A Morgan Roadster by any other name would be as much fun to drive. So it is with the Roadster ’65, the $105,000 answer to the prayers of Morgan enthusiasts seeking to acquire a new traditional-style Morgan four-wheeler. The last time such a car was available in the United States was in early 2006, when the Morgan Motor Company stopped exporting its Roadster to this country because complying with our federal crash standards became too complicated for the low-volume British builder. Now through the U.S. dealer Morgan West of Santa Monica, Calif., and in compliance with California law concerning specially constructed vehicles, buyers can import a brand-new 2014 Morgan Roadster sans engine, order an engine through Ford, and have it installed by a designated third-party shop in Southern California. The result is an exquisite combination of old and new technology.
The Roadster ’65’s lovely aluminum body conceals the 325 hp, 3.7-liter Ford V-6. Hooked up to a 6-speed manual gearbox, the engine enables the lightweight sports car to achieve a zero-to-60-mph time of 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 140 mph. Electric power steering and air-conditioning make the Roadster ’65 feel more modern than it looks.