Not every used car dealer has had a tough time in 2009. Morgan and Lotus specialist Allon White Sports Cars has enjoyed its busiest year ever and has even had to take on staff to cope with demand. Owner John Bellenger says the company is benefiting hugely from the combined effect of the popularity of Morgans in Europe and the weak pound. ‘The low interest rates are also driving UK sales,’ he adds. ‘People see their money doing nothing in the bank, so some decide to spend it with us. Morgans suffer very little depreciation so they’re a sensible choice.’
The petite showroom on the High Street in Cranfield gives the impression of a very small business, but out the back there’s a huge workshop and a second showroom, and in there sits a 2003 Plus 8 35th Anniversary. Just 4600 miles have passed under its wire wheels and it looks brand new, both the ‘Le Mans’ blue paintwork and the cream leather interior being completely unmarked.
The 36-year Plus 8 production run came to an end in 2004 when emissions legislation did for the faithful Rover V8 and Morgan moved on to the Ford 3-litre V6, but it’s no surprise that these V8-powered are still so popular. The low-rev burble and even the smell of this car is almost impossible to replicate, and while it might not be the fastest thing you could buy for £35K, it’s not hard to make a case for buying one. Morgans offer a unique, old-fashioned feel-good driving experience that you relax into; in many ways they are the polar opposite of the Lotuses that Allon Whites also sells. It’s unlikely that this car will sit in the showroom for long.
With thanks to vendor Allon White Sports Cars, Cranfield, Bedfordshire (www.allonwhite.co.uk)
|Max power||172bhp @ 4750rpm|
|Max torque||221lb ft @ 3500rpm|