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What year(s) were Plus 8 sold in California

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tdskip Tom Smith
SoCal, CA, USA   USA
1959 MG MGA
Hi guys, bit of an old ball question related to CA SMOG rules. Anyone know off hand what years the Plus 8s were sold in CA and what emissions gear they used? They all had the Rover 3.9 engine, right?

Thanks!

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davewhite Dave White
ARCATA, CA, USA   USA
Tom,
I can't speak to all of the years that +8's were sold in CA, but I have a 2003 +8, 35th anniversary model sold new by Morgan West in Santa Monica. A stock Rover 4.0 as far as I know. You might try contacting Dennis Glavis at Morgan West. He would probably have a good idea on the years. Another option would be Bill Fink at Isis in S.F / Marin County. He converted +8's to propane in the 80's to make them smog legal.

Why are you asking the question? CA will allow out of state vehicles after a specified amount of miles (7500 I think). You have to jump through all of the DMV hoops, but it can be done. Check the DMV website.

Dave


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IMG_4447-2.jpg

tdskip Tom Smith
SoCal, CA, USA   USA
1959 MG MGA
Hi Dave, thanks for the note. Nice car! I bet she is a total hoot to drive.

Here is why I am specifically asking. I have a 1980 TR8 that I am struggling to get through SMOG and want to convert to a later Rover EFI system. I can't use a Range Rover set up since that is classified as being from a truck by CA SMOG, so I need to find a car with a later Rover set up. My hope was that Morgan certified recent cars with CA SMOG, so I could use the same modern set up as a later Morgan (such as your model year) since the parts are readily available, cheap, well know and it is a heck of a good engine that would be cleaner than factory set up was in 1980.

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davewhite Dave White
ARCATA, CA, USA   USA
Tom,
I think 2003/4 were the last years for the Rover V8 in Morgans. In 2005 Morgan imported the Roadster with a V6. That was the last year that "classic" Morgans were imported, although I have read that currently Dennis Glavis is importing Roadsters with no engine and then adding a Ford V6. I am not sure of the details. Talking to someone like Dennis or Bill might give you the information you are looking for. They have both been through this and would know the DMV issues. Good luck.

Dave

davewhite Dave White
ARCATA, CA, USA   USA
One other thing I forgot. In my dealings with CA DMV I have found that the individual person you deal with makes a huge difference in how difficult the DMV hoops are. Get a different clerk or go to a different office. I recently sold some cars for the widow of a friend and had to deal with title/car VIN mismatch and a car dropped from the DMV system. Both were DMV nightmares. Some of the clerks seemed to be making it their life's mission to make everybody else's life difficult, others made a great effort to get things done. Use the DMV website to find the correct process for your situation. Print it out and take it with you to DMV. Several times I pulled out the website info on a certain item and the clerk looked at it and said "I didn't know that", and things got done.

Dave

c7808 Jim S
Angola, NY, USA   USA
I purchased two new ones from Isis Motors in SF. The 1991 was turbo propane and my 1994 was gas powered. Jim

DuncanCharlton Avatar
DuncanCharlton Duncan Charlton
Elgin, Texas, USA   USA
1931 Morgan 3 Wheeler "Gwenda (Sold)"
1967 Morgan 4/4 "Toly's Car"
1967 Unknown Unknown
1970 Mini Countryman    & more
Call Bill Fink at Isis Imports in SF (or Bodega): 415-433-1344
Duncan

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Super Sevenista BRUCE KOPITZ
Shelby Township, MI, USA   USA
In the past, Morgan would acquire USA approval for a car model, then produce the cars, and then spend several years selling them. Thus, you see many 1995, many 1998, and many 2002 (many in the sense that this term can be applied to Morgans!), but no cars from years in-between. All of this ended when Dennis Glavis began exploiting the "kit car" exemption in the federal law. The term "kit car" is a pejorative, but that is how the law is described. The law has been exploited by many fine marques, including Caterham, Superformance, Backdraft, and now Morgan. The "kit car" exemption requires that a non-federalized car must be imported without the drivetrain installed. The engine and trans must be installed stateside. I believe the engines must meet EPA emissions requirements, but the assembled vehicle is otherwise exempted from crash damage, airbags and other rules. Honestly, I can't understand why Morgan has not exploited the "kit car" exemption before, and to a degree greater than a single dealer - many more customers could experience the Morgan mystique.

Now, there is a another law in play, which (to my understanding) does not replace the "kit car" exemption, but rather provides a NEW exemption. Evidently, new non-federalized cars, based on historic designs at least 25 years old, will be allowed to come ashore as complete units. Numbers will be limited to a certain small total per year per manufacturer, but the number will be large by Morgan production standards. No one is saying at this time, but this new law may mean that the bimmer-engined +8 could soon be Morgan-winging it's way to our shores.

This is all I know, said he ironically.

Morgan13 Timothy Barlow
Vancouver, WA, USA   USA
I know as early as 1968 +8s were sold in CA with a 3.5 motor. A 1976 +8 with a turbo propane 3.5 was just sold in Vancouver, WA that came from Bill Fink at ISIS back in the day. To my understanding it was Bill Fink is the one that came up with the propane set up, it was the only way you could get them into the US because of the Emissions laws at the time as late as 1989.


2013 M3W
Morgan stage ll motor kit
cats removed

1998 +8
SS sport tuned exhaust

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DuncanCharlton Avatar
DuncanCharlton Duncan Charlton
Elgin, Texas, USA   USA
1931 Morgan 3 Wheeler "Gwenda (Sold)"
1967 Morgan 4/4 "Toly's Car"
1967 Unknown Unknown
1970 Mini Countryman    & more
Tim -- Bill Fink did engineer the propane setup and took advantage of the higher knock resistance by adding the turbocharger. CANTAB, the Morgan dealer in Virginia also did propane conversions but not turbocharged, as far as I know.

Duncan

DuncanCharlton Avatar
DuncanCharlton Duncan Charlton
Elgin, Texas, USA   USA
1931 Morgan 3 Wheeler "Gwenda (Sold)"
1967 Morgan 4/4 "Toly's Car"
1967 Unknown Unknown
1970 Mini Countryman    & more
No Morgans were imported directly to the US between 1971 and 1976. Bill Fink of ISIS (now Morgan Cars USA for pretty obvious reasons) engineered the turbo propane conversion and the collision protection features (some of which seem to have been adopted by the works in later years) so propane cars began sales after that. Those would have been the 3.5 liter engines. According to Gomog.com, most of the cars imported through 1991 were propane cars, although Cantab, in VA, began importing detuned Plus 8s as early as 1986, with lower compression, different camshaft and ignition timing, etc. The power to weight ratio on these was reportedly about on par with a home market Morgan 4/4.

The earliest car I've driven that seemed to have typical Plus 8 performance was a 1991 or 1992 model.

Duncan
(Texas)

38 DHC Mark Braunstein
Vicinity of Orlando, Florida, USA   USA
1934 Morgan 3 Wheeler "Moss MOG"
1938 Morgan 4-4 "Uncle Georges Winter Carriage"
1981 Morgan 4/4
This timeline shows the propane Morgans. Both Plus 8s and 4/4s (Ford and Fiat powered) were converted to propane. Not all Plus 8s were turbos.

Cheers,


Attachments:
Morgan Timeline v60.pdf    384.4 KB

c7808 Jim S
Angola, NY, USA   USA
I had a1971 plus 8 that was one of the 50 legal cars. Also a friend had a legal 1972 .

DuncanCharlton Avatar
DuncanCharlton Duncan Charlton
Elgin, Texas, USA   USA
1931 Morgan 3 Wheeler "Gwenda (Sold)"
1967 Morgan 4/4 "Toly's Car"
1967 Unknown Unknown
1970 Mini Countryman    & more
As do I (1971). It was retrieved at the works and then shipped home to San Diego. It had the usual smog equipment and side marker lights.

Duncan

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