Morgan Plus Four manual
Living with a Morgan through winter
It’s fair to say the Morgan isn’t truly designed for winter. Which I’m curiously thankful for, because the vast majority of its time at Top Gear so far has been under lockdown conditions, its journeys therefore unavoidably short. Battling brisk temperatures has injected a delightful frisson of adventure to the everyday.
As well as provide an illuminating tour of the Plus Four’s biggest flaws. Folded the roof down on a sunny but chilly day? The dials fog up on the inside of their glass. Meanwhile the air con vents pump out potently hot air, but only onto your left hand and knee. And every time the temperature drops below 3degC, a big warning sign obscures the electronic speedo until you acknowledge it – even if it’s already appeared earlier in the journey. Trust me, if you’re driving a Plus Four that close to freezing, you’ll already be acutely aware it’s frosty out.
It’s sparked an interesting debate in my head, for there are two possibilities. The first is that Morgan’s extensive development programme for the car wasn’t so extensive after all, and those ergonomic quirks are the result of blind spots in its testing. The second – perhaps more likely – is that the girls and guys at in Malvern know all about the issues above, but also know that most Morgan buyers are fair-weather fans who garage their car at night and roll it out for high days and holidays.
Which might help excuse another of the Plus Four’s more prominent issues. Drive it open-topped on a wet, murky road and – even with no rain falling from the sky – the inside of the windscreen can get splattered with muck (as well as the back of the seats). I’ve a chamois pad stuffed into the netted glove compartment that allows a quick wipe of the screen when I’m stopped at a junction and the covering’s becoming thick. It’s a curious feeling wishing for wipers on the inside of the car, but it’s one that’s becoming familiar.
Dress for the occasion, however – thermals and Bernie Sanders-esque woollies – and there’s little else as invigorating as driving this car in challenging weather. I think of the car like a motorbike, to some extent: dressing up before driving it in shoddy conditions becomes part of the event, getting togged up in anticipation of driving it then feeling a sense of achievement when I arrive home, my bum cheeks medium-rare from the ace heated seats.
The amused, eye-boggled stares from other road users suggesting ‘are you mad?!’ only spur me on in between. It’s not always a smooth relationship between me and my Mog, but it’s one way more involved than I’d have with a Boxster or F-Type at similar money.
Mileage: 4253 Our mpg: 38.6