Suddenly, It's No Longer 1950: Morgan Plus 4 Drives Into the Sunset

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
suddenly its no longer 1950 morgan plus 4 drives into the sunset

Nothing lasts forever. Not even, apparently, the Morgan Plus 4 — a low-slung, quintessentially British roadster that started production in 1950 and still looks looks like it comes from a land of postwar rationing. Beneath the 2020 Plus 4 lies the same ladder frame that underpinned the first Plus 4, which arrived on the scene when Betty White was just 29.

You won’t find many 2020 Plus 4 models. Just 20 commemorative examples are planned as Morgan gears up to enter the modern age.

As this year marks the end of the hand-built Plus 4 and its steel frame, Morgan has decided to issue a limited run of 70th Anniversary models. A production plaque, a Ford 2.0-liter four-cylinder with boosted output (180 horsepower, versus 154), and special leather, wood, and paint completes a package that begins with a gold-painted chassis.

The Plus 4 (seen in prototype form above) was always a vehicle for special people — special, individualist people who don’t rank personal safety as their topmost concern — and the 2020 70th Anniversary Edition Plus 4 is the most special of them all. It’s also the rarest. Stickering for just under $80,000 USD, the last crop of Plus 4s are already spoken for.

Morgan is quick to note that regular Plus 4s are still floating around, available through the marque’s relative handful of global retailers.

What’s next for the 111-year-old brand? A modern, aluminum platform found beneath the new Plus 6. That model, which retails classic Morgan proportions while boosting torsional rigidity 100 percent, sources its power from a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter BMW inline-six. Use of the CX-Generation platform affords occupants additional interior volume, which is always nice in a roadster.

[Images: Morgan Motor Company]

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  • Conundrum Conundrum on Jan 20, 2020

    What Morgan should have done, although it's only my opinion, was to update the front suspension for '54. The sliding-pillar front "suspension" is about the same as a spring-loaded sliding door latch, once commonly used on garden sheds. They tend to stick and be high friction even when full of good old-fashioned grease. Yup, Morgan missed the boat 65 years ago. Hell, I guess by 1960, they'd decided the Lotus 7 had the market for minimalist sports cars with an actual working front suspension covered with the 7, and gave up. The big scarf and peaked cap brigade of owners remained happy through rain storms and buckboard ride, so Morgan went back to sleep on the chassis front until the Aero 8. Always had a year's backorder on the books and weren't keen on expanding the biz, so everyone's been happy until now with a new owner.

    • 87 Morgan 87 Morgan on Jan 20, 2020

      My old man ordered his Plus 8 in 1985( I do not know the month or day) and took delivery in November 1987.

  • Gardiner Westbound Gardiner Westbound on Jan 20, 2020

    Damn! A Morgan Plus 4 was Number 2 on my bucket list. Number 1 is a major lottery win.

  • Lou_BC "Owners of affected Wrangles" Does a missing "r" cancel an extra stud?
  • Slavuta One can put a secret breaker that will disable the starter or spark plug supply. Even disabling headlights or all lights will bring more trouble to thieves than they wish for. With no brake lights, someone will hit from behind, they will leave fingerprints inside. Or if they steal at night, they will have to drive with no lights. Any of these things definitely will bring attention.I remember people removing rotor from under distributor cup.
  • Slavuta Government Motors + Government big tech + government + Federal police = fascist surveillance state. USSR surveillance pales...
  • Johnster Another quibble, this time about the contextualization of the Thunderbird and Cougar, and their relationship to the prestigious Continental Mark. (I know. It's confusing.) The Thunderbird/Mark IV platform introduced for the 1971 model year was apparently derived from the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform (also introduced for the 1971 model year), but should probably be considered different from it.As we all know, the Cougar shared its platform with the Ford Mustang up through the 1973 model year, moving to the mid-sized Torino/Montego platform for the 1974 model year. This platform was also shared with the failed Ford Gran Torino Elite, (introduced in February of 1974, the "Gran Torino" part of the name was dropped for the 1975 and 1976 model years).The Thunderbird/Mark series duo's separation occurred with the 1977 model year when the Thunderbird was downsized to share a platform with the LTD II/Cougar. The 1977 model year saw Mercury drop the "Montego" name and adopt the "Cougar" name for all of their mid-sized cars, including plain 2-doors, 4-doors and and 4-door station wagons. Meanwhile, the Cougar PLC was sold as the "Cougar XR-7." The Cougar wagon was dropped for the 1978 model year (arguably replaced by the new Zephyr wagon) while the (plain) 2-door and 4-door models remained in production for the 1978 and 1979 model years. It was a major prestige blow for the Thunderbird. Underneath, the Thunderbird and Cougar XR-7 for 1977 were warmed-over versions of the failed Ford Elite (1974-1976), while the Mark V was a warmed-over version of the previous Mark IV.
  • Stuart de Baker This is depressing, and I don't own one of these.