Friday, March 4, 2011 06:00
What is it about the past that some people just can’t let go of it? Judging by the Morgan Threewheeler, it’s because the past was more fun. And what could be more entertaining than a car that’s part motorcycle, part fighter plane, and part Star Wars pod racer?
Based on the iconic Morgans made from 1911-1952, the modern Threewheeler is powered by a 117-cubic-inch, fuel-injected X-Wedge engine made by S&S Cycle in Viola, Wisconsin. The torquey V-twin puts out a claimed 115 horsepower and is mated to a five-speed Mazda gearbox with reverse. The combination is emissions-legal in the U.S. and Europe, and, given the Threewheeeler’s estimated curb weight of 1100 pounds, ought to provide plenty of excitement when you step on the loud pedal.
If the Threewheeler looks a lot look a WWII Spitfire fighter plane, it’s no coincidence. Morgan says the idea was to make it look as much like a plane as possible, and to enhance that look you can order your Threewheeler with U.S. military and British Air Force logos, or oval racing numbers and stripes, even a shark nose.
The interior is trimmed in leather and boasts aircraft instrumentation to add to the sense of flying on the road. The “bomb release” starter prods the engine to life, and there’s nothing between you and the twin exhaust system, but your elbow. The tires might be period-skinny, but the front wheels are equipped with disc brakes, while the rear is driven by a V-belt.
The Threewheeler makes its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show, March 3-13, 2011. The price for all this retro-cool is expected to be about $40,000. Not bad for a car that’s just about anything you want it to be––except boring.