You’ll have noticed a return to coachbuilt cars of late - or at least something vaguely like it - with limited-run specials from the likes of Bentley Mulliner and Rolls Royce draping ever more exotic bodies over familiar architecture. Of course it's the logical end game to an era obsessed with personalisation, but it’s also a move that benefits everyone: the manufacturers get to try out new manufacturing techniques (while charging handsomely for the privilege), customers get something incredibly rare for the collection, and the rest of us can argue about whether we like it or not on the internet. Job done.
Now Morgan is on the bandwagon. Seemingly not content with an entire range of cars that simultaneously look like nothing else on the road (as well as Morgans from half a century ago) it’s built this incredible one-off, the Plus 4 Spiaggina. Morgan says it’s ‘inspired by the iconic Riviera beach cars of the 50s and 60s’, which is presumably the vision of a very important Morgan collector that had the idea. Certainly what's resulted defies easy explanation.
Where to start? There’s a hand-fabricated aluminium canopy rather than a roof for Spiaggina, which says a lot about its intended use - surely folded away a lot of the time. Speaking of which, the rear seats can tumble down for the full speedboat-style decking, probably a more cohesive look than the bizarre four-seat, big boot arrangement. The result is undeniably distinctive. As a one-off, glorious materials abound, from tan basketweave leather seats to the teak used for the decking and canopy support. The stripe in the colours of the Ukrainian flag is a nice touch, too. Even if it’s not to your taste, it’s clear a whole lot of time and effort (plus, of course, cash) has gone into this build. The Spiaggina very much suits being unsuitable for pretty much anything.
Morgan hasn’t divulged anything about the oily bits of this car, beyond showing off the automatic gearbox. Nobody wants to be messing about with a clutch and stick at the beach, do they? Interestingly, the Facebook post that revealed the car adds that the Spiaggina is derived from the Plus 4 and is ‘built on a version of the well-established steel chassis that underpinned Morgan sports cars for more than 80 years’; this would suggest it doesn’t borrow much from the latest generation of Plus Four, with its aluminium CX platform. That would make sense given this isn't the newest commission Morgan has dealt with (it's merely revealed the car now; it was built a few years ago). Just imagine what such a collector might end up doing with a Super 3…
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