header image
Parts
Homepage. This page: For sale shortly after WW2, the Morrisflex range of portable garage equipment.

Morrisflex - "Flexible Shaft Equipment".

Any garage owner kitting out his premises during the re-construction of Britain in the late 1940s, might well have considered investing in the Morrisflex garage equipment. A creation of B. O. Morris Ltd, of Clay Lane, Coventry, it was designed to offer a flexible range of powered tools, handy to use in the repair of motorcars. At a time when many pre-war cars were being brought out of long-term storage, demand for car repairs, especially when new cars were all-but impossible to procure, must have been significant.
The Morrisflex system
The Morrisflex M.108, as illustrated, consisted of a 240v mains electric motor and pulley system, mounted onto a base that sat on small castors, enabling the equipment to be wheeled around the workshop, as required. In those days, no-one worried about tripping over power cables or flexible driveshafts, instead preferring to let mechanics make their own safe way about the premises, without being nagged by men in hard-hats grasping their clipboards.
The illustration above shows a Morrisflex in action. A mechanic stands alongside a proud Bentley, buffing up the car's paintwork using a lambswool attachment. Out of curiosity I did a check on this Bentley, registration FLK 966, to see if any information could be found. Perhaps unsurprisingly, as so many Bentleys even from the early days are still on the road, this particular car also exists to this day. A look online confirms this as a 1939 model, of 4250cc. However today it's finished in silver, whereas in this shot, taken in 1947 or 1948, it looks to be black. Where is FLK 966 now I wonder, and who owns it? It also seems to have featured in a copy of The Autocar magazine, 1st March 1940.
The Morrisflex M108 floor-standing version
A number of accessories were available to go onto the Morrisflex. Many were for use in the repair and repainting of motor vehicle bodywork - anyone running a bodyshop would no doubt have opted for the Morrex Wire Brushes for instance. If you planned on doing a lot of buffing to cellulose car finishes, the use of a Felt Backing Pad (part no. MBP.1) was recommended, along with a dab of Morrisflex Car Rub Compo, or compound as it'd be called today.

Those involved with mechanical overhaul, might well have put an order in for a set of decarbonising brushes, a real boon when de-coking an old car's engine, especially after having run on a variety of dubious brands of motor spirit for a few years. Various rotary cutters could also be specified, perfect for re-cutting valve seats for instance, cleaning up dirty or damaged components, or perhaps lightening various parts. Stones, designed to polish up combustion chambers and ports, would no doubt be also on the shopping list. If you only planned on doing engine work, and didn't need the manoeuvrability of the full-size Morrisflex M.108, you could instead have chosen the 2 speed "Biflex" which was designed to sit on a workbench.

Other Morrisflex garage machines.

In addition to the floor-standing M.108, B.O. Morris Ltd could supply variations on a similar theme, depending on your requirements. If floorspace was at a premium, or if you tended to work solely on engines sat within a car's engine bay, the "Overhead Suspension Type M.102" may have been worth a look at. Hanging from the ceiling, the flexible drive shaft extended down from the unit, and could be fitted with grinding, polishing, and wire brushing attachments as required. Anyone who tended to work on sub-components rather than complete vehicles, could opt for a choice of bench-mounted versions.
An example of a Morrisflex machine in use can be seen on the cover of this 1950's booklet, discussing electrical equipment in the "modern" garage.
Return to my motoring gadgets, tools & accessories pages at oldclassiccar.

Old Classic Car homepage

Custom Search
www.oldclassiccar.co.uk (C) R. Jones. Content not to be reproduced elsewhere.
Website by ableweb.
Privacy Policy, Cookies & Disclaimers