squaremeal.co.uk | 135
fashion ¥ lifestyle
ow would you explain the
concept of Morgan to a newly
arrived alien? You couldn't
really. This is a company that
continues to sell a range of cars
that can trace their ancestry to
the dawn of motoring in fewer than three
moves. And whose loyal
customers love the brand
with the zeal of members
of a tweed-dressed cult.
Although Morgan has
produced some thoroughly
modern cars in recent
years, the bulk of its
business is still made up of
'heritage' models such as
the Plus 4 and the recently
launched 3-Wheeler. The
Plus 4 has been given a new engine capable
of passing emissions tests, and a slightly
softer chassis, but otherwise it's the sort
of car Bertie Wooster would have driven.
And you know what? It's marvellous. I'd
hate to rely on a Plus 4 as my only means of
transport - folding the fabric roof is a veminute
job - but given a large garage and
a corresponding budget, I'd love to have
one for pootling around in in the summer.
From the moment you clamber into the
tight- tting cabin and nd yourself facing
a dashboard and steering wheel made of
wood, it's clear this is unlike anything else.
Performance is brisk rather than fast. The
modern Ford engine provides more than
enough acceleration, but the low-geared
steering does without power assistance
and the sheer amount of wheel-twirling
your speed down
a bendy road.
Ride quality is
reasonable - old Morgans used to pretty
much shake your teeth out - but you can
feel the chassis ex and twist over bumpier
surfaces. It's happy to cruise at motorway
speeds, but with the roof down you'll be
bu eted by the air ow at above 60mph.
Unique, special and thoroughly British.
Best bits: Everybody looks.
Worst bits: Some people laugh.
MORGAN PLUS 4
There's nothing like a Morgan - and the 'new' Plus
4 o� ers a driving experience straight out of the 30s
MORGAN PLUS 4
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol
0-62mph: 7.5 seconds
Top speed: 118mph
The Plus 4 is the sort of car Bertie
Wooster would have driven
How to get there from civilisation
Couldn't be easier - follow the M1 or the
A1(M) (they merge after Leeds) and carry
on until you see signs for the A68. Corbridge
is where the real scenery starts, about 30
miles in. Alternatively, carry on to Newcastle
and cut across on the equally nice A696.
What's so great about it?
It's the classic Scottish lowland A-road
- fast, � owing and long enough to give
you a proper sense of a journey. It can
get busy, but if you tackle it early in the
morning (or late in the evening) you can
have it all to yourself for miles.
Any reasons to stop en route?
You'll pass some lovely Borders towns
- Jedburgh and Lauder are both worth
a stop . Kelso - home to the wonderful
Roxburghe Hotel - is an easy diversion.
Best car to do it in?
The wide landscapes cry out for a wellinsulated
roadster. So take a Mercedes
SL 500 and put the roof down.
A68 CORBRIDGE TO EDINBURGH
Total length: 85 miles
Great British Drives
Mike Du� is European Editor for
Car and Driver Magazine fashion ¥ lifestyle
powered by PageTiger