1948 Morgan 4/4 DHC Series 1 Two-Seater
From the Tresham Collection; one of only 164 made; only 900 miles since full restoration; 'new' Gold Seal BMC A-Series engine and gearbox; superb condition throughout; find a better one!
An island of constancy in an automotive sea of change, the Morgan Motor Company looks set to continue building its unique Vintage-style cars well into the 21st Century.
Morgan’s first four-wheeler, the two-seater 4/4 appeared in 1936 and was initially fitted with a relatively long-stroke Coventry Climax 1,122cc inlet-over-exhaust engine developing 34bhp and mated to a four-speed Meadows gearbox.
In 1937 a four-seater was introduced, followed by a more lavishly appointed Drophead Coupe in 1938 which also gained a more powerful 39bhp Standard Special 1,267cc overhead-valve engine mated to a four-speed Moss gearbox. The 4/4 soon gained an excellent reputation for its spirited performance and excellent handling with notable success on the track.
Just 663 4/4s of all types were made before war broke out in 1939, with a further 249 Series 1 'Flat Rad' cars finding customers post-war before production came to a halt in 1950 while Morgan focused on developing the Ford-engined Series 2 which came out in 1955. Only 164 Series 1’s were Dropheads, making this example a rare car indeed.
As a letter from the Morgan factory archive confirms, this Morgan 4/4 left the works in October 1948 and was sold new via Carr’s Motors. Originally finished in green, it was first registered in Liverpool with the JLV 68 number it retains to this day. A buff logbook shows that it was resident in Monmouthshire in the 1950s, moving to Cardiff in 1962.
Our vendor acquired the car in 2007 at which point it had been languishing in a lock-up in Bath for around 40 years. The previous owner had been planning to restore the car and had sent the original Standard Special 1,267cc engine (no. Q389E) off to be rebuilt. Unfortunately the engineer doing the work fell ill, the engine got scrapped and the owner moved to Spain leaving the poor old Morgan stranded in its garage.
Already the owner of several fine cars, our vendor promptly set about a total nut-and-bolt restoration which was to take two years to complete. Ably assisted by a retired motor engineer friend, he stripped the car right down and painstakingly rebuilt it, enlisting professional help where required. The full extent of the work carried out is too detailed to list in full here but is amply documented in many invoices on file.
The Vintage Sheet Metal Company of Malvern made a new ash frame and fabricated new body panels as necessary, the bill for this lot coming to over £13,000. The Old English White paintwork was entrusted to Tudor Motor Body Repairs of Market Drayton and cost £3,105.
The interior was expertly retrimmed in red leather by Custom Coach Trimming of Cradley at a cost of £5,850. The interior woodwork was refurbished by a Jaguar XK specialist and the polished walnut looks superb. All the dash instruments were also rebuilt and a new wiring loom was made and fitted.
Brakes/suspension/steering/propshaft/axle were all rebuilt as required. A custom stainless steel exhaust was made by Longlife Exhausts of Berkeley and it rides on a new set of Avon Tourist tyres supplied by Longstone.
As the original engine had gone missing it was fitted with a 'new' Gold Seal BMC A-Series engine (1,275cc according to the vendor although the V5C erroneously states 267cc) and a Gold Seal MG Midget gearbox with a new clutch kit. Fitted with an alloy Morgan rocker cover, the engine looks most convincing and no doubt gives better performance than the original Standard unit.
Finished just in time to attend the Morgan 100th Anniversary celebrations at Cheltenham Racecourse in August 2009, the car was much admired at the event and has covered fewer than 900 miles since.
Only reluctantly for sale due to illness, this superb Morgan is on offer here at substantially less than it cost to restore, especially when you factor in the many hundreds (if not thousands) of hours that have gone into it. You would be hard pressed to find a better example anywhere.
This is one of nine Lots entered from the Tresham Collection.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email [email protected]
Reg No: JLV68
Chassis Number: 1786
Engine Number: Q389E
Engine Size: 1275cc
Docs: V5C; older V5C; buff logbook; two old MOTs; restoration invoices and photo
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