Automotive innovation is emerging at one of the fastest rates in automobile history; everything from long-range electric power, autonomous driving features, exotic materials, and in car Wi-Fi are available. Most car manufactures only measure the success of their brand by how and with what new feature they can out innovate their competitor. To take a step back, would hurt most car brands.
In 2011, Morgan shocked the industry by unveiling the 3 Wheeler at the Geneva Auto Show. It is a proper throwback of heritage design from the early 1900’s. Unlike modern retro cars, it is not just a badge placed on a new bloated model that somewhat resembles the car of its past. It is a total shock to see this open wheeled front mounted engine cylecar screaming down the road alongside modern vehicles.
The Morgan’s design is sleek and simple with obsessive detailing of mechanical symmetry. The front mounted 2.0-liter V twin motor is mounted directly midline to its open wheeled suspension giving it undeniable character. The ignition is cleverly hidden away in the aircraft inspired aluminum dash, requiring a flip of a toggle switch. Once pressed, it snarls to life in a low rhythmic growl. The interior is of genuine hand laid quilted leather. It is precise, supple, but masculine. According to Morgan, it requires over 30 hours of attention to complete. To dress casually in this car would be doing it and yourself a disfavor. You will want to dress the part when in this 3 wheeler. With its low driving position, open cockpit and absurdly loud exhaust, everyone will be looking in your direction. After all, this is the gentleman’s roadster.
The 3 Wheeler is the most fun you can legally have on the road, and will induce face cramps from ear to ear grins. This throwback car has no power steering, no traction control gimmicks, a proper manual gearbox and smiles are guaranteed because of it. With a vehicle height of just over 3 feet, you start to understand and respect speed, even when accelerating under the speed limit. Child like emotions take over as you imagine yourself in a fighter plane cockpit from times past. As the exhaust rings out below you, there is anticipation of lift that never comes. There is a direct link to you and the road with every gear pull and change in the surface below you. The steering is heavy but not tiresome. A “nine and three” steering wheel grip is recommended.
The standard of this British 3 Wheeler has not changed. Build a vehicle for the driver with unwavering hand built tradition with quality materials that leads to a timeless look and feel. There is no comparison to this vintage fighter plane look alike. If you have a sophisticated sense of humor and the desire for a truly unique experience, then this Morgan offering is for you. You will not find another driving experience quite like it. Morgan’s step back in automotive history is a charming modern day success.
Words by Jeremey Epp
Photography by Braedon Flynn