1980 Morgan Plus 8


Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a 1980 Morgan Plus 8.

The Morgan Chassis Record on file confirms this is a factory right hand drive, matching numbers example which was despatched from the Morgan factory on 3rd March 1980 to Morgan agent J. Britten in Hertz, UK. It was delivered in Signal Red with the following options; black leather interior, aluminium body and wings, steel bonnet, locking petrol cap, tow bracket, door handles and rust proofing.

It is understood that this Morgan found its way to Australia fairly early in its life. The last known UK registration for the car expired in September 1988. A check with the department of transport has confirmed this car was imported into Australia prior to 1989.

Unfortunately, the early Australian history of this car is not known. At some stage the car was registered in NSW with the registration QJS 923.

The current owner acquired the car in 2005 from a Bonhams and Goodman auction held in Mittagong, NSW. The car was part of the well known Andrew Lidden QC collection. It is understood that Lidden was a long term owner of the car and he may well have imported it from the UK.

The current owner is very particular about his cars. He has a significant collection of cars which he uses and enjoys on a regular basis. As a result, all of his cars are well maintained and serviced on a regular basis. The most recent maintenance work and service carried out on this Morgan Plus 8 was executed in July 2021. At that time the odometer read 40,914 miles. The radiator was removed and fitted with a new core, the cylinder heads were removed and reconditioned, the water pump was reconditioned, a new thermostat was fitted, the slave cylinder was reconditioned, the rear wheel cylinders were reconditioned and the carburettors were balanced and tuned. There is an invoice on file for just under $6,500.

Today the odometer reads 41,055 miles, indicating the car has only travelled about 140 miles since all that work was done. Unfortunately, the current owner and his wife are not as agile as they once were, which is why this car has not been used as much as others in the collection. As a result, they have made the difficult decision to sell and have tasked us to find a new custodian for one of their favourite cars.

Our first impression of this car is . . . wow, love the colour! It is presented in the most striking red orange hue. When you walk around the car it presents exactly the way you would expect, given that it has been used the way its makers intended. And that is, overall the paint presents very well with a few minor imperfections and blemishes here and there. All of the external trim is similarly presented. The front windscreen and all the lenses are in good condition with no evidence of any cracks. The wheels are shod with Michelin Energy XM1 tyres, size 205/70 R14 which are date stamped 2205 (week 22, 2005). These should be replaced if one considers doing some serious driving with the car.

The interior is also well presented. The upholstery looks to be original, though it has been recently recoloured. The seats show some patina. Most noticeably, the driver’s seat shows signs of wear and some cracks in the leather. But, it is still all kind of ‘nice’. The seats are still firm and supportive. The dashboard presents well and the instruments all appear to be in good working order. There is a full tonneau cover and soft top with the car, both of which are in very good condition. There are no side curtains.

The engine bay is clean, though very original as you will see from the photographs.

With a Morgan it is all about the drive and this car certainly doesn’t disappoint. Compared to the earlier Plus 8’s which have a four speed gearbox, this car has the advantage of having a British Leyland five speed gearbox which improves the driving experience and makes the longer drives more comfortable.

Once you slide in behind the steering wheel for the first time you take in your surroundings and make yourself comfortable. There is a knack to getting into the car, but once you are seated the driving position is very good. The engine needs the choke on to start from cold. The knob is located under the dash on the right hand side of the steering column. After turning the key on it is important to allow the fuel pump a few seconds to do its work. Then you turn the key further and the 3.5 litre Rover V8 fires up almost immediately and then quickly settles into a smooth idle. No matter how often you drive a Morgan Plus 8, it’s always an absolute pleasure to start the car and hear that V8 rumble. People who don’t understand expect MG TC but you get an Aston Martin V8 sounding thunderous growl!

Once the engine has warmed up it is time to take this Morgan Plus 8 out onto the road. First impressions are good, really good. The engine revs freely through the range and the car just wants to go. It has power to burn and it feels exceptionally fast when pushed hard. The five speed gearbox is a delight. The gearbox is smooth, the shift is short and the gear changes are easy. The suspension also feels good and the car handles well. The brakes also work well, pulling the car up effectively and in a straight line when needed. With all the work that was recently done to the car it shouldn’t be a surprise that is goes so well.

This Morgan Plus 8 is just a fabulous car to drive! It is also well presented and is the type of car you can just get in, use and enjoy. It is the perfect club car or if that is not your thing the perfect car for a Sunday morning drive to your favourite café for breakfast or your local Cars and Coffee.


  • a lovely example of the fabulous Morgan Plus 8.
  • presented in a striking and stunning colour scheme.
  • ready to use and enjoy.
  • a fabulous car to drive.



Morgan is one of the most unique and iconic motoring brands of all time.  This British family-owned company was founded in 1910 by Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan. Henry Morgan used to work for the Great Western Railway but quit his job in 1904 to pursue his passion for the automobile. He co-founded a motor sales and servicing garage in Malvern Link and in 1909 he designed and built his first car.  A year later production started and the company prospered. A little-known fact is that Henry Morgan had developed the first independent front suspension a few years earlier.

The first Morgans were all three wheelers. Production grew fast and by the start of World War I around a thousand Morgan three wheelers had been produced. World War I put a stop to the production but it resumed quickly thereafter. It wasn’t until 1935 that Morgan produced its first four wheel car. It was named the 4/4, meaning four seats and four wheels.

The three wheelers were eventually phased out in 1952 by which time Morgan had introduced a bigger engined, high performance car, designated the Plus 4 to be produced alongside the 4/4. Subsequently Morgan introduced the Plus 4 Plus and whilst each of their models continued to evolve, during the late fifties and early to mid-sixties Morgan was seen to be “stale and producing more of the same” and many pundits thought the brand was indeed “dated and may fade away”.

In 1959 Henry Morgan passed away and his son Peter Morgan took over the business.

In addition to the challenge of reinventing the Morgan brand, Peter Morgan faced the problem of a decreasing availability of large four cylinder engines to be used in the Plus 4. In 1967 Rover had acquired the rights to produce the Buick 215 cui V8 engine. Peter Morgan quickly struck a deal with Rover to supply him with the ‘new’ V8 engine, now produced as a 3.5 litre Rover engine. The Plus 4 chassis was altered and in 1968 Morgan introduced the Plus 8. The car received critical acclaim when first shown at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1968 and it quickly put Morgan back on the map as a maker of high performance sports cars. The first production cars were built in late 1968 and the 3.5 litre (3528 cc) Rover V8 engine was good for 160 bhp that propelled the car to a top speed of 125mph, however, it was how it got there that had people excited. It was clocked by magazines in period from 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds and could accelerate from 0-100 mph, quicker than a 4.2 litre Jaguar E-Type!

The car continued to evolve and Morgan Plus 8 production finally ceased in 2004 after 37 years, during which 6,233 cars were built. Just an incredible story really!


  • -
  • Morgan Plus 8
  • 1980
  • Convertible
  • Manual
  • 41,055 miles
  • 3,528cc


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