Monday, June 6, 2011

1931 Morgan three-wheeler

On Saturday we went sketching at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. In one of the sheds out back, they’ve got a 1931 Morgan barrelback three-wheeler.


Three-wheeled vehicles were classified as a motorcycles in Britain, so owners could avoid road taxes. The Morgan was low to the ground and weighed only about 850 pounds. With its crank-start water-cooled Matchless V-twin engine, it could go up to 80 miles per hour.

According to Jay Leno, who owns one, 80 mph in a Morgan is like 180 in any other car. Check out Leno’s video, which is a lot of fun.

Jay Leno's Garage Video
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

10 comments:

Scorchfield said...

We see him in Cars III :)

Tom Hart said...

Love it James. I'm not particularly a "gear head" but you make me appreciate the personality of machines like this. It's just great the way you infuse character into this car.

MrCachet said...

The Jay Leno link is broken - I get a 404.

MrCachet said...

James,

Here's a good link to the video: http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/at-the-garage/antiques/1932-morgan-three-wheeler/

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Mr. C. Hopefully the link works now.

Tom, I'm not a gear head either, obviously, but sketching that beautiful old car made me a real fan of it. It had rust spots on the canvas canopy, a flat tire, and a fair bit of rust---not a beauty, but it looked like it could talk.

Scorchfield--who knows, maybe so. A three wheeler would be fun to animate.

P.T. Waugh said...

It reminds me of the car Mr.Bean was always harassing, another English 3 wheeler.

maxwest said...

In contrast to their Triumph Thunderbird with sidecar, I think that's one motorcycle the Two Fat Ladies may not be able to ride.

Mario said...

Excellent watercolor. It really looks like a "portrait".

James said...

Awesome ! Love Morgan wheel wheelers, they're actually releasing some new ones this year. Always reminds me of home as the factory is not far from my house and Mr Morgan as he was known lived in my village until he passed away. Really nice image captures the character of the machine!

jasonthedog said...

Love the picture, it takes me back to my child days. There were quite a few three wheelers in South London.

The main reason for their popularity was that an unqualified driver could drive on their own. In a four wheeled vehicle, they had to have a qualified driver with them.