Morgan 4-4 Le Mans 1939

15 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Morgan 4-4 Le Mans 1939


The Morgan 4-4 that raced at Le in 1939 had unique bodywork. The was to lighten the car as far as possible. The regulations for Le in 1939 had no weight restriction. The proviso was that the car that the race should weigh the as the car that finished the race.

there are many reports of tying bodywork back their cars shaken by Le Mans demanding road

1939 Morgan 4-4 at Hotel Des Ifs 12)

To reduce weight, the front were discarded and replaced by type wings as fitted to the produced TT cars. The rear were #x2018;cut away#x2019; ahead of the rear wheels. A body tub was prepared with no as permitted by the Le Mans regulations of the A hinged metal #x2018;half covered the rear parcel

The rear panel was replaced by a deck from which two fuel filler necks. A wheel sat snugly in the rear #150; a design that was adopted by Morgan in the 1950s! The grill was of the earlier mesh and sported a wings motif directly from the 3 wheelers of the

A single #x2018;square#x2019; shaped screen was fitted and the car was painted

The fuel tank was replaced by a 26 unit repositioned behind the #150; again a design by Morgan for their road from the 50#x2019;s.

1939 4-4 in pits at Le Mans (Ref 12)

Anthony had been racing Martins for the previous half or so years. Like Morgans, tended to be overweight but Aston their excesses by clothing all cars in aluminium. Like the 8 GT(N) reverting to kevlar, Anthony would have on aluminium bodywork for the 1939

The standard offering from in 1939 for their Morgan was the unit from Coventry built under licence by The Climax was a four cylinder overhead inlet and side #150; a design that was dated by 1939. Not helping the was its immense weight with its block and head made cast iron.

Surprisingly, the sump and crankcase cover made from a light

The 1939 regulations state all engine internals, the make and of carburettors and the make of electric were free. However, the stated on the entry form was checked before the race.

Dick Anthony was a demon of his day. He had quite a reputation for cars go faster and like all race engineers, must stretched the regulations to the full.

The Climax was quite a challenge to having spent the last a dozen or so years developing ohv unit. On arrival, the engine was and carefully rebuilt to a capacity of This took the Morgan the under 1500cc category and from the all conquering Simca

The head was extensively reworked and inlets were created to 2 SU carburettors. Interestingly, Aston had starting using SUs in the 1920#x2019;s and SUs were fitted to their cars throughout the #x2018;30s.

A exhaust system was made exited through the near bonnet.

The dynamo was moved from the top water manifold to a cradle to minimise the risk of

Gearbox and Axle

The gearbox was a unit with 4 forward and a reverse. The 1939 regulations that all internal ratios free so it is safe to assume Dick Anthony changed the to gain higher speeds on Le long straights. This is out by contemporary reports that that the little Morgan was speeds close to 100mph.

The axle was a Salisbury but again were free. Again, would have replaced the ratio with one more for Le Mans.

Wheels and Brakes

were still offering operated brakes in 1939 8#x201D; drums. By this Girling and Locheed had been hydraulic braking systems for years.

From 1936, Martin had reverted to hydraulic and MG had adopted them from on their saloons and from on their MG TA. Even bread and Morris cars were supplied with hydraulic by 1939. What Dick thought of the Morgan#x2019;s brakes one can conjecture.

Dick Anthony was keen on good brakes and to great lengths to modify the Martins he campaigned each Examples of his race prepared Martin cars still sporting bespoke drums by Dick himself.

With in the Le Mans regulations to the contrary, one can that Dick Anthony the standard Morgan brakes by converting to a hydraulic system or by the size of the drum or more both.

Morgan 4/4

The wheels remained the 17#x201D; type wheels offered by


The road going 4-4 was offered with Morgan#x2019;s sliding pillar front damped by Newton fully telescopic shock absorbers. The was suspended by leaf spings by fully adjustable Andre friction dampers.

It is likely the 1939 Le Mans car deviated from this set up as few road of the day were offered with an suspension.

The Le Mans regulations entrants a choice in fuels, the stipulation that the same should be used throughout the The choice was between #x2018;standard#x2019; fuel, benzol, #x2018;super ternary fuel (a mix of touring, and ethyl alcohol) and standard Oil could be added to the fuel.

It is not what the Morgan used.

The Le Mans regulations stated a minimum of 30 #x201C;replicas#x201D; of the car must been #x201C;sold, manufactured or by the time of the race #150; a to this fact had to be signed by the Director #150; then HFS It can only be assumed that was taken as relating to the chassis as no other car was ever produced to the specification as the 1939 Le Mans

Post Race

On finishing the the 1939 Le Mans car was whisked to the factory and hidden out of sight a cover. There the car remained the next decade.

In 1950, the car was to Jeff Sparrowe in recognition of the success he had achieved in his white 4-4 Le Mans Replica (JUO Jeff continued to campaign his Le Replica but on the odd occasion, brought out the Le Mans car. In 1951, the Le car competed at the BARC Brunton climb where it temporarily the #x2018;JUO 177#x2019; number

1951 Morgan 4-4 that at Le Mans in 1939 at Brunton climb (Ref 12)

Today, the car is in the UK or in the USA #150; the name of the owner is a kept secret.

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Information on this has been gathered from journals and contemporary text

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