Three Wheeled Cars

Three-Wheeled Cars: Morgan 3 Wheeler

Sure it may be retro, but today's new Morgan 3 Wheeler combines the best of the original with a modern and powerful motorcycle engine.

The finale of this series obviously had to be the car which shares its own handle with the name of the niche. The Morgan 3 Wheeler is retro to a point which some people see as absurd, yet it is also one of the fastest and most powerful three-wheelers ever made. Even so, it is one of the most unusual cars available for sale today, beating out even the highly unusual cars which have been offered by Morgan throughout its history.

The Morgan Motor Company was founded in 1910 by Henry Fredrick Stanley Morgan and was passed down first to his son and then his grandson, the current head of the company. For its first 26 years, Morgan produced only three-wheelers, with the first four-wheeled model not appearing until 1936. These were divided into two basic model types, with the first of these being the V-Twin models. Morgan even won the 1913 Cyclecar Grand Prix with one of its V-Twin cars. As you might have guess by the name of this race, these early Morgans were fairly simple machines, even by the relatively primitive automotive standards of the day.

Motivation came from motorcycle engines, and the tub-like bodies were as bare-bones as possible. These were followed by the introduction of the F-Series three-wheelers in 1933, which were powered by regular automotive four-cylinder engines and had bodies much more like other cars. The outbreak of WWII would kill off the V-Twin models in 1939, but the F-Series cars would last up until 1952. But when Morgan decided to bring back the concept as the 3 Wheeler model, it was the more basic V-Twin design that got the green light.

The new model has an incredibly similar design to the sporty V-Twin which Morgan was producing during the Thirties. That a Morgan is quite similar to a model made before the Second World War should surprise nobody who has ever heard of the company. But what’s impressive is how true to the original Morgan staid, while still meeting current safety regulations. It is legally classified as a motorcycle, but like the T-Rex, it doesn't require a helmet or a motorcycle license. But said rollbars and the wing mirrors are about the only external indicators that you’re looking at a car that was made after 1939.

The original plans for the new 3 Wheeler had called for the use of a Harley-Davidson Screaming Eagle V-twin engine. But instead, one was sourced from the Wisconsin-based parts manufacturer S&S. It produces 115 horsepower and can go from 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds. Those kinds of figures beat out most every other three-wheeler ever made, especially the Peel P50. It does fall a bit short of the performance of the T-Rex, but for those who like a bit of retro (or a huge lump of it, as the case may be) the Morgan’s styling might offer an attractive alternative to the extra power.

The Morgan is expensive, with a price tag just over $50,000, and its offerings in the field of practicality are effectively nil. But this lack of practicality makes it the perfect example of what a three-wheeler should be today. Gone are the days when there was a need or a market for a three-wheeler which needed to be relied on for actual transportation. There was always something a bit sad about someone driving a Reliant Robin, and that just isn’t so with a Morgan. You might not like the Morgan, but at least it doesn’t broadcast to the world that you can’t afford a proper car. It is a vehicle intended purely for fun, and it very much delivers as far as that is concerned.

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