1978 Morgan Plus 8
A lovely original car with just 6,846 miles from new; just two owners - the last for 43 years; plenty of bills and history
Introduced in 1968, the Plus 8 became such an instant and enduring success that it not only provided the bedrock on which Morgan could build for the future, it quite possibly saved the company from going under at a difficult time in its long history.
Morgan’s first big-engined car, it was powered by the new Rover 3.5-litre all-alloy V8, a re-engineered version of the Buick 215 block. Race car engineer Maurice Owen was taken on to develop the Plus 8 which used a widened and strengthened version of the Plus 4 chassis.
The Salisbury 7HA axle was uprated with a limited slip differential and a new Moss 4-speed gearbox fitted to cope with the extra power (although from 1972 the somewhat graunchy Moss ‘box was replaced by a smoother all-synchcro 4-speed unit from the Rover 3500S). The bodywork was also widened to accommodate the larger wheels and tyres that were required.
Weighing only 850kg and with some 170bhp and 210lb/ft of torque on tap, the Plus 8 immediately became Britain’s fastest-accelerating production car, sprinting to 60mph in a shade over 6 seconds. The Plus 8 remained in production until 2004 by which time some 3,506 examples had been sold, although the model has subsequently been reintroduced, now sporting a radial aluminium chassis and BMW V8 engine.
The original bill of sale tells us that this Plus 8 was sold by Malvern Sports Cars to Mr Lyons of Liverpool and invoiced on 6th February 1978. He paid extra for a bonnet strap and stone leather upholstery, the total bill coming to £6,147.89.
As was often the case back then, he sold it on almost straight away (presumably for a nice mark-up), its new owner – our vendor acquiring the vehicle on the 20th February of that year – just 17 days after initial delivery.
Multiple invoices on file show regular service and maintenance over the years, with regular work done to the brakes as is often the case with cars that see such little use. There are 19 MOTs on file which help corroborate the minimal mileage, but as its been in the owner’s hands from just a few days old, the mileage is warranted as genuine at just 6,857miles.
It has worn a personalised plate for most of its life – 1000K which will be offered in our December sale should you wish to reunite it with the car.
Complete with hood, tonneau, sidescreens and sidescreen bag, it sits on correct Cobra Slot alloys and is painted in ‘period’ and now very fashionable ‘70s livery. This incredibly low mileage Plus 8’s most recent MOT expired in 2019 (now exempt of course) and it certainly looks the part – with just a few blemishes as one would expect of a 43 year old car that has barely been run in.
Now that the factory have stopped making Morgans with traditional chassis’, this looks like an ideal opportunity to get that ‘new car’ driving experience and relive the best bits of the 1970s…..
For more information – contact [email protected]
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