2013 Morgan 3-Wheeler - $47,900
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It is horrendously impractical, ridiculous to look at, and it will paste a grin onto your face so hard that it’ll take a week to wear off.

Have you ever gone for a drive just for the pure joy of driving? If your answer is no, well, you can just stop right here because you simply won’t understand. But if your answer is yes, then please allow me to introduce you to the most perfectly made tool for the task of recreational driving. It is horrendously impractical, ridiculous to look at, and it will paste a grin onto your face so hard that it’ll take a week to wear off. No other machine has ever been quite so dedicated to the art of driving as the Morgan 3-Wheeler, and this virtually new 2013 example delivers more smiles per mile than anything else on wheels.

First, get over it. It has three wheels. That doesn’t make it ineffective, not by a long shot. It doesn’t have wonky handling, the 5-speed manual gearbox is from a Mazda Miata, and brakes are powerful, and from behind the wheel, you just can’t tell that there’s only one wheel out back. Cornering is flat and steady and throttle-on oversteer is ridiculously easy to induce and control. This car is the ideal dance partner maybe you never knew you wanted. You’ve never driven anything that works this well, that is so directly hard-wired to your cerebellum, so reflexively easy to drive. Get over the weirdness and embrace the eyeball-flattening fun. It’s there, you just have to make the leap to grab it.

Morgan has been building some variation of this car since 1911, so they’ve pretty much perfected the formula. And since it uses motorcycle components (and is indeed titled as a motorcycle) it’s probably a lot cheaper to own and maintain than most cars with this level of performance. It is a featherweight thanks to a tube frame with aluminum panels stretched over it, and the shape is one part go cart and one part WWI fighter plane. These are still built to order in the same Morgan factory that has been hand-assembling such cars since the dawn of internal combustion, making Morgan the oldest continuously-operating automaker in the world. Bespoke fittings include the traditional British Racing Green paint (which Morgan calls Sport Green) with gorgeous Saddle Brown leather inside. Fit and finish are exemplary (these remain shockingly expensive toys so they better deliver where it counts) and with just 3129 miles on the odometer, this one remains virtually new in every way. The paint is deep and lustrous, the bodywork underneath is exemplary, and this certainly doesn’t feel like a hand-built machine in any way. The look is still quite traditional, with bicycle fenders up front and leather straps holding the boot lid shut, but the details are quite modern, from the LED lighting to the vented disc brakes to the thundering basso-profundo of the exhaust that is more American than British (more on that in a moment).

English craftsmen excel at bespoke interiors and the Morgan is no exception. Although it’s definitely a fair-weather vehicle, they crafted it using glove-soft hides that are slathered over virtually every surface inside the cockpit. You step over and slide down into the Morgan, so it’s definitely not for ladies with skirts, but once you’re in there, you will instantly forget that there are only three wheels on the pavement. The fat steering wheel feels like it was borrowed from a race car, and indeed, it is removable to aid ingress and egress. Lovely VDO instruments have a clean, no-nonsense look and are configurable with auxiliary readings in a pair of digital screens. Stainless allen-head screws and beautiful aluminum panels reinforce the aircraft connection and there’s more hand-stitched leather framing the instrument panel. Toggles control all the secondary functions, up to and including the horn, while you can scroll through the secondary readings using a button on the end of the turn signal stalk. A modest center console houses a polished aluminum shifter and stubby parking brake, each of which are also wrapped in lovely caramel-colored leather boots. The only protection from the elements you get are a pair of minimalist windscreens, but all those will do is keep small stones from knocking your teeth out—everything else this car does is turned up to 11. A pair of seat belts and roll hoops behind the cockpit add a modicum of safety and it does close up with a snap-on tonneau that does protect all that lovely leather from the elements. And there is a bit of storage in the tail, but don’t expect this to be a road trip car unless you ship your luggage ahead via FedEx.

Now about the performance. Like some of the most successful performance vehicles in history, this Anglo-American hybrid delivers a big cubic inch punch complements of an S&S V-twin engine, the same found in the high-end custom motorcycles everyone is so fond of building on TV. For use in the Morgan, it thumps out 85 horsepower with its familiar two-beat rhythm, and since it only has to push 1100 pounds around, performance is shocking. I mean SHOCKING! You’ll scare yourself the first few times you put the pedal on the floor, but you’ll quickly realize that the thing is perfectly balanced. Two wheels up front and one in back makes for ideal handling with the tail being able to be controlled by your right big toe. There’s no body lean, no wasted effort, and since you can see the wheels out there doing their thing, you can put the front tires exactly where you want them, give or take a millimeter. The big S&S engine displaces almost 2.0 liters, which means pistons the size of paint cans banging around in there, and the sound from the twin polished exhaust pipes is nothing short of spectacular at full bore. It isn’t like a Harley-Davidson at all, with the Morgan having its own unique voice. And since it’s right out there in the open, it stays nice a cool, especially with an auxiliary electric fan to pull some air through the fins when it’s sitting still. You don’t need to compromise to enjoy its performance.

As I mentioned, the transmission is cribbed from a Mazda Miata, then there’s a custom gearbox that spins a belt that powers the rear wheel. Don’t be afraid of the belt, it’s at least as strong as a driveshaft would be. This car has had the factory updates that reinforce the belt mounting system, so go ahead and bury your foot, it can take it. There are three disc brakes to keep you out of trouble, and while the front tires are skinny, the rear one is a fat 16-incher that plants the power effortlessly. You will laugh out loud when you bend it into a corner, you may whoop with joy the first time you run it through the gears, and you will quickly discover that with so little weight to haul around, shifting is almost superfluous. This car is for drivers who take driving seriously—and by seriously, I mean who do it to make themselves happy. This car delivers in inverse proportion to its size. You’ve never driven anything as joyous as this Morgan. Guaranteed.

The list of bespoke options included with this car is lengthy, including the polished engine cowl and exhaust pipes, the shiny roll hoops, the black canvas tonneau, the shiny aluminum dash, and a photo build book of this exact car (a little extra that costs more than $400 all by itself). Original MSRP on this Morgan was pretty close to $60,000. Yow!

If you’re already a Morgan guy, you already get it. If you’re curious, however, perhaps this is something you should try, because I’ve never experienced anything like this stunning little 3-wheeled beastie. It is pure joy on wheels. An adrenaline rush without the fear factor. And you will absolutely, positively be the center of attention wherever you go (if you don’t like talking to people at gas stations, this isn’t the machine for you). And you’ll love waving at the wankers on their modern 3-wheelers that look like spacecraft or something. Is it practical? Hell no. But it is pure, unadulterated fun rendered in metal and leather. And that, my friends, is something quite remarkable. Call today!

Vehicle: 2013 Morgan 3-Wheeler
Price: $47,900
Stock Number: 115157
Mileage: 3129
VIN: SA9M32850DP202854
Engine: 1976 cc V-Twin
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Gear Ratio: N/A
Wheelbase: 94 inches
Wheels: Front: 19-inch knock-off wire wheels, Rear: 16-inch wire wheel
Tires: Front: 4.00-19, Rear: 175/55/16 Avon
Exterior Color: Sport Green
Interior Color: Saddle Brown leather
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