I never got around to writing a post about why I am interested in acquiring a Morgan 3 wheeler, but the short version is FUN!
On the way back from Newcastle this week (early Jan 2018) I picked up a hire car at LGW and then went to visit a Morgan dealer in Kent. I wasn’t sure what to expect as these are expensive and exclusive cars and I was a bit concerned that it might be a bit snooty and posh. Couldn’t have been further from the truth. They had two second hand M3Ws in the small showroom which I was looking at. A lady came over and asked if I needed any help and I said I was interested in the car but hadn’t seen or driven one and wanted to have a good look. She told me to carry on and asked if I would like a cup of tea ! She then said there was another M3W being prepared for sale in the workshop and I could go in and chat to Len – the mechanic who looks after the M3Ws for the dealership. I then spent 20 minutes with Len going over the M3W up on ramps and talking about all the pros and cons, weak points, upgrades, etc. Fascinating stuff. Invited back to have a test drive when it’s not raining !
I left the dealership in a pleasant frame of mind, more persuaded that both the car and dealer would be a good choice.
Test drive booked for Wed Jan 17th !
The sales guy I had the appointment with was off sick so I spent the whole time with Len (the mechanic who specialises in 3 wheelers) He had serviced the car and checked it all over so we had a long chat and then a test drive in 5 deg temperatures (sunny and dry though). It has a vestigal flyscreen but my face was full in the wind blast – I had dressed appropriately and had a hat and sun glasses. Like driving something from the 1930’s except that the clutch, gearbox and brakes etc all work nicely if a bit heavy. Very narrow footwell with no room to rest the left foot other than on the clutch pedal. Sprightly performance, lots of noise – like a Harley. Nothing else like it….
Being picked up on Monday 29th and delivered here on the 30th.
They only make 500 3 wheelers a year so it’s a very small production, but they ran a SuperDry limited edition of 200 (total) – this is one of them. It is a joint venture between Morgan and the SuperDry clothing brand. They all look the same with matt silver paint (not available as a normal option colour) with stripes/logos and SuperDry badging.
Might help residuals a bit.
They should also be helped by the fact that the first cars were released too early and a lot of “development” was carried out by customers. Production started in 2012 and in 2014 (after 1,000 had been made) they introduced a raft of upgrades to fix a lot of the problems. These are gradually being retrofitted to older cars, but it makes the 2014 on models more sought after. Early ones are cheaper but carry more risk.
The 2018 Euro 4 spec model has just come out, but it’s heavier, has less performance and looks ugly. Won’t be long before the regulations kill it off altogether as a new car. Which all makes the 2014 – 2017 cars the ones to go for.
But who knows ?
Managed to get one insurance quote so far – and they rate it as a motorcycle !
The Morgan 3 Wheeler might not be able to take on supercars in a straight line, but sitting with an elbow hanging out of the car and a hurricane of wind hitting your forehead, it feels nearly as fast.
Low down, with a tiny windscreen and an exhaust mounted directly inline with your ear, driving the Morgan is a truly visceral experience. It’s all about perception of speed in this car; even 60mph feels hugely quick thanks to the constant bombardment on every once of your senses.
Relatively short gearing combines with a surprisingly rev-happy engine to deliver a 0-62mph time of 6 seconds – a mark of the car’s power to weight ratio rather than its output alone. Top speed is 115mph, but believe us, anything about 100mph is a life-affirming experience. At least, it is when you stop and realise you’re still breathing.
The experience is heightened driving the 3 Wheeler on the motorway, which alongside any sort of HGV, is borderline terrifying. None of this really matters though, as the 3 Wheeler is all about B-roads. It’s here that the blend of handling, accessible performance and a raw driving experience combine to deliver something very special indeed.
Definitely best birthday present ever.
Initial thoughts / things that need looking at…
- Needs a clean. Was spotless when it left but being towed though the rain and grime on an open trailer has left its mark. Paintwork is a matt silver which is unique to this model so can’t polish it. Need to look into some sort of suitable product. Similarly for treating the leather.
- Left mirror loose
- Brake pedal has too much initial travel. Brakes not assisted so need a firm shove.
- Steering light and accurate. Ride surprisingly good – much much better than the mini which is terrible.
- Clutch and gearchange quite light.
- Can’t see the front left wheel, but can see and place the right wheel precisely. Would be able to see the LHS if I removed the passenger fly screen. What does that involve.
- My view out is looking over the flyscreen so the wind is hitting me full in the face.
- Right elbow hangs over the side of the car – no room to tuck it in
- Narrow seating and very narrow footwell. No room for those of larger size – feet or waist.
- Headlights are crap (glow worms in milk bottles). Upgrades are available, need to look at that.
- Have now been out three times (inluding the test drive) in cold temperatures and not found it too bad. I suppose similar to a motorbike, but 30 mins last night was long enough. Each time I have forgotten to switch on the heated seats – Doh!
- Headwear and eyewear need thinking about….
MTB helmet seems liike a good idea – light weight and some protection, but they are generally designed to allow lots of cooling air to circulate and I need wind protection as well – as least when it’s not summer.
How strong are sunglasses if hit by a bee or stone ? Would specific googles / safety glasses by better.
Plan to try driving it with some of my helmets and see what it’s like. My full face would probably be the best bet for a longer run such as a trip to Limoges.
Basically it all works so it will be more cleaning and tweaking than fixing things.
Exhaust and intake both need derestricting to let the engine breathe….