Berrybrook Morgan’s history is one of family connections and being in the right place at the right time, as Sean reveals: “I left school at 15 and started selling Reliant three-wheelers and motorcycles through my family business. After this I began to specialise in Reliant, however as they ceased manufacturing sales started reducing and I moved towards Morgan’s. I own a 1933 Morgan V-twin three-wheeler (shown below), which my late grandfather, Jack (Tony) Anthony, bought in 1968 for £165. I inherited it in 1987.”
The idea of selling Morgan’s first came to me whilst driving my three-wheeler in the late nineties. Something was needed to balance falling Reliant sales and so this seemed like a golden-opportunity. I approached the local Morgan dealership, Phoenix Motors in Exeter, as well as Morgan Motors themselves. Much to my surprise the owner of Phoenix Motors, Mrs Miles, was about to retire and so I saw this as my opportunity to realise my ambition.
“Mrs Miles knew my late grandfather through the three-wheeler and other dealings so she already was aware we had interest in the world of Morgan and so she said that she’d love us to take on the Morgan dealership if Morgan were happy for us to do so. In 2001 Berrybrook Motors began trading in new and used Morgan’s in a new premise in the village of Exminster. Back then Berrybrook was financed by Bridge Motorcycles, and when my father, Barry Anthony, retired from Bridge he took Berrybrook with him. As nothing was received From Phoenix Motors we had no customer base and therefore had to start from scratch”.
What followed was an intense marketing campaign, with Sean launching Berrybrook Morgan’s new website and publicising the fact that it was now a Morgan dealer. Slowly but surely business started to grow and people began to find Berrybrook Motors. Since then, we have remained a strong member of the local community getting involved in lots of local events whilst also trying to promote the Morgan name. A more recent purchase by Barry, is the ‘War Baby’ HRO 434 Morgan three-wheeler, this being the last V-twin to ever leave the Malvern factory in 1947. Barry has had a long-standing role in Berrybrook and the purchase of the ‘War Baby’ is greatly symbolic of Morgan’s pride of place in the family name, standing proudly next to Tony’s original V-twin he also has a large collection of Classic motorcycles in a museum at his house.
“Some of our customers have been with us from the start but every year we sell an increasing number of cars and our customer base expands”, says Sean, “whether they buy a new Morgan or a second-hand one, they will likely keep that Morgan for many years to come, and we can offer extensive servicing , upgrades and also can do body repairs if needed to keep your car in perfect order as well as a huge range of accessories.”
In conjunction with the workshop facilities, Berrybrook also operates a very popular Morgan hire programme, with people from all over the UK and further afield taking a Morgan for a weekend and enjoying the beautiful countryside that Devon offers. We also supply an array of exclusive hotel packages and suggested route maps.
Morgan specialist and salesman Neville Porteous says: “One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is taking our customers to the factory and showing them the available leather and paint options. This is part of our Morgan buying experience. When I take our customers to Malvern they are able to see first-hand what the different options look and feel like and have a hands-on approach to choosing their new Morgan”. This is one of the unique experiences a buyer receives when buying a Morgan sports car.
With nearly two decades of experience under his belt, Sean is as passionate about the marque today as he was when he first thought about becoming a Morgan dealer: “Morgan appeals to me because it is such a niche market,” explains Sean. “They are traditional, hand-built British cars that are made with a lot of love and attention to detail”.
With a brand-new show-room having been built in 2016 and plans for a fully refurbished front showroom to follow, we have high hopes for Berrybrook and Morgan in the future and also would like to thank our valued customers for the many year’s custom they have provided us with.