MorganExp

The Pub

1954 Morgan ????

AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor
AutoShrine Sponsor

paulbasel Paul Puente
Reinach, BL, Switzerland   CHE
I am trying to find the model number and information about a Morgan I owned back in the 1950s. I am now 80 and my memory has faded but I sure would like to have information about that car that I loved and possibly a picture if anyone has one.

Here's all I remember:

- I bought the car used in 1957
- It was a red two seater
- It had a Triumph engine and was probably a TR2 since those were used from December 1953 to 1956
- It had dual Weber carbs.
- It was not a Plus 4
- I hope the following makes sense but it is the defining feature of this model: It had the gear shifting post coming up from the transmission and was located coming out of the floor under the dashboard. Consequently, there was gear shift linkage (a rod really) from that post back to just in front of the dashboard where the knob was. It really was a Rube Goldberg setup and a bitch to shift at times.
I think the model number had a "2" in it.

I hope someone can help me remember the model name/number and the specifications.

Paul

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
marsha1ben Ben G
Parker, USA   USA
Paul,

You might post the question on TalkMorgan.com.

Ben

DuncanCharlton Avatar
DuncanCharlton Duncan Charlton
Elgin, Texas, USA   USA
1931 Morgan 3 Wheeler "Gwenda (Sold)"
1967 Morgan 4/4 "Toly's Car"
1967 Unknown Unknown
1970 Mini Countryman    & more
Paul,

Your description suggests that this was an early Series II 4/4 that had a TR2 engine dropped into it while retaining the Ford gearbox with its push/pull shifter.

We can probably eliminate a Series I 4/4 (production ended in 1954), which would have been a flat-radiator car with a Standard Special 1267 cc overhead valve engine (which, as you probably know, would have been made by the same company as Triumph). You don't say which kind of Weber carbs, but I assume you mean side draft DCOE carburetors. It seems unlikely that this is the engine in question, thought since that only had two intake ports. Also, a Standard Special-powered 4/4 should have had a 4-speed Moss gearbox (no synchro on first gear), presumably mounted about 18-24 inches behind the engine, with no need for the push/pull remote.

The car you describe has more in common with a (curved-cowl) Morgan Series II 4/4, introduced in 1955, would have originally come with a Ford 100E 1172cc sidevalve engine and a push/pull shifter to operate the 3-speed Ford gearbox (the shift lever emerged from the top cover of the gearbox ahead of the firewall, in the engine compartment) with a non-synchronized first gear. There was a Competition version of the 4/4 built, which would have come with twin SU carbs. I am not sure how one would mount a pair of Weber carbs on the 100E, which has only two intake ports, unless they were mounted as has been done on a Mini engine (which also has only two intake ports), where only the inboard venturi of each carb is used.

The push/pull shifter was not seen on the TR2/3/4 powered Morgans (i.e.: Plus 4 model) since the Moss gearbox was far enough aft that no remote shift mechanism was necessary.

So -- a Series II 4/4 with its original gearbox and a TR2 engine...? Good luck with your search!

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
paulbasel Paul Puente
Reinach, BL, Switzerland   CHE
First, let me say how helpful you were in your reply to my post.

The carbs were indeed side draft DCOE and the car did have a curved-cowl. The attached picture is from a later model Triumph but the carb setup is exactly how I remember it. Slowly, some of my tired synapses are firing and bringing back memories. The gearbox with the push/pull remote (I never knew the name of this kluge setup) was in fact only a 3 speed transmission.

I am 99% sure that the engine was a Triumph and it did have dual Weber side draft carbs. I always assumed that the transmission was also made by Triumph but I never knew that specifically.

On another website I read that in 1954 the Vanguard engine was replaced with a Triumph TR2 1991 cc. power plant that provided 90 horsepower, but it didn't say whether this was for the Plus 4 or the 4-4.

If you have any additional thoughts, I would welcome them. If not, I will followup with the folks at Morgan and see if they can dig through the archives and come up with an answer.

Thanks again.

Paul


Attachments:
carbs.jpg    26.6 KB
carbs.jpg

DuncanCharlton Avatar
DuncanCharlton Duncan Charlton
Elgin, Texas, USA   USA
1931 Morgan 3 Wheeler "Gwenda (Sold)"
1967 Morgan 4/4 "Toly's Car"
1967 Unknown Unknown
1970 Mini Countryman    & more
Paul,

I might be misunderstanding what you're saying, but it seems you mean that you remember the carbs being exactly like those in the photo. The carbs I see in your photo are SU HS6 carbs. This photo shows a Weber setup on a Morgan with a Triumph engine.

The TR2 was introduced in the Plus 4 as soon as it became available, just as the curved-cowl cars were entering production. The 2200 cc Vanguard engine was very similar to the 1990 cc TR2 engine (many parts interchange) but the Standard Vanguard had a single downdraft carb on it.

The Plus 4 was called "Plus" because it was a step up in performance from the 4/4, which always had a less powerful engine. The original engine in a Series II 4/4 (1955-1960) would have had a sidevalve Ford engine with all of 36 hp. Thankfully it was much lighter than the Plus 4 (mostly because the TR motor was at least 200 lbs heavier than the Ford) but it was still SLOW!

Duncan


Attachments:
Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 7.45.20 AM.jpg    37.6 KB
Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 7.45.20 AM.jpg

paulbasel Paul Puente
Reinach, BL, Switzerland   CHE
Thanks for the suggestion. I registered at TalkMorgan over a week ago and my account still says "This account has not been approved yet." How long does it usually take to have an account approved?

paulbasel Paul Puente
Reinach, BL, Switzerland   CHE
Duncan

I should learn to be more specific. I should have said that the "look" of the carbs reminds me of the way I recalled them. I chose the picture because it reminded me of them.

Let's assume for argument sake that I am mistaken about them being Weber carbs and that they were in fact SU HS6 carbs or any other model that has the same appearance. They certainly didn't look like the ones in the picture you sent me. So, does this change anything in your mind about what engine it was and what year it might have been?

Paul

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
DuncanCharlton Avatar
DuncanCharlton Duncan Charlton
Elgin, Texas, USA   USA
1931 Morgan 3 Wheeler "Gwenda (Sold)"
1967 Morgan 4/4 "Toly's Car"
1967 Unknown Unknown
1970 Mini Countryman    & more
No, it doesn't necessarily change my conclusion. The TR2 engine would have had H4 carbs, which look, for all intents and purposes, the same as the ones in the photo you sent me, but even it if had Weber DCOE carbs, it could have been a TR2 engine. If you're absolutely sure that your car had a 3-speed gearbox and a Triumph engine with twin carbs, I am pretty convinced you owned a Series II 4/4 with a TR2 engine fitted to the original type gearbox. It would be a lot simpler to make an adaptor plate and obtain a set of front Plus 4 motor mounts/engine front plate for the TR2 engine to fit the Ford gearbox than it would have been to import the entire TR2 engine plus a Triumph or Moss gearbox setup into a 4/4 frame, which would have required significant frame alterations and/or tremendous loss of foot room. The TR2 engine certainly had adequate torque so driving with a 3-speed would not have created significant drivability issues. I do wonder about whether the original 4.42:1 final drive ratio would have been kept (Plus 4 would have been either 3.9:1 or 4.1:1) since, although acceleration would have been good the engine would be turning pretty fast on the highway (3400-3500 rpm at 60 mph).

Few of the Series II 4/4s today retain the original 100E Ford engine. In the 1960s many of the Series II cars had been fitted with larger, similarly lightweight overhead valve Ford engines, which were introduced around 1961 -- the Ford 105E (1000cc, seen in the Series III 4/4, which also got a 4-speed Ford gearbox) the 109E (1340cc, used in the Series IV 4/4) the 1500 cc "pre-crossflow" Ford fitted to the Series V 4/4 and the 1600 Ford crossflow used in the 4/4 after 1967. All were very light and produced significantly more power than the flathead 100E -- but they simply didn't exist yet when you bought your car and perhaps the TR2 engine seemed to be the best alternative as an upgrade.

Duncan

paulbasel Paul Puente
Reinach, BL, Switzerland   CHE
Duncan

I am sure of the three facts you mentioned: "3-speed gearbox and a Triumph engine with twin carbs." I looked up the H4 carbs and they look like the ones I remembered. The new set shown here look absolutely correct to me: http://www.med-engineering.co.uk/h4-su-carburettor-set. Check out the price. The car was not quick but I didn't have any driveablity problems.

Let me see if I understand everything you are saying - that it is a 1955 Series II 4/4 that someone replaced the original Ford engine with an imported TR2 engine. I wonder why the person did that? Was the TR2 engine quicker than the Ford? Or did it have a blown engine? Perhaps I will never know.

The Automobile Catalog has the following listing: https://goo.gl/AZmhzY. There are links to the specifications. Is this the car you are describing but with a TR2 engine instead of the Ford?

Again, many thanks for hanging in there with me.

Paul

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <
DuncanCharlton Avatar
DuncanCharlton Duncan Charlton
Elgin, Texas, USA   USA
1931 Morgan 3 Wheeler "Gwenda (Sold)"
1967 Morgan 4/4 "Toly's Car"
1967 Unknown Unknown
1970 Mini Countryman    & more
Paul --

Yes, the car on that site is the one I'm referring to. The flathead Ford 100E put out 36 hp and 53 ft-lbs of torque vs the TR2's 90 hp and 117 ft-lbs of torque. In other words, 150% more horsepower and 120% more torque at the expense of 25% extra empty weight. Even the more powerful (54 hp) Series III 4/4's acceleration was barely adequate, going from 0-60 in 18+ seconds (I seem to recall that the Series II took about 26 seconds for the same task) whereas the Plus 4 with the TR2 engine could do it in about 10.5 seconds. The lower final drive ratio of a Series II 4/4 (if it was indeed retained in your car) would have given it even better acceleration than that at the expense of top speed (which was over 100 for the first TR-powered Plus 4, the cheapest car in the UK to exceed 100 mph).

By the way -- by "imported" I simply meant it was put in the car, not "imported" as in imported to the USA from elsewhere.

Duncan

paulbasel Paul Puente
Reinach, BL, Switzerland   CHE
Duncan

My final question if I may. Do you think this car could have been ordered with the TR2 engine directly from Morgan in 1955? If not, how the heck did it manage to get into my car? I also wish I knew how the car wound up on an automobile dealer's lot in Berkeley, California where I first saw it in 1957. Ah, the things you don't write down when you are young and regret later in life. By the way, I finally found a picture of a 1955 TR2 engine: https://goo.gl/r6bZPC.

In reading about the Morgans people have owned, I was somewhat surprised how many have engine modifications, that is, the original engine replaced by another more powerful one. I thought the objective with vintage cars was to restore them as faithfully as possible to the original specifications.

I enjoyed reading about the cars you have owned. Did you begin racing the Unipower GT this year?

Paul



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-08-19 03:14 AM by paulbasel.

DuncanCharlton Avatar
DuncanCharlton Duncan Charlton
Elgin, Texas, USA   USA
1931 Morgan 3 Wheeler "Gwenda (Sold)"
1967 Morgan 4/4 "Toly's Car"
1967 Unknown Unknown
1970 Mini Countryman    & more
First off -- that TR2 engine has the wrong carburetors! As far as I know, all TR2s would originally have had SU H4 carbs, which had only two bolts attaching it to the manifold rather than four (see photo).

You're discovering that Morgans are different from many of the other makes of vintage cars -- they are relatively easy to modify and a large percentage of owners do not care if they've been modified if the mods make the car a better-driving one. Some like the idea of sticking to the original brand, if not model of engine that the car originally came with, and barring that, using another of the engines that Morgan used. These are accepted in Morgan circles to various degrees, in order from most acceptable to least acceptable to the greatest number of Morgan owners (my subjective opinion only): 1) a TR4 engine in a Plus 4 originally powered by a TR2 or TR3 motor, 2) A TR2/3/4 engine in a flat-rad Plus 4 (replacing the Standard Vanguard), 3) an early car with a later style or size engine. Examples: Series II through V 4/4 with a later 1600 and 4-speed all-synchro gearbox, an early Plus 8 with a later 4.0 or 4.6, etc. Rover V8 (guilty here on both of those examples), 5-speed replacing the Moss gearbox or Ford 4-speed, or an original Fiat-engined 4/4 with a larger Fiat engine installed (not many of those are about). 4) A Lotus Twin Cam engine in a 4/4. 5) A Pinto 2.0 or 2.3 liter ohc four-cylinder engine in a 4/4. 6) A Plus 4 or Plus 8 engine in a "lesser" chassis; i.e.: a Rover V8 stuffed into a 4/4. 7) A different brand of engine and/or gearbox replacing the original. I've seen a BMW 6-cylinder, Honda S2000, Corvette, and Volvo engines and a Plus 4 DHC with an automatic transmission.

It is unlikely, but not impossible, that someone ordered a Series II 4/4 with the newly-introduced TR2 engine, particularly if they wanted to race one and/or preferred the lower body style of the 4/4. Morgan was known to do a variety of custom jobs for their customers -- any paint color, extra instruments, etc.

I put the Unipower in its first race in February but it (unsurprisingly) suffered mechanical problems. It blew a head gasket during its first race and I found that the clutch was slipping, something I could not fix at the track, so that was it for racing that weekend.. While I have been awaiting the remaining parts to do a comprehensive engine rebuild (the car had sat for at least 10 years and needed a thorough going-through) I've finished getting the NSU TT ready for vintage racing, leaving the Morgan 4/4 on the back burner as well. The Unipower was plenty fast. I only managed three glorious laps in the first race of the weekend, starting fourth and pulling ahead by about five seconds by the end of lap three. I had been put in the pre-1963 group (a very mixed bag encompassing everything from pre-war MGs to Ferraris), due to the club's usual placement of a car it categorizes as a C/Sports Racer, but I expect to run in a different group next time, on track with Spitfires, Sprites, Minis, Alfa 1300s, MGBs, Porsche 914s, Fiat 124s, Lotus 7s, etc.

Duncan


Attachments:
062intakemanifold.jpg    66.8 KB
062intakemanifold.jpg

paulbasel Paul Puente
Reinach, BL, Switzerland   CHE
Duncan

I want to thank you for sharing your incredible knowledge of Morgan cars with me. I have learned a great deal and most importantly you have helped me restore old memories of my 1955 Series II 4/4.

I wish you all the best in all your restoration projects and vintage car racing. Thanks again.

Paul

DuncanCharlton Avatar
DuncanCharlton Duncan Charlton
Elgin, Texas, USA   USA
1931 Morgan 3 Wheeler "Gwenda (Sold)"
1967 Morgan 4/4 "Toly's Car"
1967 Unknown Unknown
1970 Mini Countryman    & more
Paul,
I'm glad I could help. But as to my "incredible knowledge" -- well, I have managed to stuff a lot of factoids into my brain (my wife would say, "at the expense of remembering who it was that gave us those wedding presents, who is coming to dinner tonight and what I said five minutes ago"winking smiley but I also have a decent library of Morgan books. I've known about Morgans since 1968 but only have owned one since 2001 -- most of the truly knowledgeable online Morgan enthusiasts on this side of the Atlantic hang out at other sites such as the Google discussion group called "MOG-group"

Best regards,
Duncan

. Hide banner ads & support this website by becoming a > Gold Supporting Member <

To add your reply, or post your own questions

Members Sign In   or   Create an Account

Registration is FREE and takes less than a minute!


Having trouble posting or changing forum settings?
Read the Forum Help (FAQ) or contact the webmaster





Join The Club

Sign in to ask questions, share photos, and access all website features

Your Cars

1966 Morgan 4 4

Text Size

Larger Smaller
Reset Save

Sponsor Links