Future classic: Pembleton T24

| 7 Nov 2023
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Pembleton T24

“So, what year is it?” You can’t blame the chap for asking the question as he saunters by while we’re parking.

And the folks at Pembleton would approve of him mistaking what is a brand-new car for some Morgan-esque pre-war rarity.

Indeed, MD Phil Gregory describes the T24 as: “An escape from the modern world.”

Which it is. With bells on.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Pembleton T24
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Pembleton T24
The Pembleton T24’s exposed 853cc air-cooled engine brings to mind classic Morgans

Crafted by a skilled team of five at a converted farm building in rural Worcestershire, the T24 aims to capture the essence of a bygone age of motoring, while offering 21st-century levels of durability.

Key to this is the powertrain: an air-cooled, four-stroke, 853cc twin from motorcycle maker Moto Guzzi, its cylinders configured in a 90° vee, sitting before the front axle and gloriously naked between the car’s driven wheels.

Mated to a modified four-speed Citröen transaxle, with bespoke linkage and ratios, the compact unit’s 78bhp sounds decidedly lame, until you realise that the T24’s dry weight is just 361kg, gifting it a Porsche 718 Boxster-matching power-to-weight ratio of 216bhp per tonne.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Pembleton T24
Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Pembleton T24
No touchscreens in sight. The Pembleton T24’s old-school cabin adds to its appeal

Only having to comply with less stringent Individual Vehicle Approval rules helps keep the mass in check.

The aluminium body is hand-formed around a tubular spaceframe, then bonded and riveted to an aluminium platform to make a rigid semi-monocoque.

Fully independent suspension, via a pullrod system, keeps the centre of gravity low, while inboard front brakes reduce unsprung weight.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Pembleton T24
Pembleton’s goal is to revive ’50s charm for modern drivers

Ensconced in the narrow, leather-trimmed cabin, you sit behind a simple four-spoke wheel facing a turned-aluminium dash.

With legs stretched out before you, the seating position is nice and low, but it needs to be: even at 5ft 7in, I have to hunker down to keep my head below the tiny curved Perspex windscreen.

None of that matters, though, as you thumb the starter and the V-twin thumps into life.

Snick the 2CV-style shift into first and you’re away, revelling in the engine’s old-school – but endearing – vibration, which smooths out over 3500rpm and pulls enthusiastically up to its 7750rpm redline.

Classic & Sports Car – Future classic: Pembleton T24
Skinny crossplies, low weight and 78bhp is Pembleton’s special recipe

The sight of the 18in spoked wheels – shod with skinny crossplies – bobbing up and down adds to the vintage allure, but also translates into a sublime ride: controlled, quiet and supple.

The unassisted steering rack is low-geared, so on twisty roads you have your work cut out, but that makes for a more authentically pre-war experience.

Yet the impressive overall composure betrays its modern underpinnings.

Starting at £39,594, the T24 costs as much as a decent MG TA, with change.

But no new car this side of a much pricier Morgan captures the evocative feel of a historic motor, with the reassurance of something built in 2023.

Images: John Bradshaw


  • Engine 853cc V-twin; 78bhp @ 7750rpm; 59lb ft @ 5000rpm
  • Transmission four-speed manual, FWD
  • 0-62mph 6.3 secs (est)
  • Top speed 100mph
  • Mpg 60 (est)
  • Price £42,474


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