Featured: No, The Morgan 3-Wheeler Is Not Normal

No, The Morgan 3-Wheeler Is Not Normal

Avatar By Yoav Gilad
January 28, 2015
17 comments

Photography by Yoav Gilad

“What is that?!” The words still echo in my ears, more than a week after returning the car to Morgan West in Santa Monica, California.

There are probably hundreds of reasons that the Morgan 3-wheeler isn’t for you, most of them related to practicality and the fact that you’re not a superhero living in an underground lair in the sparsely populated English hill-country. No, the Morgan is certainly not for you.

Superheroes are used to attention and publicity, even if they are reclusive, and can handle it. You, my mortal friend, are not ready for the attention. Believe me. For while I am certainly no vigilante upholding justice, clad in tights, and leaping tall buildings in a single bound, I do enjoy attention. And I’ve also been lucky enough to drive some of the most outrageous cars in production: Ferraris, Lamborghinis, etc… But most people don’t really care if your car is just over one meter high and very, very quick.

Apparently however, nearly everyone cares if your car has only three wheels and is doing its best impression of a Supermarine Spitfire. Really. And for what it’s worth there aren’t any truly good reasons to perform a traditional road test review of the Moggie because it is not a normal car or motorcycle (which it’s classified as). So let’s get over the specifics quickly and I’ll tell you what makes this car so compelling.

The Morgan has a zero-to-sixty time. It costs something. It also has an engine, which burns fuel, probably gasoline but maybe petrol. And it has two seats. Oh! And it can turn left or right.

If this isn’t enough for you I suggest you check out YouTube where you can find literally trillions of videos about the Morgan’s performance figures that will bore you into a coma. I’m here to tell you about the car’s main selling point. And contrary to those videos’ opinions, the Morgan isn’t about fun, freedom, or bouncing around the open roads around your hill-country lair. Consider those aspects bonuses.

No, the primary reason to drive a 3-wheeler is because you will instantly become the most popular person within sight. Driving this car turns you into U2’s Bono, while he hands out hundred-dollar bills or papal indulgences (pick your poison). Allow me to share two anecdotes.

First, a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday morning, I headed straight to Abbot Kinney Blvd. located in Venice, California to meet a friend for coffee. This street was named “the Coolest Block in America” by GQ magazine in 2012 because everything from their style guide could be found on this short strip. And while it may no longer be the Coolest Block, it’s always one Lindsay Lohan shoplifting escapade away from the front page of the gossip mags.

My friend and I bought our coffee at Intelligentsia (the name should tell you all you need to know), and proceeded to lap the neighborhood on foot several times. Every single time we passed the Morgan, a different crowd was checking it out, taking photos, and oohing-and-aahing. Why? It’s because it isn’t really a car or bike. It’s a curiosity, a conversation piece you strap into. It’s a Disneyworld ride you can take with you.

Its two-liter, V-twin S&S engine even sounds like the little gas-powered Disneyworld cars of my family-vacation youth. That was the typical response wherever and whenever it was parked. But do people notice it while it’s moving, I mean it’s pretty compact and you don’t sit up high like when you’re on a motorcycle?

Yes. This might actually be the safest vehicle ever built because everyone sees it. If you’re ever in collision in a Morgan you were probably moving too fast to be seen. Had you been driving a bit more slowly, people would have noticed and said, “omigod there’s Bono and he’s handing out hundred-dollar bills! Or are those indulgences?”

I saw so many people raise their phones while driving to shoot photos and video that I couldn’t believe it. People would shout from moving cars to ask what it was, how much it cost, and how much fun it was. And at almost every single traffic light the window of the car next to me would slide down exposing an inquisitive, friendly face.

Really? Yes. Second anecdote: a public bus pulled up next to me at a light and the driver slid his window open. “Hey man!” he yelled.

“Hey” I yelled back.

“What is that thing?!”

“It’s a Morgan 3-wheeler.”

“It’s got three wheels? Damn, that thing is crazy! It’s soooo cool.”

One of his passengers started yelling that his light had changed to green. Then the car behind the bus began honking.

“Where is it from?”

“It’s British.”

Honk.

“Where?”

“England. It’s from England!”

More yelling inside the bus. Honk honk honnnnnnnk.

“That is so cool!” Is it electric?”

“No, it’s gas-powered!”

I gave it a rev and his traffic light went yellow. There was more yelling and cursing inside the bus, the driver turned his head and yelled back at the passengers, then turned back to me.

“So you can just fill it up?”

“Yup!…”

“What is it again?…”

People don’t care about normal and that’s why they care about the 3-wheeler. It isn’t normal; it isn’t a car, motorcycle, or some other goofy contraption. It is pretty. And it’s a novelty that makes everyone smile. There are many reasons that the Morgan is a fun ride, but most important is that it isn’t from our world and turns you into a superhero too. Maybe what it is is a transformer.

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Geoff Ryall-HarveyPeter LukáčRobert StennettAlBrandon Herrera Recent comment authors
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Geoff Ryall-Harvey
Geoff Ryall-Harvey

Here’s mine

Peter Lukáč
Peter Lukáč

Oh, I had already fogotten, how much I want this car. That thing is something between car, kart, motorcycle and aircraft – all things, that I love. It must be really fun to drive it. If it was possible to rent it somewhere…

Robert Stennett
Robert Stennett

Ill try again to submit an image

Robert Stennett
Robert Stennett

Well, I DO live in a sparsely populated hilly part of England and DO own a Morgan Three Wheeler. Reactions as described here are pretty accurate even in the Morgan’s home country. It takes longer to get anywhere as when you stop for fuel there are the now predictable questions and photos. It makes renders supercars invisible. While road tests tell you the fun parts they don’t tell you what it’s like to own. Anticipating some downsides I started a blog when we got ours. Thankfully, it’s been fine. If you are thinking about buying one take a look Westmog.wordpress.com… Read more »

Al
Al

Leave it to Cali to talk talk talk about feelings. As an owner, let me tell you the attention is amusing, but the real thrill is the drive. Truly, the “Ultimate Driving Machine”, nothing connects you to life as much as this…at least with your clothes and the lights on.

Brandon Herrera
Brandon Herrera

I want a 3 wheeler so bad now.

Andreas Lavesson
Andreas Lavesson

Entertaining as Always, Yoav. And I can totally understand where you’re coming from. Not having driven one myself, I can only imagine. But all who have, seem to tell the same story (although not always in the same amusing manner).

Calum Fraser
Calum Fraser

It’s all true..even after about 14500 miles in mine but don’t you find it’s a bit hot in that kind of weather?:)

Calum Fraser
Calum Fraser

Or try this way of attaching a photo…

Evan Bedford
Evan Bedford

I love the car. I love Gilad’s writing style. I love the photos. But what the heck is that cable sticking up into the slipstream for?

Marc
Marc

What a great work Yoav, hope to do 10\% of what you do with my new nikon
cheers from [url=”pass-hunters.co.uk”]Your text to link…[/url]

Thomas maine
Thomas maine

this thing is way cooler but I have almost the same reactions when I take my Citroen 2CV for a spin once in a while. Maybe because it’s a 2 cylinder as well 😉

Jari Brzon
Jari Brzon

This is my M3W!!! Fun, fun, fun, a lot of fun!!! 😉

Martin James
Martin James

Thats exactly what the Morgan 3 wheeler is . The coolest and perhaps the most fun car still in existence . Looney Tunes Bat S*** crazy insane . But more fun than anyone should legally be able to have in a car with their cloths on . And yeah ..show up in a Ferrari and everyone assumes you’re a snob … show up in a Porsche and they’re convinced you’re a jerk … arrive in a BMW and the tag @$&hat will instantly be applied to you .. in a Lamborghini or god forbid a new Maserati or a Corvette/Viper… Read more »

Martin James
Martin James

Ahhh … but you know what the best part is that I forgot to mention when it comes to the new Morgan 3 Wheeler ? Should the engine give you any trouble … pull into the nearest independent Harley repair shop [ thats an S&S Harley clone engine in the snout … but don’t take it to an ‘ official ‘ Harley Davidson dealer … they hate S&S ] and they’ll fix you up toot suite . If the driveline decides to throw a fit … take her to the nearest Mazda dealership [ MX5 tranny etc ] and you… Read more »

Louis Devineau
Louis Devineau

Beyond a shadow of doubt the coolest car on sale right now.