Lot 262: Morgan Plus 4 Competition Roadster
Introduced in 1950, the Standard Vanguard-engined Plus 4 represented a major step forward in the evolution of the Morgan sports car. However, one unfortunate consequence of the 2,088cc Vanguard engine's adoption was the fact that it placed the Plus 4 in the over-2-litre class for racing purposes, forcing it to compete against cars of much larger capacity. As a result, the 1,991cc Triumph TR2 engine was made available from 1953, this more powerful (90bhp) option being preferred by most customers. In 1956 the revised TR3 power unit began to be phased in, offering 100bhp and making the Plus 4 'the cheapest 100mph car made in Britain' according to The Motor magazine. Their robust and tuneable Triumph engines made the lightweight Morgans the cars to beat in production sports car racing. Chris Lawrence (Lawrencetune) was one of the foremost exponents, supplying Morgan with a batch of specially tuned TR engines for the limited edition 'Super Sports' model of 1961. Lawrence's modifications, which included a gas-flowed cylinder head, raised compression ratio, special camshaft, twin Weber carburettors and a four-branch exhaust manifold, increased the maximum power output to 115bhp (TR3) or 125bhp (TR4) with in excess of 150bhp available in racing trim. The Morgan might have looked like an antique but its fundamental qualities shone through in competition, no more so than at Le Mans in 1962 when Lawrence and Richard Shepherd-Barron drove their Plus 4 to 13th place overall and a class win in the GT2 category. This Triumph-engined Plus 4 was bought in Spain from another collector in 1996 and restored between 2001 and 2011. The car has a 112bhp TR3 engine and is similar in specification to a Super Sports, though the gearbox has taller gears for fast road use. It is described as 'fully race prepared' but it should be noted that there are no FIA papers and some of the safety equipment will need updating to acquire them. Offered with Spanish registration papers.
Exceptional Motor Cars and Motorcycles|
Bonhams, La Halle Freyssinet, Paris
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