London

Marlborough House
5 November 2022
Lot 139

1952 Morgan Plus 4

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£51,750 GBP | Sold

United Kingdom | London, United Kingdom

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Chassis No.
P2315
Documents
UK V5
  • One of three Plus 4s built to contest the 1952 RAC International Rally
  • Campaigned between 1952 and 1956, notably entering the Rallye International des Alpes
  • An early “flat-radiator” example finished in Ivory over a red interior with matching wheels
  • Offered from long-term ownership

Morgan’s new Plus 4 may have looked familiar when revealed at Earls Court in 1950, a full 14 years after the launch of the 4/4 that it replaced. But behind the instantly recognisable flat radiator façade lay a muscular 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine borrowed from a Standard Vanguard. Output increased from 38.8 to 68 horsepower, and company bosses in Malvern wasted no time in throwing the new model into competition.

Chassis P2315—recognisable to Morgan aficionados by its registration number, KUY 474—was part of a trio of Plus 4s built to tackle the 1952 RAC International Rally. The car left the Malvern works on 6 February 1952 and was immediately despatched to Davies Bros, Chester, where it was fitted with two-seat coachwork and finished as its sister cars, in Ivory over a red interior with matching wheels.

The car would go on to finish a creditable 18th in the 1,800-mile event at the hands of its first owner, Dennis Done, and contested—though did not finish—the 1952 Rallye International des Alpes. Its competition career continued with its second owner, Jimmy Ray, who took part in several rallies and hill climbs, culminating in the 1954 RAC International Rally, which he entered alongside his wife; the newlyweds brought the Morgan home in 7th place. The Plus 4 was sold in the wake of that success and was campaigned by its next owner, Ken James, throughout 1955 before being bought by Tom Threlfall, who used it in trials and speed events while studying at university.

A quieter post-competition life eventually led to the Morgan falling into disuse, and it remained largely forgotten in a Kent garage until being rediscovered by the consignor’s friend in 1991. A full restoration was carried out, with the car returning to the road in 1997. A history file accompanying the car includes colourful correspondence and period images from former owners, digital photographs documenting the restoration, and several period magazines and event reports. Additionally, the file contains invoices dating from summer 2021 covering routine maintenance work totalling more than £6,000.

This remarkable Morgan Plus 4 has an enviable period competition history, with notable success at blue riband events, such as the RAC International Rally. It poses its next owner an intriguing question: to enjoy as a storied and sporting companion on high days and holidays, or to reignite the flame of competition. The choice could be yours.