Morgan 4/4 – 1955

The company was famous for its three-wheelers when Morgan announced its that ‘4-4 — four wheels and four cylinders’ cars in 1936. It returned from war production in 1950 with its Plus-4, a commercial success but a demographic step too far upmarket for the marque’s core enthusiasts.

So in 1955 Morgan introduced the Morgan 4/4 Series II (note the subtle change from 4-4 to 4/4) as a lower-powered, lightweight, nippy return to the company’s original principles. Ever since, through succeeding generations of power plants and every kind of technical evolution, the car has existed in a category of its own.

Sturdy but light, built from aluminum on an ash frame, the Morgan 4/4 has survived many experiments in modern materials, and innumerable cycles of fashionability. In effect, the experience of providing fast, fun, recreational transport at the lowest practicable cost, to which the original Henry Morgan devoted himself in 1910, locked the company into a way of doing things which it has never been able to change without compromising the reasons for its success. Owners and drivers of the Morgan 4/4 of any era get particular pleasure from tinkering.

Closed factory systems and computerized technology inhibit it, so Morgan avoids them where it can. The outward, still 1930s, styling is a hallmark of the 4/4’s longstanding promise of keen handling and performance characteristics that can readily be modified to suit an individual’s requirements (or expectations).

The Series H, and every subsequent version, comes with all the technical mod cons of the day — but it always looks and drives like you’ve just roared in, rimed with dust where your goggles sheltered your eyes, from the Mille Miglia or the Indy 500, or even Box Hill. The Morgan 4/4 is, par excellence, the sports car of Everyman’s imagination. That’s why it’s still going strong.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

UK

FIRST MANUFACTURED:

1955 (Series II) (until 1959)

ENGINE:

1,172 cc flathead Straight Four Ford 100E

PERFORMANCE:

Top speed of 75 mph (121 km/h); 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 26.9 secs

YOU SHOULD KNOW

You get a very direct ride in a Morgan 4/4, but the car has never been built for raw power. Its success. Is the result of decades of cunning, balancing the least available power to the least available structural weight.

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