A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
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Introduced in 1968, the Morgan Plus 8 was immediately popular and remained in production for 36 years, an income stream that has been widely credited with keeping the company afloat during difficult times. Design and development of the Plus 8 were led by the larger-than-life, Maurice Owen, a race engineer taken on specifically for the role. The Plus 8 prototype was based on a modified version of the Plus 4, to which was added a Rover 3.5 litre V8, purchased from GM-Buick in 1967. Built along familiar Morgan lines, its ladder frame chassis was equipped with independent sliding-pillar front suspension, a leaf-sprung rear axle, and disc/drum brakes. Supported by an ash frame, its swooping bodywork looked as traditional as ever but gave no clues as to the new model's extraordinary performance potential.
The car presented here is a 1973 Morgan Plus 8 which, in 2012, was completely re-engineered to the highest standards into a best-of-breed, FIA-papered, race machine, with an impressive specification, costing circa £100,000. The original car was the perfect example to use for this process, as it was a well-maintained, one-owner, low-mileage road-car (having now covered just 27,000 miles).
The fully documented rebuild was overseen by marque specialist, Richard Thorne, and included a new chassis and body, a new JE Developments 3.5-litre V8 to full FIA Spec, Tillet Seats, and a bespoke roll-cage.
As a race car, it has proved competitive and reliable with an excellent history in both CSCC Swinging 1960's and HSCC 1970's Roadsport, finishing 2nd overall in its first HSCC 70s Road Sports race and is undoubtedly a potential race winner in the right hands.
The car is road legal, very easy to drive, tractable and reliable and consequently, as well as being a competitive racer, is well suited to road use, touring, classic car events and obviously hill climbs, sprints or circuit days. Offering great value for money, this super ‘Moggie’ really is a fabulous example and is waiting to be used to its full potential.