Monday 4 October 2010

Classic car firm Morgan building new three-wheeler after gap of 60 years

Classic car firm Morgan building new three-wheeler after gap of 60 years

Morgan is by far and away my favourite motor manufacturer so it was with great interest that I read of their intention to start building again a modern version of the car that started it all 100 years ago.

The reasons I like Morgans so much are innumerable, but of course the classic styling plays a large part(!). Some of their models, such as the Roadster, have remained visually unchanged since the 1930s (in fact, the 4-4 is still on sale new today, having first been introduced in 1936!). However Morgan is also a forward-looking company, ready to take on the big sports car manufacturers with vintage-inspired offerings like the Aeromax, Supersports and the new EvaGT - not to mention looking to the future with the LIFECar project. This translation of Art Deco styling onto a modern performance car appeals to me very much, and shows what can be done with that art movement's design ethos even today.

The re-introduction of the 3-wheeler should appeal to both new and old Morgan fans alike as it could be both a lightweight runabout or a fun track day and hillclimb sportster. This is another admirable trait of Morgan (still a family-owned business) - the ability to look to its past to add to and improve its existing range of vehicles. The future of the sports car is undoubtedly low weight and smaller engines and the 3-wheeler epitomises that belief. It will be another welcome model harking back to a Golden Age of motoring and as the design incorporates the single wheel at the rear there are no stability associated with that other famous 3-wheeler, the Reliant.

Morgan, from being very much a quaint Olde English niche manufacturer ridiculed for using wood in the construction of its cars (and it still does - why not? Treated and reinforced properly it can be surprisingly strong.), which used to have delivery times of 4 years or more, is now a much more modern concern. It still hasn't lost sight of what has made it survive for the last one hundred years and I feel sure that it will carry on the same principles for another hundred at least.


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