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In its run from 1909 to 1953, the Morgan Threewheeler was a freak of nature. The lightweight little trike was one of the dorkiest looking things on the road, yet because of that low mass, it was also incredibly fast. Cruising along at 50 mpg was nothing uncommon and, in 1913, it won the French Grand Prix and also lapped the Brooklands track at an average speed north of 100 mph. Stirling Moss was a Threewheeler owner, saying that it was “A great babe magnet.” 30,000 of them were sold.
Great stories aside, the silly little car/bike hybrid isn’t something we’d say needs to or should relaunch in the 21st century. But that hasn’t stopped Morgan, and the company even released a press release defending the decision:
“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 future of road transport in the 21st Century has two big issues, the conservation of precious resources and the protection of our beautiful natural environment. Downsizing and a philosophy of simplicity are ways of dealing with these problems.The Morgan Threewheeler is a proven answer to these problems. In 2011 the Morgan Motor Company is to expand its range and go back to its roots.”
The 2011 Morgan Threewheeler uses a “Screaming Eagle” Harley-Davidson 1800 cc motor with fuel-injection and 115 horsepower, bolted up to a five-speed manual transmission borrowed from Mazda. It uses a very retro-looking bullet-shaped body with a seriously basic interior. Funny, the press release doesn’t mention any safety systems.
Eight different colors will be offered and later, a bespoke built option will be offered. Weight will be below 500 kilograms, 0-60 mph comes in 4.5 seconds, and top speed is about 150 mph. It’ll be registered as a motorcycle, which is the only thing keeping it legal at all. To the rebellious few (and the occasional quirky hipster) who throw down the cash (25,000 pounds, or about $40,000) for such unique wheels, we salute you.