Most products of England’s Morgan Motor Company are time capsules, with styling unchanged since the 1930s. Not this one.
Unveiled at the Salon Prive show in London, the Morgan SP1 is the first car to come out of the company’s Special Projects Division, which handles one-off builds for customers with very specific tastes.
The SP1 looks like it was designed for someone who owns a lot of goggles and top hats.
The combination of classic Morgan styling cues with modern touches like the butterfly doors, solid alloy wheels, and metallic multi-coat paint give its definite Steampunk vibe.
It’s the same story on the inside. Amid all of the handcrafted wood and leather trim are a set of toggle switches the driver must engage before starting the engine or, as Morgan puts it, “preparing for flight.”
When the driver is done pretending to be a neo-Victorian airship pilot, there’s also an infotainment system centered on a dashboard-mounted iPad.
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Like all Morgans, the SP1’s bodywork is hand-formed over a wood frame, in this case made from ash and African Bubinga hardwood. The body is supported by a steel chassis.
The SP1 is powered by a 3.7-liter Ford V6 that’s also used in the Morgan V6 Roadster. Morgan didn’t disclose output, but it did say the engine got special software tuning and a sports exhaust system for SP1 duty.
While this particular car was built for an individual customer, it exemplifies what Morgan’s Special Projects Division can do in the pursuit of uniqueness.
Bespoke divisions are all the rage right now, as carmakers try to attract wealthier customers who have the cash for a one-off ride.
In addition to Morgan’s group, there’s Q by Aston Martin, McLaren Special Operations (MSO), and Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations, which also oversees small-batch production cars like the F-Type Project 7.