The Morgan Plus 8 "Phoenix"
Well known Canadian Morgan owner Lorne Goldman, who has travelled all over the globe in his Morgans has a special story about one of his Plus 8s. This particular car is now known by the name Phoenix. The reason why becomes clear in Lorne's own story, which follows below:
There is a well travelled Morgan exotic that has a modern history. It is often pointed to as an expression of the good old days. In 2002, a well known Canadian Mogger, Lorne Goldman, was rear-ended while Mogging in the US. His deeply loved restored 1984 Plus 8 was destroyed by the impact and subsequent fire. The young American who caused the accident was uninsured leaving Lorne Mogless with a bad case of whiplash.
There are only a few Plus 8s in Canada and as Canadian law has prohibited Morgan imports since 1994, it looked hopeless. The insurance wanted to write off the car and its VIN and pay off the policy.
But Canada has no limit on what or where constitutes a repair. The insurance companies are forced by law to accept any repair as long as it can be proved it is authentic. Sadly "authentic" is a term that is defined by the insurer in Canada.
The Morgan Motor Company came to the rescue..with the intervention of many of the Morgan marque's heroes. Within days, the Morgan Motor Company had agreed to pull out the old Plus 8 plans from the 1980s and recreate/repair the car to original specification with Mark Aston, the famous Morgan Director as the Morgan Motor Company point man. Ideas flowed in from everywhere and soon it became a fun project for all involved, an effort to construct an idealized Morgan, with Morgan components spanning the 36 years of Plus 8.
Valances were polished, new old parts were sourced by the Parts Department from the old stores of dealers everywhere, an engine was polished and chromed, the wings slimmed and the body made as lithe as a 1970s model without sacrifice to interior space. The list is immense. One of the touching gestures is on the floor under the seats. It was signed by the entire Morgan Motor Company workforce. The car was dubbed the Phoenix.
It was shipped to Canada in 2002 in December, the anniversary of the day it was first shipped to Canada in 1984. Bill Beck, the Morgan Motor Company Service Manager until 1987 and Development Manager from 1992-2002, was sent and helped to complete the car by melding the various generations of technology.
It is fitted with a 306 bhp 4.8L Rover V8 and a Plus 8 R380 gearbox.
It carries at least one component from every year of Morgan Plus 8 production!
Since its completion, or should one say resurrection, it has added a lot of trouble free miles.
When Lorne is not driving the car, he can still look at its equivalent, in the form of an especially made scale model, in the right colour combination.