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Car Tales: 3 Wheels Always Get Morgan Home!

‘What is astonishing about the Morgan Super Sport 3 Wheeler, built from 1932 to 1937, is how futuristic this vehicle appears even today. I’m looking at one right now, a stunning right-hand drive (they were only right-hand drive) 1934 Morgan Super Sport 3 Wheeler that we have just acquired at Beverly Hills Car Club. It comes in a gorgeous blue with a black interior. 
Morgan Super Sport 3 Wheeler for sale
‘Mechanically sound and equipped with a 3-speed manual transmission, 900cc engine, dual side exhaust, soft top, Tonneau cover, and wire wheels, this is a very rare and highly collectible Morgan which would make a great addition to any classic car collection. As you can see from my Instagram account, I have taken it for a drive – and it was one of the most stimulating I have ever been on.

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‘Although the Morgan marque is legendary today for its four-wheeled roadster sports-cars, with that iconic Morgan silhouette that endows the vehicles with a sexy vintage look even before they are out of the factory gates, these are relative late-comers to the Morgan line: it wasn’t until nearly thirty years into the firm’s history, in 1936, that it would start producing four-wheeled cars.
1934 Morgan 3 Wheeler
‘In fact, it was an early and very basic tax dodge that led to the vehicles manufactured by Morgan up until then. If an automobile had a quarter less wheels than habitual – in other words, if it was a three-wheeler – it would be classified as a motorcycle for British road-tax and insurance purposes. In other words, much cheaper…
‘Whether that was at the back of the mind of H F S Morgan, the company’s founder, when in 1909 he built a three-wheeled vehicle to transport him is not known. But many a great truth – or motorcar – can be arrived at through happenstance. And this prototype Morgan car came replete with famous sliding pillar front suspension and ash wood sub-frames, a design standard with which he would persist.
‘Based in the picturesque West Midlands town of Malvern, beneath England’s picturesque Malvern hills, Morgan began to put his pet project into production. Quickly it became a success. In its day the Morgan Super Sports was much raced. In 1930 Mrs. Gwenda Stewert of France drove an earlier version of a Morgan Super Sports at a record speed of 115.66 mph, an extraordinary, and presumably hair-raising, achievement.
‘The Morgan Super Sports employed a revered John Alfred Prestwich (JAP) engine, used by the company since 1912. A visionary engineer, John Alfred Prestwich developed engines at his works in Tottenham for racing cars, road cars, bikes, lawnmowers and even airplanes. But he came to be known as much for his creation of pioneering cameras and cinematography projectors: his cameras captured Queen Victoria’s 1897 Jubilee and Scott’s 1901 Antarctic Expedition. The JAP name disappeared in 1957 when it merged with Villiers.
Morgan 3 Wheeler front
‘The V Twin JAP engines employed in the Morgan Super Sports were simply works of art, either air-cooled or liquid cooled. Modern amenities such as starters and electric lamps found their ways onto the vehicles, but in terms of the wooden chassis, little changed. During the early 1930s, a three-speed version with one chain drive was introduced – as has the one we have at Beverly Hills Car Club.

Driving the Morgan:

driving a morgan 3 wheeler
‘Even though production of the original Super Sports ended in 1937, Morgan continued to manufacture a modified 3 wheel version of it until 1952. The moodily striking Morgan 4 wheelers, renowned for once having had a six year waiting-list, may be what comes up any time the Morgan brand flashes through your brain. But that’s because – as the Rolling Stones once sang – you’re out of time! Historically the 3 Wheeler was Morgan’s best-seller, such a British classic that it seemed to strike a chord with many people. So much so that even though production of the original Super Sports ended in 1937, Morgan chose to revive the car with a modern interpretation in 2011. And for a time the 2011 model matched contemporary Morgan four-wheeler sales.
‘Although that model has stayed in production ever since, the boutique Morgan car company, now partnered with BMW, has just announced that in 2022 it will launch an all-new 3 Wheeler, a thoroughly modern machine using the same advanced aluminum chassis technology as the new Morgan Plus Four and Plus Six roadsters. It will also employ a Ford 1.5-liter three-cylinder unit, as used by the Fiesta ST hot hatchback, as well as a five-speed Mazda MX-5 gearbox.
1934 Morgan Super Sport
‘While anxious to avoid over-confidence, Morgan managing director Steve Morris believes that 3 Wheeler sales could match those of all four-wheeled Morgans combined once the new edition is established in major markets. And don’t forget if 2022 seems too far away, you can step back into the future at Beverly Hills Car Club with the 1934 Morgan Super Sport 3 Wheeler that we have right now!
Hold on to your hats!
-Alex Manos, Owner
Classic Morgan Buyer Alex Manos

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