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Is Morgan's special beautiful or ugly?
No sooner have we picked some Salon Prive highlights and Morgan has gone and torn them up somewhat. The olde worlde British carmaker has gone berserk and produced one of the more crackers creations we’ve seen recently. Ladies and gentleman, the Morgan SP1.
The initials of its name stand for ‘Special Projects’; departments dedicated to specialist creations are all the rage at the moment, and this is the first product of Morgan’s.
Round headlamps and liberal wood usage aside, it couldn’t be much further removed from Morgan’s previous produce. It looks more like something West Coast Customs might have rolled out, its front-hinged bonnet and dished alloy wheels being particularly eye-popping.
Every aspect of the car has been cherry-picked by its owner-to-be. The ash wood frame is combined with African Bubinga red hardwood, which complements the colour scheme while also signifying the buyer’s business life in Africa, we’re told.
The aluminium panels wear several layers of paint, a black base trickling through the bold red hue above it. The styling is inspired by Morgan’s 2009 LifeCar concept, itself spun off the Aero 8. The interior is similarly bold, with wildly sculptured wooden seats, some ‘pre-flight’ toggle switches for a dramatic starting procedure and the distinctly un-Morgan addition of an iPad-based infotainment system, though it is fixed to the dashboard by some hand-stitched leather straps, so traditionalists can relax a little.
At the SP1’s heart is the 3.7-litre Ford V6 from the Morgan Roadster; there it produces 280bhp, but the SP1’s new engine management system and custom exhaust may have boosted this a little. There’s an upgraded suspension system, too, though just how heavily a Morgan’s Marmite dynamics can be altered is a discussion for elsewhere.
There’s far less doubt about how many heads the SP1 will turn on the lawns of Salon Prive this week. Lots, in other words.
This is just the start of Morgan’s Special Projects era, and the team have already said they can’t wait for their next challenge. So give them one: search the depths of your imagination and tell us what your dream Morgan comprises of below…