by John H. Sheally II
Review by Tcherek Kamstra
has a great deal to do with the success of any automobile. Indeed, The
Rare Ones demonstrates how Peter Morgan's vision of the Plus Four
Plus was ahead of its time. The sequence of events that led up to my first
reading of Sheally's book also played an interesting role in my assessment
of The Rare Ones.
The day after I first received the book, I attended what by all rights was my first official Morgan gathering, at Mogwest in Cambria, California. I was unsure of what the day would bring, but I knew that I would at the very least meet persons with whom I had previously been acquainted only via the Internet. I also knew that I would be able to take pictures of many beautiful cars, all in one location. I was not disappointed, and even caught a glimpse of one of those rare Morgans which has John H. Sheally II so enraptured, the Plus Four Plus.
Before I left Mogwest I also had the pleasure of meeting, among others, Gerry Willburn and Keith Ahlers. Later that evening these names leapt out from the pages when I picked up The Rare Ones. The coincidence of having seen a Plus Four Plus that very day, as well as having just met persons whom I was now reading about, made the timing of events very conducive to enjoying Sheally's book. While the names mentioned throughout the book held new significance to me, I would have enjoyed the book thoroughly regardless.
The Rare Ones chronicles the personal stories of a few who owned one of these products of Peter Morgan's innovation, and also provides details of the car's physical characteristics and features. Sheally gives a knowledgeable account of the car's advantages as well as the inconvenient quirks. Throughout the book Sheally's admiration of his subjects is evident, and while he sees the flaws just as keenly as he does the assets, his dedication to the marque is unwavering. As with the personal narratives of others who have taken on a restoration of one of these cars, the painstaking attention to detail and the great lengths taken to preserve the original components speaks volumes about the devotion this automobile inspires in a select group of Morgan lovers.
Easy to read, and with a comprehensive collection of photographs which brings the history of this car to life on every page, The Rare Ones: Peter Morgan and the Plus Four Plus had me very smitten with these heroic cars, and to my surprise I began to feel the pangs of one who simply must have one of these beautiful Morgans. With a total production of just 26 cars, those who have come to own one of these rare ones are very fortunate indeed. The rest of us can enjoy a truly enjoyable book, and thank Sheally for providing us with a beautifully photographed account of Peter Morgan's Plus Four Plus.