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Tuesday 31st January 2012

PH fleet: Morgan Plus 8

Morgan meets McLaren, Harris feels surge of patriotic pride as a result



There are two canvas flaps on the Plus 8 roof, one remains inside the door frame, the other must be hooped over the metal frame and its positioning requires some dexterity. It is worth the effort though, sandwich both inside the door-close and you invite water into the cabin - when moving or when stationary. I know this because I have tried it.


Roof down, trundling to Cardiff and back last weekend in the winter sunshine, the car was being used as intended: burbling, executing the odd burst of speed and being admired by all who saw it.

If I have one reservation right now, it's the spring rates. The car is just too stiff and it causes problems in every area of chassis dynamics. The Plus 8 is too easily deflected by bumps of any sort - in a straight line or in the middle of a turn - and working with a very fast steering rack it can make the car feel quite nervous. Of course this is a development car right now, so I will be lobbying Charles and his team to try some softer springs and dampers. I think it would make the car much more pleasant to drive.

Character study
It would also fit the character of the powertrain more closely. The BMW V8 does its best work from 3,000-5,000rpm, at which point you have the option to hang on for the full face-bender or you can retain some deportment and shift up for another woofle of exhaust noise. It's not a frenetic engine, in fact the flywheel effect is a little irritating when shifting quickly from first to second, so you enjoy the surges rather than invoke the last few rpm. Whichever method you choose, it is very, very fast.


I do adore the way this car looks. It stopped traffic at Heathrow last week and, best of all, it was my transport for a visit to McLaren's HQ in Woking. Parking it next to an MP4-12C made me feel enormously proud of the UK automotive industry - and I'm not normally outwardly patriotic about such things. I wonder what Ron Dennis would make of the Morgan's timber body supports, or its roof mechanism?

The MP4-12C feels like it comes from a different dimension. It does things a Ferrari 458 cannot do, let alone the Plus 8. But in the single discipline of charm, like everything else I've driven over the past six months, it has to defer to the car from Malvern.


FACT SHEET
Car:
2012 Morgan Plus 8
Run by: Chris Harris
On fleet since: January 2012
Mileage: 1,680
List price new: c. £80,000
Last week at a glance: Jiggly, a bit damp at times, but huge fun

 

 

 

Chris Harris
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Author Discussion

Insight

Original Poster:

594 posts

84 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
Nice comparison, here we have the ultimate 'Logic' vs 'Emotion' car test. (You can even see it in the number plates, one's normal and the other's a private plate.)

Gorbyrev

739 posts

40 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
Great write up. Listening to interviews with Charles Morgan you actually get the sense he might welcome the advice about spring and damper rates!

[AJ]

3,036 posts

84 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
Lovely. If I could have any two cars right now, they would be it.. although the Morgan would need to be in cream with a tan leather bonnet strap. As much as it pains me to say it, the Macca just beats the GT3RS 4.0 for me.

Dave Hedgehog

7,285 posts

90 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
i want the morgan more than the mclaren smile

Vocal Minority

3,821 posts

38 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
My original scepticism on Morgan's approach to car design (namely hardly ever changing) is receeding rapidly with this +8.

Whilst I respect everyone elses wish to have the leather bonnet straps and wire wheels, I think less really is more with that car!
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BuzzLightyear

1,426 posts

68 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
...just popping over to the classifieds. Won't be long...whistle

Looking forward to the Eva GT, too.

BigTom85

980 posts

57 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
I love Morgan, but I also love Macca. Which is best? There's only one way to find out...



If I could have only one car, I'd have the Macca. If I could run the Morgan alongside a daily drive then I'd take that instead. smile

ikarl

1,626 posts

85 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
no fight whatsoever.....Morgan everytime!

I had a pax ride with a very competent Morgan driver who drove their race spec cars on track for them...rather impressive how they move their weight and powered past everything apart from an R33 gtr running 600+

Snowman23

243 posts

91 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
I'm loving Morgan's work at the moment. This, and their batsh*t mental 3 wheeler are high up on my 'list' (the ever changing top 5/top 10 etc)

Me and my Dad were on the Morgan stand at an NEC motorshow in the the early to mid 90's, my dad was chatting to a guy on the stand for ages, at the end of their discussion the guy hands my dad his card, it was Charles Morgan. Incredibly nice man

garypotter

801 posts

36 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
£80,000!!!!!!!!!!!!, not for me as it looks like a kit car rather than a factory built, Surely a kit car at 10% of that value would give you as much fun,

vdubbin

2,000 posts

83 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
Have you seen them up close? The finish is fantastic, far, far superior to a kit job. We don't see them very often over here, but there was a great display at the Adare Festival of Speed last summer, and I just pored over them for ages.

Stuart

11,585 posts

137 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
10 years ago I would've poo pooed the Morgan for being made of wood, and all the other casually ignorant things that the decriers level at them. Now, I'd really love almost anything from their range, and I'm desperate to try a three wheeler.

Is it possible that you grow into Morgan, in much the same way that you grow into Radio 2? That's not meant in a disparaging way at all - I find both brands so much more charming and "me" now than I would've done a few years ago. Have they got younger, or am I just turning inexorably into my father?!

goron59

394 posts

57 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
Love both and think black is the Mac's best colour.

joncon

1,172 posts

109 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
Stuart said:
10 years ago I would've poo pooed the Morgan for being made of wood, and all the other casually ignorant things that the decriers level at them. Now, I'd really love almost anything from their range, and I'm desperate to try a three wheeler.

Is it possible that you grow into Morgan, in much the same way that you grow into Radio 2? That's not meant in a disparaging way at all - I find both brands so much more charming and "me" now than I would've done a few years ago. Have they got younger, or am I just turning inexorably into my father?!
i think there is two stages to understanding morgan , one when you are a child , you love the way it looks like no other car, its cool , i remember going to the nec to see the motorshow first time it was held there, rushing to see lotus , tvr and morgan . they were our ferrari's of the time.
second stage is you remember what made you like these cars as a youngster, and realise that the philosophy hasn't changed in that time, still made the same way, you yearn for that traditional car in this age of technology.
nothing has changed, yet everything has changed!

as for the three wheeler ..have a go ! trust me its the best feeling in he world !
you might no want to get out of it !

TheHeretic

73,668 posts

141 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
I'd have the Morgan, personally! Utterly beautiful, classy, and stunning car. I had a little sex wee.

djon

394 posts

120 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
Stuart said:
10 years ago I would've poo pooed the Morgan for being made of wood, and all the other casually ignorant things that the decriers level at them. Now, I'd really love almost anything from their range, and I'm desperate to try a three wheeler.

Is it possible that you grow into Morgan, in much the same way that you grow into Radio 2? That's not meant in a disparaging way at all - I find both brands so much more charming and "me" now than I would've done a few years ago. Have they got younger, or am I just turning inexorably into my father?!
I'm the same. I drove an Aeromax last year and actually really enjoyed it, same with listening to R2 these days.

Getting old: 'I didn't notice it happening and I don't agree with it.'

Harry Flashman

9,829 posts

128 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
I drive an Aero 8, which the Plus 8 is underneath, mechanically. For some reason I'm not convinced by the Plus 8's looks - the original "traditional" Morgans look great because of their narrow bodies and detailing. This looks like an unhappy cross: using the much larger Aero platform loses the traditional's good looks, IMHO.


BuzzLightyear

1,426 posts

68 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
^^
Can't disagree with you, Harry, but it does make it a more practical proposition with some more interior room and makes it look a bit more modern (for a Morgan, anyway). So an evolutionary progression which detracts a bit from the aesthetic - some will prefer it, others not?

TheHeretic

73,668 posts

141 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
I don't think the aesthetics are in any way compromised.

appletonn

505 posts

146 months

[news] 
Tuesday 31st January 2012 quote quote all
Stuart said:
10 years ago I would've poo pooed the Morgan for being made of wood, and all the other casually ignorant things that the decriers level at them. Now, I'd really love almost anything from their range, and I'm desperate to try a three wheeler.

Is it possible that you grow into Morgan, in much the same way that you grow into Radio 2? That's not meant in a disparaging way at all - I find both brands so much more charming and "me" now than I would've done a few years ago. Have they got younger, or am I just turning inexorably into my father?!
What he said ^^^^^ - me too!!
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