Morgans are built the old way, the way cars should be, by craftsmen not on assembly lines, but in workshops. Which is why the latest special edition of the Morgan Plus 8 is so goddamn fantastic. Sure, it's got the latest in aluminum chassis development, but a belt holds down the hood. Enter the Morgan Plus 8 Speedster.
I have to admit some Full Disclosures, first: I am a dedicated fan of Morgans, as they are undoubtedly amazing no matter what you say. Have I ever driven one? Well, specifically, "no," unless you're counting this weird dream I once had that also featured Patton Oswalt, in which case, "yes."
I really want to drive one. I will, someday. It's not crappy "retro" styling, either, like the strange bulbous mutant that is the PT Cruiser. It's just old, with modern touches, like the Queen. Sure, she's really nothing but an old pensioner, but under the hood she's got plenty of spunk and I heard that one time she saw a cell phone in use.
Also, I think the Chrysler Building is one of the prettiest buildings on Earth. I am not sure if these two things are related. Just putting it out there, is all.
But part of the reason why I love Morgans is because they combine the old and the new so well, and so unashamedly. And part of combining old and new well means working on a base of one, and adding light touches of the other, rather than making a confused mess that's 50% of one, and 40% of another.
(Yes, I know that doesn't add up to 100%, that's the point. Pedants.)
When Morgan decides to mix the two, though, somehow the equation adds up to more than the whole. And that's what you get with the Plus 8 Speedster.
That sky blue accent line just really brings the entire car together, and those big steelies can't hurt either. And that's another little design detail that is a beautiful mesh of the old and the new – sure, they're steelies, the dull, boring things you'd see on either a beat up old Toyota Paseo or a cop car, but here, they're finished in either brilliant silver or black, and, oh yeah, they're humongous.
It's a lot of thought that's gone into a seemingly minor detail, and it's the kind of thing that a much larger car company would never do. And sure, steelies might not sell well among the general public, but Morgans aren't for the general public.
They're for aesthetes, connoisseurs, and bon vivants. And isn't that what we all aspire to be?
Speaking of "not being for the general public," Morgan won't say just yet how many are going to be produced, but they are saying that the numbers are "limited." And when a company as small as Morgan says something is "limited," you know they're going to be pretty exclusive.
They've also got a 367-horse BMW V8, which is surely adequate for a car that weighs about as much as a pea, and a choice of either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. Acceleration to 60 comes in 4.2 seconds, and top speed is limited to 148 MPH.
As they're being built on a very limited basis, and they're meant to honor the company's 100th anniversary at their Pickersleigh factory, prospective owners will have a lot of options to choose from to ensure that their Speedster is truly theirs.
All I want to know is when one will truly be mine.
Photos credit: Morgan