With its compact dimensions and alloy block, the Rover V8 was a natural fit for a sports car. What’s more, little surgery was required in order to mate it to a Plus 4 chassis. Save for an additional two inches being inserted into the wheelbase, and the traditional wooden plank floor being replaced by steel (although the ash frame remained), there was little difference.
Launched in 1968, the Plus 8 proved instantly popular and served to reenergise the firm. So much so, it remained in production for 36 years. Capable of an unstressed 120mph and 0-60mph in 6.5-seconds, it isn’t hard to understand the appeal. Gradual developments – wider bodies, Rover rather than a Moss ’boxes, rack-and-pinion steering – even air bags – continued to keep the model fresh, the last of the line editions featuring 4.6-litre V8s assembled by Coventry’s Power Train Projects.