Abbot Spaulding enjoys cars. He said that back in the 1960s his dad discovered and fell in love with Morgans, British cars which have been made since 1910. The cars and company have a rich history, starting by making three-wheeled cars. Because this love of Morgans was passed down from father to son, it was of no surprise that in 1984, Abbot purchased a 1981 Morgan +8 of his own.
Though he was only the third owner of the car he had to make some modifications. “One of the other owners had converted it to propane,” Abbot said, so he switched it back to run on gasoline. “I also lowered the lights and re-did the interior to make it look more like a ‘60s car,” he added.
He also changed the original paint job some. The black currently on the car is the original factory color but Abbot added the brown for the same reasons he has made other modifications. That shade of brown is a Ford factory color from the 1950s.
While the car still has “pretty much its original engine,” meaning it is the Rover 440 cubic inch V-8 that was introduced and first used in 1968.
Because of the modifications he’s made, Abbot said that some Morgan owners have wondered about some of the changes he’s made to the car.
“Some purists have questioned some of the things I’ve done to the car,” he said. “Hey, it’s my car. If they want one that’s all original then they should buy their own.”
Abbot’s attitude isn’t meant to be mean in any way, it is just a reflection of his taste and how he has personalized his car. And he can count a number of Morgan lovers solidly in his camp.
In the early 1990s he took pictures of his Morgan with him on a trip to England and showed them to workers at the Worcestershire factory. The workers, who hand build each and every Morgan that is made, all loved the way Abbot’s car looked.
But this beautiful machine is for more than just looking at. “I get it out in the summer,” Abbot said. “I try to drive it once a week when the weather is nice.”
Abbot pointed out that it’s a fun car to drive and that the ride is solid. “It rides like it’s on rails,” he said. “But there is no power anything. You have to be prepared if you want to stop it.”
As a member of the Ohio Morgan Owners’ Group, Abbot said he attends a lot of local and regional Morgan events rather than going to open shows. Still, when he does get out, either just driving or showing it off, it attracts attention. Hey, it’s his car and he can show when and how he wants.