Sunday, April 26, 2009

1999 Morgan Aero 8 (Prototype) on eBay

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?

The Morgan Aero 8 was the first new Morgan in 60 years. To say it was controversial is an understatement...

From the website usautoparts.com:

Having waited this long for a new model, you would think the British Press would be pleased. On the contrary, "It looks like it's been hit with a shovel," said one reporter. London's Daily Telegraph called it "stupendously ugly". "It looks like it ... hit a telegraph pole head on," the reporter said. "The squinting headlamps just look, well, dreadful, as if the company couldn't decide whether to place them in the wings or next to the radiator shell, and the rear panels look as though they've been cold-chiseled off a 1950s' Triumph TR2, which wasn't exactly a high point in British car design." The Daily Telegraph's motoring writer commented: "My initial reaction was to ask if customers would be able to specify their Aero 8s without the body."

That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?

It does and it doesn't. The body, I guess, is an acquired taste, but a sub 5 second 0 - 60 time and a top speed of 160 MPH isn't.

For a Morgan, the Aero 8 is close to being a modern car. It has 4.0 liter BMW V8 and a six-speed transmission. It has an aluminim frame (not wood!), ABS, airbags, a modern independent suspension and even electric windows (Hell, being a Morgan, just having windows and not side curtains is impressive)

The car listed on eBay is a pre-production prototype and the "earliest alloy body Morgan Aero 8 in existence", which I'm pretty certain makes it a collector's car, if not now certainly in the future.

I don't know what I think about this car. I love the fact that the Morgan Motor Company has been around and independent for over 100 years. There is a certain oldtime charm to "traditional" Morgans. The Aero 8, as impressive as the performance figures are, is just a tough car to look at. I'm certain though that at 100+ MPH it looks great from behind the wheel and that might be enough to make me love it.

Click here to see the eBay listing for this Morgan Aero 8.

Click here to see the entire usautoparts.com article.

Click here to see the Morgan Motor Company website.

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