1996 MOR­GAN PLUS 4

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling - Murray Scul­lion

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

This Plus 4 fires up with­out hes­i­ta­tion via the non-stan­dard starter but­ton, and the Rover four-cylin­der en­gine gen­er­ates a nice meaty grum­ble. There are no mis­fires and it idles smoothly from cold. The brakes are servo-as­sisted and more than ca­pa­ble of stop­ping this feather­weight in a hurry with no pulling to ei­ther side. The clutch is hefty and feels like it has plenty of life left in it, and the five-speed Ford-de­rived gear­box has a pleas­ingly short throw. The steer­ing is unas­sisted but nicely weighted.

BODY­WORK CHECK

Brands Hatch Mor­gan re­sprayed the car in its orig­i­nal white in 2010 and the fin­ish is still very good, with only a cou­ple of stone chips to re­port. The bright­work has very few blem­ishes in it. The green wheels (which also date from the 2010 re­paint) might be a stick­ing point for tra­di­tion­al­ists, but look great in the metal and are shod with new Yoko­hama C-Drive tyres. There’s no rust where the bulk­head meets the wings – a com­mon prob­lem on Plus 4s. The ex­haust is stain­less steel and also shows no sign of rust. The Sim­monds af­ter­mar­ket hood is in good con­di­tion and is in the same green as the wheels. The two ad­di­tional brake lights are in good work­ing or­der too. Car club badges on the grille add a stylish fin­ish­ing flour­ish.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

The in­te­rior is in need of some at­ten­tion. The green leather seats are cracked, the wooden dash­board needs re­var­nish­ing and the door cards are a lit­tle tatty, though the elas­ti­cated door pock­ets are in good con­di­tion. The Moto-Lita wooden steer­ing wheel and match­ing gear knob are even bet­ter, and the non-stan­dard cream-faced di­als work fine. They come from a later Mor­gan model and re­ally look the part. It may take a while for driv­ers of modern cars to get used to the non-self-can­celling in­di­ca­tors and fly-off handbrake but the af­ter­mar­ket im­mo­biliser – in­stalled in 1996 – be­haves it­self, and is a dis­creet ad­di­tion to the tra­di­tional dash­board.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

Af­ter­mar­ket pul­leys make open­ing the bon­net much eas­ier. Be­neath is a 134bhp 1994cc Rover M16 four-cylin­der over­head cam en­gine which has less than 60,000 miles un­der its belt and has been reg­u­larly ser­viced by a spe­cial­ist Mor­gan dealer. The pa­per­work for all of this, among hun­dreds of other re­ceipts, are filed in a thick A4 folder. Oil is healthy and there are no signs of any leaks or botched wir­ing.

OUR VERDICT

Don’t be put off by the in­te­rior – the rest of the car is a peach. The his­tory is fan­tas­tic, and it has been owned by one fam­ily from new. It has to be one of the cheap­est ways into Mor­gan own­er­ship, and could eas­ily be brought up to show stan­dard if you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.