Searching for new engines in the 1960s, Morgan concluded a deal with Rover for supply of its all-aluminium 3.5-litre V8, thus creating a car that combined Vintage-era charm with Cobra-like ‘grunt’: the Plus 8. Morgan’s Plus 4 chassis, strengthened and extended, formed the basis of the new car, while the existing Moss four-speed gearbox was retained also. After a successful debut at the 1968 London Motor Show, its instant and enduring popularity was widely credited with saving the company during the 36 years of its manufacture. Production commenced at the rate of 15-or-so cars per month and continued until 2004, although later powered by a BMW engine. While the Morgan’s traditional styling restricted top speed to around the Rover V8’s 168bhp and 210lb/ft of torque made for high-end performance through the gears. Indeed, in its later 3.9-litre form, the Plus 8 proved quicker to 80mph than the contemporary Porsche 911 Turbo.
This particular model is a past-competitor, with its sole previous owner entering many club motorsport events and trials. Presented with a flame red finish and a black leather interior, the car is described as being in good condition throughout and comes with several interesting additions. Practical modifications are aplenty including under bonnet holders for spare plugs and bulbs together with a grease gun. The engine also was slightly modified and improved.
Being a one owner car this has been well looked after. Used competitively throughout the 1970s, this Plus 8 was ever-present at club meetings throughout the UK. Winning many trophies, during this time it ran on special steel wheels, from sprints and hillclimbs to trials, the car and its driver were the inspiration to many Morgan owners.
Interestingly, this Plus 8 was also the first Plus 8 to leave the factory with twin side pipes. The owner, who purchased it from Peter Morgan himself, was the custodian for over 40 years. You might recognise the car as it has been featured in several Morgan books – and, due to its colour which has a slight orange tint, it is somewhat famous amongst Morgan circles. A lovely driver’s car with a history to match, a great opportunity to acquire a piece of Morgan history.