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Morgan re-born in Britain

Morgan Morgan News Car News

It's the Morgan 3-Wheeler, which is about to hit the road again after being considered extinct for more than 60 years.

The original 3-Wheelers were built by Morgan from 1911 to 1939 and were away to avoid motoring tax, as they were considered motorcycles and not cars. Recent interest in the 3-Wheeler, as well as a potential need to offset the CO2 emissions of V8-powered models in the Morgan lineup, prompted a show car last year and now the company is pushing into production.

"As things stand, the Morgan factory has over 300 orders and they are planning to built 200 this year," says the Australian agent for Morgan, Chris van Wyk.

The 3-Wheeler is even more basic than a Tata Nano from India, using a Harley-Davidson style vee-twin engine mounted in the nose and hooked to a five-speed Mazda gearbox feeding a vee-belt drive to the back wheel, with a tiny two-seater cabin behind. Morgan describes driving the 3-Wheeler as "an adventure" and is deliberately targeting the car at people who want something very, very different.

"From the design viewpoint, the focus was set on making the car as close to an aeroplane as possible, while retaining handy extra space for driver, passenger and a holdall in the rear. But above all the Morgan three-wheeler is designed for one purpose alone, to make driving fun."

It touts sports car-style grip in corners and answers safety concerns with a reinforced tubular chassis, twin rollover bars and seat belts - but there are no airbags, ESP stability control or ABS brakes. It's the lack of safety gear that makes the 3-Wheeler a non-starter for Australia, even if it looks suitably retro with a range of body treatments including a Battle of Britain themed livery including aircraft markings.

"The three-wheeler is homologated for use on planet Earth, but alas excluding Australia," says Morgan agent, Chris van Wyk. "More work and expense is required if it is ever to be available for sale over here."

Paul Gover
Paul Gover is a former CarsGuide contributor. During decades of experience as a motoring journalist, he has acted as chief reporter of News Corp Australia. Paul is an all-round automotive expert and specialises in motorsport.
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