1966 Le Mans Morgan +4

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John Clarke
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1966 Le Mans Morgan +4

Post by John Clarke »

I saw this and thought......NO.....must be some mistake.

According to the net, the Morgan Factory entered a Morgan +4 in 1966 to be driven by Chris Lawrence and Chris Spender. The entry wasn't accepted.

See:-

http://www.teamdan.com/archive/wsc/1966/66lemans.html

and here:-

http://formula2.vargarnaspeedway.se/1966.html

Does anyone know what sort of +4 was entered....a +4 SS, a +4 SLR or perhaps a TR engined +4 with cross flow head?

I'm intrigued.

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Re: 1966 Le Mans Morgan +4

Post by john bevan »

Chris Lawrence doesn’t mention it in his book, but is it possible they tried to enter 3FLH- see page 153 of Morgan Maverick.
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Re: 1966 Le Mans Morgan +4

Post by Leigh Sebba »

http://www.racingsportscars.com/driver/ ... er-GB.html

https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/data ... is-spender

You could try and find him and ask him – I presume he is not the American based academic of similar name

Seems in some impressive company ‘not accepted’ – Graham Hill / Stewart in a GT40 and a couple of Ferrari 250LMs (and a Volvo 1800 !)
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Re: 1966 Le Mans Morgan +4

Post by John Clarke »

Maybe john?? This is what is known about the car

Mark Shears wrote:-
3 FLH was delivered new from the factory with a LT hardtop ,wide wings and steel wheels. I don't think it had an engine.
The reason for this was that its new owner had the hot LT engine out of his Plus Four Drophead Coupe fitted in the new car.
Then CL fitted 6inch Borrani wire wheels - hence the wide wings!
CL described it as the fastest brick Morgan he had ever built.
It raced at Brighton Speed Trials, Goodwood etc
Dennis Glavis had it for sale for $160,000 a couple of years ago. it came down in price over the following months but after I last saw it advertised for around $140,000 it disappeared shortly afterwards.
And Andy Garlick chipped in with
3 FLH
I came across this car at Gerry Marshall's garage (Hendon? Muswell Hill?) in the late 70s when I went to look at a different +4. This was the car that has since evolved into "Choc Ices" on behalf of John Macdonald.

At that time it had 3 FLH had a low line body , hardtop and Borrani wire wheels (the rears being at least 7 inch wide) . The engine bay looked to be fitted with most of the Supersports kit, but I don't know if it was a genuine car or not, and won't make any comment about that element (see later)

It was in a pretty tired condition, in need of attention to both cosmetic and mechanical issues. I can remember Gerry saying that he had taken the car from its owner because the latter had not kept up payment on the finance. It was claimed that he had become short of liquid funds and had raised finance based on the car.

(I believe that one of Chris Lawrences adverts in Miscellany had this car sitting on a rolling road dyno , with Robin Gray about to do a test run up)

I don't know exactly what happened to it , but some months later someone placed an ad in Miscellany asking if anyone had any information about the car and its past. I got in touch, and was bitterly disappointed , it turned that the buyer had taken the car to the USA , had resold it for a profit, and then was being sued by the new owner on the grounds that it was substandard in every respect. He was wanting me to state that is was not a Supersports so he in turn could take it up with Gerry Marshall. He was not really interested in the car or its provenance , just making money.
So who knows.....but entry to Le Mans with all that entails....seems unlikely???

cheers
john
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Re: 1966 Le Mans Morgan +4

Post by Andy Downes »

Hello John,

This is an interesting find, your sleuthing powers are obviously undiminished by the sun !

It was news to me and slightly surprising given that Chris Lawrence went back to Le Mans with his own Deep Sanderson mini-based racers in 1963 and 1964. I've spoken to Machiel Kalf whose Lawrence connections are second to none so perhaps we can throw something up.

Chris Spender spent time as an employee at LawrenceTune, preparing and racing many of the LT cars around Europe, and is credited with the initial drawings for the Morgan SLR bodywork.

It's funny how something new gets thrown up after all this time.

Have Fun
Andy 8-)
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Re: 1966 Le Mans Morgan +4

Post by Mark Shears »

Amazing! I didn't know that John.

I would have thought if it was any perpendicular Morgan Plus 4 it would have been one of the TOK Plus Fours.

XRX 1 had been sold to the Hon. Basil Feilding by then (and fitted with a Daimler Dart V8 engine) but CL was still running a Plus 4 with the TOK registration number...

Unless of course they were hoping to run the SLR which would have made more sense - and also explain why it was refused entry...?!

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Re: 1966 Le Mans Morgan +4

Post by Andy Downes »

There are a couple of interesting points in the Entry List.

Firstly the 'Entrant' is Morgan rather than Morgan Motor Company as you might expect - Peter Morgan perhaps ?

The Class is P+2.0 -'Prototype over 2 litres' ??

Prototype would fit in with the SLR, and a pairing of Chris Lawrence and Chris Spender had shown its tremendous potential at the Guards 1000 mile Race at Brands Hatch in May 1965 with a stated 2,196cc capacity, so hopes would have been high. The design objective for the SLR was improved performance over the 'brick' Morgan for long distance racing in Europe - Spa, Nurburgring 1000Ks and the like.

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Re: 1966 Le Mans Morgan +4

Post by Bruce Stapleton »

I agree with that Andy. The crossflow head had beeen homologated by then,I think, so almost the only reason to be in the Proto class would have been for the SLR. Mind you I got put into the Proto class for the Mugello GP in 68 because ALT had fibreglass wings so any change was deemed to be a prototype!
Mark. don't forget that XRX1 was adorning Pip Arnolds new lowline Supersports at that time(and still does), having kept the number from Old TOK which he had bought from CL, before selling it on to Dangerfield to become 405 FXO.That car(PA's supersports),of course, never carried TOK 258.
The first XRX was the blue highline car of 61(4840) that went to Le Mans and was turned down and then subesequntly became lowline TOK 258.
So 4840's plate line is : XRX-TOK-JHX-TOK.
And 3464 Old TOK is : TOK-XRX-FXO
Pip's SS( sorry chassis # not to hand): XRX since new( hurray!)


Ok so where did TOK 258 go after CL sold the Le Mans 4840 car to Adrian Dence as JHX ? It appeared on the SLR but was it ever registered as such? Was the car ever driven on the road-legally or not?! What cars was it used on between 64 and late 68 when CL got 4840 back again and the number was reunited to it.? Was it ever on a Monica?
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Bruce
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Re: 1966 Le Mans Morgan +4

Post by John Clarke »

The situation is unclear on a number of fronts......

This listing says that the Morgan Motor Company Ltd entered the Morgan +4 into Le Mans in 66.

http://formula2.vargarnaspeedway.se/1966.html

The homologation papers for the cross flow TR engined 'TOK 'were published way back in '63 and are here

http://historicdb.fia.com/car/morgan-pl ... per-sports

Ken Hill (4 wheeled Morgan vol 2) reports that in 1966, March 19 Goodwood CJL in SLR, May 30 Goodwood CJL in SLR again, June 11 Goodwood Jim Donnerly in SLR....but no appearance of CJL in 'standard' Morgan +4. Perhaps Andy and Machiel could look at CJL's racing history in '66 and flesh this out a bit as this was all that I could find other than a non appearance at Silverstone?

As an aside, Appendix J came into force in '66......now there was Cat A for production sports car with sub classes based on the number of cars produced over 12 months (group 4 was 50 production cars for example) and Cat B for special cars with class 6 for prototype sports cars. Examples given for class 6 were Ferrari 330 P3; Ford GT Mk. II and Chaparral 2c.

So where does that leave us? I have not seen homologation papers for the SLR....but do they exist?.....the chances are that the Morgan entered into Le Mans in 66 was a cross flow, TR engine normal bodied Morgan +4. That's my hunch but it is only a hunch..... and looking at the '63 papers, it is not a surprise that the entry was not accepted if these were the papers presented to the ACO.......shades of '61! ( "should be in a museum").

more sleuthing required

john

BTW...did anyone ever write a book on the SLRs?

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Re: 1966 Le Mans Morgan +4

Post by Andy Downes »

John Clarke wrote: Ken Hill (4 wheeled Morgan vol 2) reports that in 1966, March 19 Goodwood CJL in SLR, May 30 Goodwood CJL in SLR again, June 11 Goodwood Jim Donnerly in SLR....but no appearance of CJL in 'standard' Morgan +4. Perhaps Andy and Machiel could look at CJL's racing history in '66 and flesh this out a bit as this was all that I could find other than a non appearance at Silverstone?
John, Chris Lawrence and Chris Spender were certainly active at Goodwood in 1966 in the SLR, I'll post details of what I have later.

There was a project later to run a Plus 8 at Le Mans (Andy Garlick was involved with John MacDonald) but I'm not sure what year or if it got as far as an Entry...

It occurs to me that Le mans was really under Chris Lawrence's skin and he couldn't leave it alone, perhaps these Entries were speculative in the hope of repeating the 1962 success or just embarrassing people with the old 'museum car' I think that would appeal to his sense of humour !

OK, here's what I have from Goodwood, 1966 certainly looks like the SLR's heyday;
13/03/66 68th Members Meeting Marque Sports Race Chris Lawrence Morgan SLR 1991cc 1st

11/04/66 Easter Meeting Sussex Trophy Chris Lawrence Morgan +4 (SLR ?) 1991cc 9th

30/04/66 69th Members Meeting Marque Race Chris Lawrence Morgan +4 2230cc Ret (C Pickard's 'brick' Morgan)
30/04/66 69th Members Meeting Marque Race Neil Dangerfield Triumph SLR (Black) 2262cc 4th

30/05/66 Whitsun Meeting Marque Race Chris Lawrence Morgan SLR (TOK 258 Green) 1991cc 1st
30/05/66 Whitsun Meeting Marque Race Neil Dangerfield Triumph SLR (Black) 2262cc 5th

11/06/66 70th Members Meeting Marque Race Jim Donnelly Morgan SLR 2198cc 1st (where was CJL ?)
11/06/66 70th Members Meeting Marque Race Neil Dangerfield Triumph SLR (Black) 2262cc 3rd
11/06/66 70th Members Meeting GT Cars Race Chris Spender Morgan SLR (Green) 2198cc Ret (where was CJL ?)

This was the final Meeting before Goodwood closed.
02/07/66 71st Members Meeting Special GT Race Chris Lawrence Triumph SLR (Black) 2262cc 4th
02/07/66 71st Members Meeting Special GT Race Chris Spender Morgan SLR (Green) 2198cc 5th
02/07/66 71st Members Meeting Marque Race Jim Donnelly Morgan SLR (Green) 2198cc 3rd
02/07/66 71st Members Meeting Marque Race Neil Dangerfield Triumph SLR (Black) 2262cc 2nd
6 Morgans and the Triumph SLR (Dangerfield) in the Marque Race !
02/07/66 71st Members Meeting Handicap Race Neil Dangerfield Triumph SLR (Black) 2262cc 5th
The Handicap was the final Race at the final Meeting

I have some 1996 BARC Race Meeting results but cannot lay my hands on them at the minute.

Have Fun 8-)
Andy
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Re: 1966 Le Mans Morgan +4

Post by Andy Downes »

...and then I found some more stuff...

09/07/66 Silverstone Martini Trophy Chris Lawrence Morgan DNA (Did Not Arrive)

16/07/66 Brands Hatch British F1 Grand Prix Chris Lawrence Cooper T73 (Ferrari engine) 11th

07/08/66 Nurburgring German F1 Grand Prix Chris Lawrence Cooper T73 (Ferrari engine) DNF suspension failure

17/09/66 Oulton Park Gold Cup F1 non-Championship Chris Lawrence Cooper T73 (Ferrari engine) 5th

Andy
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Re: 1966 Le Mans Morgan +4

Post by John Clarke »

Great Andy.....1966 was the year of the SLR then.

That's made me have a rethink. Taking into account:-

* CJL always looked forward and the SLR was obviously flavor of the month in '66 based on your listings
* An SLR with a cross flow TR engine could be highly competitive (eg won at Goodwood Whitsun meeting)
* Entry to LM didn't always require homologation papers at the time of entry (as we learn't from 1961)
* Appendix J appears to allow special bodies based on a manufacturers chassis See http://historicdb.fia.com/regulations/period-appendix-j
(although perhaps more than 4 were supposed to be built over 12 months?)
11/06/66 70th Members Meeting Marque Race Jim Donnelly Morgan SLR 2198cc 1st (where was CJL ?)
Le Mans was held on the weekend of 18/19 June 1966. Did CJL keep that w/e free?

So if anything, it makes me think that a Morgan +4 SLR was the more likely candidate......and didn't get an entry because it didn't meet the production target. Any thoughts anyone?
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Re: 1966 Le Mans Morgan +4

Post by Andy Downes »

John Clarke wrote:
11/06/66 70th Members Meeting Marque Race Jim Donnelly Morgan SLR 2198cc 1st (where was CJL ?)
Le Mans was held on the weekend of 18/19 June 1966. Did CJL keep that w/e free?
John, I had had the same thought, if CJL was going to Le Mans 18/19 June it would make sense to keep the previous weekend clear - however the Morgan SLR went to Goodwood, perhaps it was a 'late' entry once it was clear that Le Mans was not on.

Given Chris Lawrence's attachment to Le Mans and his racing connections it would be no surprise if he went to Le Mans anyway to help/advise another team/competitor.

Additionally I've found my BARC race results, nothing too exciting to add other than a few Triumph SLR entries, but it underlines how active those cars were in 1966 - and there are more entries in 1967...

24/04/66 Brands Hatch Freddie Dixon Trophy Neil Dangerfield Triumph SLR 2262cc DNS

18/06/66 Silverstone Freddie Dixon Trophy Neil Dangerfield Triumph SLR (Black) 2262cc 7th
out of interest the Daimler-engined +4 (Green, XRX 1 at this time ?) 2496cc was also in this race driven by Basil Fielding finished 12th

25/06/66 Castle Combe Freddie Dixon Trophy Neil Dangerfield Triumph SLR DNS

20/08/66 Oulton Park Sports Car Race Neil Dangerfield Triumph SLR (Black) 2262cc 9th
20/08/66 Oulton Park GT Race Neil Dangerfield Triumph SLR (Black) 2262cc 6th

04/09/66 Mallory Park Marque Race J Donnelly Morgan SLR (Green) 2198cc DNS

Have Fun 8-)
Andy
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Re: 1966 Le Mans Morgan +4

Post by Mark Shears »

Brilliant research Andy!

I agree with you and John that the SLR would have been the most likely candidate - and importantly Bruce thinks so too.

After all this was exactly what CL developed it for - to beat those blessed Porsche 904 and 906's.

He knew the brick Morgans were now past their international competitive sell by date and of course wanted to prove his new baby on the International stage...

But we will never know for sure. Or will we...?

Cheers

Mark
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Re: 1966 Le Mans Morgan +4

Post by Andy Downes »

Mark Shears wrote:After all this was exactly what CL developed it for - to beat those blessed Porsche 904 and 906's.
Thanks Mark (the SLR and CJL are my specialist subjects !).

What is clear is that Chris Lawrence and Co wern't racing the LT stable of 'brick' morgans in 1966. The Le Mans entry was a bolt out of the blue for me, I'd never seen or heard anything about a 1966 entry before, so "Thanks" John.

We may yet be able to throw up a bit more information...

Have Fun 8-)
Andy
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