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Lot 260: Morgan Plus 4 Drophead Coupé

Exceptional Motor Cars and Motorcycles, Bonhams (2 February 2012)

Morgan's first four-seater, four-wheeled sports car - the Coventry Climax-engined 4/4 - appeared in 1937 and, updated with the Standard Ten engine, formed the mainstay of production up to 1950. With the 1,267cc Standard unit being phased out, Morgan needed another engine and eventually settled on that of the new Standard Vanguard, although at 2,088cc it was larger than company founder H F S Morgan had wanted initially. With 70% more power than the 4/4 courtesy of the Vanguard engine, it was felt that a change of name was justified for the new model; 'Plus 4' was chosen and an old advertising slogan resurrected - 'fastest at the price'. The Plus 4 represented a major step forward in the evolution of the Morgan sports car. Although the traditional chassis layout was retained - what else would one expect from Morgan?  the frame did undergo extensive alteration, gaining in both wheelbase and track dimensions while being considerably strengthened. The centrally mounted Moss gearbox was carried over from the 4/4. With supplies of the old flat-fronted radiator and separate headlamps coming to an end, Morgan opted for a front-end makeover in 1953, filling in the gap between wings and body with a sloping valance that incorporated the headlamps in a pair of cylindrical fairings. The radiator grille was cowled and gained a quarter-moon trim panel at the top, which carried the Morgan badge. A change in vehicle regulations soon forced Morgan to raise the headlights but the result remained dissatisfying and led to a further revision that saw the 'interim' radiator grille replaced by a curved design and the headlamps placed in teardrop-shaped housings atop the valance. The quintessential Morgan look had arrived. This late 'flat rad' Plus 4 was restored in the UK and purchased for the collection in France in 2002. The car is offered with Spanish registration papers, a copy of the French Carte Grise and sundry invoices including one for a gearbox overhaul in January 2007.

Lot Details
Auction Exceptional Motor Cars and Motorcycles
Bonhams, La Halle Freyssinet, Paris
TypeCar
Lot Number260
Estimate€28000-€36000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1952
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis numberP2277
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2