Morgan launches Special Projects Division with glorious one-of-a-kind SP1


September 4, 2014

The Morgan SP1 is a custom-build, and the first from the company's Special Projects Division

The Morgan SP1 is a custom-build, and the first from the company's Special Projects Division

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Morgan's vehicles, such as the Plus 8 Speedster and the 3 Wheeler, fuse British eccentricity with high-quality design. The new SP1 is no different, showcasing the company's commitment to traditional craftsmanship and modern technology.

The SP1 was privately commissioned as a one-off and is the first vehicle produced through Morgan's Special Projects Division. It is an evolution of the company's LifeCar concept and has been refined to feature better road-going proportions and a better on-road stance.

The Special Projects team worked with the client throughout the design process. Initial sketches were followed by surface modelling in order to show what the car would eventually look like. Once the design work was completed, the body was built around a rolling chassis, using an English wheeling machine and hand-work to shape the panels.

A tubular frame is used to provide stiffness to the ride and the car's doors open upwards and outwards adding a touch of drama. A three-stage paint job used a black undercoat and a red finish to provide a deep and dark red color.

The specially-built bodywork used a wooden frame made of ash wood and African Bubinga red hardwood, the latter of which was chosen by the client to represent his time spent in Africa. The two types of wood are light and dark, respectively, providing a tonal contrast that can be seen where parts of the frame have been purposely left exposed. Parts of the aluminum metalwork of the car are also left exposed, as a reminder of the craftsmanship that has gone into the car.

Inside, curved ash frames are used for the seat frames, which are polished to show the grain and pattern of the wood. An aged, distressed red leather, chosen by the client, is used for the seat cushioning, with bold stitching used as a means of adding detail. A roof-mounted switchgear with toggle switches is used to simulate a proper starting procedure, whilst an iPad has been installed in the fascia to power the car's infotainment system.

The SP1 has a Ford 3.7-liter V6 mustang engine that, according to head of design Jon Wells, will produce 320 bhp or more. Computational fluid dynamics modelling (the use of software to analyze fluid flows) indicates a top speed of 145 mph (233 km/h) and a 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) time of five seconds.

The SP1 has been created over the course of 18 months, albeit with the same 10-person team also working on other projects. It is being displayed at the Salon Privé motor show this week.

The video below provides an overview of the SP1.

Source: Morgan

About the Author
Stu Robarts Stu is a tech writer based in Liverpool, UK. He has previously worked on global digital estate management at Amaze and headed up digital strategy for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). He likes cups of tea, bacon sandwiches and RSS feeds. All articles by Stu Robarts

Not the first time a bunch of blokes has build a pimp mobile - i really thought those cars died with the seventies.

I have high respect for Morgan when they do the original (+8 I think it's called), but whenever they try and drag the classic Morgan car into current time it always goes wrong. They become like something from a bad dream or an trip on some chemicals and I really wish that when trying something modern they started from a clean sheet of paper.


Anachronism aside, this is a beautiful bespoke vehicle. Reminds me a bit of a Bugatti Atlantic.


I agree with BZD. What made the original appealing has somehow been lost in this version. And how did fluid dynamics modelling arrive at the 0-60 time of 5 seconds ? There is a million drag racing computer programs that will work out the acceleration without any reference to fluid modelling. It is all about the power to weight ratio, gearing and traction - certainly up to 60 mph...

Martin Hone

BZD - Funnily, I don't mind the style of this one-off, anyway, somebody wanted it that way and presumably paid for it, who are you to criticise the idea? Over the years there would have been, and there will be more to come, models and designs of cars that some think ugly and yet end up becoming classics, if I could afford to 'bespoke' myself a car, I would not hesitate!

The Skud

If someone has the money - it's a free world. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!!


The older designed Morgans look great, the Aero range even looked half way decent until the stuck on the cross eyed headlights from a VW New Beetle. This SP1 looks almost but not quite like a well painted kit car but again the headlights really let down the whole style, so who ever is in charge of headlight design, please retire!!


Being a one-off for a client doesn't excuse the fact that it has quite a number of questionable design elements, because at the end of the day, Morgan has to put its name on it.

Annoyingly, in the photos and the video, there wasn't one good shot of the whole car that didn't have doors and hood open or the team posing all over it for a group photo. The vid is mostly all talking head shots. I wanted to see the whole damn car!

The headlamp rims are ridiculously thick, the curved plywood doesn't flatter, the long hump on the roof is meh, the rad grille gets cut too short at the base...

The tail lamps and the wheels are the the most appealing parts, and a Mustang V6 engine? Hmm, well, OK.

When one has to work "closely with the client", they should still have minimum standards. This is NOT a milestone Morgan.


I love this car- Morgan's have rarely, if ever, had the purity of line of an Italian thoroughbred from the golden era- however, what they have in spades is their own unique- if awkward- style. Much like another, albeit rarer British brand, Bristol Cars, you either 'get' them, or you don't. And neither give a hoot what the detractors say, as demand outstrips supply. There are many mainstream alternatives for those who don't care for them, from the Mazda MX5 to the Jag F Type. Alas, TVR are no more...

Morgans have never gone out of style because they have never been 'in' style in the first place. What they represent is a fine tradition of British engineering- a Morgan, even if powered by BMW or Ford, could only possibly be British.

And, I bet that Mustang engine has been given a little 'tweak' or two. ..

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