Sure, at the right angle it looks like the backend was cleaned off by a semi trailer truck barreling down the road, but the reinvigorated Morgan 3 Wheeler is the three-wheeled car that three-wheeled, leather-wearing man-dreams are made of. Don’t doubt yourself if the Morgan 3 Wheeler rings a bell. The company has been kicking quads to the curb since 1910–Your grandpappy probably had a few Popular Mechanics centerfolds of the little beastie up on his walls. Jeff Glucker of Hooniverse is a fan too, and had the chance to drive the car around the rolling hills of sunny Southern California.
Glucker describes the car as “a bathtub connected to an X-Wedge S&S motor and a triumvirate of wheels. Inside the cockpit is a pair of quilted leather seats, a wooden steering wheel, a gear shift lever, and a few gauges set alongside a starter button.”
His conclusion? That it’s one of the most thrilling and entertaining vehicles on the planet. So, what makes this tri-car so enjoyable? The S&S 1976cc V-twin engine sits right out in front, eating the bugs as you take the tubular steel spaceframe from 0 to 60 in under 6 seconds. You’ll hit a top speed of 115 mph with 80-100 horsepower in the rear burning off a combine 30.3 mpg from your 11 gallon fuel tank. Glucker relates how th wooden/steel steering wheel allows you to feel everything you roll over on those skinny front tires. That, combined with turning heads in your fancy helmet and goggles as you sit inches off the ground, makes it a phenomenal ride indeed.
Morgan 3 Wheeler: Behind the Design
Reintroducing the Morgan 3 Wheeler called for an acute attention to the roots of such a car, along with sifting in the modern need for style and performance. No problem for the Morgan design team though. They turned their sketches into a surface model using Autodesk Alias, churned out the renderings and went straight to manufacturing pushing the pressed aluminum body panels of from CATIA. Let’s back up though. How did they approach the design and engineering? Simplicity and Craftsmanship. From Morgan:
This attitude toward simplicity is echoed in every detail. A bold horizontal waist line is accentuated with a wire rolled edge and traditional rivet head detailing. The overall proportion is one of constant curvature and smooth highlights, carefully tuned to reduce visual mass. Optional polished or satin black exterior detailing can drastically alter the cars character when combined with the virtually infinite selection of paint and leather options. An open cockpit surrounds the pilot with luxurious natural leather at every point of contact. The exposed chassis structure is not only reassuring but also a strong graphic visible on the exterior also; further reinforcing the outside / in attitude to balancing the car.
And with the engineering…
The engineering design of the new 3 wheeler has been centred on an exposed sturdy tubular chassis frame. This is adorned with the superb S&S X Wedge engine, ultra slick Mazda MX5 transmission and a pressed aluminium body. The front suspension is twin wishbone with coil over dampers, light weight tubular uprights with traditional Morgan splined hubs for the 19inch wire wheels to sit on. Avon high performance tires feature a classically inspired tread pattern. There is a high scuttle roll bar above the dash area and twin roll over hoops for driver and passenger safety. The structure for the roll over hoops is also the mounting for conventional inertia reel seat belts, again displaying functional form.
There is so much to this car. The ride is just the beginning… or perhaps, the end to the amazing amount of detail that went into the re-creation of the car. On top of it all, each Morgan is hand-crafted with final fit taking place in-house by the illustrious crew of Morgan Craftsmen. After all those detail about the car, and the ride that awaits, a price tag of US $55,000-$65,000 feels like you’re getting a lot of awesome (and a lot of fun) for the money. On the Morgan website, you can ‘register your interest’ or take a spin in their car configurator. You can also download and print the brochure. lay it on your desk and show how eclectic you are when it comes to exotic automobiles.