Morgan 3-Wheelers
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Author:  Frank T [ Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:19 am ]
Post subject:  Morgan 3-Wheelers

Some discussion of the 3-wheeled Morgan "cars" in another thread led me to the realization that some people (of the current generational persuasion) might not have a clue of what we were talking about.

The English Morgan car company (makers of those wonderful ash-framed 2-door sportscars of Yore, and a very nasty road burner today called the Aero-8) made a 3-wheel tricycle device for about 50 years, powered by motorcycle engines of the period (mostly Matchless, AJS and JAP engines). They were blistering quick and downright scary if you were ever inside one (I was, ONCE, and shall not be, again).

They didn't weigh much and were devoid of anything superfluous, so they really moved. Sitting so very low to the deck and being hardly able to see over the cowl, even 70mph felt like 700mph to the inexperienced. Communication btwn passenger and driver was possible only by means of a tin can, cut open at both ends. The passenger was in charge of it; if he meant to say something to the driver he was to press the can up to the driver's ear and shout his (brief) message into the other end. Then he placed the can over his own ear and aimed the other end at the driver for a response. When unused, the can was stored over the shift lever so either party could reach it as needed.

Here are some short clips of some "Moogs" at play. One clip is actually from Oulton Park in 1965; two others are from onboard, at British racing circuits, and one is a walk-thru from a tongue-in-cheek driver in NYC. It's actually pretty hard to get peoples' attention in NYC because they've seen just about everything, every day. But driving a 3-Wheeler thru town makes everyone stop and wave. Quite an accomplishment.

Today Morgan has re-introduced the 3-Wheeler and uprated it to modern standards. It weighs less than 1/2 ton. The old 20th century 35bhp twin engines have been replaced with modern 2.0L (121 cu/in) 115bhp fuel injected S&S twins giving the car about 8-to-1 weight-to-power ratio (Bob Sharp won the SCCA 'C' Production championship with 7-to-1). The new dash is digital. The front-end bias still makes the car spin around under panic braking "but nobody cares; you're driving a Morgan". 8)

New ones today cost in the neighborhood of 40,000 Pounds Sterling, or about $50,000 USD. The old original 3-wheelers are far more expensive.





Author:  johnnyZ [ Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Morgan 3-Wheelers

Awesome clips Frank. I loved the first guy describing the best worst car! :P I also loved the last clip where you see the camera vibrate with each stroke of that twin. Still sitting here smiling at the screen. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

Author:  Frank T [ Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Morgan 3-Wheelers

I rode in one of those ONCE at the Syracuse state fairgrounds and I will NEVER do that again. I was even crazier then than I am now and it still scared me.

Author:  tr3hardtop [ Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Morgan 3-Wheelers

Frank, one of the main selling points in the early days was that three-wheeled vehicles avoided the British tax on cars by being classified as motorcycles at a lower rate.
Making them a little more affordable and a little more comfortable for the girlfriend to ride in/on.
Which brings us back to the Knickerbrook Corner escapade at Oulton Park!
the older one

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