1972 Morgan Plus 8

1972 Morgan Plus 8

The Morgan Plus 8 was first launched in 1968. It retained the basic classic sports car shape used on the first four-wheel Morgan introduced in 1936 and similar chassis and suspension.

This Z-section ladder chassis with a suspension comprising coil springs at the front and a solid axle on semi-elliptic springs at the rear dated back to the original 1910 Morgan. However, it had a new Rover V8 overhead valve engine which gave it sparkling performance.

When Rover adopted the 3.5-litre, small block, all-alloy Buick V8 engine for use in its top line model Morgan successfully negotiated a deal to use this 120kW power plant in their new Plus 8 which they had under development. This engine certainly gave the car a good turn of speed. It was capable of a top speed of 200km/h and could accelerate to 96km/h in just 6.5 seconds.

Whilst the four-speed close-ratio gearbox mounted remote from the engine had excellent ratios it sometimes proved difficult to operate smoothly. In 1972 it was replaced by a four-speed Rover gearbox coupled to the engine.

In fact, the Plus 8 remained in production for a number of years and had several Rover engine and gearbox changes over its life as it continued to be a good seller. Even 18 years after the marque was first introduced the factory was quoting delivery at a five year wait.

Using traditional craftsmanship the car with its steel-body fitted over an ash wood frame had a very open-air driving position. Whilst the ride was harsh on all except the smoothest roads the car had superb road holding and positive brakes making it a fun car to drive.

About Alistair Kennedy

Alistair Kennedy is Automotive News Service and Marque Publishing's business manager and the company's jack-of-all-trades. An accountant by profession, he designs the Marque range of motoring book titles, operates the company's motoring bookshop on the NSW Central Coast and the associated web site, as well as its huge digital and hard copy database. Whenever we can escape from the office he does so to cover new vehicle releases and contributes news stories. Alistair's other interests include cricket and family history on which he has written three books.
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