1984 Morgan Plus 8 Roadster
Result: PASSED IN
In the late 1960s Morgan's engineers began the search for a suitable engine with which to replace the ageing Triumph TR4 unit and most of the likely candidates were ultimately rejected as they simply wouldn't fit beneath the bonnet. However, the new Buick-derived small-block V8 engine from Rover was deemed ideal and with its compact all-alloy construction there was no weight penalty over the existing 4-cylinder motor. The V8 Morgan, christened Plus 8, had a suitable beefed-up chassis with Z-section side rails and cross-bracing, 11-inch disc brakes at the front and 9-inch drums at the rear and 15-inch alloy wheels riding on 185VR15 tyres. Strictly a 2-seater, the lightweight Plus 8 was always a seriously quick thanks to its excellent power -to-weight ratio and the Rover V8 has always responded well to power tuning. In production from May 1968 until January 1976 (when the more powerful SD1 engine was adopted) a number of improvements were carried out along the way, - most notably the ditching of the old Moss 'box for the new 4-speed Rover gearbox in April 1972. The post-1976 cars, like that on offer here, with the five-speed 'box and revised chassis and exhaust, are probably the pick of bunch. The Plus 8 was hand built in tiny numbers - by the end of 1996 just 4,000 or so examples had been completed and the enduring mystique of the Morgan name lives on in the form of the current Aero.