1913 Morris Oxford

The Collection’s Exhibit

William Morris was, in many ways, England’s answer to Henry Ford. Both men saw the future of the automobile in mass production, low cost and big sales. It is said that Ford put America on wheels – Morris did the same in the British Isles. But where Ford was to be a manufacturer of all his Model T’s major components, for many years Morris would be an assembler of bought-in parts.

Like many of the early pioneer car makers, Morris – son of an Oxfordshire farm worker – began, in 1892, making bicycles. He progressed to motor cycles in 1902 but the venture lasted just three years, and from 1905 he repaired and sold automobiles alongside his cycle manufacturing business. In 1910 he registered the name The Morris Garage.

The first Morris car, the Oxford, went on sale in 1913 with a 1018cc, four cylinder, engine of 10hp rating produced by White and Poppe, of Coventry, and an integral gearbox and clutch from the same source. Drive was transmitted from the front mounted engine to the worm gear rear axle in an enclosed propeller shaft. The most distinctive feature of the design was the curved radiator, which gave the vehicle the nickname of ‘bullnose’.

Before he made his first eponymous car, William Morris sold Wolseley cars from his garage in Oxford.

The two-seat tourer in the Shuttleworth Collection still retains its original White and Poppe engine and was first delivered to Morris agents, the Hazelmere Motor Company, on 31st March 1914. Since then the body has been modified with a large double dickey-seat – a feature never fitted as standard to this model – and the mudguards are replacements.

It underwent a full restoration by Shuttleworth Vehicle Collection volunteers in 2019.


Manufacturer: W R M Motors Ltd, Cowley, Oxford
Model: Two Seat Tourer, with dickey seat
Engine: 1018cc 4-cylinder by White and Poppe, T head configuration
Top Speed: 55 mph

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