Open main menu

Morris Cowley was a name given to various cars produced by Morris from 1915 to 1958.

Contents

Morris Cowley Bullnose (1915)Edit

Morris Cowley
Continental Cowley
 
Van (top removed) manufactured November 1916
Overview
ManufacturerW R M Motors Limited
Production1915–1920
1450 approx[1]
AssemblyCowley, Oxford
DesignerW R Morris & Hans Landstad[1]
Body and chassis
Classmidsize car
Body styletwo-seater, four-seater,
coupé, cabriolet[1] and delivery van
RelatedMorris Oxford bullnose
Powertrain
Engine1495 cc
Continental Red Seal Type U
Transmissiondry 2-plate clutch,
3-speed gearbox
(in cast aluminium housing),
universal joint in a housing by the gearbox,
propellor shaft enclosed by torque tube,
rear axle: ¾ floating single piece banjo casing, spiral bevel final drive[1]
Dimensions
Wheelbase8' 6" 102 in (2,590.8 mm)
Track 4' 0" 48 in (1,219.2 mm)
Chronology
SuccessorMorris Cowley (1919 model)

The Continental Cowley, shown to the press in April 1915, was a larger engined (1495 cc against 1018 cc), longer, wider and better equipped version of the first Morris Oxford with the same "Bullnose" radiator; in addition it could carry a four-passenger body. To reduce the price many components were bought from United States suppliers. The 1495 cc, side valve, four cylinder engine was made by Continental Motor Manufacturing Company of Detroit, and the clutch and three speed gearbox by Detroit Gear & Machine Co. Back axle, front axle and steering gear also came from the USA. Supply of these components was badly affected by World War I. The suspension used semi elliptic leaf springs at the front and three quarter elliptics at the rear.[1]

The central position of the handbrake and ball change gear lever revealed the gearbox's US origin. It also made for easy entry through the driver's door and no cold steel up a driver's leg. The petrol tank was in the scuttle and its filler was above the gear lever in the centre of the dashboard.[1]

The US-made back axle was the first helically cut drive in a quantity produced British car.[1]

Electric lighting was standard. It was the first Morris car to be sold like that. The 6-volt Lucas lamps were a set of five, powered by a belt-driven dynamo fixed to the engine by its cylinder head studs. The cost of these few electrical components was equivalent to 59% of the cost of the imported engine.[1] The delivery van body was not provided with electric lighting.

More expensive than OxfordEdit

There was no austerity for the Cowley though it was at first slightly cheaper than the Oxford. There was diamond patterned buttoned upholstery in real leather set off by mahogany cappings, and a proper door for the driver. The mudguards were black and the standard body colour was a chocolate brown. The Cowley did not become a stripped down Oxford until 1919.[1]

McKenna dutiesEdit

Although first shown to the press in April 1915 the new car was not generally available until late summer that year just when the government suddenly imposed the McKenna duties. A tax of 33% was imposed on imported "luxury" goods but demand for the Cowleys seemed to ignore the price rises.[1]

Continental engined Cowleys
1915
1916
1917
1918
1919
1920
cars produced
161
684
125
198
281
1

source[1]

The last Continental Cowley was assembled in 1920 finishing the stock of original engines. Three thousand engines were despatched to Morris but more than half were lost by enemy action while crossing the Atlantic leaving around 1,500 sets of certain chassis components unsold.[1] More recent research suggests that there may have been only one shipment of about 150 lost through enemy action and orders for more shipments were cancelled.

Designed for mass productionEdit

Excellent American automobile engineering and production techniques made the first Cowley a great success. The cars were the right design for quantity production when Morris entered quantity production in the 1920s and their high quality engineering created a reputation for utter reliability and resistance to the most shocking abuse.[1]

Bullnose and Flatnose engines U.S. and Coventry madeEdit

Continental
Red Seal
Type U
1495 / 1557
Overview
ManufacturerContinental Motor Manufacturing Company[1]
Muskegon and Detroit USA
Production1915
Layout
Configurationstraight-4 cast en bloc[1]
Displacementnominal 1.495 L (91.2 cu in)[1]
actual 1.557 L (95.0 cu in)
Cylinder borenominal 69 mm (2.7 in)[1]
actual 69.8 mm (2.75 in)
Piston strokenominal 100 mm (3.9 in)[1]
actual 101.6 mm (4.00 in)
Block materialcast-iron
3-bearing crankshaft
pistons: cast-iron
crankshaft: Desaxé, white metal bearings in phosphor bronze shells, sump cast aluminium[1]
Head materialcast-iron
detachable; fitted with priming taps; plain copper gasket[1]
Valvetrainside valve L-head, helical timing gears[1]
Combustion
Fuel systemcarburettor: Zenith gravity fed horizontal[1]
magneto:
  • American Bosch type NU 4
  • Dixie type 40 A
  • Thomson-Bennett type AD4C[1]
Fuel typepetrol
Oil systemmain bearings: pressure lubricated by plunger pump,
pressure test by special tap.
big ends: splash.
if not first, one of the first British cars with a dipstick[1]
Cooling systemwater thermosyphon,
fan assisted
radiator by Doherty Motor Components or Randle, both of Coventry[1]
Output
Power outputnot published
RAC (tax) rating 11.9hp[1]
actual RAC (tax) rating 12.08hp
Chronology
SuccessorHotchkiss
Hotchkiss
later
Morris
1548
Overview
ManufacturerHotchkiss & Cie. Gosford Street Coventry until May 1923, works thereafter under the ownership of Morris Engines Limited[1]
Production1919 to 1926
Layout
Configurationstraight-4 cast en bloc with upper crankcase[1]
Displacement1.548 L (94.5 cu in)[1]
Cylinder bore69.5 mm (2.74 in)[1]
Piston stroke102 mm (4.0 in)[1]
Block materialcast-iron
3-bearing crankshaft
pistons: cast-iron
crankshaft: steel stamping, bronze backed white metal bearings, sump cast aluminium[1]
Head materialcast-iron detachable
copper asbestos sandwich gasket[1]
Valvetrainside valve L-head, helical timing gears, camshaft in two plain bearings operating valves by mushroom head tappets, single valve springs[1]
Combustion
Fuel systemcarburettor:
  • 1919-1921 Zenith
  • 1922 S.U.
  • 1923-1926 Smith (various)

exhaust: 3-port

  • 4-port from February 1922

magneto: helical bevel drive

  • 1919 Thomson-Bennett G4*
  • 1920 B T-H
  • 1921-23 Lucas E4 (B T-H magdyno if no self starter)
  • 1924-26 Lucas GA4[1]
Fuel typepetrol
Oil systemmain bearings and camshaft gear: pressure lubricated by plunger pump from camshaft
big ends: splash[1]
Cooling systemwater thermosyphon,
fan assisted
radiator 1919 by Randle, thereafter by Osberton[1]
Output
Power outputnot published
RAC (tax) rating 11.9hp[1]
Chronology
PredecessorContinental Red Seal
Morris
1802
Overview
ManufacturerMorris Engines Limited
Gosford Street Coventry[1]
Production1923 to 1926
Layout
Configurationstraight-4 cast en bloc with upper crankcase[1]
Displacement1.802 L (110.0 cu in)[1]
Cylinder bore75 mm (3.0 in)[1]
Piston stroke102 mm (4.0 in)[1]
Block materialcast-iron
3-bearing crankshaft
pistons: cast-iron
crankshaft: steel stamping, bronze backed white metal bearings, sump cast aluminium[1]
Head materialcast-iron detachable
copper asbestos sandwich gasket[1]
Valvetrainside valve L-head, helical timing gears, camshaft in two plain bearings operating valves by mushroom head tappets, single valve springs[1]
Combustion
Fuel systemcarburettor: Smith (various)
exhaust: 4-port
magneto: helical bevel drive
  • 1923 Lucas E4 (B T-H magdyno if no self starter)
  • 1924-26 Lucas GA4[1]
Fuel typepetrol
Oil systemmain bearings and camshaft gear: pressure lubricated by plunger pump from camshaft
big ends: splash[1]
Cooling systemwater thermosyphon,
fan assisted
radiator: Osberton[1]
Output
Power outputnot published
RAC (tax) rating 13.9hp[1]
Chronology
PredecessorMorris 1548 cc

Morris Cowley Bullnose (1919)Edit

Morris Cowley
 
Two-seater first registered 30 June 1926
Overview
ManufacturerMorris
Production1919–1926
150,000 made (including Oxford model)[2]
Body and chassis
RelatedMorris Oxford bullnose
Powertrain
Engine1548 and 1802 cc side-valve Straight-4
Dimensions
Wheelbase102 inches (2.59 m)[3]
108 inches (2.74 m) from 1925[3]
Chronology
PredecessorMorris Cowley 1915
SuccessorMorris Cowley (1926–1931)

The updated Cowley for 1919 had an engine made by the British branch of the French Hotchkiss company, which was essentially a copy of the early Continental unit which was no longer being made. It was the basic model of the Morris two car range of the time with the Oxford, which used the same 1.5L 26 bhp engine until 1923, having leather upholstery and upgraded lighting as the de-luxe version.

Morris acquired the British interests of Hotchkiss in 1923 and renamed them Morris engines branch.

Morris Cowley Flatnose (1926–1931)Edit

Morris Cowley
 
Two-seater first registered 2 May 1927
Overview
ManufacturerMorris
Production1926–1931
201,692 made.[4]
Body and chassis
Body style2 and 4 seat tourer, coupé, 4-door saloon, folding head saloon (1930).
RelatedMorris Oxford flatnose
Powertrain
Engine1548 cc side-valve Straight-4
Dimensions
Wheelbase102 inches (2560 mm)[3]
Length150 inches (3810 mm)[3]
Width58.5 inches (1486 mm)[3]
Chronology
PredecessorMorris Cowley (1919)
SuccessorMorris Cowley (1931)

The Bullnose radiator was replaced by a more conventional flat radiator announced 11 September 1926[5] on new cars now with doors either side and a longer list of accessories supplied as standard. All steel bodies were coming available. The engines remained the same, but the Cowley unlike the Oxford, retained braking on the rear wheels only as standard, although a front brake system was available at extra cost (featured car has this fitted). The chassis was new and the suspension was updated with semi elliptic leaf springs all round plus Smiths friction type scissor shock absorbers. The brakes are rod and spring operated with cams inside the drums to actuate. Interesting to note that the rear brake drums include two sets of shoes, one of which is connected directly to the handbrake.[2]

The chassis was further modified in 1931 to bring it in line with the Morris Major. Wire wheels became an option instead of the solid spoked artillery ones previously fitted.[4]

Morris Cowley (1931)Edit

Morris Cowley
 
1933-34 model Four-door six-light 11.9 hp saloon
first registered 16 May 1934
Overview
ManufacturerMorris
Production1932–1935
39,074 made.[4]
Body and chassis
Body style
  • 4-door saloon
    fixed or sliding head (sun roof)
  • two seater
  • 2-door Special coupé
  • Traveller's saloon —5th rear door
  • chassis only (for special bodies)
RelatedMorris Oxford and Morris Twelve
Powertrain
Engine11.9 = 1548 cc or
14/32 = 1802 cc
side-valve Straight-4
Dimensions
Wheelbase105 inches (2667 mm)[3]
Length155 inches (3937 mm)[3]
Width60.5 inches (1537 mm) [3]
Chronology
PredecessorMorris Cowley (1926–1931)
SuccessorMorris Twelve

A considerably changed Cowley was announced on 29 August 1931. In common with the rest of the Morris range the coachwork of the now six models of Cowley was redesigned for a more pleasing appearance with a fashionable "eddy-free" leading edge to the roof of closed cars, petrol tanks located at the rear of the chassis, chrome finish to all bright parts, Magna type wire wheels as standard. There was a new chassis frame giving a lower body. Springs had been made longer and more resilient. Bigger brake drums were provided and the brakes were now actuated hydraulically and supplied by Lockheed. There was a new radiator to match with the large hub wire wheels. The engine's connecting rods were now Duralumin. A sports coupé body was added to the range. Either the 11.9 or 14/32 engine was supplied to order for the same price.[6] There were no more four seater tourers.[4]

RevisedEdit

A revised ("transformed" said the advertising) lower body with a new 11.9 hp engine behind a new, sloping, radiator and still of the same 1548 cc was announced 28 August 1933 along with a four-speed Twin-Top syncromesh gearbox, shorter stronger cruciform chassis, leather upholstery, draught excluders over the gear lever and pedal slots and a battery master switch (in case of fire). Closed cars were given a sun visor.[7][8] Additional equipment included bumpers front and rear and luggage grid and parcel net

 
The new radiator for the new engine

Morris TwelveEdit

From late 1934 this car was badged Morris Twelve Four.

Morris Cowley SixEdit

Morris Cowley Six
 
Morris Cowley Six six-light saloon 1934
Overview
ManufacturerMorris
Production1934–1935
15,470 made.[4]
Body and chassis
Body style4-door saloon, 2 door coupé.
RelatedMorris Oxford Six
Powertrain
Engine63.5 x 102mm (same as Ten-Four)
1938 cc side-valve Straight-6
15 hp
36 bhp at 3,400 rpm[7]
Dimensions
Wheelbase106 inches (2692mm)
Width65.5 inches (1664 mm)
Chronology
PredecessorMorris Major
SuccessorMorris Fifteen-Six

Announced 28 August 1933 the 1934 Cowley Six replaced the Morris Major keeping the same 1938 cc six cylinder, side valve engine but with a new lower chassis. Along with all other Morris cars the Cowley now has a syncromesh four-speed gearbox, dipping headlights, hydraulic shock absorbers, leather upholstery, hydraulic brakes, rear petrol tank, direction indicators, safety glass, battery master switches and automatic ignition. There was a matching smaller 12 hp 1378 cc Morris Ten Six.[7]

Prices:
  • Saloon £215 or £220 fixed or sliding head
  • Special coupé £265[7]
 
Badge

The Cowley Six became the Fifteen-Six in 1935.[4]

Morris Cowley MCV (1950–1956)Edit

Morris Cowley MCV
 
Overview
ManufacturerMorris/BMC
Also calledMorris ½ Ton Coupe Utility (Australia) [9]
Production1950 - 1956
Body and chassis
Body style2-door van
2-door pick-up
2-door chassis-cab
RelatedMorris Oxford MO
Chronology
SuccessorMorris ½-ton Series III

Introduced in 1950, the Cowley MCV commercial vehicle range was based on the Morris Oxford MO.[10] It was offered in van, pick-up and chassis-cab versions.[10] The 10cwt MCV van was a replacement for the Morris Y-series van and had a capacity of 120 cu ft (3,400 L) or 138 cu ft (3,900 L) without the passenger seat.[10]

 
1953 Morris Cowley MCV pick-up, pictured in Australia, where it was marketed as the Morris ½ Ton Coupe Utility

1954 Morris CowleyEdit

Morris Cowley
Overview
ManufacturerMorris/BMC
Production1954–1959
Body and chassis
Classmidsize car
Body style4-door saloon
RelatedMorris Oxford series III
Dimensions
Wheelbase97 in (2,464 mm) [11]
Length169 in (4,293 mm) [11]
Width65 in (1,651 mm) [11]
Height63 in (1,600 mm) [11]
Kerb weight2352 pounds
Chronology
PredecessorMorris Twelve
SuccessorMorris 1800

The 1954 Morris Cowley was a four-cylinder midsize car produced from 1954 to 1959. It was essentially a budget version of the Morris Oxford series III with less chrome, no heater, fixed front quarter lights and a simplified dashboard.

Morris Cowley 1200Edit

Morris Cowley 1200
 
Overview
Production1954–1956[3]
17,413 produced
Body and chassis
RelatedMorris Oxford series II
Powertrain
Engine1.2 L B-Series Straight-4 ohv

This new Morris Cowley was launched on 14 July 1954[12] as a smaller engined more simply furnished supplement to the Morris Oxford series II launched two months earlier.[13] The engine, the 1.2 L (1200 cc) B-Series unit was a new design also used in the Austin A40 and Nash Metropolitan. Its power output was 42 bhp at 4,500 rpm.[13]

The monocoque body shell was that of the four door Morris Oxford series II, the Cowley also sharing its torsion beam front suspension and live rear axle but with smaller 8 in (203 mm) brake drums on early models. Some of the Oxford's exterior chrome has been removed to simplify the appearance and some has been replaced with stainless steel. Plastic-covered felt has been used in place of interior carpet. Quarter lights are fixed on the Cowley though the main windows wind down in the usual way.[13] Steering was of the conventional rack and pinion type.[14] The car had a top speed of just over 70 miles per hour (110 km/h).

The British Motor magazine tested a Cowley saloon in 1955 recording a top speed of 71.9 mph (115.7 km/h) and acceleration from 0–60 mph (97 km/h) in 31.5 seconds and a fuel consumption of 28.0 miles per imperial gallon (10.1 L/100 km; 23.3 mpg‑US). The test car cost £702 including taxes.[11]

Morris Cowley 1500Edit

Morris Cowley 1500
Overview
Production1956–1958
4623 produced
Body and chassis
RelatedMorris Oxford series III
Powertrain
Engine1.5 L B-Series Straight-4

On 12 October 1956 it was announced that the 1200 engine had been replaced by the Oxford's larger 1.5 L (1489 cc) engine and the exterior styling amended in line with the Morris Oxford Series III.[15]

½-ton series IIIEdit

Morris ½-ton series III
 
½-ton series III Van 1959
Overview
ManufacturerBritish Motor Corporation
Production1956–62
AssemblyUnited Kingdom
Body and chassis
Body style2-door van [16]
2-door pick-up
2-door chassis-cab
LayoutFR layout
Chronology
PredecessorMorris Cowley MCV

The Morris ½-ton series III was a commercial vehicle variant of the Morris Oxford series III.[17] It was introduced in 1956, replacing the Morris Cowley MCV and was offered in van, pick-up and chassis-cab body styles.[17] The series III was replaced by a Morris version of the Austin A55 van in 1962.[17] The commercials never had the series III bonnet and headlamp cowls. Again the Cowley name never appeared on the vehicles and it is very likely that no more left the factory after 1960. A gown van based on this vehicle appears in the Peter Sellars film Wrong Arm of the Law.[citation needed]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax L P Jarman and R I Barraclough, The Bullnose and Flatnose Morris, David & Charles, Newton Abbott, UK 1976
  2. ^ a b Baldwin, N. (1994). A-Z of cars of the 1920's. UK: Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-53-2.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Culshaw; Horrobin (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Sedgwick, M.; Gillies (1989). A-Z of cars of the 1930's. UK: Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-38-9.
  5. ^ Display advertising. Morris Motors (1926) Ltd The Times, Saturday, Sep 11, 1926; pg. 5; Issue 44374.
  6. ^ Cars Of 1932. The Times, Saturday, Aug 29, 1931; pg. 3; Issue 45914
  7. ^ a b c d Cars Of 1934. The Times, Monday, Aug 28, 1933; pg. 6; Issue 46534
  8. ^ The Olympia Show. From Our Motoring Correspondent. The Times, Saturday, Oct 14, 1933; pg. 7; Issue 46575
  9. ^ oz coupe front, www.680mo.org.uk Retrieved 26 February 2018
  10. ^ a b c Morris Cowley MCV, motor-car.net Retrieved 26 February 2018
  11. ^ a b c d e "The Morris Cowley". The Motor. 2 February 1955.
  12. ^ News in Brief. The Times, Thursday, Jul 15, 1954; pg. 5; Issue 52984.
  13. ^ a b c The Motor, 21 July 1954
  14. ^ "When the worm turns...or the pinion rotates...". Practical Motorist. 7. (nbr 84): 1278–1279. August 1961.
  15. ^ Higher Speed Of Nuffield Cars. The Times, Friday, Oct 12, 1956; pg. 7; Issue 53660
  16. ^ Morris ½ Ton Van & Pick-Up Series III brochure, www.brochuremuseum.nl Retrieved on 8 September 2018
  17. ^ a b c Commercials : Car derived vans/pick-ups, www.aronline.co.uk Retrieved on 23 April 2012