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Drophead Coupé Special

Morgan had always been building simple vehicles, in order to make their products available to as large a public as possible. Early three-wheelers had been very basic, offering no comfort at all. This had improved little by little over the years. Once the three-wheelers lost their tax advantage and hardly were sold anymore, the 4/4 2-seater, followed a year later by the 4-seater, replaced them effectively, even though the die hard three-wheeler owners could still get them.
H.F.S. Morgan posing next to his coach built Rolls-Royce. Picture kindly supplied by the Morgan Motor Company
H.F.S. Morgan himself had been well off for some time and no longer drove his own products on a daily basis.

Instead, he preferred a coachbuilt Rolls-Royce. That was quite the opposite of his tiny three-wheelers!

While Morgan did not aspire to build a car as huge and costly as a Rolls-Royce, the car's luxury did inspire H.F.S. to think about a more luxury model on the Morgan 4/4 chassis.

 

The Avon coachbuilding firm received a 4/4 rolling chassis and constructed an elegantly shaped body on it.

The car was immediately recognisable at the side for its high doors. At the rear it had a sloping panel, with a single spare wheel hidden beneath a metal cover.

 

Its hood fitted neatly onto the window frame, while the car's lines were accentuated by its two tone bodywork with the stripe on the doors and rear side panels.

In the rear side panels were trafficators, rather than indicators on the rear wings.


The person at the Morgan Motor Company who used this car the most frequently was Works Manager George Goodall. It was because of this that the car was called Uncle George's Winter Carriage. Elegant though it was, the car remained a one-off. It was too expensive too produce by Morgan standards.

 

Morgan produced a simplified, twin spare version, which appeared on the market in 1938. It was Morgan's top of the range. This car was used as Works experimental car until well after World War II.

 

There are some gaps in the history of this most interesting Morgan, but the fact is that it survived remarkably well. Over the years it had some different colour schemes. The most recent one, before a ground up restoration started, was Red.

The Drophead Coupé during Bernard Austin's ownership.

The photograph on the left was taken in 1966, when the Coupé was owned by Bernard Austin. Note that its appearance had changed to look more like a production example of the Drophead Coupé, as the disc wheels had been replaced by the "Easi Clean" spoked disc wheels, while it also had side strips, as fitted to the later examples.

Pippa Wills posing next to the DHC on 12 August 1983, the day before she was to marry John Wills.


The right hand photograph was taken on 12 August 1983. The happy woman posing next to the car is Pippa Wills, who was to marry then owner John Wills a day after the picture was taken.


During John Wills' ownership the car was also photographed for a Morgan article in the "girlie" magazine Mayfair, in 1975.

The car also was often used in different Morgan history books.

John Wills sold the car to Dave Rudge, who was a rather active member of the Morgan Sports Car Club.

Apart from the Drophead Coupé, Dave also owned a concours condition 4/4 Series I 2-seater. It was his intention to restore the Drophead Coupé, but never got around to doing it.

In 2005 he moved to a Greek island and put the Morgan, as well as all the regalia he collected over the years, up for sale.
The finished Avon-bodied 4/4 Drophead Coupé in Mark Braunstein's spacious garage. Picture kindly supplied by Mark Braunstein.

The Drophead Coupé ended up in the hands of arch-enthusiast Mark Braunstein, who did make serious work of the restoration.

In 2009, just in time for the Centenary celebrations, the car was ready to roll again. And nice it was!

 

Here the car is in its Florida garage, in splendid shape again. It's back on the original type of wheels, the side strips have been done away with and its original two-tone paintwork has been revived.

The "Flying M" badge provides a connection with the three-wheeler days.

It's a great credit to its current owner, who is very pleased and proud to own this unique Morgan.

A nice detail on the car is the winged M badge, as was used on Morgan three-wheelers and early Series I 4/4s in the 1930s.

 

A high point in the Morgan's career was its entry in the high class 2010 Amelia Island Concours. Participating in itself is already a honour. It's one of the top three events in the USA, along with Meadowbrook and Pebble Beach.

Multi million dollar cars, like Bugattis, Ferraris and the like usually take away top honours, so being there is about the most any Morgan can get. Yet, Mark's Drophead Coupé drew a lot of attention and therefore provided good publicity for the marque.

Seen from the rear the car looks very elegant indeed. The sloping rear panel and single panel were a shade of things to come with MorganThe 4/4 Drophead Coupé prototype at the Amelia Island concours, restored to its former glory.












I am very grateful to Mark Braunstein for providing the latter 6 pictures and material. The copyright to the Amelia Island pictures belongs to Richard Owen Supercars.