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1924 Morris Cowley Sports Special
Registration No. SV 6940
Chassis No. 45095R
Engine No. 478095R
Hammer price:£ 8500
William Morris had seen the publicity value of competition successes, and from the very first entered his cars in the ‘gentler sporting events’, often himself driving and frequently with some success. In 1921 a Sports Cowley was introduced at £398, differing only slightly from the standard car mechanically, having aluminium pistons, a much louder exhaust and a higher axle ratio. The bodywork, however, usually polished aluminium with contrasting wings and panels was sensational, and inspired Cecil Kimber to carry on where Morris left off, giving birth to the MG Super Sports and all that followed.
This extremely attractive 1924 Bullnose Cowley has been in the current owners hands for over 30 years, having been found derelict on a farm in the late 1970s. Having been hugely impressed by photographs of Sporting Cowleys and MGs in Jarman and Barracloughs book, ‘The Bullnose and Flatnose Morris’, the decision was easily made to produce a Sports Special Cowley 2-seater in the style of the early Morris Garages cars, incorporating all their best features. Accordingly, the chassis was carefully restored and every component overhauled. The engine was rebuilt as is normal these days with a stronger Marine or Commercial Morris crankshaft, lightened flywheel, alloy pistons, high compression head and straight through exhaust, producing a magnificent fruity note. The springs are cord bound and Hartford shock absorbers are fitted, resulting in a fine handling car which is even able to keep up with its owners 3-litre Bentley. Correct 1924 Morris parts were used where possible, mainly from the original chassis.
The superb polished aluminium and claret body is equipped with an alloy dashboard well stocked with a range of correct instruments, comfortable leather seats, a small single door for the passenger and a specially made and correct triangulated five piece windscreen. The wheels wear splendid polished discs, and all the correct lamps, horn, Calormeter etc, are fitted.The rebuild was completed in 1981, and the car has been extensively used since, including a tour of France in 1999 when 1700 miles were covered in sweltering heat, with no problems. In all some 10,000 miles have been covered without issue. As the owner now lives in the Far East, the car has not been used for some 4 years, but has recently been re-commissioned and put through an MoT. A very well restored early Bullnose Cowley, with most attractive sporting coachwork, a proven record of reliability and ready to use and enjoy.