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, production commenced at the rate of 15-or-so cars per month and continues to this day, although now with BMW power. While the traditionally styled Morgan’s brick-like aerodynamics restricted top speed to around 125mph (more than fast enough for most people driving an open car) the Rover V8’s 168bhp and 210lb/ft of torque made for supercar-league 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.
Amazingly this early Plus 8 has been in the ownership of one family for 47 years, with a no-expense spared restoration recently conducted to a very high standard. The restoration was extensive and started with the car being stripped down to the bare chassis with all metalwork was media-blasted and powder coated. The ash frame was restored and minor sections replaced where required. The front and rear wings were have been replaced with beautifully hand-formed light weight aluminium units, manufactured by specialist Techniques. The Morgan was then reassembled with re-conditioned or replacement components as appropriate, such as petrol tank top (with new fuel lines), a new larger and more efficient aluminium radiator, braided oil cooler pipes, new Wilwood brake calipers and restored rear brake drums. The electrics have been completely renewed with a new Morgan loom, and an engine immobiliser with a fuel cut-off switch behind the seats. The interior of the car has been completely re-trimmed by a renowned classic/vintage car specialist with top quality carpets, door trim and a restored leather-covered dashboard. The seats were rebuilt and upholstered using top quality leather from the Netherlands and finished with red piping. A new red Mohair soft-top was fabricated also with a matching spare wheel cover. The car has the original Morgan Motor Company alloy wheels, refurbished with new tyres fitted all round. We understand the engine has had a full service and runs smoothly and cleanly.
As testament to the length of ownership and affection bestowed on their Morgan, the family have taken great care and investment into its restoration. As such the Plus 8 is finished beautifully and drives extremely nicely. Finished in its original Ivory White with a Wine red leather interior, and with 56,000 miles recorded, this is by far one of the nicest Morgans we have seen in a long time.