International Alliance of Morris Owners
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OXFORD COWLEY 1920 to 1926
 

 

 

Models were first made in 1913 using the White & Poppe engine and production continued until the early years of World War One. The original Morris Oxford, fitted with the White & Poppe engine was replaced by the larger Cowley in 1915. The source of these engines dried up when the engine business was sold to Dennis of Guildford so the American Continental Red Seal engine was used as a replacement.

After the war the Cowley model made its appearance using an American engine known as the Type U Continental. Few of these were made (1,450) and there followed a generation of Oxfords and Cowleys using an engine based on the Continental design made by Hotchkiss et Cie (later taken over by Morris). In 1920 the Cowley was joined by the Oxford.  Both shared the same chassis and engine which was the Continerntal engine produced by the Coventry factory of the French firm Hotchkiss.

These engines became Morris engines but are generally referred to as the Hotchkiss type). At first a common chassis, radiator and engine were used for both Oxford and Cowley with the Oxford taking the role of the deluxe model.Changes and modifications were made from time to time. The 1922 season saw the last of the engines with the dynamos mounted above the gearbox, and by 1923 season the 13.9 hp engine had been dropped as an option to the 11.9 hp engine for the Oxford. By 1924 the Borden ignition control had been dropped and a taller radiator fitted to the Oxford. Balloon tyres replaced the earlier beaded-edge type. 1925 and front wheel brakes were available on the Oxford involving the use of a reverse Elliott front axle and larger 12 inch brake drums. Other changes to the Oxford f that season included the fitting of a Lucas vacuum windscreen wiper, a longer chassis for all but the two seater and coupe models, and a 13.9 hp engine made standard. Oxford and Cowley vehicles had the Calormeter temperature device fitted and pleated upholstery in place of the original button pattern. 1926, the Cowley was available with front wheel brakes and a tie bar added between the two front dumb irons. Oxford had the Barker dipping headlamp system and 19 in x 13 in wheels except on Saloon and Cabriolet which had larger 20 in. x 4 in wheels. This was the last year of the Bullnose models.


The Morris Oxford was thus born, a two seater with 1,018cc four cylinder engine and a rounded radiator that earned the car the nickname of 'Bulletnose' due to a shape similar to a .303 rifle bullet-this was shortened to 'Bullnose'. The first example appeared in early 1913 and by the following year the Oxford range had expanded to include drophead coupe, sports and van bodied versions.


Although production naturally ceased with the advent of World War I, Morris himself then went to the USA where he purchased 3,000 1.5 litre engines from Continental of Detroit- for less than half the price from an English company. The deal later proved uneconomic for Continental and Morris had copies made by Coventry based Hotchkiss, deliveries commencing in 1919 for what was now a two model range- a basic model, the Cowley, and the similar but better equipped Oxford. It was also in 1919 that WRM Motors was liquidated and replaced by Morris Motors. Initially, the company made large losses due to stock of unsold cars but a bold policy of price-cutting realised a reversal of fortunes; in 1921 sales rose from 66 in January to 377 in March, rising to a peak of 54,000 sales in 1925.


 

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Cowley and Oxford 1920-26

Engine

Type
Cowley
Oxford 1923-6

Number of cylinders

4
4
Bore mm
69.5
75
Stroke mm
102
102
Capacity cc
1548
1892
Valves
side
RAC hp rating
11.98
13.9
CR
BHP (graphs)
24
at rpm
2350
Valve timing
inlet opens
ATDC
ATDC
inlet closes
ABDC
ABDC
exhaust opens
BBDC
BBDC
exhaust closes
ATDC
ATDC
Coolant
water
Carburation
Smiths

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Dimensions
   
Wheelbase
8' 6"
Track
4' 0"
Length
Width
Weight
12 cwt
Front suspension
half elliptic
Rear suspension
three-quarter elliptic
Axle ratio
4.75
Tyre size
1920-3
700 x80
1923-4
28 x 3 ½
1925
19 x 3 ½

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Performance
0 to 50 mph secs  
standing quarter secs  
Fuel consumption mpg
 
Maximum speed
 

 

Body styles
 
Doors
 1920
1921
1922
1923 1924 1925 1926
Two seater
2
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Four seater
3
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Coupe
2
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Cabriolet
2
X
X
X
Saloon
3
X
X
X
Landaulet
X
X

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Chassis numbers
1920
1921
1922
1923
1924
1925
1926
Start
5007
7001
10001
15001
30001
57101
105801
Finish
6373
9288
14401
30000
57100
105800
156424
Total
1366
287
4400
14999
27099
46699
50623

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Books and articles (available on the web)

 

Other sources
The Motor
Issue
page
The 1920 Morris Oxford
3/12/19
869-71
Important Hotchkiss Developments
3/11/20
673
A Light Car for all weathers
15/12/20
1030
1923 Cars and New Models
24/10/22
531-2
The 13.9hp Morris Oxford Tested
6/2/23
16
Bowden bodied all-steel saloon
3/4/23
365
How Morris Cowleys & Oxfords are made
17/7/23
1031-6
Real Quality Production
1/7/24
940-2
Morris Programme for 1925 Models
2/10/24
178-80
Testing Morris Front Wheel Brakes
18/11/24
829-30
A Car & Garage for under £200
20/1/25
1204
Motor Car Topics
18/8/25
95
The Morris Programme for 1926
1/9/25
179-81
Morris Car Topics
8/9/25
224
Morris Car Topics
13/10/25
636
Morris Car Topics
10/11/25
783
Morris Car Topics
24/11/25
889
The Autocar
 
Impressions of the 1920 Morris Oxford
30/10/20
753-5
1922 Morris Oxford De luxe
24/6/22
1068
Care & Maintenance of Morris Cars
29/6/23
1119-21
Morris Cars in 1924
7/9/23
428-9
Accessories for Morris Cars
21/9/23
501-3
Small Cars of Yesterday
28/12/23
1252-3
Road Test, 14/28hp Oxford
16/1/25
89-91
Road Test, Super Sports
1/5/25
767-8
Morris adopts Front Brakes
5/9/24
428-9
Morris Models for 1926
4/9/25
395-7
Morris Oxford at the Show
16/10/25
777-8
A Fabric Saloon Coupé
11/12/25
1155
A Test of the Morris Oxford
19/3/26
473-4
Testing Morris Engines
16/7/26
89-91
T he AutoMotor Journal
 
Morris Cars
12/6/24
499-501
Cars on the Road - 13.9hp Oxford
24/7/24
613-5
Cars on the Road - Oxford 14/28
18/12/24
1103-5
The New Morris Cars
3/9/25
737-8
The 14/28 Morris Oxford Car
10/12/25
1089-92
The Morris Owner
 
Morris Programme for 1925 Models
9/24
641-4
Description of Oxford Landaulet 14/28
4/25
172-3
The New Morris Programme
9/25
842-5
Motor Sport
 
The Bullnose Morris
11/59
846-57
Vintage
 
This Car Morris

Vol 1,No4

Vol 1,No5

4-10

25-31

The Great Cars - Morris

On Four Wheels Weekly part work.

Published 1975.Vo15
1421-

If anyone has copies of there articles please contact the webmaster so that they can be included on this site for reference.

Bullnose Black & White

Bullnose Colour

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