Morgan managed to squeeze out only four copies of the Plus 4 70th Anniversary Edition before shutting down its U.K. factory over mounting coronavirus concerns. A total of 20 vehicles will eventually be made, all featuring special badges, a gold-painted chassis, and slick Platinum metallic paint—a nod to the 70-years-young Plus 4 nameplate’s platinum anniversary.
The special edition marks the end of Plus 4 production, and thus the end of the line for Morgan’s steel chassis. That chassis has been in production for a very long time, since the Morgan 4-4 first came out in 1936. When we drove the Morgan Plus 4 earlier this year, we praised its 154-hp 2.0-liter Ford Duratec four-cylinder. The engine, usually relegated to basic-transportation cars like the Ford Focus, feels rev-happy and energetic in the lightweight Morgan. Adding to the car’s character is its tactile handling, its smooth-shifting five-speed manual borrowed from an early-gen Miata, and the inevitable squeaks and rattles it exhibits when pushed to perform.
Morgan made its 70th Anniversary Edition models more potent. Engine output is raised to 180 horsepower, dropping the car’s zero-to-62 mph time to under seven seconds, according to the automaker. A sports exhaust helps enhance the engine note. Other enhancements? The Platinum paint job complements several black-painted exterior accents, satin dark-grey wheels, and motorsports-inspired front valance. In true Morgan tradition, expect elegance in the cabin. Here, plush leather mixes with a Ravenwood veneer on the dashboard and dark gray box-weave carpets on the floor. Each car car gets an individually numbered gold plaque to the left of the steering wheel. Other features include heated seats, footwell lighting, and a mohair hood cover.
Morgan launched the new Plus Four, with its new bonded-aluminum (not steel) platform and more powerful turbocharged BMW-sourced engine, in March. While it retains the charm of the original, steel-chassis purists will have to turn to the 70th Anniversary edition or a used Morgan for that old-timey feel.