1996 Morgan Plus 8

Highlights



  • Only 8,305 miles from new
  • One owner
  • In current ownership for 26 years
  • Full-Service History
  • Aluminium body option



The Appeal


Is there a car more quintessentially English than the Morgan? The Plus 8 was produced by a firm that has continued to defy progress and clung to its labour-intensive hand assembly heritage, yet behind that old-fashioned facade is a car that continues to tread its own path. That unadulterated image, workmanship and unmistakable styling may hold the secret to its demand. With values that have remained consistently stable, the Morgan Plus 8 has seemingly been kept in an economic bubble that has yet to burst.

First seen in 1968, the Morgan Plus 8 was briefly Britain’s fastest-accelerating car. A simple formula of a separate chassis and lightweight bodywork is complemented with a timeless classy presentation that has been gradually refined but never diluted over the years. The heart of the car comes from the robust and potent 3.9 litre Rover V8, which with the civilised, well furnished and comfortable cabin, offers a mesmerising experience that very few cars can match.

The same owner has owned this car since it was new, and it has only collected 8,305 miles since then. It has been subject to yearly servicing and retains much of its factory originality as it left Malvern in 1996. Finished in Connaught Green, with a full leather interior, it comes with its original bill of sales, as well as all of its invoices and a stack of MOTs. There can’t be many opportunities to obtain such a well cherished low mileage example of the short-door Plus 8.



The History and Paperwork


  • Full-Service History
  • MOT to June 2023
  • Original bill of sales and spec list

Bought new in 1996 through Richard Thorne, a Berkshire-based Morgan specialist, the owner had to wait the customary 3 years to receive his brand new Morgan Plus 8. The car comes with its new car order form, which states the current optional fittings, as well as the original letter of confirmation that the car has been ordered - in short everything to do with the sale, maintenance and servicing of the car has been documented. The most recent service was carried out in June 2021 and the car comes with a full 12-month ticket.

Used as an occasional car and always garaged when not in use, the car saw its yearly servicing by Richard Thorne up to 2005 and then trusted to the owner's local garage ever since. Asides from its regular servicing bills, due to the low mileage and use, the car hasn’t needed much in terms of repair work. The most notable invoices cover a new stepper motor, fuel pump and aluminium radiator up to 2008, with just a new rear wheel cylinder and tyres being the main issues over the last decade. The owner has a modern luxury sporting roadster, which is better suited for his and his wife's needs and therefore the Morgan, after 26 years of wind in your hair, and a small percentage of flies in your mouth, has reluctantly decided to part ways with the car.



The Interior


  • Factory original spec
  • Presentable Leather and Walnut cabin
  • Several optional extra features

The cabin presents very nicely thanks to the HB/PAC grade Stone Leather trim offsetting the luxurious walnut facia. The optional sports seats have intact piping, retain their firmness and show just a little age-related wear. A blemish was noted on the driver seat cushion and a small scuff was noted on the squab but these are really the only issues to mark the interior down; the owner has considered a repair but it's not something that plays on his mind. The rest of the leather finishing, such as the door cards is decent with just a little wear noted on the driver's side. The carpets are in good shape, all are clean with no significant damage and all are damp-free. 

The walnut veneered facia, with a padding leather top, is intact and free of any damage, cracks or wear. The centre console has worn well, with no damage noted on the binnacle or instrument cluster housing. A little sign of age was noted on the main instrument bezels, but all are legible and function as expected. All of the controls, including the optional cigarette lighter, map reading light and clock are operational. The car retains its factory-fitted AKB3200 radio/cassette player complete with speakers & aerial. One issue that the owner pointed out is the missing interior mirror, which will come with the car. The gear lever and handbrake have intact leather gaiters and the leather steering wheel shape has a few marks on the leather padding but finishes off what is an honest representation of what is a remarkably well-kept car.

The Exterior 


  • Excellent structure and exterior
  • Optional wire wheels with matching Pirelli P7 tyres
  • Factory chrome fittings and trim
  • New hood and tonneau

There is very little in terms of damage to concern any prospective buyer, almost certainly due to the careful ownership profile and string of positive MOT certificates. The front chassis cross frame, box sections and rear cross member are all solid. The owner had also specified under sealing when the car was ordered, which has gone some way into protecting much of the underside. A check under the engine lids reveals that the bulkhead is in good condition. 

Externally the areas around the passenger doors look solid, both doors open and close without issue or sagging. The quarter panel section of the body is intact too. The exterior aluminium construction and wings are in good shape, with no significant signs of damage or dents. The wings hang well with the front items also fitted with three decent tread rubbers on each side. The engine lids lift and close without issues with their hinges, with fully compliant catches.

The Connaught Green finish has very good coverage, with no signs of fade or colour mismatch. It has a decent lustre throughout, with just a hint of a flat spot noted on the nearside corner of the front wing. There are a handful of minor marks noted in places, but not enough to upset the visual presentation and generally free of car park/stone chip damage. 

The car's fittings have lasted well, with no outstanding issues worth noting. The headlamp rings, grill and bumpers are in fine fettle. The optional Plus 8 type spotlights, door handles and luggage carrier are in good shape with very little in terms of wear or damage. The windscreen frame, glass and rubbers are in good condition, with the lights and lenses also free of damage or cracks, just a slight loose rubber ring noted on the nearside front indicator. The sill trims are in place and well attached.

The car comes with its hood, wheel cover and side screens, which are all in good condition with no wear. The roof also raises and lowers with no issues. A matching tonneau cover was bought 5 years ago and is in good shape, the car comes with both this replacement item and the original. The factory-fitted optional 16” chromium-plated wire wheels with stainless steel spokes are in generally good condition, with a little tarnishing noted on the nearside front rim. The matching Pirelli P7 tyres are around five years old and all show well above the legal requirement of tread.



The Mechanics 


  • Yearly Servicing
  • Aluminium radiator 
  • Drives well

The car has seen yearly servicing since new, with regularly topped up coolant levels (as well as a new aluminium radiator fitted in 2008) helping to keep the engine temperature in check. There were no signs of fluid leaks. The engine presentation would benefit from a clean up in places but all of the core components are in good shape, with the hoses, ancillaries and wiring in good shape. 

The car starts up without any hesitation, the under-stressed and durable Rover 3.9-litre V8 sounding typically potent and healthy on tick over. No warning lights were flagged up on the dashboard during the time the engine was running. The exhaust did not emit any excess smoke other than the cold start condensation.   

The car is said to drive well with no issues in regards to reliability, with the owner stating that it deals with its occasional excursions with no drama or incidents. The durable Rover R380 five-speed gearbox is slick, engaging gears with no obstructions, with no reported issues with the clutch. The steering while typically laboured, is said to be free from any issues, with no recorded knocking or slackness reported. The brakes are fully compliant, with the owner not mentioning any deficiencies. The ride is typically firm, and as one would expect, the structure creaks and wobbles but is said to be free from any form of knocking or vibrations.



Summary


The Morgan Plus 8 offers a genuinely charismatic and unique charm in a world where innovation and progress seem to be the benchmark of success. Yet Morgan still does things their own way, unworried by frivolities and gimmicks. Morgans tried and tested formula of a luxurious roadster with a traditional 1930’s chassis mated up with a powerful V8 engine proved that driver thrills and enjoyment was mastered long ago, so why change it?


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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1996
  • Make Morgan
  • Model Plus 8
  • Colour Green
  • Odometer 8,305 Miles
  • Engine size 3947
  • Town High Wycombe
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Buckinghamshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
13 bids from 8 bidders
  • Ho•••• £39,250 27/06/22
  • ja•••• £38,000 27/06/22
  • Ho•••• £37,500 27/06/22
  • ja•••• £35,000 27/06/22
  • Ho•••• £32,000 27/06/22
  • ja•••• £31,000 27/06/22
  • al•••• £30,000 20/06/22
  • co•••• £27,000 20/06/22
  • Lo•••• £25,500 20/06/22
  • Jo•••• £25,000 20/06/22

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