1964 Morgan +4+ Coupe
Chassis no. A5558
Engine no. CT23992ME
2,138cc Pushrod Inline Four-Cylinder Triumph Engine
Two Weber Carburetors
Approximately 140bhp at 4,650rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Sliding King Pin Front Suspension, Solid Rear Axle
Front Disc - Rear Drum Brakes
*The 5th of 26 +4+ models produced
*Originally owned by Morgan racing legend G.B. Sterne
*Comprehensive restoration by Morgan West
*Numerous Concours Best in Class awards
*Three owners from new
The Morgan +4+
When the Plus-Four-Plus was introduced at the 1964 London International Auto Show, it was greeted by a chilly silence from the Morgan faithful. Yet, it would prove to be the key to the company's survival and today is a much-sought-after rarity. The new Morgan, so different in appearance from the classically-styled Plus-Four roadster, disappointed wind-in-your-face "Mog" loyalists, who devoutly believed that the roadster's primitive inflatable bladder seats and less-than-forgiving sliding pillar/leaf-spring suspension made Mogs the one true remaining British sports car.
Company president Peter Morgan was determined to turn the page and bring the company his grandfather had founded at Malvern Link a half-century earlier into the modern era. While the Plus-Four-Plus was built on the standard Morgan tube-framed roadster chassis, it would feature rather than a wood-framed open body clad with steel panels - a fiberglass two-seat coupe body with an unusual "bubble" top, fabricated by the firm of E.B. (Staffs) Ltd. in Stoke-On-Trent. The tall, rounded roof was shaped, as Morgan lore would have it, to accommodate Mr. Morgan, who stood six-foot-four, and sensibly insisted that he be able to enter, exit, and drive the car comfortably. There were proper bucket seats, a full complement of instruments, a wood-rimmed steering wheel, and some space for luggage. The Morgan faithful were having none of it. Orders began to dry up and the factory was forced to abandon its plans for an initial production run of 50. This reversal, however, proved a blessing. Fearful that the new model signaled the end of what they had worshipped for decades, prospective Morgan buyers hurriedly jumped on the waiting list for a new Plus-Four roadster. This provided the firm with desperately-needed cash, thus ensuring its long-term survival. Only 26 coupes were completed and sold over a three-year period, many of them to U.S. and Canadian enthusiasts, and while almost all exist today, it would be hard to imagine another so attractive as this lovely example.
The Motorcar Offered
Chassis no. A5558 was the fifth example produced, delivered December 24th, 1963. It was originally painted black with a red leather interior, and was fitted with a Triumph TR4 four-cylinder engine of 2138cc displacement. Backing up the motor was a Moss four-speed transmission with synchronizers on the top three gears. A5558 was shipped to Morgan's distributor for Western Canada, George Beatty Sterne (1912-1990). Sterne, of Sidney, British Columbia, would use this Plus-Four-Plus as his daily driver. Although Sterne was not widely known in the broader automotive community, he was a demon behind the wheel of his race-prepared Morgan roadsters, which he began to campaign in 1956. Sterne's Morgans were all but unbeatable over his 20-year track career, taking home more than 400 trophies and numerous championships.
In 1974, Sterne sold A5558 to Dr. David Reid of Princeton, B.C. The car had amassed but 23,000 miles. The Doctor repainted the coupe Robin's Egg Blue light blue, dubbed it "Eggbert", and added another 20,000 miles. In early 2004, the car was acquired by Dennis Glavis of Morgan West, in Santa Monica, California, who handed the car over to noted marque expert Pierre Brun for a comprehensive nut-and-bolt mechanical and cosmetic restoration. The body was stripped and repainted in an elegant two-tone dark blue over red, and the interior reupholstered in new red leather. Chrome wire wheels were installed, along with a pair of period-correct Lucas driving lamps. The original engine was completely rebuilt to twin-Weber-carbureted Super Sport specifications good for about 140hp, according to the consignor - and an auxiliary electric fan was mounted to ensure cool running in all traffic conditions. Current recorded mileage is 48,711.
The restoration was completed in April of 2007, in time for its debut at the Los Angeles Concours d'Elegance, where judges awarded it First in Class and it was runner-up for Best in Show. A5558 then established itself as one of the finest Morgans in the country with a Best in Show at MogWest 25, besting 78 other Morgans. The car continued to rack up wins: Best in Class at the 2007 Carmel Concours-On-The-Avenue, 2007 Newport Coast Concours, 2008 Beverly Hills Concours For Charity, and the 2010 St. Regis Concours at Dana Point.
This rare and wonderful Morgan, restored to the highest cosmetic and mechanical standards, is currently registered in California, and is supplied with a tool kit, owner's manual, and supporting documentation.