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Morgan: That’s Plus 1 For The Plus 4 Waiting List Please

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Morgan Plus 4

Morgan: That’s Plus 1 For The Plus 4 Waiting List Please

Geoff Maxted
February 14, 2014

Morgan Plus 4 Morgan Plus 4 Morgan Plus 4 Morgan Plus 4
Thanks to my eulogising over the last few weeks you will no doubt be very aware that I have recently visited the Morgan Motor Company in Malvern. You will know that I had a tour of the factory with a knowledgeable guide. You will also be fully informed about my drives in the ferocious Plus 8 and the hugely entertaining 3 Wheeler; I might even have mentioned the excellent coffee - but I have yet to mention the added bonus.

Morgan make some great and unique cars but there is one car which has been the mainstay of the Company’s production for many years - the Plus 4. Every since I can remember, this is a car that I have always wanted to own. It has - in various models - popped in and out of Morgan’s catalogue over the years and was most recently resurrected in 2005. I was fortunate to get a chance to take one out and I can categorically state that it is my favourite.

Take a look at the classic interior and check out that traditional Moto-Lita steering wheel. All Morgan cars should come with that wheel as standard. The dials and switches are centrally placed without any garish fripperies and the rev counter is directly in front of the driver. The seats are very comfortable and the trim finish superb. There’s even a cargo net across the open cubby. It doesn’t get any better than that. The hood fits well and is refreshingly manual in operation. By keeping extraneous weight from things like hood motors out of the equation, the Plus 4 tips the scales at a sylph-like 877 kilos. ‘First, add lightness’, as the late, great Colin Chapman once said. The treated timber frame and galvanised chassis means that wood rot and rust should be things of the past.

Traditional design and traditional assembly are one thing but under the bonnet is a reliably modern Ford Duratec 2.0L four-pot motor with 145bhp, driving through an equally reliable Mazda five speed manual gearbox. The Plus 4 isn’t about brute power, it is about driving pleasure. The dash to 62mph is taken care of in an acceptably brisk 7.5 seconds and speed tops out at 118mph. Being so low to the ground makes it seem faster.

Morgan reckon that driven with a nod towards economy, 40+ may be achievable. It’s never going to happen though, is it? Driving this car is way too much fun to be worrying oneself about eco-issues, although with a modest output of 162g/km - thanks to the modern Ford engine - there is no need for misplaced eco-guilt.

Out on the road, with its even distribution of weight, the car is easy to drive and offers responsive handling. Prior to my visit I had forgotten how real driving feels. Although, on paper, the Plus 4 isn’t blisteringly fast, it is totally involving. Even Mrs DriveWrite thought it so as an interested spectator, and that doesn’t happen often, believe me.

The sliding pillar suspension transmits every road ripple and the steering lets you know exactly what’s going on but the whole exercise is as solid and rattle-free as driving an MX-5. Low-speed three-point turns require a bit of muscle but it all lightens considerably on fast, flowing sections of what remains of Britain‘s tarmac surfaces. In a world of often predictable, over-engineered sports cars, this difference is what makes this classic roadster so appealing.

The Morgan Plus 4 offers all the charms of a 1950s sports car with the reliability and performance of a modern car. The two-seater Plus 4, with its traditional build quality, classy leather-lined interior and 21st Century powertrain, simply oozes old world charm. It will make you feel special.

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