1962 Rare Morgan +4 Super Sport LHD (1962)




The Morgan is the archetypal English roadster, and sums up the philosophy behind these cars: an elegant and sporty line, a separate chassis and simple, reliable and economical technical solutions, a contained weight - between 800 and 900 kg depending on the engine - a driving position flush with the ground and very... basic comfort. These now forgotten driving sensations are intense and bring you as close as possible to the road. This magical recipe, tried and tested a thousand times over, will be constantly reviewed and improved by successive small touches, making the Morgan the only English roadster of the 1950s still in production.
TOK 258 Every Morgan enthusiast knows this car that won its class at the 1962 Le Mans 24 Hours, but who was Christopher Lawrence?
The late Christopher Lawrence built himself an enviable reputation on many local circuits in 1956 with his Morgan TOK 258. He had decided to replace the bodywork of the Plus 4 by that of a 4/4, lower, to gain top speeds in the Hunaudières. Peter Morgan refused to sell him the body parts on the pretext that Lawrence was not allowed to mix his models. Overriding this, buying the necessary parts under a false name, Lawrence finished the car. At that moment Peter Morgan decided to support the car and realized that the car had been modified. Dissatisfied but fair play he proposed to Lawrence to launch a small series of Plus 4 Super Sport (low-line), inspired by Christopher's transformations, the latter being in charge of supplying the prepared engines. Thus, in addition to the hundred or so cars produced by the factory in this configuration until May 1968, the LAWRENCE TUNE company manufactured for Morgan's customers more than 300 engines corresponding to Super Sports specifications.
In 1961, he decided to enter his car in European races. At this news, his frightened family succeeded by legal means in forbidding him to take part in the event with TOK 258, with Richard Shepherd Barron his future teammate. Chris undertook to present another one, as a "clone" of TOK, registration XRX1 painted in a pale blue, known at the factory as "blue plane", at the technical scrutineering. The car had already received its ACO stamp on the body, when officials asked that it be immediately erased by refusing its entry, claiming that it did not meet the spirit of competition, that it was in fact a 1939 car that had been converted since it was equipped with disc brakes and spoked wheels and was therefore illegal.
The real reason seems to have been pressure from Standard-Triumph, who, after seeing their TR3Ss, despite being equipped with the new twin-shaft engine called "Sabrina", crushed by the Lawrence-Tune team on every track in Britain, did not want to risk seeing the same thing at Le Mans.
In anticipation of the 1962 Le Mans 24 Hours, Christopher went to see Peter Morgan and asked him to enter his TOK 258 in Le Mans, in Morgan's colors, to avoid another eviction, painted in British Racing Green and fitted with a white hard top.
During the race with minimal pit stops (only 28 minutes), the Lawrence/Shepherd Barron team will finish the race in 13th place and win its class (1604-2000 cm3) after having covered 3629 km at an average speed of just over 151km/h.
His success is legendary and as can be seen from the ACO technical verification logs, chassis number 4840, bearing the registration number "TOK 258" gave Morgan a victory in the 2-liter GT class, Morgan's finest ever victory in Le Mans.
Lawrence returned to Le Mans in 1963, 1964, 1968 and 1996, then he was found at Morgan where he participated in the launch of the MORGAN Aero 8.
Morgan’s famously anachronistic sports cars represent the quintessential British motoring experience. Seen as outmoded even by the 1960s, the cars were actually developed continuously, with changes incorporated over the years to keep the cars technically abreast of contemporary developments in key areas, even if other areas, most famously the ash framed bodies, remained as traditional as ever. With that in mind, although the Plus 4 appeared similar to the 4/4 of the interwar years, updates such as the latest Triumph TR4A powerplant (with 105hp instead of 38hp as in the 4/4 or 68hp in the early Plus 4), and front disc brakes, ensured that the Plus 4 was still sporting, thirty years after the 4/4’s heyday.
The most famous Morgan is certainly TOK 258 which won its class at the 1962 Le Mans 24 Hours, modified and prepared by Christopher Lawrence. Drawing lessons from this victory, Peter Morgan decided to produce a series of a hundred vehicles with the same modifications, and asked Lawrence to supply the engines he had prepared. The car was based on the aerodynamic 4/4 bodywork, made of aluminum, while the Triumph TR4's engines were prepared up to 120 hp.
Despite their old-fashioned appearance, the Plus 4 was dynamically very capable, and the cars successfully competed in SCCA events and in GT racing, including a 13th overall finish at the 1962 Le Mans. The most sporting variant was the Super Sport, introduced in 1961. It featured a tuned engine , aluminum bodywork, and more aggressive seats. Very few were built, approximately 95 Super Sport roadsters in all.
This particular car was a California car from new. A matching numbers example, it is one of a handful of cars fitted with cream gauge faces, a feature that Morgan used for a very limited time. The car has a Lawrence tuned engine with Weber carburetors, aluminum bodywork, oil cooler, wire wheels, alloy sump, and tonneau cover. It was originally dispatched 31 May 1962 to Lew Spencer Imports in Los Angeles, California. It is believed to have had three owners from new before and has invoices dating back to the mid-1960s, showing that it was owned by a Jay Winfield in 1966, and a William and Anita Banse in 1968. The car’s previous owner purchased it from Ms. Banse in 1988 and undertook a comprehensive frame-off restoration to award-winning standards.
The car was shown extensively in the USA, winning its class at Morgan N/S California and placed second for Best in Show. The car was also shown Santa Barbara, Palos Verdes, Newport Beach, LA Concours, Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive Concours, San Marino Motor Classic, and others.
Aesthetically, the car looks good, even if it now has a certain patina. The bodywork shows some slight paint defects but the overall presentation is very elegant.
The interior is in very good condition. The leather upholstery has a nice patina and is in excellent condition overall. The wooden steering wheel is excellent and the wooden dashboard trim is very nice. The instruments and switches are excellent, including the unusual cream-coloured gauges.
The engine compartment is very clean with a polished alloy cylinder head cover and impressive Weber carburetors. The unique bulge in the Super Sport's bonnet is a detail that confirms the car's sporty vocation. Careful examination reveals some unimportant signs of ageing.
The car is a pleasure to drive, the performance is surprising and the chassis impressive. The engine is well tuned and offers acceleration that compares quite favorably with the contemporaries of this car, notably the Porsche 356 and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta. The brakes are effective. The steering is precise, the body aligned.
This is an exceptional opportunity to acquire a very rare Super Sport, authentic and with a known history.

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  • Mileage: 6,000
  • Year: 1962
  • Doors: 2
  • Body type: Convertible
  • Transmission type: Manual
  • Fuel type: Petrol
  • Colour: Black

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