H.F.S. Morgan's first four-wheeled Morgan, the Standard 10-engined 4/4, appeared in 1936 and formed the mainstay of production until 1950, when it was superseded by the larger and more powerful Standard-Vanguard-engined Plus Four. We are advised that the Morgan Motor Company has confirmed that this example left the factory in December 1954 and retains it original chassis/engine numbers.
Originally sold to a Dr. Allen of Stourbridge and registered "WAE 784," the car returned to the factory after five years for an engine rebuild, the unit subsequently being up-rated from TR2 to the more powerful TR4 specification, though retaining its original block. In 1976 the car was purchased by a French photographic historian and registered "395 GM 13." Last year the vehicle was purchased from its French owner and returned to the UK, since when it has been repainted, had a new battery fitted and a number of minor faults rectified. It is offered with current MoT and Swansea V5.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1955 Morgan Plus 4
Years Produced:1954-58
Number Produced:338 (all body styles w/ TR2 engine)
Original List Price:approx. $2,000
SCM Valuation:N/A
Tune Up Cost:$250
Distributor Caps:$35
Chassis Number Location:Stamped in right cross member immediately after gearbox
Engine Number Location:Left side of block
Club Info:Morgan Sports Car Club, Hollands Farm/Coombe Green, Birstmorton/Malvern, Worcester WR13 6AB, England
Alternatives:1953-54 Sunbeam Alpine, 1954-57 Fiat 1100TV, MGA

This car sold for $12,566, including buyer’s premium, at the Bonhams & Brooks auction on February 26, 2001 in Hendon, North London, England.
For those puzzled by the last sentence in the description (MoT and Swansea V5), this is Britspeak stating that the car has passed its current-and rather stringent-national safety inspection and that it has English registration papers on file and in order.
There is a pecking order to Morgans, as with most other collector marques. Two-seat dropheads fall between the standard Plus Four roadsters and the Plus Four four-seater dropheads in terms of scarcity and desirability. There are no exact figures available for production of the two-seat dropheads, but numbers in the low to mid two-digit range can be accepted as an educated guess.
Due to the extra weight of the drophead’s coachwork, more competitive drivers would favor the lighter (and lower-priced) roadster. But those who wanted that extra bit of weather protection-
always a consideration in the UK-as well as a more elegant equipage, would certainly think about the drophead with its true roll-up windows and snug-fitting top.
If this car was as sound an example as the catalog description alleged, the winning bid was a bedrock bargain. At US price levels, it was under market by $8,000 to $10,000-assuming you can find one for sale at any price when the fever hits you and the search begins.
One of the advantages of the Triumph-engined Morgans, besides their fundamental toughness, is the motor’s wet-sleeve design that makes piston/liner power upgrades like this car enjoys a relatively simple matter. It also avoids more expensive rebuilds and engine swaps that kill authenticity.
What may have affected the selling price, however, was body rot and rust problems. Like an Elizabethan house, Morgan bodies are of half-timbered construction. (The chassis is steel, though, despite the long-standing myth that it, too, is wood.) With dropheads, especially, there are numerous places for wood rot to occur away from prying eyes. Fully restoring a wooden-body frame of any sort is not a cheap proposition. Inside the fenders, where they attach to bodies, is another place where rot occurs on Moggies. Plus, due to their, shall we say, rather stiff ride, things like front fender braces will start cracking the sheet metal over a long period of time.
Morgan’s unique sliding-pillar independent front suspension, used on every car since the first one rolled out of the tiny works at Malvern Link in 1910, is a wonderful device but can cause owners fits if not properly serviced or if worn excessively. Plus Fours are fitted with a button on the firewall for one-shot lubrication of the bronze pillars. It feeds off the engine oil, and remembering to give it a push with one’s foot each time a journey has begun will extend the life of the front end immensely. The suspension will let you know if it needs attention by trying to shake the steering wheel out of your hands, among other warnings. This could mean anything from a full rebuild to simply renewing the shims in the damper blades.
As a long-time enthusiast/owner I can tell you that a Plus Four on a smooth, twisty road is one of sports car driving’s great delights. They are quick, nimble, strong, reliable, nearly bulletproof in all areas and a breeze to maintain. Not only that, they are relatively cheap in today’s vintage market considering their rarity. If a termite inspector comes up empty-handed after looking over this car, Bonhams & Brooks should have a very satisfied buyer on their hands.-Dave Brownell
(Historic data courtesy of auction company.)u

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