Morgan – the perfect new-old car

I have a raging cold. The cause of my sniffling is a Morgan Plus 4. I spent the Bank Holiday weekend driving one around Cornwall in the St Mawes Classic Car Rally.

Around 30 cars took part and my £30k ‘classic’ didn’t look out of place up against the Ferraris, Aston Martins and other items of spectacularly expensive beauty.

And that’s the joy of a car like the Morgan. It’s a new-old car that ticks both boxes. With a timeless number plate, it’s almost impossible to know the Morgan was only built six months ago.

Of course, if you want to spend £400,000 on something a little more exotic that’s fine too. But having travelled in both this weekend, I can say the Plus 4 is just as entertaining.

If only you could hear the stereo above 65mph, it would be the perfect weekend motor…

 

Can you squeeze a rugby playing Vunipola inside a Morgan Plus 4? a

Rumour has it that Welsh rugby winger George North loves Morgans. Unfortunately, he has a deal with Land Rover – and also finds it very hard to squeeze inside a Plus 4.

North will go in to battle on the Lions tour of New Zealand this summer with England forwards Mako and Billy Vunipola. Today I interviewed the brothers and it’s official:

There’s no chance of squeezing that pair into my Morgan!

For the rest of us, the Plus 4 has a lot more room than a Caterham Seven. There’s a space behind the seats where the roof folds away that will take two weekend bags.

Generally speaking, the Morgan is a lot more civilised too – although Car Couture will test the 60th Anniversary Seven in July. That’s not to say it isn’t very noisy when pushed hard.

Even so, I could hear the music system at speeds up to 70mph. Believe me, that’s a major bonus in any Morgan…

Parp-Parp! It has to be the endearing Morgan Plus 4

Whenever I visit the Morgan factory in Malvern it’s like stepping back in time. The buildings are relics from the war-time and things haven’t changed much since long before that.

Well, they now have plastic gingham tablecloths in the café, rather than linen – and there’s one of those Dyson dryers in the loo that almost blows your skin off.

I met an elderly gentleman outside with a walking stick. He bought a Morgan 60 years ago for £400 and guess what? Even he doesn’t think they have changed that much.

Of course, that’s what makes a Morgan great. They haven’t changed much at all. Sure it has a Mazda gearbox and a Ford engine – the Plus 8 is powered by a BMW unit – but time has stood still here.

In an age of Brexit, fake news and presidents with orange hair, it’s good to know some things never change…