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Lot 331: Morris Cowley 11.9hp Tourer

The Beaulieu Sale, Bonhams (7 September 2013)

One of the best known and most readily recognised vintage cars, the 'Bullnose' Morris had its roots in the Edwardian era. The first 'Oxford' examples, fitted with 8.9hp White & Poppe engines, were manufactured in 1913, embodying Morris' successful formula of offering technically unexciting but well built and well equipped cars at a bargain price. Closely related to the Oxford, the cheaper Cowley used the American-built Continental engine at the time of its introduction in 1915, rather than the Oxford's expensive White & Poppe unit, before switching to one made by Hotchkiss' Coventry subsidiary in 1919. A close copy of the preceding Continental, the Hotchkiss engine was made in 1,495cc, 11.9hp form initially, a larger (1,802cc) 13.9hp version becoming available in 1923. A reputation for quality and a drop in price saw the 'bullnose' Cowley established as Britain's most popular car by the early 1920s. The adoption of a flat radiator and an increase in the 11.9hp model's engine capacity to 1,548cc were the biggest changes made for 1927, the mechanicals continuing much as before apart from a new semi-elliptically sprung chassis. All-steel bodies began to be phased in and four-wheel brakes became standard equipment after 1927. Testing a Cowley that year, The Autocar found it necessary to bear the price in mind: 'This is not so much because it is necessary to make allowances, but because the performance and general manners of the car would do credit to a much more costly and ambitious production.' Little is know of the early history of this particular Cowley, which was purchased in 2005 from Andrew Harvey via the Classic & Sportscar Centre of West Knapton, Yorkshire, who had carried out an engine rebuild. Restored at date unknown, it is believed to have had only six owners from new. 'SV 6145' presents and drives very well and comes complete with hood and side screens. An ideal 'starter' car for Vintage motoring, ready to drive away, it is offered with sundry bills, MoT to February 2014 and Swansea V5C document.

Lot Details
Auction The Beaulieu Sale
Bonhams, Hampshire, UK
TypeCar
Lot Number331
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£7800
Hammer Price (inc premium)£8970
Year1928
Condition rating2
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number246471
Engine number277422
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors