Louis and Emile Mors set up Société d’Électrisité et d’Automobiles Mors in 1895. Previously they had a small family-owned workshop which was specilising in telegraphy and railway signalling systems. The first Mors car, designed by Henri Brasier appeared in 1895. Later Brasier went on to develop successful racing cars under his own name.
In the first years of the 20th century Mors was one of the largest car manufacturers in France. Their reputation was partly based on vanquishing Panhard-Levassor in various races.
So Mors understandably was quite upset when Panhard-Levassor scooped up all three places at the inaugural Gordon Bennett Cup in 1900.
The 1901 Cup was part of the Paris-Bordeaux city-to-city race. While Fournier won the touring race, he did not participate in the Cup. It was down to Alfred Velghe, who raced under the pseudonym “Levegh” to bring another victory to the Mors stable. His car was equipped with a 130 x 190 vertical 4-cylinder engine, a cylinder capacity of 10,087 litres, 50-hp, automatic intake valves, breakdown voltage rnagneto ignition, drip-feed lubrication, 4 speeds, metallic clutch, and chain drive. The chassis, made from pressed steel, was equipped with semi-elliptical spring suspensions and shock absorbers. The complete car weighed around 1300-1400 kg. Unfortunately Levegh damaged his car on one of the notorious caniveaux (drainage ditch) that crossed the road and had to retire.
The 1902 Cup was part of the Paris-Vienna touring race, where 10 different Mors cars have been entered. Among them Henri Fournier was the one who participated in the Gordon Bennett Cup.
Compared to the 1901 model the Mors had to be slimmed down considerably because of the new weight restrictions, which allowed for a maximum weight of 1000 kg including the ignition magneto. George Terasse, who was Henri Brasier’s successor as designer, constructed a new vehicle on the lines of his predecessor. The Mors Type L had a four-cylinder engine of 9.2 litres (140 X 1650 mm), which was said to produce 60 hp at its peak. The frame was made of wood reinforced with steel. A special feature of the Mors racing cars was a new type of shock absorber. Mors had applied for a patent for a hydraulic shock absorber in March 1902 and the 60 hp racing Mors was fitted with these.
For the 1903 season Mors introduced the “Dauphin” (Dolphin) a 70-hp engined racer with an advanced streamlined body, weighing 988 kg. Its bonnet was shaped like an inverted ship’s bow leading into a fairing, which surrounded the seats and finished in a very elegant pointed tail. It was also recognised that there is air streaming along the underside of the car, as at least the gearbox was covered by a fairing. The comparatively small gilled tube radiator was positioned below the frame. Beneath the petrol tank of 100 litres capacity at the rear was a water tank.
The in-line four-cylinder engine was capable of 70-hp. It had four huge single cylinders with dimensions 145 x 175 mm, resulting in a capacity of 11.6-litres.
A camshaft on the right hand side to drive both inlet and exhaust valves was provided, but for some unknown reason for the race one had returned to automatic inlet valves by removing the inlet pushrods. The camshaft alsu actuated, via additional cams and push rods, a make-and-break within each cylinder, the so-called “Inflammateur”. Also driven from the camshaft was the water pump. To control engine speed, the timing of ignition and exhaust valves could be simultaneously altered, by rotating the camshaft. A single carburettor supplied mixture to the cylinders via endless inlet tubes. The mechanic had to care for lubrication with a hand pump. The gearbox had four speeds. The sturdy chassis was made from pressed steel.