Can you think of a consumer good that you can still buy in mostly the same form as when it first went on sale 70 years ago? The list is very short. The Zippo lighter, which dates to the 1930s, and the Fender Telecaster, from late in the following decade, come to mind. For a short time, you can also still get a Morgan Plus 4 built pretty much the same way it has been since the 1950s, with an ash-wood-framed body mounted to a steel ladder chassis. As Morgan is now replacing that platform (which is actually 84 years old, predating the Plus 4) with an aluminum-based architecture, the last twenty Plus 4s that it builds will be special 70th Anniversary Editions.
The Plus 4 hasn’t gone completely unchanged in its 70 years. Morgan has used a variety of engine suppliers to keep up with the times (as well as with emissions standards) but even serious car enthusiasts would be hard pressed to distinguish between a 1950 model and a more modern version by sight alone. The final 70th Anniversary cars, however, will be easier to spot.
For the first time in Morgan’s history, which goes all the way back to 1910, that steel chassis has been finished in gold. The color is usually associated with something’s 50th anniversary, while the 70th is associated with platinum, so the outside of the 70th Anniversary Plus 4s will be finished in Platinum Metallic paint, with Morgan’s traditional wire-spoke wheels in a dark gray satin finish. All that gray and platinum, including the revised front valance, is contrasted with stone guards, A-pillars, and sidescreens all finished in black.
The interior is trimmed in what Morgan describes as “the finest grade of leather,” with commemorative embroidery on the headrests, leather-trimmed steering cowl and door handles, and heated performance seats. The traditional ravenwood veneer dash, the dark gray box-weave carpets, and the custom Mota-Lita steering wheel’s satin black finish continue the special edition’s color scheme into the interior.
Aero Racing, Morgan’s in-house motorsports division, has given the Plus 4’s two-liter four-cylinder engine new mapping, increasing horsepower from 154 to 180 hp and bringing the 0–62 mph (100 km/hr) time below seven seconds. Aero Racing also contributed the 70th Anniversary Edition’s sports exhaust, fitted with a ceramic-coated exhaust pipe in gloss black.
Each of the twenty 70th Anniversary Editions will come with its own commemorative Photographic Build Record of that car’s assembly, along with an individually numbered “X of 20” plaque.
Jonathan Wells, Morgan Head of Design, said: “As the design team creating the Plus 4 70th Anniversary Edition, our aim was to create a classic look, yet one that exudes the significance of what it represents. A mix of premium tones, high-quality materials, and exquisite details reflect the essence of the venerable Morgan Plus 4, and provide a fitting tribute to the steel chassis that has formed its backbone since it was launched in 1950.”
If you’d like one of the 70th Anniversary Plus 4s, though, you’ll have to wait for the secondary market; all 20 of the £60,995 ($79,401) final editions have been spoken for with deposits. You can, however, still get a new Plus 4, since a small number of late-production models remain in Morgan’s dealer network. Let us know below—would you spring for this 70th Anniversary Edition if one pops up in the future?