Hold on to your hats everyone, because I’ve come down with a sudden feeling of rebellion. Today, we break all the rules. That’s right: we’re not doing an old car. Buckle up, ’cause it’s about to get modern up in here.
This is a 2013 Morgan Three-Wheeler, which means it’s about as new as the Pope. And there’s more. This technically isn’t a car at all. The government classifies the Three Wheeler as a motorcycle, on account of the fact that it doesn’t have normal car features, like doors, a roof, a windshield, a full set of four wheels (points to you if you got that little tidbit from the name), or indeed an automobile engine at all.
Let’s start there. The engine in the Morgan isn’t actually “in the Morgan” at all. In reality, it’s that big chrome thing sitting between the headlights. It’s a tiny two-cylinder V-twin made in Wisconsin by a motorcycle company called S&S. It develops 82 horsepower, which is managed by a five-speed manual straight from the best in the business: the Mazda Miata. Only having three wheels means that the Morgan is very light, weighing in at a little over half a ton.
But you don’t care about any of that, and frankly neither do I. This is a car with three wheels! It’s silly. Every journey in it is an event, everything about it is memorable in some way. It makes absolutely no sense as an investment or as a car, and in doing that, it is one of the best cars of recent memory.
I, needless to say, love it. I love that parts of the chassis are made out of wood. I love that the button that turns it on is hidden underneath a small red hatch labeled “bomb release.” I love that the wheels have a million-billion little wire spokes that look so cool and old-fashioned, that the exhausts run the length of the car on either side and look like big chrome shotguns, and that it sounds like an old fighter plane. Which is exactly what Morgan was going for, incidentally. So much so, in fact, that you could actually order your Three Wheeler from the factory with Royal Air Force roundels, decals of scantily-clad ladies, and other stickers that made the car look like a Supermarine Spitfire out of WWII. And you could get these things from the factory.
That’s the best thing about this lovable little car-motorcycle oddball. The Three Wheeler manages to be retro without seeming like it’s trying too hard. It pokes fun at the past, while paying homage to it. The Morgan is a car for your inner child, a car that should (and probably does) come with an aviator’s cap and a pair of goggles. It’s proof that there are still humans in the car industry, that it’s not just a capitalist, money-grubbing regime. Morgan won’t profit off this car in the slightest. The only reason it exists is because someone, somewhere in the English countryside, has a sense of humor. And what a great sense of humor it is.
-Don’t believe the scantily-clad lady thing? Check it out yourself.
-The 2013 Three Wheeler hearkens back to the original, 1909 Three Wheeler, which also featured a motorcycle engine and looked remarkably similar
-Only about 1000 of these things have been sold in the world
-Speaking of price, you can pick one up for about the same as nicely equipped Honda Accord. Pro tip: if you have the choice between a Three Wheeler and an Accord, pick the one with three wheels. You’ll be a better person and will be helping us all live in a slightly more whimsical world.