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Home Garage Jay Leno explains the history of the Morgan 3 Wheeler and why...

Jay Leno explains the history of the Morgan 3 Wheeler and why owning one is so much fun

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Jay Leno has brought out his Morgan 3 Wheeler for the latest episode of his popular YouTube series, “Jay Leno’s Garage.”

Morgan today is perhaps best known for its four-wheeled coupes and roadsters like the Plus 4 and Plus 8, but what many may not know is that the success of the historic British company was originally founded on the manufacture of a very simple car, one with just three wheels.

In the video above, Leno provides a brief history on Morgan and how the company’s first 3 Wheeler launched in the early 1900s was originally developed to escape taxes placed on cars with four wheels. This made it a hit with buyers on a budget and somehow also with families, according to Leno.

The modern 3 Wheeler was launched in 2011 and given an update for 2014—the version which Leno has and says is barrel loads of fun. He doesn’t really need to convince us that 115 hp in a chassis that weighs just 1,100 pounds is going to be a lot of fun.

Sadly, the 3 Wheeler bows out of production in 2021 as its powertrain, a 2.0-liter V-twin motorcycle engine from S&S, no longer meets regulations. Morgan introduced the special P101 Edition to mark the end of the current model’s run and has said it will eventually bring back the 3 Wheeler with a new powertrain. The company has experimented with a battery-electric 3 Wheeler, though the project was canceled last year before a single customer example was built.

Morgan isn’t the only company building three-wheeled machines. Two others that have recently made headlines are Polaris and Vanderhall.

This article was originally published by Motor Authority, an editorial partner of ClassicCars.com.

Visit past stories from Jay Leno’s Garage on ClassicCars.com

3 COMMENTS

  1. Didn’t a guv’mnt study about 40 years ago determine that 3-wheel vehicles are inherently unstable? Regardless of
    single wheel placement?

  2. Um, if you can walk and chew gum simultaneously, you’ll be OK. The study was aimed at the bouncy Honda 3wheelers, as seen in the “Big Country” video. Driven VW/Harly based trikes, Polaris, and the spooky Hondas.
    With an adult or two in the very low cockpit, you’d need either crazy horsepower or a death wish to unsettle a Morgan. The motorcycle sized contact patches and relatively low torque, coupled with the low CG makes a Morgan one of the most stable tripods ever. I’d have one in a heartbeat, save that Fargo, ND isn’t really the place for open vehicles- seasons of Winter, Bugs&Mud, Bugs, Almost Winter… best to have a cabin and heater.

  3. 1983 Trihawk 3 wheel car.
    Best handling vehicle 1983-1985.
    Was in road and track, car and driver and more.
    Harley Davidson acquired the Co. In 1985 and Shelfed it.

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