Rare Rides: The Very Rare Morgan Aero 8 America, From 2007
Morgan is a carmaker for traditionalists who wear tweeds, enjoy wooden car frames, and shun modern technology. Its customers’ tobacco pipes are firmly pointed toward the past.
Seems like today’s Rare Ride is not for them. Presenting the 2007 Aero 8.
Morgan doesn’t often develop a new model, instead preferring to fiddle around with their existing roadsters, which is the only style of vehicle the company builds. In the late Nineties though, someone decided it was time for an addition to the model range, and set to work.
The resulting car was the Aero 8, which was the first new model from Morgan since 1964. Breaking with its own tradition, the Aero 8 utilized an aluminum chassis and frame. At a weight of just 2,596 pounds, the slick roadster was powered by a very German 4.4-liter V8 borrowed from BMW. 329 horsepower were on tap, delivered to the rear via the auto’s six-speed manual.
Aero 8 had a couple other notable features: The original design included headlamps which, for aerodynamic reasons, appeared to be cross-eyed. And the fully independent suspension did not include anti-roll bars. Onlookers were discomfited by the Aero 8’s headlamps, so in 2007 Morgan released a revised version with a more acceptable looking visage. That same model year, the 4.4 was replaced by BMW’s own 4.8-liter. Horsepower jumped to 362, and an automatic transmission became optional.
An upmarket coupe version called the AeroMax debuted in 2008. It had a limited run of 100 units, and a price of $161,000 (inflation adjusted). Morgan continued production of the AeroMax, perhaps to the chagrin of original purchasers, and cut a hole in the roof. Voila, the Aero SuperSports targa coupe.
During its production the Aero 8 competed in a few different races; its best finish was 10th place in the GT class, at the 2004 12 Hours of Sebring. Production of the Aero 8 ended in 2010. Though the company announced a successor later, it never materialized. Today Morgan offers their 3 Wheeler model, and three different versions of the “4” Roadster. They have 12 dealerships spread across the United States and one near Downtown Canada.
Today’s Rare Ride is an in-betweener example of Aero 8. It has the revised headlamps of 2007, but was not fitted with the larger V8. This one was sold as new in the United States, for which Morgan developed the America version specially. The ad copy indicates 2007 was the last time the Aero 8 was offered in the U.S. market. With 20,000 miles, left-hand drive, and the most killer wheels, Aero 8 asks $149,995.
Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.
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