ONCE described as the brand that could not last in the face of modern competition, that marvel of the Malverns, Morgan reigns supreme as a very British manufacturer of sports cars.
And perhaps its most iconic product, the Plus 8 has shown that the traditional British sports car design will never bow down to gimmickry or fashion.
Such has been the success of the Plus 8 that it is now celebrating half a century, a milestone to be celebrated by the Morgan Motor Company announcing a 50th Anniversary Special Edition to be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
The family-owned, bespoke sports car manufacturer will produce 50 of the special edition models, each to be sold through their existing Dealership network. The Plus 8 50th anniversary edition will be a true V8-powered thoroughbred tribute to Morgan’s most celebrated four-wheeled model.
The Plus 8 continues to pioneer new technology within the classic Morgan bloodline. Deriving its name from the eight-cylinder engines it has adopted throughout its life, this model consistently offers the greatest power to weight ratio of any Morgan.
It is, without doubt, a rare combination of craftsmanship, luxury and technology.
A lightweight aluminium chassis and 4.8-litre BMW engine sit beneath the traditional Morgan body. At just 1,100kg, the Plus 8 is one of the lightest V8 passenger cars in the world and is capable of 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 155mph.
First conceived by Peter Morgan, the Plus 8 prototype was revealed to the public at the Earls Court Motor Show of 1968. Then sporting a Rover V8 engine and a Moss gear box, the original Plus 8 was based on a Plus 4, but was larger and featured a large number of changed or upgraded hand-crafted parts.
The first Plus 8 production model was one of the most successful cars that the company has ever built, and production continued for 36 years. Approximately 6,000 Plus 8s were built at Morgan’s Pickersleigh Road factory until the model was put on hold in 2004 when the production of Rover V8 engines ceased.
In 2012, the Plus 8 was spectacularly reborn into the Morgan range, on a lightweight aluminium chassis with the powerful 4.8-litre BMW engine, as used in the Aero range. It quicker than any ‘classic’ Morgan before it.
This very special car will be the star of the show on the Morgan stand when it makes its public debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in March alongside the race-inspired Aero GT.