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Morgan History Info

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Plus Four 1954 to 1968

In 1954 the familiar round grille in a cowl appeared on the Plus 4. The early examples, up to 1955, had a short cowl and long grille bars. Hence they are now known as "waterfall grille" cars. These also still had twin spare wheels at the rear. These "twin spare" +4s are now sought after cars. An example of this waterfall grille car is shown here.

The next development in the Plus 4 was a tilted single spare wheel in a double curvature rear end. In the late 1950s, the body style of the Plus 4 became akin to that of the 4/4, with a flat tilting panel at the rear.
This is how the +4s looked at the rear, before the rear panel became flat, like on the 4/4 Series II and later cars. This particular car also has competition history. Picture Richard Flasck.
The 1954 +4 high cowl twin spare owned by Tony Quinn. He finished its restoration exactly in time for it to appear at the Morgan Centenary. Here he is waiting to drive off in the Centenary Cavalcade.The main differences were the height of the body and the engines under the bonnet.

Of course, like was the case with the flat rad Plus Fours. also here three models were available: the two-seater, four-seater and Drophead Coupé.
The shape of the Drophead Coupé stayed virtually the same during its last decade of production. It could be equipped with either disc wheels or wire wheels.
While the Drophead Coupé was attracted by relatively few people in its own time, it has now become quite sought after. The car shown on the left is a 1961 example and has been in The Netherlands from new.

In the mid 1950s, the Plus4 gradually moved away from the Standard Vanguard engine. First the export cars received the 1991cc Triumph TR2 engine under the bonnet, followed by the cars sold in the UK.

Standard-Triumph were reluctant in the beginning to supply Morgan with the TR2 engines, fearing that Morgan might beat them in competition in the 2-litre class. How right they were!

In time, the TR2 engine was succeeded by  TR3, TR4 and finally TR4A engines. With these engines, Morgan had become tough competitors in their class.
A mid 1960s +4 2-seater, still with the bench seat.
By 1968 Triumph announced their TR5, which featured a 6-cylinder in line engine.

There was no way this would fit under the Morgan bonnet. A drastic new step was due!
Lucas Dijck's 1968 +4 4-seater
As for the body style, up to the mid 1960s most Plus 4s had a high bonnet and ditto body line, which distinguished them easily from a 4/4. By the mid 1960s most people preferred the low body style. This eventually became standard.

Yet, the 4-seater and the Drophead Coupé retained the high body.

With the end of the production of the +4, also ended the production of the Drophead Coupé. In fact, the last three +4s were of this model.