Ragtops and two-seaters may be the new rage as carmakers ramp up modernized sports cars that once again allow wind in the hair and no room for kids or juice boxes. But one car company never stopped doing it the old-fashioned way. Morgan Motor Co. has been hand-building quintessential British sports cars since 1909.

Unlike the newest entries, the open-car roadster dream that Morgan weaves at Malvern Link in Worcestershire comes with no frills, but lots of understated style. Think of the classic sports cars of the '50s that they stopped making before you got a chance to buy one. The long louvered hood tapers down to its discreet chrome snout of a grill and opens on either side of the engine. Fenders hug the wheel well and extend into running boards. Traditional wire wheels are available as an option. Low-slung doors are suitable for jumping into the driver's seat. The no-nonsense walnut dashboard has room for little else but the speedometer and odometer. Luxuries like a map reading light are extra. The windows snap in place, rather than rolling down. The spare tire sits proudly atop the trunk lid. You can get a radio, but we think you'd do better to keep it minimal and spend your money on leather upholstery.

The Morgan's ride is equally as retro as its look. Stiff and rattling by today's standards, that's part of the charm of feeling the road. Change doesn't come easy at Morgan. For a time in the '80s, it imported propane-fueled cars to the United States rather than bend to stiffer emission standards for gas engines. Yet managing director and heir Charles Morgan has brought innovation since taking over in 1985. For instance, the aluminum fenders are now made by an automatic press process. Assembly time has been cut in half to 23 days, thanks to large investments in factory facilities. Still, buying the Plus 8 model ($60,000) can put you on a one-year waiting list.

Don't wait to order. Signs point to a breakdown in tradition of sorts. In 2000, Morgan introduced a new model, its first since the '30s. The Aero 8 ($78,600, not yet available in the United States) comes standard with such newfangled concepts as air conditioning and a smoother ride. It also offers a navigation system. For now, despite the nods to luxury, the Aero 8 comes on the usual handmade wooden (ash) frame. There will always be an England.

For more information visit www.morgan-motor.co.uk.

Good Life Guide

More in The Good Life

See all
Little Book Gets A Finishing Touch

Little Book Gets A Finishing Touch

Jim Beam’s Freddie Noe has gone to the kitchen and the grill for the sixth edition of his yearly …

Sep 20, 2022
Sports Betting On The Go

Sports Betting On The Go

As betting laws have eased across the United States, hosts of sites have popped up that turn your …

Sep 8, 2022
Herb Kohler, 1939-2022

Herb Kohler, 1939-2022

The past chairman of Kohler Corp.—and the subject of two articles in Cigar Aficionado—Herbert V. …

Sep 6, 2022
Star-Powered Tequilas

Star-Powered Tequilas

Today there’s a parade of celebrities who not only align themselves with spirits, but own a piece of …

Sep 1, 2022
Winston Churchill’s Personal Cigars Sold At Auction

Winston Churchill’s Personal Cigars Sold At Auction

At the Fine Autograph and Artifacts auction a box of 10 La Corona cigars that belonged to Churchill …

Aug 16, 2022
New Woodford Reserve Batch Proof Bows In

New Woodford Reserve Batch Proof Bows In

The Cigar Aficonado team recently tasted Woodford Reserve's annual release of its Masters Collection …

Aug 11, 2022