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OTN 4, The Ultimate Morgan Plus 8!

A real hairy car, this OTN 4, better known as the Traco +8
After the Le Mans class win in 1962, Morgan stayed away from the famous French 24 hours race for a long time. When the Plus 8 had appeared they had a potential contender, as here was a car with good acceleration, durability, light weight.

The big minus point against Morgan competing at Le Mans had always been the deciding authorities.

Morgan agent John MacDonald did care for a return of Morgan to Le Mans. He there commisioned a VERY SPECIAL Morgan Plus 8 to be built. It was of lightweight construction, with aluminium body & wings, lower front suspension, lowered engine and extra wide body.

It was the first +8 (apart from the prototype) to be shod with wire wheels. Yet these were of the "Cobra" type, 8 1/2 inch wide. They carried 205/70 VR 15 Avon tyres.

The engine, though related to that fitted to the road +8s, was in fact unique. It is a Traco modified Buick/Oldsmobile engine (from which the Rover V8 engine was derived), hailing back to 1965 (!), equipped with Weber 48 IDA carburattors.

These carburettors are identical to those used in the Porsche 904s of the 1960s and stand proudly on top of the engine.The engine produced no less than 306 bhp. 

Because of these Webers, the bonnet needed a large scoop on the top. This makes the car immeditely recognisable. A number of pictures in the slide show were taken while the car still was under construction at The Factory in 1976. Note the width of the body!

The spray booth at that time was still one of the two old ones, long before the paint shop was built, across the slope. In order to improve airflow, a front undertray was fitted. The car came without any bumpers. This gave it a wild look. The usual filler caps were replaced by flip up ones, complete with lock.

When the car received its traditional test drive around the Malvern Hills, it must have drawn more attention than usual. The sound emerging from its exhaust is not exactly equal to that of a standard Morgan Plus 8! Yet, it was a car intended for use on the road, with racing aspirations, to say the least. In its final form the engine delivered 350 bhp! For Morgan cognoscenti it was easy to tell from its contemporary counterparts for its wide body, wire wheels, 4 rows of louvres on top of the bonnet, huge scoop to clear the Webers, etc.

The finished product looked like a real beast!

Unfortunately for John MacDonald, despite the kind cooperation of the Morgan Motor Company, the Traco +8, as the car got known, did not make it to Le Mans. The regulations changed and made a Le Mans adventure an impossibility.

Such a special Morgan deserves good coverage here and thanks to the special disk with images received from its owner, I am able to present the visitors with a nice selection of pictures in the form of a slide show. Enjoy!

OTN 4 - The Traco +8
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The car stayed in England for about 10 years, when one of the real Swedish enthusiasts crossed its path: Leif Barryd. He acquired the car back in 1987 at Heart of England Morgans and he has reamained its enthusiastic owner ever since. Leif has collected a lot of documentation around the car and its history, which makes it extra interesting.

Just take a look at the space between the inner headlamp nacelles and the cowl and it's immediately noticeable how wide this car is! Leif uses the car on both road and track. The Traco +8 has appeared in numerous publications over the years, varying from books to magazines to a much watched You Tube film.

It certainly is worth having a look at this film. You can enjoy the car's spectacular looks and sound at the same time. The following images give a brief overview of the car and its specifications.In four words: A MOST SPECTACULAR MORGAN!

Thanks for sharing this with me and all the visitors, Leif.