Suffolk Vehicle Enthusiasts Club – October 2018

Picture of By Craig Ranson
By Craig Ranson

Managing Director – Bridge Classic Cars

Article featured in the Suffolk Vehicle Enthusiasts Club, The Club for all Vehicle Enthusiasts – October 2018

1929 Morris ‘Cowley’ Two Seater Tourer – by Roger Brown


‘If you attend Classic car shows and Village Fete’s around Woodbridge and surrounding districts, very often you would have seen this delightful vintage tourer on show there driven by its owner Rod Satchwell.

The Morris has a very interesting history. It was on of a batch sent by Morris Motors to Australia in the late 1920’s. there, the chassis was received by Holdens who manufactered the open two seat body you see on it today. The Morris is also unique in that it has a ‘rumble seat’ where normally the boot would be; unfortunately the ‘rumble seat’ will only take two small people comfortably or one adult uncomfortably.

Until the Morris was repatriated to the UK in 2008 the Morris had spent its entire life in Australia and is believed that the car had four owners prior to returning to the UK, also the exact mileage it covered during its life in Australia is also unknown.

Essentially it is a very simple car and is well within the capabilities of the 1920’s owner/driver to maintain and service. This is stated in the 1929 ‘Th Morris Car Manual’ and, if you have a chance to look at the Morris closely, you can see why the manufacturer could make this claim.

The engine is a very simple 1400cc four cylinder side valve unit rated at 11.9hp with a thermo-syphen cooling system. The engine temperature is indicated by a ‘Calormeter’, a visual temperature gauge mounted on top of the radiator; control of the water temperature is by mixture control on the steering column.

The gearbox is a three speed non-synchromesh with reverse gear. Gear changing is done very slowly. The clutch is depressed, the engaged gear is disengaged and the gear lever moves the next gear slowly into mesh; only then is the clutch released and the Morris moves on.

A notable feature of the car are the 10 spoke ‘Artillery’ wheels shod with ‘Dunlop balloon tyres.

All four wheels have brakes but the braking system rod actuated all round with the hand brake operating a separate pair of brake shoes on the rear brake drums.

Finally the suspension has cart springs all round with additional lever arm dampers to smooth the ride on 1920’s roads. A delightful car to see at shows and seen driven on the road.

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