- Morgan Plus 8
Morgan Plus 8 Manufacturer Morgan Motor Company Production 1968-2004 Assembly Malvern, Worcestershire, England Class Sports car Body style 2-door roadster Layout FR layout Engine 3.5L V8
Transmission 4-speed manual
(1968 - 1977)
(1977 - 2004)
Wheelbase 98 in (2,489 mm) Length 146 in (3,708 mm) Width 57.5–67.0 in (1,461–1,702 mm) Height 52 in (1,321 mm) Curb weight 1,876 lb (851 kg) Related Morgan 2-seater roadsters
The Morgan Plus 8 is a sports car built by British car makers Morgan between 1968 and 2004. Its instant and enduring popularity has been credited with saving the company and keeping the company famous during the 36 years of its manufacture. Among Morgan enthusiasts, it is deeply associated with Peter Morgan, the owner-chairman behind its design.
The Plus 8 was based on the chassis of the Plus 4, to which it added the Rover alloy block 215 cu in (3.5 l) V8, purchased from GM-Buick in 1967. Chassis and wings were developed in stages to accommodate larger tyres to handle the power. The original 1968 Plus 8 was 57 inches (1,400 mm) wide and the last was 64 inches (1,600 mm) (with an optional "widebody" at 67 inches (1,700 mm)) For several years in the 1960s the Plus Eight was the fastest-accelerating UK production car.
To mark the 35th year of production of its Plus 8, MMC released a commemorative 'Anniversary Edition'.
All Plus 8s engines were based on the Buick 215 which had been bought by Rover. Morgan was the first of a succession of sports car makers- including the likes of TVR and Marcos- to use the engine, which Rover had only just made available in the P5B saloon.
The early Plus 8s used the 215 block (renamed the 3.5 L by Rover) with a compression of 10.5:1 fueled by two SU HS6 carburettors. In 1973, the compression was dropped to 9.25:1 and power dropped with it. However in 1976, the compression was increased to 9.35:1 when an improved version of the block developed for the Rover SD1 was adopted and after 1981 this was fueled by two Stromberg carburettors, and the power increased.
At the end of 1983, the company offered a EFI version using a Bosch L-Jetronic based system. With the added power (204 bhp (152 kW; 207 PS)) and low weight, the Plus 8 was, according to the magazine road tests of the day, able to best a Porsche up to 90 mph (140 km/h). In 1990, a 3.9 L version of the block was added using the Lucas 14CUX fuel injection system.
In 1996, a 4.6 L version found its way into the car as an option, still using the 14CUX system. From 2000, all Morgan Plus 8s were fueled by the GEMS system used on the Land Rover Discovery II.
United States sales
For almost two decades during the 1950s and 1960s, North America took the greater bulk of Morgan production. Popularity in the UK and Europe had greatly fallen during that era. The era ended with the advent of the strong emission and structural laws. Luckily, the failure of the modern looking +4+ and the arrival of the powerful Plus 8 rekindled interest in the home market in the whole line.
In the US, a way was found to keep importing Morgans after 1974. From 1974 to 1992, all imported Morgans (of which 98% were Plus 8s) to the United States were converted by independent dealers, especially Bill Fink, to run on propane as fuel to pass the U.S. emissions regulations.
When the Rover Group re-certified their V-8 engine for use in the Range Rover SUV sold in the U.S., Morgan made a gasoline-powered +8 available with the same engine in the same tune and with the same anti-emission devices. As safety regulations continue to change, Morgan was again challenged in 2006 to meet the new structural requirements announced by the NHTSA in 2000. A request for an exemption to the law on airbags was refused and the importation of traditional (classic) Morgans ceased.
- 1968-1972 Moss Gearbox, a 4-speed manual transmission with synchromesh 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
- 1972-1977 Rover 2000 Gearbox, a 4-speed all-synchromesh manual transmission
- 1977-1995 Rover LT77, a 5-speed all-synchromesh manual transmission
- 1995-2004 Rover R380, a 5-speed all-synchromesh manual transmission
- ^ Simister, John (2009-03-24). "Morgan 4/4 Sport v Lotus Eco Elise". Evo.co.uk. http://www.evo.co.uk/features/features/234791/morgan_44_sport_v_lotus_eco_elise.html. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
- ^ "Fuelling the passion", Octane: pp. 71-76, http://www.morgan-nordic.com/04_mapp/octane%2520issue13.pdf
- ^ "Reprint of Car & Driver article, January 1977". Morgancars-usa.com. http://www.morgancars-usa.com/candd1.html. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
- ^ "AUTOS ON MONDAY/Collecting; The Mystique of the Eccentric Morgan - New York Times". Nytimes.com. 2004-04-05. http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/05/automobiles/autos-on-monday-collecting-the-mystique-of-the-eccentric-morgan.html. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
- ^ Lorne M. Goldman. "madeintheusa". Gomog.com. http://www.gomog.com/mi/GoMoG/madeintheusa.html. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
- ^ "NHTSA Denial of application for a temporary exemption from air bag provisions of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208, Occupant Crash Protection". Federal Register. http://www.thefederalregister.com/d.p/2007-02-02-E7-1735. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
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