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Homepage. This page: Original photographs of late-twenties' Morris Cowleys and Oxfords.

1. Morris Cowley 'flatnose'.

Firstly thanks to Ben who sent the Cowley photo in, it shows his grandfather's old car, seen on what looks like a family outing (maybe a picnic) sometime in the pre-war years. They were able to identify the car as a 1927 Morris Cowley tourer, the "flatnose" variety. The model earned this nickname thanks to its traditionally-styled radiator, compared to the bulbous rad found on what became known as the "bullnose" Morris Cowleys and Oxfords. A van version of this model can be found on this page.
Morris Cowley tourer from 1927
The Morris shown above, registration EA 3038, was first registered in the West Bromwich area. Note the twin sidemounts (spare wheels) fitted to the nearside of this example, and also the Boyce Motometer temperature gauge fitted to the radiator filler cap. Unusually for what looks like a sunny day, the hood is raised. Perhaps this was to prevent sap from the tree overhead dropping onto the car's upholstery?
The Oxford and Cowley models were regarded as reliable and easy to drive motorcars. The bullnose radiator seen on the earlier cars was replaced with the more upright version shown here, at the Motor Show of 1926. In the early 1920s the Morris' engine was sourced from the Hotchkiss et Cie factory in Coventry, a company that Morris bought out in 1923, increasing the factory's output tenfold to keep up with the demand for Morris cars.

2. Morris Oxford of 1928.

Next, three photos sent over by Peter Scott, a regular on this site's forum. They show his family's 1928 Morris Oxford, reg. LS 1855. The Oxford belonged to his grandfather, although it was often Peter's mother (seen here sat on a fine Ariel motorcycle) that did much of the driving. As the Oxford and Cowley were very similar motorcars, I've included these shots on this page.
Morris Oxford tourer of 1928
Vintage Morris car
The Morris pictured with an Ariel motorcycle

3. Another flat-rad Morris, seen in 1930.

Peter Mowlam sent these photos over, hoping that the car could be identified. Definitely a Morris, most likely the Oxford version. Whereas other cars already shown on this page are tourers, this Morris is a four door saloon. The photo was taken at Oxhill in Warwickshire, August 1930. As with the car in Peter Scott's photos above, this Morris has a registration ending in "55". Peter's mother is shown stood alongside the car in the first photo below, with her sister behind the wheel. His mother is also shown in the side view of the Morris, sat in the driver's seat - a posed shot as Peter says that she couldn't drive. The identity of the other people isn't known. Thanks for sending the pics over!
A pre-war Morris saloon
Two more photos of the same car

4. Morris Cowley.

Next is this photo of a vintage Cowley, parked in a countryside location. Keith on the forum identified it as a Cowley, I hadn't realised but one way to differentiate Cowleys from Oxfords is that the former has 3-stud wheels, the latter 5-stud. The Cowley also has low-set headlamps bolted to supports attached to the chassis below, whereas the Oxford has a cross bar between the front wings. This particular Cowley sports a roll-up radiator blind, which, when also taking into account the clothing being worn, suggests a winter's day scene.
A Morris Cowley tourer of the 1920s

5. Another flat-rad Morris Cowley.

Old photos featuring vintage Morrises just keep turning up - this one shows a thoughtful gentleman, stood alongside his Cowley. The presence of a liquid on the road beneath his Morris may be the reason for his less-than-cheerful expression. Although you almost need a magnifying glass to see it, just visible in the distant background, lefthand side, is an early road roller.
Another vintage flat-rad Cowley

6. A 2-seat Morris tourer.

The high-set headlamps look like they may be from a flat-rad Oxford, but the three-stud wheels identify this car as a 2 seater Morris Cowley. Thanks to Elma for the photo.
A 2 seater Morris Cowley tourer

7. Cowley Coupe.

Now for something of a rarity. Dave emailed this photograph over on behalf of his local GP, hoping that the car - shown with his GP's father - could be identified. The photo dates to 1928. The car is a Morris Cowley two-door Coupe of the late 1920s, in flatnose form I believe. This model featured dry accommodation for two/three people in the snug cabin, with extra seating afforded by the fold-out "dickey" seat incorporated into the car's swooping tail. A small step can just been seen, above the nearside rear wing, on which rear-seat passengers would climb to access the outdoor seating area. Fabulous photo.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size Morris image.)
A Morris Cowley two-door Coupe, with dickey seat in the back

8. Oxford tourer.

I was sent this photo some time ago, and while it isn't the best shot ever, it captures a scene typical of a run out for a spot of food and a cup of tea, circa 1930. The car is another example of flat-nose Oxford, in this case a tourer. The car's registration is RF 2052, a Staffordshire series that ran for almost eight years, from December 1924 through to July 1932.
Flat-nose Morris Oxford tourer
Sleuthing by peterwpg on the site forum, tracked down the location of this photograph to outside the Red Lion, in Avebury, Wiltshire. A photo of the premises as they are now, can be found on this tourism site. Thanks Peter.

9. A 1930 saloon.

Now for an interesting trio of photographs, featuring a 1930 Morris Oxford saloon on Easter Monday, 22nd April 1946. No doubt the owner of this car was keen to stretch the legs of his or her automobile, having been laid-up for the duration of the war. In 1946 petrol was still far from plentiful and strictly rationed, so a trip to the countryside was an event well worth recording on film.
The car, GJ 6058, was registered to a London address in May, June or July 1930, so was sixteen years old at the time of this photograph. Over the years it had no doubt covered a fair mileage, and had escaped the unwelcome attentions of G�ring's Luftwaffe. No surprise therefore that the car's paintwork looks decidedly secondhand in these images. The photographs were taken with the car and its occupants parked up in a field, the latter perhaps enjoying a cup of tea before continuing on their journey. A chap, with pipe, leans casually against the Morris' front wing in the first shot.
A 1930 Morris Oxford saloon
The pipe smoker of the group has now shifted position to prop himself up on the car's Motometer (temperature gauge), while one of the ladies busies herself with preparing their cups of tea. An old-style bottle of milk rests on the Oxford's running board. The car's front wings don't appear to have seen a polisher's rag in many a year.
The same car, from the other side
The final photo in this trio see a different chap, presumably the photographer for the earlier two pictures, leaning against the Morris, with a cup of "Rosy Lee" held tightly.
Three people and the vintage Morris

10. Another flatnose saloon.

Two photographs now follow of Nottinghamshire-registered Oxford saloon registration VO 1084. The first portrays the car parked up, a lady sat in the front passenger seat. Note the lucky horseshoe attached to the Morris' flatnose radiator. Whereas the other saloons shown further up this page have a rectangular windscreen, the lower edge of this car's screen follows the shape of the scuttle - was this a feature of a particular year of Oxford production, or a variant of the Oxford produced alongside the standard model?
Flatnose Morris Oxford front view
In the second photograph the car and its owner are at rest outside a hotel, alongside an ancient horse-drawn cart. Despite the name of the hotel being somewhat blurred, it appears to be "The Weaver House Hotel". With the chap leaning against the car's front wing, the venerable old Morris is exhibiting a distinct list to port.
Outside the Weaver House Hotel

11. c1928 saloon.

Once again a photograph of a Cowley has turned up, although there are many detail differences between this car and the Morris shown above. These include the shape of the screen, and the door side window apertures, which on the next car are squared-off rather than rounded. The registration of this Morris isn't visible unfortunately, I think it dates to 1928 or 1929. Three people are sat inside, while their cases have been banished to the car's rear luggage rack.
Side view of a late-vintage Cowley

12. Oxford tourer.

Once again the five-stud wheel fixings combined with the headlamp arrangements mark this next tourer out as the Oxford variant. The first photo in this pairing sees the car parked outside a magnificent building, which notes on the rear of the photo identify as Magdalen College School, Brackley, Northants, an august institution that continues as a school to this day. I doubt that the Morris survives though - there are no details of a Morris registered RT 2780 (RT=Suffolk East) on their system. The photo probably dates to 1929/1930.
Morris Oxford parked at Magdalen College School
Accompanying the first image is a second, side, view of the same car. Again the roof is in the folded position, although the sidescreens have been installed - presumably to minimise discomfort to the lady sat in the rear, and also to the dog which has temporarily stationed itself in the driver's quarters. Note the Pratts two-gallon petrol can fitted to the running board.
A side-on shot of the same car

13. Morris Cowley - with a maiden sat upon it.

Alas no notes accompany this photograph of Cowley registration YW 6870, so who the car belonged to, or indeed who the young lady draped across the poor Morris' bonnet might be, remains a mystery. Being a shrinking violet would not appear to be one of this fair maiden's failings, although the garments of the day - combined with the car's Boyce Motometer (thermometer) - do assure that her dignity remains intact. Quite what the relevance of the stick she's clutching is, perhaps it's best to not speculate about. Bar the oversize bonnet adornments, this Morris looks to be in standard trim, bar the AA badge, and the rarely-seen spare wheel cover that this example is fitted with.
Front view of a Cowley with a lady sat upon it

14. 1931 LA Oxford.

A gent called Cyril is shown next, stood alongside his six-light Oxford saloon, which judging by the clues (including its registration - UH 8192) is a 1931 example of the "flatnose" breed. By this point in time, the usual circular Morris badge affixed to the radiator surround had been replaced by a rectangular type with small wings on either side. For the 1930 model year onwards the Oxford was fitted with a 14.9hp (RAC) six-cylinder engine as standard, the car now being known as the LA Oxford. My thanks to Jenny for this particular photograph.
1931 Morris Oxford LA

15. Cowley and other cars in London.

The following photograph falls into the "what's going on here?" category. A religious gathering appears to be taking place down a London backstreet, but precisely where or when this scene took place, and indeed why, are questions yet to be fully answered. Visible in the foreground is a two-door coupe, with "faux" dumb irons set into the rear quarters of its roof.
Easiest to identify though is PK 8154, a 1929 Surrey-registered Morris Cowley four-door tourer, parked up to a chalk line scrawled across the cobbled surface, where "CARS" is written. Behind it is a lofty vehicle, a taxi I think, while bringing up the rear is another fixed-head car, with a distinctive peak over its windscreen (Model A Ford perhaps?). A couple of "bobbies" are keeping an eye on proceedings from a discreet distance. Whoever took the photo did so from a lofty vantage point, most likely a ladder. Can anyone reading this shed light on proceedings - perhaps the robed gent leading the activities is recognisable?
1929 Cowley tourer front view

16. Head-on view of a 1928 car.

My thanks to Richard for the following photograph, one of several he sent over. Here, his great uncle Toby is posed alongside his Lincolnshire-registered Morris, registration CT 9550. While the two front tyres are looking like they've covered a fair mileage, the spare - mounted on the nearside of this 1928 car - is looking a lot fresher. Curiously, the proportions and profile of the nearside front wing, don't match those of the offside panel, suggesting that one has been replaced, perhaps following a coming-together with a solid object.
1928 saloon
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