Morgan Ultimate Portfolio 1968-90
The Plus Eight was an elegant solution to a problem that many sports car manufacturers set themselves in the 1960s. How do you shoehorn a big engine into a lightweight small car? Morgan's solution was to fit the aluminium V8 which Rover bought from Buick in the USA. This engine was fitted behind the front axle to create a front mid engined layout. Because of its low weight it did not upset the balance of the Morgan. Rover cars developed this engine over a period of many years and it became the mainstay of the Morgan and the Range Rover. It was also a very popular basis for a race engine and allowed Morgan to compete in and win many national sports car championships.
The Four Four continued in production with the ubiquitous Ford 4 cylinder engine and the Plus Four was re-introduced, firstly with a 2 litre Fiat Mirafiori motor and then with various versions of the Rover 16 valve 4 cylinder engine which was developed to be lean burn and economical as well as powerful in its class.
The introduction of emissions regulations in the USA led Morgan to officially pull out of the country in 1973. But the Californian Morgan dealer continued to sell Plus Eights, converting them to run on propane. In the 1980s a programme to develop a mechanical airbag system for the Morgan was completed at MIRA and in 1990 the Morgan Plus Eight re-entered the USA market.
In 1989 the BBC visited the factory in Malvern and gave Sir John Harvey Jones the chance to advise the company on how to raise its production levels to cope with a 5 year waiting list. Although the company was slow to respond to this intervention production levels were increased over the next five years and more importantly stock levels and manufacturing times were significantly reduced. This enabled the waiting list to be brought down to a more manageable level but maintained the level of customer choice that every Morgan owner expects.
Models covered: Plus 8, Plus 8 Injection, Turbo, Plus 4, Plus 4 M16, 4/4 & 4/4 Four Seater.
(PUB: 04/2009, Autor:R. M. Clarke , Idioma: Inglês, 216 págs, 20X26 cms, capa mole, 216 fotos a p/b e 75 fotos a cores)