My wife and I have just received an email from a very dear friend who has just enjoyed a drive in a Three-Wheeler as part of a Morgan Driving Experience.
The 90 minute drive took place from the Morgan factory and around the lovely Worcestershire countryside.
He so obviously enjoyed himself , that I knew my band of readers would relish his description of the drive as much as we did.
"........So arriving at Morgan I immediately see my 3 Wheeler ready to go. It's very new
- I am told by the instructor (Ian) that Morgan had to modify the suspension
after the early models proved a bit hairy - and am assured that I have got a
good one. I am fitted with a waterproof jacket (luckily the rain holds off) and
a crash helmet. I wouldn't ever choose a helmet of course - it blunts the
perception and sensations that are the whole point of the vehicle - but one can
see that as a business they have to insist. I am delighted to report that I
received no lecture, no instructions, just a few words of advice which I think
were "keep the revs up, be careful pulling out at your first junction as the
turning circle is huge, and push this button to start her".
myself in - both hands on the framework like the parallel bars at school whilst
I try to wiggle my dangling legs under the steering wheel. Bit tight (not for
porkies this car - I have read your latest blog. Pies, sausage rolls
and chicken goujons but no mention of the salad eh?). Bit of a squeeze wrapping
the seat belt around me. Snug is the word.
The handbrake is fly-off
Morgan as in the 4s. There are very few controls at all - one switch for lights
on or off - no high beam malarkey. Turn key for ignition. Covered aircraft style
button for start. Lovely binnacle. The indicator stalk is a bit weird. Push the
stalk to indicate as normal. And then push again the same way to cancel. Or they
will self-cancel after 15 seconds. This was the only part of the design which
annoyed me. You have to keep looking to see if they are on or off. Citroens used
to have marvellous indicator swicthes - push switch to turn on, push again to
cancel - simple & intuitive and I miss them.
pedals are very close together - no driving in hiking boots here - and there is
no place to rest the clutch foot, not even behind the pedal, which I would find
tiring on a long trip. But of course Morgan themselves admit this jalopy is
simply for fun. (It is!) I have been allocated an hour but in the event I think
I had 90 minutes. Great variety of roads - A, B, C and some tracks, plus
tootling all the way through Great Malvern to get the idea of how she handles in
start-stop. Some fast stretches dualling with HGVs, across some moorland with
horses grazing at the roadside, then up into the hills where Morgan take their
publicity pictures. The scenery is first class. I am sitting low down in the car
and cannot really see where the left hand front wheel is or how close to the
kerb, but it wouldn't take long to "get it". Very little weather protection.
Ride is fine. There is no real sensation of being in a 3-wheeler in terms of
lean or stability. And I can sense everything. Engine very agreeable - this is
not a high-revving screamer but a low, throaty torquey beast.
Most of the
noise comes from the right-hand exhaust which is close to my ear. Burbles and
roars, with occasional crackles and pops. Very agreeable sound. Less agreeable
is the constant chirruping & whining from the transmission tunnel. Ian later
described it as sounding like a bunch of caged birds. The gearbox come from the
MX-5 so is fine.
I quickly feel "at one" and it seems an easy car to
chuck around, though I know I didn't come anywhere near to fully exploring it -
the guys at Morgan have special courses (I am tempted) to show owners what it
can really do when you let rip. The central rear driving wheel is driven by a
belt, and it's positioning was noticeable when we went up a track with a
grassy/muddy strip in between two bits of tarmac (think farm track) as then the
rear wheel suddenly started slipping and the car darted from side-to-side. Huge
It was all over too quickly of course - but well worth the trip.
Everybody (and I mean everybody) stared as the car went by. An attention-seekers
I cannot pretend to myself that I'll ever buy one of these, but I
would love to be able to hire one now and again to enjoy a full day of
Wonderful, simply wonderful"
See what I mean?