A legend among early sports cars was the Morgan 3 Wheeler, a curious vehicle with a tiny, two-seat cockpit, an open engine compartment and only one wheel in the rear. The quirky but quick vehicle has been resurrected by Morgan and is headed for showrooms in the U.S.
The prodigal trike returns
The first car in history, the Benz Motorwagen, had three wheels, but three-wheeled vehicles never caught on after that. Arguably, the most popular one ever made was the Morgan Three Wheeler, a curious little car that was renowned for being fantastically nimble and quick.
The Morgan Cyclecar, later called the 3 Wheeler, debuted in 1910, according to Morgan’s website, and had numerous racing victories under its belt by the time shots were being heard ’round the world in World War I.
The vehicle was simple; two tires and the steering assembly were at the front and between them was a V-twin motorcycle engine. The open-top carriage snugly held two passengers, with a single wheel bringing up the rear.
Sometimes they come back to the US
Morgan stopped making the 3 Wheeler in 1953 but resurrected it in 2011. The new 3 Wheeler is based on the Ace Cycle Car, made by Liberty Motors in Seattle, Wash. Liberty normally specializes in motorcycle sidecars but has been building the Ace, under license from Morgan, for 16 years.
The Morgan Three Wheeler is also, according to Inside Line, going on sale in the U.S. Three dealerships nationwide will sell them, among them Liberty Motors.
The Morgan 3 Wheeler is powered by an 80-horsepower, 2.0-liter V-twin motorcycle engine by S&S Cycle of Wisconsin. S&S, according to Automobile magazine, is a tuning company specializing in Harley-Davidson engines, which power Ace Cycle Cars. The transmission in the Morgan is a Mazda five-speed manual, normally used in the Miata.
Because the car weighs less than 1,200 pounds, it is fast, nipping from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds. It gets up to 50 miles per gallon, according to AutoBlog.
The Morgan 3 Wheeler is about as bare bones as it gets. In the cab, there are seats, belts, a steering wheel, a few gauges, a gear knob and a parking brake. There is no heater, nor windscreen wipers. The 3 Wheeler is classified as a motorcycle in all 50 states, though buyers might not need a motorcycle license to drive it, depending on which state they live in, according to Automobile.
The car starts at roughly $40,000 and Morgan, according to AutoBlog, only makes 500 per year. However, if one wants to buy the Ace Cycle Car the Morgan is based on, Liberty will hand-build one to buyer specifications, starting at $48,000. There is also, according to Popular Mechanics, the Zero, a kit car by U.K.-based BlackJack. The BlackJack Zero is sold in the U.S., and the kit requires owner assembly. The kit, along with engine, transmission and ancillaries, will cost about $30,000.
Popular Mechanics :http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/reviews/drives/4322992