Cowleys used all-steel bodies from 1926. The panels are straight and the paint good, plus the hood and irons are sound and there’s a delightful fuel can on the offside running board, along with decent Waymaster tyres. The radiator shell glows nicely, with a few small dings in the lights.
The 1548cc Morris-built Hotchkiss ‘four’ has a new in-line fuel filter, with oil cleanish and to level. We couldn’t get the rad cap off but there was water in the top hose. It fires easily and the whole plot drives well, with more torque than you’d imagine, making this a highly usable vintage car with the realistic possibility of carrying passengers. The oil pressure varies between zero and 3bar, but you’re OK as long as there’s something showing on the gauge, and the Calormeter read ‘Normal’ on our drive. Charge was generally a maximum 16A and there are added flashing indicators. The three-speed gearbox is easy to find your way around and, even without synchros, is quite benign, plus the four-wheel brakes pull up adequately from a comfortable 35mph cruising speed. Cowleys had rear brakes only and front drums were an option, which is nice to have.
This attractive tourer comes with a good history file, acopyofan original owner’s manual and useful technical literature that should make ownership straightforward. There’s no MoT because pre-1960 cars no longer require one, and the last certificate expired in mid 2012.
1927 Morris Cowley
Year of manufacture – 1927
Asking price – £16,000
Vendor – Bill Postins, Balsall Common, West Midlands; tel: 01676 533949; billpostins.com
WHEN IT WAS NEW
Price £172 10s
Max power 27bhp
Max torque n/a
10-30mph 14.6 secs
Top speed 47mph
• Tidy; good paint; new hood INTERIOR
• Leather retrim just taking on a little wear and patina
• Some (enough) oil pressure; runs cool; loads of charge
For Good condition and drives well Against Not as iconic as a Bullnose, but it’s a better drive
SHOULD I BUY IT?
A properly vintage motor that’s eminently usable. And we should warn you that it’s named ‘Matilda’.