1961 Morgan Plus 4

If the buyer plans sedate ice-cream runs with grandkids in the back, four seats might have an advantage

In 1936, the Morgan 4/4 debuted as the company’s first four-wheeled car. The designation 4/4 stood for four cylinders and four wheels. The vehicles that Morgan had produced prior to the 4/4 were three-wheelers with V-twin engines, hence the need to differentiate. Production of the 4/4 continued for over 70 years, except for a short halt during World War II and another in the early 1950s.

After WWII, the Morgan company was faced with a problem, which it surmounted in a sporting manner. In 1947, the Standard Motor Company informed Morgan that after 1949, the little 1,267-cc engine would not be available, due to their new “one-engine policy.”

That “one-engine” was a bigger 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder that Morgan bought, to its everlasting benefit. More powerful, it powered the new-for-1950 Plus 4 in various displacements for the next 20 years, as well as Triumph TR2s, TR3s, and TR4s.

In 1956, the Plus 4 received a Triumph TR3 engine with 100 horsepower. The Plus 4 could be ordered with lightweight aluminum bodies and was excellent for competition. In 1959, performance and safety were enhanced by the addition of Girling disc brakes.

In 1961, the Plus 4 Super Sport was introduced. With the highly-tuned Triumph engine producing 116 horsepower, speeds exceeding 115 mph were easily achieved. The Morgan Plus 4 Super Sport owes its existence to the tuning and driving skills of Chris Lawrence, who prepared, tuned, and drove his Morgan Plus 4 to resounding success in the 1959 season in England. In 1960, Lawrence entered the full 22-race schedule for the Freddie Dixon Trophy; he won 21 of them and finished third in the other.

Completely restored only three years ago in Houston, Texas, this four-seat Morgan Plus 4 has been carefully maintained since and shows only 1,000 miles on the odometer since coming out of the restoration. The paint and chrome both still appear as new. Likewise, the red interior, top, and tonneau cover are all in top condition. The car is mechanically sound, with a rebuilt engine, and the walnut trim has been refinished.

Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson - SCM Contributor

Gary is also Editor in Chief of The Star, the magazine for the Mercedes-Benz Club of America. He has been active for many years in the Austin-Healey Club USA and is co-author of MBI’s best-selling Austin-Healey Restoration Guide, as well as editor of the Austin-Healey Magazine. An avid vintage race driver, he ran his 1960 MGA in three Monterey Historics, four Wine Country Classics, and the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. He is the author of Motoring: Getting the Maximum from Your New Mini, a comprehensive guide to the new MINI Cooper, available through Amazon.com.

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