Unlike the Plus 8, it doesn’t completely foil such romanticism out on the road either - which is strange considering the shared nature of practically everything. Perhaps it’s because there’s less gubbings to rattle around with the hodgepodge of so much glass and metal gone. Or because the car rides more consistently on 18-inch wheels than our long-termer did on 19s.
Whatever the reason, the Speedster seems to cover ground far more adequately - even with ones legs in a concessionary tangle to fit the offset, left-hand-drive pedals. The auto ‘box and lusty V8 grunt help of course - offering a zingy step off and so much torque that the ZF transmission rarely decides to downshift; leaving you to happily rummage through the low-range bellow.
Kept here, with much wind in your hair (the case for a helmet plausible; a hat, undeniable) the car’s large-nosed front and big-power rear settles into a jaunty, carefree stride wholly at one with the gentleman-racer image. Only by getting unduly carried away is there commensurately less to like.
Driven beyond briskly, the Plus 8’s familiar foibles pop up; the difficult to modulate brakes, inconsistent steering and a lack of proper honing in the suspension all contribute to a marked shortfall in driver confidence at turn-in. The flimsy new paddles mean the Speedster adds its own blemish, the manual gear changes being baggy and half a second too slow to make much of an impact.
Should I buy one?
Lord, yes. There are going to be just 60 Speedsters, meaning exclusivity can be added to the car’s list of attributes. Perhaps that doesn’t include the kind of flat-chat handling that a hardcore enthusiast would appreciate or the ultimate in English refinement, but the niche audience for either is already very well served by the rest of the low-volume British car industry.
Morgan, as ever, promises something slightly different, and the Speedster represents a wonderfully evocative take on its already idiosyncratic version of a V8-powered open-top. The high price - £70k before you start ticking - isn’t really any kind of impediment given the famously voracious ongoing demand.
Certainly, the factory on Pickersleigh Road has always relied on a certain kind of spellbound subjective affection to fill the order books; the Speedster - following on from the 3-Wheeler - is merely the latest evidence that the right kind of sorcery continues to occur in the Malvern hills.
Morgan Plus 8 Speedster
Price £69,995 (starting) 0-62mph 4.5 secs Top speed 155mph Economy 26.0mpg Co2 256g/km Kerbweight 1100kg Engine V8, 4799cc, petrol Installation Front, longitudinal Power 390bhp at 6300rpm Torque 370lb ft at 3400rpm Gearbox Six-speed automatic