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Morgan's first four-seater, four-wheeled sports car - the Standard 10-engined 4/4 -appeared in 1937, forming the mainstay of production up to 1950 when it was superseded by the larger and more powerful Standard Vanguard-engined Plus 4. With 70% more power than the 4/4 courtesy of the 2,088cc Vanguard engine, 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? - it 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 free-standing headlamps coming to an end, Morgan opted for a front-end makeover for 1953, filling in the gap between wings and body with a sloping valance that incorporated the headlamps in a pair of cylindrical fairings. The radiator grille was cowled and gained a quarter-moon trim panel at the top, which carried the Morgan badge. A change in vehicle regulations soon forced Morgan to raise the headlights, but the result remained dissatisfying and led to a further revision that saw the 'interim' radiator grille replaced by a curved design and the headlamps placed in teardrop-shaped housings atop the valance. At last, the quintessential Morgan look had arrived.
This particular Morgan Plus 4 was despatched to Thomas Haddon, Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 2nd June 1954 and was actively raced in period. More recently, it was acquired by well known Morgan main agent and racer, John Macdonald, and developed as a replacement for his ex-Chris Lawrence/Shepherd Baron Plus 4, 'PGP 123' (known as 'Choc Ices'). It was returned to the Morgan works and fitted with an ultra-lightweight aluminium body, and completely rebuilt to Super Sports specification. The latter included a very special all-steel full-race engine with twin 45 Weber carburettors; a close-ratio gearbox; 4.1:1 GKN differential; integral aluminium short- and long-distance race fuel tanks; aluminium floors, sump, and rocker cover; Alfin rear brake drums and original Lawrencetune manifold. The Morgan won its first race in this form, beating a field of rapid historic sports cars including a lightweight E-Type, Tojeiro Buick V8 and assorted single-seaters, one of which was Roddy McPherson's Cooper-Bristol Grand Prix car. It also came second to Ben Cussens' Jaguar C-Type at Oulton Park.
The previous owner has had the engine completely rebuilt (by John Macdonald) and a dynamometer sheet showing an output of 128.3bhp at the rear wheels is on file. The previous owner also fitted new wheels, a new clutch, and a hardtop so that the Morgan could compete as a GT as well as a sports car.
Under current ownership, this Morgan has been looked after with no expense spared and he reports the car has strong mechanicals with a recent engine dyno. Accompanying paperwork consists of sundry bills, a V5 registration document, and current FIA HTP papers.