The Restoration of ‘Sol’ The African Rally Morgan +4 (Chapter 4)


As those who have been following our story will be only too aware, the deadline has now passed and Sol has set off on the first leg of the journey, but what happened following the last video instalment?

Work continued at an ever gathering pace to get Sol to a point where the car was ready to go to be trimmed, this involved making and fitting a wiring harness, made by The Wiring Harness Company just a few miles from our Bromyard Workshop, collecting and installing both a fuel tank and a radiator and ensuring that anything needing fitting or drilling both under and indeed on top of trim had been drilled. One item that roved a bit of a challenge at this point was a mounting bar for the seat belts – the car being fitted with 4 point competition type harnesses – as this has to be fitted to the rear wheel arch, but of course, there was no trim on the wheel arches, so after a couple of discussions with the trimmer, a suitable gap was left and holes drilled!

Sol was now ready to go to Custom Coach Trimming, again a local company, run by an ex Morgan Factory Trimmer who set about the interior, making door cards, wheel arch tops and sides, a gearbox cover and sundry other bits and bobs. Custom Coach Trimming were also going to make a hood, but this was to come at a later date.

Once trimmed, the car returned to the Holden Workshop and work pressed on to get it all together. The braking system pipework was checked over before being filled with fluid and the air bled out of it, providing us with a fully functioning braking system. Once this was done, the front wings were fitted and the lights wired up and tested. Finally at the front, the cowl was added and the bonnet fitted to line the cowl up correctly. The bonnet was then removed to allow for better access to the mechanicals. Correct water hoses, and an exhaust silencer together with a tailpipe were all sourced from Melvyn Rutter. Our local Motor Factor was able to source a length of flexible exhaust pipe, which was used to connect the manifold to the silencer, in order to offer an amount of movement to the exhaust and remove any stresses that may come from rougher roads.

At this point, Sol went back to Custom Coach Trimming for the hood and side screens to be fitted. Here we discovered that the windscreen was fitted at the incorrect angle, so had to make a hurried correction, thus enabling the use of standard Morgan sidescreens, a decision which saved time and the need for a custom made set! It soon became clear that the original pattern hood frame would not work with the addition of the roll over bar, so this was put to one side – it will be used for the Interim +4 project that is in the Workshop as the hood frame for this has all but returned to nature! Meanwhile, a more modern Morgan hood frame was modified to fit, providing enough support for the hood and giving a line that was pleasing to the eye from the side, whilst also being able to offer enough headroom inside.

Once the car returned to the Holden Workshop, engine, gearbox and axle oil was added, together with water to allow us to start the engine. Loose ends of wiring and pipework were clipped up safely out of the way and tidied up whilst the fluids settled in. A small drip of oil became evident under the engine – difficult to see as it was beautifully clean – seemingly coming from the sump plug and dripping on to the sump guard that had been fitted. Applying a spanner revealed the plug to be tight. Careful inspection of the sump pan, having removed the now slightly oily sump guard showed a dent, possibly from an impact at some point, or an over enthusiastic mechanic jacking the car up under the sump, which was leaking! This was deemed to be somewhat less than ideal and all the clean oil was hurriedly drained out! The sump pan, once removed, revealed a small crack inside that had gone unnoticed. Fortunately, the sump from the TR2 engine that is destined for the Interim car was on the shelf, having been cleaned ready for the engine build at a future date, so this was commandeered, fitted and refilled. No more leaking!

Now we could finally start the engine! After spinning the engine over without plugs to obtain oil pressure and roughly setting the ignition timing, plug were refitted, leads connected in the correct order and the fuel system primed. Happily, we were soon making a noise and filling the Workshop with the smells of a freshly built engine running for the first time!

As the hour was advancing and progress was good – it ran and sounded really good, was all together and would be driveable in the morning – it was time for home. Arrival the next morning however was a bit of a low, as the contents of the radiator was found on the Workshop floor! The water pump it seemed, was leaking from the gland seal within. Hurried phone calls were made to Moss Europe to try to locate a TR water pump. Our nearest proved to be in Bristol, so Charlotte sallied forth to go and get it. A chance phone call with a colleague, who as it turned out was in Bristol and a mere 5 minutes away from the Moss premises helped a great deal, and the 2 were able to meet at half distance and exchange parts. By lunch time the new pump was installed and the front end of the car going back together. All we had to remove was the radiator and front cowl box, the outer panel staying in place!

So, all back together and holding fluids, Sol was removed from the ramp and set on the nice flat Workshop floor to set the front wheel alignment and adjust the ride height on the front suspension. With this done, it was time for a drive around the yard. It seemed to be ok, although adjustment to the clutch was required as it slipped a little, and some ignition and carburettor tuning was required. With this done, we set off firstly around the yard, then up the service road around Linton Trading Estate, and after a few further adjustments, a trip up the road! The clutch required a little more adjustment and a few carburettor tweaks before a bigger journey, from Bromyard, along the main A44 towards Worcester and around a favourite and testing route. Those familiar with the area will have heard of Ankerdine Hill, used years ago as a hillclimb course and a real test for an engine’s state of tune. Although going gently as the engine was fresh, it pulled well and reached the top with ease.

Adjustments to the front dampers improved the handling characteristics greatly and the journey back to the Workshop ended with a broad grin and a feeling of great satisfaction that all worked well and was getting better with every mile.

After a thorough check over and a few more little adjustments, further and longer journeys over Herefordshire Roads were covered, before loading Sol with the kit that had been put ready, the last minute realisation that the fire extinguisher needed permanently bolting in, before the journey to the shipping company who were handling the first ‘leg’ of the adventure.


3 Reasons to Hire A Morgan For The Weekend

Very few cars emulate the class, nostalgia and performance that a Morgan offers, and at Holden Morgan, we want as many people as possible to experience this iconic car in all its glory. That’s why we provide a hiring service that allows you to make memories while experiencing the Morgan’s many unparalleled features.

But why should you want to hire a Morgan for the weekend? Here are three very good reasons:

Treat yourself to a weekend away

A weekend spent in the countryside helps you to restore and rejuvenate, and we think there’s no better way to spend this quality downtime than with good friends and a classic Morgan. You can pick up your Morgan at 4pm on a Friday, drive in style to a destination of your choice (see our blog post on our favourite romantic drives for inspiration) and keep it all the way until 10am Monday morning, with an opportunity to travel up to 250 miles in one weekend. Pack a picnic, enjoy a spot of top-down driving if the weather permits and take in the views as you enjoy the full Morgan driving experience. You can also visit a local attraction such as Hampton Court or Chase Distillery to make it even more memorable.

A gift for a special someone

Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or special occasion, giving a loved one the opportunity to drive (or be a passenger in) a Morgan for the weekend is bound to go down well. They might already be a Morgan enthusiast, or perhaps you’re keen to share with them your own passion for this iconic car. Either way, this unique and memorable experience gift is a fantastic way to show someone you care.

Try before you buy

It could be that you’ve been toying with the idea of buying a Morgan for a while, but are still on the fence about such an important purchase. And that’s why we encourage you to hire a Morgan for the weekend to really get to know the car before you make up your mind. The great news is that, should you absolutely love the car you’ve hired (and we’re sure you will), and you decide to purchase it, we will refund you either a day or weekend’s hire cost (depending on whether you buy a used or new Morgan).

Am I eligible to hire a Morgan for the weekend?

At Holden Morgan we like to give as many people as possible the opportunity to enjoy the full Morgan experience. We do, however, have some eligibility criteria that you should be aware of before trying to hire a Morgan for the weekend.

You must be:

30 to 70 years of age
A resident in Great Britain, Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man
A holder of a current, full, valid UK driving licence and have held this for 1+ years
Free from any disqualification on the driving licence
Free from any special terms imposed by insurers in respect of driving or had an accident in the past 3 years
Free from any current or pending offences on the driving licence, with the exception of parking and up to 2 speeding offences
Free from any medical conditions requiring referral to DVLA
Willing to complete a questionnaire to satisfy the above requirements

Next steps

If you’d like to enquire about hiring a Morgan for the weekend, please contact or click here to get more information on prices and terms & conditions.




* Please note that the Morgans pictured in this article are not guaranteed to be available for hire at the time of reading. Please check with the team at Holden Morgan about current Morgan hire availability.

For Sale: 2005 Morgan Roadster 3.0 V6

There are few British classics as instantly identifiable as those made by Morgan. Hand-crafted with thorough attention to detail, Morgan cars are unparalleled in their performance and aesthetics.

This Morgan in particular is the Roadster, a V6-powered car that sits in Morgan Motors’ ‘Classic’ range of vehicles. That means it has traditional looks and building methods, with a few modern touches thrown in for good measure.

Introduced in 2004 as a replacement to the Plus 8, this incredible car is the most powerful of all the models in the Morgan ‘Classic range’. It is fitted with Ford V6 mechanicals, giving it momentous power thanks to the combination of its engine and lightweight frame. This means you can enjoy unmatched driving performance while easily controlling and manoeuvring the car on lengthier drives.

We are pleased to offer this stunning four-seater dark blue Morgan Roadster with extremely low mileage (just 8600) and superb features for just £37995.

Aesthetic features of this Morgan Roadster include a dark blue paint finish with a contrast tan leather interior and gorgeous blue carpets with contrast piping. There is also a Mohair Hood Pack with Tonneau Cover and a walnut dash.

Other features include front and rear over riders, a radio and CD player and stainless-steel wire wheels plus a spare. There is also only 8600 miles on the clock!

Given the fine craftsmanship this Morgan offers, as well as the high levels of care given to it by its previous owner and extremely low mileage, we are confident it won’t be with us for long! This car, as well as many others, is just one of the Morgans you can view up-close at the Holden Morgan Dealer Open Day on Saturday 18th August.

If you’d like to enquire about this car ahead of the event, please email



The Charging Bullet: Crowdfunding

With their planned Land’s End to John o’Groat’s run fast approaching, we called in to Fred at Spaven Engineering to see how he’s getting along with his electric bike; the Charging Bullet.

Since our visit last month, the bike has come a long way yet looks like he’s back at square one! Following the successful dry build and testing it has now been stripped right back for painting and powder-coating ahead of the final assembly. The only evidence of the hard work to date are shelves of batteries and electrical gubbins. Quite a few of the smaller parts have been finished now, such as a set of aluminium covers for the various battery boxes and the vital homemade ‘state of charge’ meter (the finished bike’s fuel guage) sits on the bench awaiting one final resistor.

To keep everyone up to date on the project they have just launched an Instagram , Facebook and of course @chargingbullet Twitter account so click and ‘follow’ them for the latest updates!

There has also been a lot happening outside the workshop and filmmaker Finn Varney , who is documenting the build and long distance adventure, has been back getting the final shots for the next short update film. As Fred rides the length of the country he will be visiting fellow engineers he has met while researching and building the bike, and filming their projects to show how much progress is being made in cleaning up our transport infrastructure. If you would like to support the making of this film (and receive some exclusive Charging Bullet goodies in return) check out their kickstarter crowdfunding page or for regular updates keep an eye on: