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Morgan Plus 4 celebrates 65th birthday with bonkers 225hp special edition

27 July, 2015

 

Morgan’s Plus 4 may be turning an incredible 65 years old this year, but it’s still got plenty of life left in it. So much so that the team at Morgan have unveiled a special limited edition, called the ARP4.

After being fettled with by the renowned engineer team at Cosworth and AP, the ARP4 features a Cosworth-tuned 225hp 2.0-litre engine — a jump of almost 100hp over the standard Morgan Plus 4. An uprated braking set-up, adjustable shock absorbers, and a new five-link rear suspension will aim to keep the spritely ARP4 in check. These features will complement the Morgan’s already energetic chassis, and minimal weight of 927kg.

Aesthetic changes to the ARP4 include LED headlights, exposed aluminium elements in the interior, improved soundproofing under the hood, and revised instrument clusters.

Founded in 1910, Morgan is one of the few remaining companies who solely produce handmade vehicles, and the Plus 4 is their most famed platform. Throughout its shelf life, the Plus 4 has been pulled in and out of production on several occasions. But despite some significant changes in its tenure, the Plus 4 looks almost identical to its original iterations

Fittingly, the ARP4 was launched at the 2015 Silverstone Classic in England on July 24–26, an event devoted to historic motor racing. Morgans have always been synonymous with exploits on race tracks, and continue to be associated with them via the popularity of the Plus 4 at track days throughout Europe. 

There will only be 50 examples of the AR P4 built, with pricing starting at £54,995, or NZ$129,599.

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.

Think of it as a four-door Cooper

New Zealand Mini Owners Club coordinator Josh Kelly of Dunedin loves his Minis. It’s a family affair. Julie and Mike, Josh’s mum and dad, are just as keen, and they can usually all be found taking part in the club’s annual ‘Goodbye, Pork Pie’ charity run from the North of the country to the South.
But lately Josh’s young head has been turned by some other revolutionary BMC cars. He has picked up a couple of Austin and Morris 1100 and 1300s, which he started to restore — that was until an opportunity arose to buy a rare example stored in a shed.