Morgan 1952 Plus 4 Drophead Coupé
1952 Morgan Plus 4 Drophead Coupé
Chassis no. P2281
Engine no. T815222ME
1,991cc, OHV, 100hp Triumph TR3 inline four
Moss four-speed manual transmission
34th of 117 'Flat Rad' Plus 4s built
Subject of an extensive restoration
Proven award winner
Morgan's first four-seater, four-wheeled sports car—the 4/4—appeared in 1937. By 1950, the old motor was being phased out and a more powerful replacement was sourced. It was felt that a change of name was justified for the new model; 'Plus 4' was chosen and an old advertising slogan resurrected - 'fastest at the price'.
The Plus 4 represented a major step forward in the evolution of the Morgan sports car. Although the traditional chassis layout was retained—what else would one expect from Morgan?—the frame did undergo extensive alteration, gaining in both wheelbase and track dimensions while being considerably strengthened. The centrally mounted Moss gearbox was carried over from the 4/4.
With supplies of the old flat-fronted radiator and separate headlamps coming to an end, Morgan opted for a front- end makeover in 1953 that would eventually produced the rounded radiator cowl appearance that Morgan retains today.
In the end, a mere 117 'Flat Rad' Plus 4s were dispatched from Malvern Link. The offered lot is the 34th one built and one of 30 believed to still exist today. Delivered new to Fergus Imports in New York, it was only a few years before it was sent back to the factory for an upgrade to the new, 100hp Triumph TR3 motor that it retains today. Much of its life was then spent in a California collection enjoying careful storage and minimal use. In 2004 it was acquired by Tyler Phillips of Mirror Lake, New Hampshire with a mere 700 miles on the clock.
An extensive restoration was carried out by California marque specialists Madera Concepts and Morgan West. Bridge-of-Weir supplied new hides for the seats which were redone by Clarence Latham of Maine. Chrome was re-plated by Mickey Dupuis of Holyoke, Massachusetts while the Oxford Blue body and Obsidian wings were finished and stripped by Micky Borlois.
The resultant product was an award winner from the word 'go'. Joining the Oldenburg Family Collection in March of 2011, it continues to show beautifully today. Backed by a chassis record signed by none other than Peter Morgan himself, this little Plus 4 is certainly one of the best Flat Rads around.
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