• This Month's Issue

    Level Flier: At $220k, This FIghter-Plane-Inspired '09 Spyker Lands Close to It's Original MSRP

    $575k 1969 Aston Martin DB6 Mk I

    Viva l'Italia! In the Driver's Seat at Villa d'Este, the Mille MIglia and Modena Cento Ore

    Fast-Rising Collectible: "The Fast and the Furious" '93 Supra Stunt Car Hurtles to $200k

    Slow-Rising Collectible: Karmann Ghias Gain Ground

    Read More
  • SCM Platinum

    Over 200 cars that sold at auction covered in every issue of SCM. Our market reports include detailed information about the vehicle, including VIN, condition, options, and expert analysis from SCM's auction reporters.

    SCM Platinum is the largest database of collector cars sold at auction. Over 150,000 vehicles, including over 59,000 with detailed write-ups from our auction reporters.

    Now optimized for your mobile devices!

    Read More
  • Glovebox Notes

    SCM doesn't just cover collector cars. Every week, SCM reviews a brand new car online and in our newsletters, and there are new reviews every month in the magazine. Thinking of buying a new car? Check out our reviews!

    Read More
  • Insider’s Guide to Concours d’Elegance

    The 2014 guide includes a calendar of events and detailed descriptions of 21 featured concours.

    Read More

Recent Blog Posts

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

Collector Car News

  • Sales Total $15.4m at Auctions America California +

    Auctions America racked up more than $15.4m in total sales at its third annual California sale, held July 17–18. The multi-day auction, held for the first time at Santa Monica's historic Barker Hangar, lifted the gavel on approximately 300 collector vehicles. Vehicles drove onto the auction podium via the tail section of Read More
  • Meet Keith Martin at the Concours d'Elegance of America +

    Keith Martin returns as emcee for the Concours d'Elegance of America on July 26 in Plymouth, MI. View the three-day schedule of events here. The featured concours classes are as follows: Pre-War Classes Motorcycles 1918 - 1929: The Dawn of the Modern MotorcycleGas Light: prior to 1914Jazz Age: 1915 - 1929Duesenberg Model Read More
  • Monterey Roundup: More Star Cars! +

    Monterey Car Week is less than a month away. Have you checked out the lastest consignments? Here is a roundup of some very significant star cars: Gooding & Company has consigned a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder for their Pebble Beach auction (pictured above; Gooding & Company estimate: $16m–$18m). The Read More
  • Meet Keith Martin, Donald Osborne and Alex Martin-Banzer at Forest Grove +

    The Forest Grove Concours d 'Elegance returns for its 43rd year on Sunday, July 19, on the historic, tree-shaded campus of Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR. Keith Martin and Donald Osborne return as co-emcees. Alex Martin-Banzer will serve as a concours judge. All three will participate in Saturday's Tour Read More
  • Du Pont Collection Joins "Preserving the Automobile" Auction +

    Bonhams has consigned a private collection of original racing, experimental, hot rod and stock automobiles from the prominent American family du Pont — a name synonymous with a chemical empire, a luxury automobile manufacturer, and America's first motorcycle company. The property of Alexis "Lex" du Pont, son of motoring magnate E. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

Dropheads were a rare sight new and even scarcer today, with exceedingly handsome styling in the vintage English idiom





The Morgan Motor Company, the oldest independent automobile company on the planet, crafts its unique sports cars in a turn of the century factory in Malvern Link, Worcestershire, England. To this day, Morgans are still built according to vintage coachbuilding traditions in the original facility, established in 1910.

The stately Morgan Plus 4 drophead coupe, recognizable from its roadster sibling by its tall front-opening doors, fixed windshield stanchions and elegant three-position folding top, was the sophisticate of the Morgan model lineup. It also featured walnut interior appointments, removable sliding side windows and body accent trim. Only 433 Plus 4 drophead coupes were produced between January of 1954 and September of 1969.

Through 1961, these models were powered by a dual-carburetor, 2.0-liter (1991-cc) Standard Triumph engine, mated to a Moss four-speed gearbox. Later models were fitted with a larger (2138-cc) version of the Standard, still driven through a Moss box. The drophead coupe also utilized the patented Morgan "Sliding Pillar" front suspension with its one-shot lubricating system, designed in 1910 and still standard on Morgans today.

This particular 1958 Drophead Coupe, with elegant coachwork painted in dark blue and complemented by magnolia-colored hides and dark blue Haartz top, has benefited from a ground-up, five-year professional restoration to a very high standard. Cosmetics, mechanicals and hydraulics have all been addressed. The five new chrome wire wheels are shod with Dunlop radial tires.

This highly desirable Morgan is an original left-hand-drive car, with Brooklands steering wheel, Derrington-style stainless header and exhaust system, as well as induction and cooling system upgrades. The wooden body tub has been replaced and a special cross-brace fitted to strengthen the body structure.
This Morgan Plus 4 has finished in first place in all five British car shows it has entered since its restoration. This lovely example combines great style with impressive engineering and is understood to be a fit running example ready for grand touring, British-style.

{analysis}{auto}131{/auto} This Morgan Drophead Coupe was unsold at a high bid of $44,000 at RM's Arizona auction on January 23, 2004, and then later reported as a post-block sale at $46,000, buyer's premium included.

Unlike the Plus 4 roadsters, which have pleasing but fundamental interiors, the dropheads (convertibles to us Yanks) surround the driver with posh walnut trim and buttery Connolly leather. Furthermore, the drophead's high doors give the driver and passenger a snug, secure feeling, as opposed to the roadsters' cut-down doors that can make cornering seem like an imminently elbow-scraping encounter. The only downside is that dropheads do suffer a performance penalty against roadsters, due to the extra weight of their beefier bodies. The window treatment on dropheads is typically Morgan: Instead of designing complex roll-up mechanisms, the side windows simply pop in and out according to the weather and the occupants' wishes.

Morgan devotees are fiercely loyal to the marque. They're proud of the cars' hard-riding reputation and sensational road-holding abilities. Morgan's sparkling performance and impressive list of competition successes over the years (including a class win at Le Mans in 1962), is matched only by the timeless styling that has ignored automotive fads and fashions since 1936, when the first four-wheeled Morgan models appeared. There is no mistaking its country of origin: Morgans yesterday and today look as English as the Union Jack.

Mechanically, the Plus 4s are straightforward to restore. The Triumph wet-liner engine is simple and quite cheap to overhaul, but beware of badly worn gearboxes, as Moss bits are falling into the realm of unobtainium. The Salisbury rears are rugged and hardly ever fail and a Sliding Pillar front end should be good for 30,000 miles or so, as long as it is assiduously lubricated.

It was reassuring to know that this 1958 Drophead Coupe had a new body tub, for unrestored Moggies can hide lots of rot problems in their Belgian ash frames.

What a highly attractive Morgan this was, with very good door fit and whistle-clean interior, exterior and engine bay. This Morgan had a little over 10,000 miles showing on the odometer, but we'd reckon that the actual mileage following the car's restoration is considerably less than that.

Morgans do represent a real vintage sports car bargain, with excellent roadsters steadily and readily available in the $25,000 range. Dropheads were a rare sight new and even scarcer today, and as can be seen here, their styling is exceedingly handsome in the vintage English idiom, meaning they are worth a premium over a roadster.

How much more? RM had estimated this car at $50,000-$60,000, which probably didn't begin to represent its actual restoration expenses. Nevertheless, the crowd felt that $44,000 was all the money on that day at that sale, and it took RM another couple of days to get an interested bidder to cough up the extra $2,000 it took to put the deal together.

As an owner of a 1961 Morgan Roadster myself, my conclusion is that if you want to tour and show with the drophead's extra panache and comfort, this car, in its fully and properly restored state, would not disappoint. The final sold price was exactly right, and a fair deal for buyer and seller alike.-Dave Brownell

(Photos, historical and descriptive information courtesy of the auction company.){/analysis}

Recent Profiles

  • Numerous privateer racing drivers got it in their mind to build their own car in the 1950s, with each experiencing
    Read More

    1959 Lister-Chevrolet

    By Thor Thorson / September 2015
  •  Number 487 of 500 built One of last imported into the United States and one of two remaining White Pearl
    Read More

    2012 Lexus LFA

    By Jeff Zurschmeide / September 2015
  • First presented to the public at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1963, the Porsche 911 replaced the 356 and was
    Read More

    1968 Porsche 911 Coupe

    By Prescott Kelly / September 2015
  • Luca di Montezemolo dedicated the Ferrari Enzo to the founder of the company, “who always thought racing should lay the
    Read More

    2002 Ferrari Enzo

    By Steve Ahlgrim / September 2015
  • Vignale bodied 10 8V chassis, all to Michelotti designs, of which the car offered here, number 000050, is the only
    Read More

    1953 Fiat 8V Cabriolet by Vignale

    By Donald Osborne / September 2015
  • Launched in 1936 alongside the 2½-liter saloon, the SS 100 Jaguar sports car marked the company’s first use of the
    Read More

    1938 Jaguar SS 100 2½-Liter Roadster

    By Paul Hardiman / September 2015
load more / hold SHIFT key to load all load all