New owner wanted after six-year Morgan restoration

By Yorkshire Classic Car correspondent Tony Lofthouse

A Leeds-based restorer is getting ready to part with his much loved 66-year-old Morgan after completing its extensive restoration.

Print engineer, John Gott, bought the +4 convertible as a retirement project in 2014 after chancing on the car outside a local garage.

John admits he was ready for the project and said: “I’d serviced my own cars over the years but never restored a car. Six years later, I had stripped the Morgan down and rebuilt it. It’s been a big challenge but it’s also been very rewarding.”

The Morgan Company was founded by Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan in 1910 and continues today hand building cars at their factory in Malvern. The assembly is unusual in that Ash wood has been used for over a century to create the body shell.

Today, the business is Italian owned but the handmade tradition continues.

I came across John’s fantastic restoration at Gasoline Alley, a showroom in Bingley, run by classic car expert Malcolm Scatchard, and was keen to find out more about the 1956 Morgan.

Meeting John you sensed his engineering background has been invaluable in tackling the challenges posed by this British classic.

As he set to work stripping back decades of car he found its wood framed body was rotten and needed to be rebuilt.

He cleverly sourced classic car suppliers experienced in working on Morgans to replace the ladder chassis, rebuild the original Triumph TR3 engine, the Moss gearbox and the car’s clutch and completely restore the interior.

John even returned to the car’s Malvern roots to employ Morgan specialist VSM to replace much of the body work, including its front and rear wings.

John said: “I wanted to rediscover the original car and have been painstaking in the process, including sourcing five new original wheels from a company in Scandinavia to finding authentic front and rear lights , door handles and locks.

“Inside new black leather trim, carpets, hood and tonneau cover have been fitted by another Morgan specialist, Stitch Perfect. A full respray in Le Mans Green was the finishing touch.

“The restoration work has cost between £25,000 and £30,000 but it’s been worth it. The result is a car stunning on the eye with its sweeping curves and powerful performance.”

It’s fair to say that through John’s hard work and determination the restoration has improved on the car’s original build and its shortcomings!

John also revealed to me that the car comes with real racing pedigree. In the early 1970s it was driven by Griff Griffiths, a leading light in Morgans’ motorsport history as a car preparer and driver. Griff was also an early McLaren team member.

John adds: “Now I’m hoping another passionate car enthusiast will take the car on and enjoy the special experience of owning a famous Morgan!”

As well as the +4, John has been busy rebuilding a 1929 MG M Type. The car was one of the last fifty made and is also on sale at Gasoline Alley.

To view both cars for sale and details on their restorations visit http://www.gasolinealley.co.uk or ring Malcolm Scatchard on 01274 561098.

2 thoughts on “New owner wanted after six-year Morgan restoration

  1. Hi Classic Yorkshire, These cars would be very welcome at The Harrogate MG and Classic Car Club show on 7th August at Pateley Bridge.  The owner might also attract a buyer. Regards Richard Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

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  2. Many thanks Richard for getting in touch. I will let John know of your offer to come along to your fabulous event.
    Tony

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