Monday, 3 August 2015

ME AND MY CAR/MOTORCYCLE No.16
MORGAN 3 WHEELER
OWNER: PETER DRON

Peter Dron bought his Morgan 3 Wheeler in 2013, and then decided to write a book about the new 3 Wheelers, which is now available.


"Once you have reached a certain age, it is important to do at least one daft thing per year. Thus, in 2013, I bought a Morgan 3 Wheeler: the new model that had entered production in 2012.
For 2014, I wrote my book about how Morgan returned to making three-wheelers. I related in detail the various development problems – severe bump steer, fractured chassis, failed compensators, cracked exhaust pipes, fried voltage regulators, shredded timing belts, worn-out drive sprockets, screaming bevel boxes, and so on.


My M3W left the factory in September 2014, by which time the chassis tubes had been strengthened and braced (further stiffening has since been incorporated), and it had the interim ‘Mk 2’ compensator, far better than the original type but not nearly as good as the apparently bombproof CENTA unit now fitted.
Some owners did not mind the bump steer. I certainly did, so I had the so-called ‘comfort pack’ fitted. The comforting thing about it is that it allows you to stay on the black stuff.
I was dealt my share of grief. I had to replace two voltage regulators – and, consequently, two batteries. The most serious failure occurred when the crankshaft pulley retaining bolt worked loose, destroying the timing belt. This was inconvenient but not disastrous, as the engine is of the ‘non-interference’ type.

All the aggravation arose from the rush into production, and many M3W owners have acted as development testers. The latest versions are far more reliable than mine, which was itself a vast improvement over earlier examples.
You still have to be borderline barking to buy an M3W. This is motoring at its most basic: there are no doors, no heater and no weather protection, while luggage capacity is minimal. The engine makes a deafening row, and there are all sorts of other weird and worrying noises. If you do not feel vulnerable when you clamber into this wild little machine, you have limited imagination. But what visceral fun it is to drive! It may not be quite as rapid as the claimed performance figures, but it certainly feels fast.
I use the past tense in relation to mine, because I recently sold it. I am about to take delivery of a brand-new Morgan 4/4. Perhaps that is this year’s act of mild lunacy. I enjoyed owning a Morgan 3 Wheeler."
– Peter Dron