Friday, 28 March 2014

Morgan Plus 8

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis



Morgan's Plus 8 is a generation-spanning dichotomy of old and new: a traditionally hand-crafted roadster with the body panels formed around an ash frame, and yet with a thoroughly modern heart thudding away beneath that artfully louvred bonnet.
The original Plus 8 of the late 1960s was powered by a Rover V8, offering a sort of hairy-chested speed-freak alternative to the more sedate roadsters in the model range. Evolution being what it is, today's Plus 8 packs a 4.8-litre BMW V8 offering 367bhp. Have a think about that number. Then look at how small the car is. It's insane.
Indeed, this is the lightest car it's possible to buy today that offers both V8 power and the ability to meet European safety regs. Squirrelled away within that classic form are such surprises as airbags and AP Racing brakes, as well as aircon, heated seats and a decent stereo. All very fitting in a car that costs £85,000.

Yes, that is a sizeable wedge for a car that has no room for luggage and, as such, is destined to be a toy rather than a tourer. But you don't buy one of these to be practical. You buy one because you appreciate traditional British craftsmanship, and you like driving so quickly that the scenery goes all wibbly.
SuckSqueezeBangBlow drove this rather fetching brown example recently - you can read all about it in a forthcoming issue of Retro Cars, as well as the next issue of Performance BMW...










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