by HFS Morgan, a 1977 Plus 8 race car owned by Graham and Oliver Bryant, a 1 of 100 Aeromax and EV3 concept car will all be on display alongside other vehicles.
A ‘Design Your Morgan’ area introduces visitors to the basic principles of drawing a Morgan car, and how the design and development process works, with added insight from Morgan’s designers and engineers. A lightbox drawing board, tracing paper templates and pencils allow budding designers to put the Morgan creations of their imaginations onto paper, to take home or share on social media.
The Archive Room brings the Morgan story to life, building upon the ever-popular Morgan Experience offering of factory tours, sports car hire and experience drives. The Morgan Experience Centre itself underwent a full refurbishment in 2020. The redesigned space includes a retail showroom for Morgan’s on-site dealership, Morgan Works Malvern; a new restaurant, The Canteen; and a gift and lifestyle shop. It also serves as home to Morgan’s ever-popular factory tours, the behind-the-scenes insight into how these unique vehicles are made.
The exterior of the building benefits from new stand-out features including the ‘jewel box’ display for showcasing the latest and most significant models, a sculptural entrance foyer, and a covered vehicle display area which echoes the crests of the Malvern Hills, the foothills of which are the location for the building. These features are constructed using modular timber structures, the material chosen to represent the ash body frame used in every Morgan sports car.
Steve Morris, chairman and CEO of Morgan Motor Company said: “As one of the longest established automotive manufacturers in Britain, the history of Morgan is both fascinating and extensive. From trials victories that helped to propel the company in its early years, through to the incredible history of our Pickersleigh Road factory and our more recent post-millennium advances, The Archive Room enables us to tell the story of Morgan like never before.
“The interactive installations and activities offer something for all ages and interests. Whether you are a lifelong Morgan aficionado, or on your first visit to the factory, we have curated The Archive Room to remain relevant for all. And most importantly, like the company itself, it will continue to evolve.”