Morgan has been making cars in England for over a century. Their latest incarnation of the old 1910’s 3-Wheeler is a masterpiece that takes you back to what driving is all about. Cheap to buy, cheap to run and looking NOT cheap at all, makes this a great way to get to work and still have a play car for the weekend. In all the reviews I have watched and read, no other car makes the test divers smile like the Morgan 3-Wheeler.
It all started back in the 1910’s. Henry Frederick Stanley (HFS) Morgan grew up in the Malvern Hills and got to a point where he was sick and tired of walking everywhere. But there was a problem. Motorbikes were too dangerous, cars were too expensive and often unreliable. What could he do? He invented a go between. Something that took the best from both and kept it really affordable. He launched a new concept that saw his company take off and solved a major problem until the late 1930’s when “normal” cars became more affordable.
So the three wheeler he built was basically a motorbike inside a thin car body. It had a motorbike engine mounted on the front between the two front wheels. This was genius, as it places most of the vehicles fixed weight exactly where it should be, making the balance of the 3-Wheeler almost perfect. Soon his friends were asking for one and when he launched a version with a steering wheel and windscreen at the Olympia car show in 1910 the general public became fans as well and ordered cars on the spot.
They even raced the 3-Wheeler and since it kept winning, the sales kept coming. Confirming the old adage, “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday.”
In 2010, Morgan announced the Morgan three-wheeler would return at the 2011 Geneva motor show. Initially said to be powered by a Harley Davidson V-Twin, it ended up running an S&S V-Twin. The whole vehicle weighed in at 550kg and was said to hit 62mph from rest in less than five seconds, it’s no longer a means of sensible transportation.
So how does this new Morgan 3-Wheeler drive?
Amazingly well. It does not lean over like a motorcycle so it uses all the dynamics of the 3-wheel layout to maintain its traction and it does that very well. If you want to read about Leaning Trikes then click HERE.
“I couldn’t stop giggling when I was tossing the 3 Wheeler around any curve. Especially when making the back end kick out ever so slightly.” (Kurt Bradley 2018)
“The Morgan 3 Wheeler's a delightful thing to drive, although ultimately not very fast.” (Matt Prior. 2018)
“So much fun to drive, look at and talk about.” (James Ward 2017)
“With only one rear wheel, traction is sometimes an issue, but it’s a grin-inducing one. Get it right and 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds is achievable, but oddly it’s not that which dominates the driving experience. It’s the front wheels, which bob up and down under their mudguards as the Morgan skips and bounces down the road.” (Top Gear 2017)
“The 3 Wheeler isn’t a subtle car, but unlike a gold plated Rolls or a straight-piped super car, the reactions to it are overwhelmingly positive.Instead, strangers admired, took photos and asked questions about the Morgan. I defy you to find another car more approachably fascinating to all who witness it.” (Jimi Beckwith 2017)
“The engine is one of the new S&S Engines built for Harley Davidson owners. They used to just tune Harleys but somewhere along the way had the great idea to produce their own engine. Keanu Reeves Motorcycle Company, Arch, uses them too but this S&S is built to a unique Morgan specification.
“It’s a lazy, old-fashioned motor, square of cylinder dimensions and with two overhead valves per cylinder, operated by pushrods. As a result, it makes a leisurely 82bhp, combined with a healthy 103lb ft of torque, peaking at just 3250rpm – a grunty set of stats for a bike motor.” (Nic Cackett. 2017)
Interestingly, Morgan chose to use the MX-5 (Mazda Miata for all you Americans) gearbox via a transitional case that contains a damper necessary to smooth the big V-twin’s otherwise peaky torque output. It is a great choice and supplies a quick shift with great feel. Front suspension is by wishbones, and there are coil springs all round – and no driving aids, like cars should be.
It is undeniable that almost every reviewer who tests the Morgan 3-Wheeler, leaves the car with a smile on their face. I can’t think of another car that has achieved such a well rounded appeal. An umbilical cord connecting us all the way back to what driving is really about.
The Morgan 3-Wheeler will, without a doubt, be one of the best driving experiences you can have, no matter how much money or connections you have. This is a piece of driving history reborn so everyone can experience what driving should be.
If you want more, check out this article HERE to see which 5 Trikes I believe should be made again.