Return of the Morgan Threewheeler
By James Grahame
In 2009, the Morgan Motor Company celebrated their centennial by producing a 2/3 scale pedal car version of the classic Morgan Threewheeler. Now they're back with a full-sized road ready model that would be at home in the garage of any grown-up Biggles fan.
Between 1909 and 1953, about 30,000 Morgan Threewheelers were produced in the company's Malvern factory. These fuel efficient little runabouts got over 50 mpg and were frequently seen at race tracks, even winning the French Grand Prix in 1913.
The modern version mates a 100 HP v-twin engine to a Mazda 5-speed gearbox. It weighs a scant 500 kg, making it a nimble performer capable of 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, with a top speed of approximately 115 mph. The body comes in eight colors, with a choice of black or tan leather interior. There's even a "bomb release" starter button to ensure a grin every time you start this magnificent vehicle.
As the company explains, "The success of the Morgan Motor Company was founded on the manufacture of an icon, the Morgan Threewheeler. This brilliant but simple design by engineer Harry Morgan (HFS) became one of the most successful lightweight cars of the early days of motoring.
Whilst the world is a very different place in 2011 the time is right to relaunch this exceptional design. Young people may not have experienced the same thrill as the early Threewheeler pilots and perhaps cult status is assured for a car with such an emphasis on simple honest functionality."
The £25,000 (plus tax) Threewheeler will be available in March and meets US and European safety and emission rules.