Outwardly very similar to its Morgan predecessor, the Plus 4 model, the 1968 Morgan Plus 8 was an instant hit, and sold out consistently since its introduction. It had a slightly longer wheelbase and wider track, and the lines were a little different as well. The most glaring difference, at first glance, was the new allow wheels that replaced the wire ones. The body was made of steel, over an ash frame, as per Morgan tradition. Of course, not everything could – or should – have been changed, and the suspension remained, with sliding pillars at the front, and a leaf-sprung live rear axle at the back.
Of course, the major difference was the engine; gone was the small Triumph four-cylinder engine, replaced with the powerful Rover all-alloy 3.5-liter V8, which developed up to 190 horsepower. This saw the car’s top speed jump to 125 miles per hour; its acceleration, for its part, was 6.7 seconds to 60 mph, a truly blistering pace that would surprise many.
Unfortunately, production of the Plus 8 stopped in 2004; the car’s principal market was the United States, and constant regulatory issues kept propping up, first the emissions from the engine, which required all Plus 8 exported to the US to run on propane – propane! – followed by airbag regulations. Smells a bit like the massive bumper requirements of the late 60s. Fishy.
Anyways, the 1968 Morgan Plus 8 is certainly a classic and one to look for; it’s only too bad that one can’t buy a new one anymore.