SOL – The African Rally Morgan +4 at the Practical Classics Restoration Show

Built in 1955 at The Morgan Motor Company, this car was one of the early Morgans to carry the now familiar traditional Morgan body style that has been in production for over 60 years. Echos of its predecessor, the Flat Rad +4 are still evident in the rear section, where the car carries 2 spare wheels vertically behind the rear axle and the fuel tank.

Sadly, little is known of its early history, aside from it ending up near to the Solway Coast,  Scotland in the 1970 where, not too long after receiving an exchange TR2 engine from the Standard Motor Company, it was laid up in a barn. This was possibly due to the replacement engine suffering a failure of some sort, as we found a couple of bent push rods on disassembly. We believe that the recorded mileage on the odometer of approximately 75,000 miles is pretty much genuine, as other parts of the car showed little evidence of too much wear.

Fast forward to March 2017, and the car appeared in a listing on a well-known Auction website, very much a restoration project, but looking quite complete. Jeremy Holden, the car’s owner, was the successful bidder and it was decided that the car would make an interesting centre piece for the new showroom of Holden-Morgan, the Midland Morgan Agent, that was founded in the April of 2017.

Towards the middle of the year, information circulated from Rally Round regarding an event that would take place in October 2018 in Africa, going from Dar Es Salaam to Cape Town over 28 days and 7,000 Kilometres. Holden Vintage & Classic are a supporter of Rally Round, and it was felt that it may be interesting to take part in one of their events. The old, tired +4 was an ideal candidate, being rugged, simple mechanically and a vehicle which Holden are familiar with.

The rebuild commenced in earnest at the end of November 2017 with much work being carried out. Far more has been achieved than is currently on display, as the gearbox has been rebuilt, the engine is all but finished, brakes have all been fitted, as has the steering. These components have been removed currently for final finishing and painting, and for the wings to be fitted. The engineless chassis being far easier to manoeuvre around the Workshop than a complete car!

The next step is to fit the bonnet, and then to remove all the panel work and send it to the paintshop during which time the mechanical side will be completed ready for the finished body work.

New showing: The Bromyard Speed Festival – On Tour to Shelsley Walsh,  8th April 2018