They’re small, have no space, and the engine’s out front, what’s not to love about a Morgan Three Wheeler? Over the last seven (and a bit) years I’ve put thousands of miles on mine, and have learned a few lessons. If you ever find yourself with one in the garage or see one on the street, here are some handy tips.
If it rains you’ll get wet, and that’s OK
There is no roof. There are no doors. You’d imagine that means it’s for sunny days only, right? Well, it depends on how hardy you’re feeling. Of course, setting off in a downpour isn’t recommended - It’ll be cold, miserable, and make you hate the world. If you’ve set off in the dry and found an angry cloud, you’ll almost certainly end up laughing like Zippy. Check the weather before you go, and wear a suitable top.
Going over 50mph? Put something over your eyes
You don’t have to wear a helmet in a Three Wheeler. If you’re the type who enjoys feeling the wind in your hair (or beard), it’s rather wonderful to bimble around town without a care in the world. You can get away without anything covering your eyes at low speeds if you’re feeling daring, but anything over 50mph is sunnies territory. Dust, grit, and stones flying off other cars aren’t what you want embedded in your eyeball.
Dressing up is fun
Driving a car that looks like it was made in the 1940s is pretty cool. Doing so in shorts and a vest, not so much. The Three Wheeler, like any Morgan, is an extension of you, which means you tend to dress the part when you hop in. Ok, when it’s a billion degrees out you’ll be forgiven for sporting a t-shirt, but otherwise the more you lean into it the better. Get yourself a flying jacket, goggles, and a flappy scarf… basically go full Biggles and you’ll have far more fun.
You will make friends
It is not a vehicle for shrinking violets. At all. Whether your Three Wheeler is a sombre spec or a lairier get-up, people will want to know all about it. They’ll be curious as to what it is, who made it, what engine it’s got, how fast it is, how much it was, and (tediously often) where the missing wheel is. You’ll also end up in a LOT of pictures. Drive it through town and camera phones are drawn at a pace the denizens of the Old West would be envious of.
As well as making friends, you’ll make a fair few days. As you’re driving along you’ll see faces go almost entirely spherical as people (mostly small people, admittedly) exclaim: ‘Wooooooooooooow.’ There are rules when it comes to kids being keen on your Three Wheeler: always wave, always give a little honk, and always smile. If you find yourself parked up and some tiny humans want to have a look around for the love of your preferred deity, let them.
Get their parents to pop them in the hot seat, encourage them to honk the horn, and be sure to answer every single question they have. Get out of shot when their parents want to take pictures in it too, and don’t worry about a tiny footprint on the seat leather: you’ve just made a little kid’s day very large, and nothing should ever get in the way of that.
The fuel gauge lies
It’s a simple percentage meter… thing. Various sources on the internet say there’s space for 42 litres of fuel in there but that simply isn’t the case. When it drops below full you’ve got 100-200 miles to play with if you’re lucky, and the levels change whether you’re going up or downhill. The reason I know it’s not a 42-litre tank? It’s never cost me more than £25 to fill up - whether it’s on 50 per cent or 5 per cent.
It’s not actually very good at being a car and that’s why it’s ace
Roof and lack of wheel aside, the Three Wheeler isn’t very good at turning, or braking. Tight corners and sudden traffic can be a small cause for consternation. An apex hunter it is not, but that’s part of its charm. It makes silly noises, isn’t in any way refined, and has a hole instead of a roof.
That, my friends, makes it utterly brilliant. Its 2.0-litre motor only puts out 82.5bhp, which isn’t much, but it’s plenty as it’s pushing barely anything along. It’s quick enough to put a smile on your face, but not so fast that you’ll get nicked every time you glance at the throttle. To get the best out of a Porsche 911 GT3 you need to drive like a berk. To get the best out of Morgan Three Wheeler, you just need to show up.