Coming across this car was a case of fond memories as my very first Morgan, back in early 1974, was a red 1959 Plus 4 four seater and now, forty six and a half years later, a red 1959 Morgan Plus 4 four seater is gracing our showroom. And what is remarkable is our current acquisition is FAR better than the one I had nearly half a century ago.
This current car: 31,000 original miles since new, excellent chassis, body, wood framing and floors, beautiful fire engine red paint, excellent original (as documented by the factory) engine passing all of the tests, no excessive oil leaks, quiet rocker assembly, 150-155 psi compression in every cylinder, 65-70+ oil pressure when hot, smooth and powerful. And a new clutch and rebuilt gearbox (seals and bearings), works perfectly.
A close examination shows rebuilt kingpins and bushings, all new tie rod ends, new Spax adjustable shocks, an excellent set of 15" wire wheels with new tubes and 165R15 radials, all working original gauges, excellent wiring (not frayed and fragile), re-cored radiator, rebuilt SU carbs, new top and side curtains, same with tonneau and boot cover, unusually good original beige gauge decals, very good chrome, excellent original rear seats, redone front seats, starts instantly, runs perfectly, easily cruises at any practical highway speed (we saw 90+ mph the day we drove it to the office), even all of the heater and radiator hoses are premium braided metal. VERY classy.
When this car was painted, it was disassembled and painted under the fenders, on the firewall, under the bonnet, etc. ALMOST never see this on a Morgan as, from the factory, the underneath parts and firewall had a coat of thick black....tar? Crude and as befitting, at the time, a cheap car. But this Morgan has been done far better than when original.
So, why was my first and now, one of my current Morgans a four seater? Although quite rare, they have many virtues. First of all, a four seater shares the same chassis as a two seaters BUT with an extra leaf in either rear spring, better ride and capable of carrying more weight. While the seats of a two seater consist of a wood board with an inflatable inner tube inside the seat bottoms, a four seater has real springs. And are adjustable front and rear and even seat back rake.
Finally, duh......yes, four seats. And the rears are NOT jump seats like a Healey or a Porsche 911, rather, can seat two full sized adults as the rear seating is high allowing the passenger's to have ample leg room.
What else? Has a heater, nicely painted and detailed engine bay, all working lights, horn, and wipers, and while one might presume a certain inherent fragility in this 62 year old classic with running boards and a decided pre war look, from a half century experience, these are rugged cars. The TR3 engine has a history that began in a Ferguson tractor, yet when they first appeared, with an eight port head, press fit bearings, they were consider cutting edge in post War English cars.
And remember, was only three years after this car saw the light of day (to be specific, from factory records, delivered on June 1st, 1959) that a similar Morgan won its class, the competitive 2 liter GT class, at the 1962 24 hours of LeMans beating the factory Alfa and Porsche teams. Pretty impressive with a tractor based engine and a front suspension patented in 1909.
Gearbox is a proprietary Moss unit....essentially the same as Jaguar used, from the 160hp XK-120 through the mid 1960s 265hp E Type. So, understressed with the 100hp TR3 engine.
And finally, the back axle, same unit from 1950 through the 1990s........VERY heavy duty and in 46 years of selling Morgans, have never had a worn out transmission or back axle.
Remarkably, one can still call the factory at Malvern Link in England and buy parts for this car. Try that for most other cars in the world! I mean, call Mercedes and ask for door handles for your 1956 300SL Gullwing? My own 1953 Morgan has an entirely new body built at the factory as a part of my restoration project.
I tend to use my own Morgan 4 seater more than any other classic I own. Cruises nicely at 70-90 mph, softer ride than a two seater, comfy cozy interior, comfortable seats, and plenty of room for groceries. Even once brought an assembled propane BBQ grille back from Home Depot in the back of my four seater. Quite the sight.
Just in, ready to drive anywhere. Note: a photo of two full sized mechanics sitting in the rear seat. And yes, they fit. Second, you can see a banjo style steering wheel AND the thick leather steering wheel that came with the car. Take your pick. Photos of new factory top and side curtains, new tonneau and boot cover.Click for legal info