Plus Four flat radiator cars
Late 1950 the end of the 4/4 Series I was there, because Standard stopped producing the Standard Special engine. Peter Morgan had been shopping around for engines, but hadn't found a suitable (preferably below 2 litres) one. His final destination was Standard-Triumph again. Sir John Black had announced his one-engine-policy then and decided to concentrate on the 2088cc Standard Vanguard engine. Even though this would bring the Morgan into the over two litre class, the Morgan Motor Company had no option then.
H.F.S. Morgan hated the idea of such a large engine, but it provided good torque. When Peter let him drive the car around the Malvern Hills, H.F.S. became very enthusiastic about the engine, as he could drive everywhere in top gear! In fact he even managed to drive all the way home in top gear. So, the Standard Vanguard engine was accepted!
The Plus Four prototype had in fact been a Drophead Coupé, with a chassis number still in the 4/4 series. This car, JNP 239, was used extensively by Peter Morgan, also to compete in rallies, while it served as a road test car for different publications.
The first Plus Four to follow was the two-seater HUY 982, which was the Works car for Jim Goodall. Also this car appeared in a number of contemporary publications as road test car, while it formed part of the Morgan team in major rallies, just like JNP 239.
When the Plus Four production was well under way the first four-seater was built. It was destined for a local doctor, W.D. Steel in Worcester. He teamed up with Peter Morgan and Jim Goodall in a number of rallies, such as the 1951 and 1952 RAC International Rally. On both occasions they carried away the Team Prize.
The 2-seater was the best sold model. Of the 600+ cars sold, only 117 Drophead Coupés were made and 141 four-seaters.
Contrary to the other models, a relatively large portion of the four-seater flat rads remained in the U.K.
With the two-seater and the Drophead Coupés, the best selling country was the U.S.A.
In 1953 the end of the flat-rad Morgans came in sight. Sales slowed down. People no longer liked the old fashioned looks of the car. Dealers who had a car in stock often needed a long time to sell it.
Something had to happen to make Morgan survive. Producing around 200 cars in those days, Morgan needed a new impulse. The first obvious change to the public was the introduction of what's now known as the "interim" model. This was easily recognisable by its changed front appearance. The headlamps were now integrated into straight tubes, which formed a part of the front wings. The wings themselves no longer were seperate from the bonnet and gave a more streamlined look. The flat grille was replaced by a slightly curved one, set into a high cowl. All in all, the design was not exactly attractive. During the production time of the interim model, the design was upgraded a few times.
For the home (UK) market, the cars still were equipped with the Standard Vanguard engine, while most export cars received the new Triumph TR2 engine. The quantity of "interim" cars made is limited. A number of them were returned to The Factory and upgraded to later specifications, because they proved impossible to sell! Some flat rad cars and also "interim" cars were sold 2 years after they were built!
Nowadays, finding an "interim" +4 is a rarity.