17/02/2012 16:29 | By Chris Rees
The best and worst three-wheel cars ever

The best: Morgan Three-Wheeler



The best: Morgan Three-Wheeler (© Newspress)
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Three-wheelers: a brilliant idea, or simply one wheel short of a full footprint? We've gathered together what we think are the 10 best three-wheelers the world has ever seen. To balance things out, we've also voted for our 10 worst three-wheelers: machines that basically look and behave like cars with one wheel that's fallen off.

No question, Morgan is the daddy and granddaddy of all three-wheelers. Its simplicity has never been bettered. Morgan's first made trikes way back in 1910 and carried on until 1953. Now it's returned with a superb 21st century reinterpretation, complete with modern V-twin engine and Mazda gearbox. Biggles is back, proving that three wheels is all you really need.

On Bing: more pics of the Morgan Three-Wheeler

26Comments
19/02/2012 10:06
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Clearly the author has not even been a passenger in any of those three wheelers let alone driven one.

I disagree about Reliant's Robin as they are perfectly safe.  I have two Reliant Rialtos (has the author ever heard of them ?!?!?  I think not !) and they drive just like any other car.  As for "stability", both of my VW Beetles and my hightop VW wedge campervan like to try and swap lanes on windy dual carraigeways/motorways where as both of my Rialtos do not.  They definitely do not have the tendency to roll over, let's put it that way.

I do agree with the interior being snug, but I have no problems with that.  I have to bend my left leg over due to the engine access panel but other than that I find them very comfortable.  In fact they're more comfortable than my VW 1600i (mexican) Beetle. 

They are however fairly noisy, but I don't find it too intrusive.  They are quieter than for example the dangerously unstable, extremely noisy and very slow Daihatsu 1.0 litre HiJet van.  I very nearly rolled a brand new Daihatsu HiJet van when I drove it around a very slight bend at about 15 mph. 

The Reliant 3 wheelers are significantly more economical to run too and I use my Reliant Rialto 2 estate as an every day car.  I can very happily drive my Rialto 2 on the M25 without any problems at all.

I think the author needs to do a bit more research (as in drive them) before posting faction.

19/02/2012 09:01
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This list is no where near complete without mention of the ISETTA (the Italian designed three wheeled bubble car) made popular by BMW.
19/02/2012 02:44
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In the docklands of 1960s east London, a pal had a red Morgan 3-wheeler with a Matchless engine up front.

He looked the part too...with a flying helmet and goggles.  What a hoot!  The yobs on the Isle of Dogs could

only scratch their heads as we roared by on what was virtually a circuit from West India Dock Road to the

Blackwall Tunnel and Poplar then....no chance to throw anything before we were gone in a cloud of fumes!!

I remember on one occasion we drove up West and were at traffic lights in Trafalgar Square when we were

held there by a Yank who wanted to admire our transport...but then came plenty of impatient  tooting and we had to leave him waving us away.  Those were the days!

19/02/2012 04:20
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we found one in mates granddads barn in 71, in a poor state , we had to rebuild the matchless engine and the valve gear, got the wife to refurbish the seats, and gear stick was a bit dilapidated, but managed to get it going, boy was that a fun car til a collector made us an offer we couldn't refuse, but it was one major cookie, loved working on it,turned a few heads even back then. we used the cash for a deposit on each of our homes. but it was fun to drive after the refurbish, lovely classic majestic car. oh! i loved those days ..... can we have em back!
19/02/2012 14:30
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What about the Berkeley and the Isetta?
19/02/2012 12:28
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i had a mate who had a bond mini you lifted the booet up to kick start the villiers engine but he went one better he put a triump bonnevile engine in it it had no bonnet he up graded the brakes  that was in the 1960s he was at some traffic lights and  aetpe jag pulled along side the chap in the jag was laughing his head of till the lights changed the jag was left standing it couldnt keep up by the way he was aclever enginer he was called bob scott who past away a few years ago
17/02/2012 19:47
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What about the Tramontana T-Rex? Surely that deserves an 'Awesome'
19/02/2012 22:47
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Mr. Jogga Singh Teidy says...

 

You can't beat the C5 for a fun keep fit ride, developing mine to be main transport for all year round.

A Link below to London St.Pauls in a C5

http://www.myspace.com/jteidy/videos/video/108518965

19/02/2012 21:05
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So Czechoslovakias were 'forced' to drive the in the 50's 60's and 70's.
Was this at gunpoint, or just a spot of mild torture?
In the same situation as the Czechs I guess our intrepid reporter would have been delighted to own any old car, even the Velorex .
Try to be a little more charitable, it's both free and painless.

19/02/2012 11:27
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There are 2 ways to experience a Morgan (not that I can drive one) one is under ideal conditions and the other is on the roads round Malvern (3 times failed my test before I tried to pass in Worcester/ I got the pass eventually).
19/02/2012 09:33
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I had two Reliant Robins, one a red 'sit-up and beg' style saloon (£150.00 paid) and a van (£600.00 paid).  I was a biker (still am) and I only had a bike licence.  Tremendous fun but I did tip the van over once but it was easy to patch up with a fibreglass kit.  I never managed to match the original purple colour of the rest of the van so an artist friend of mine painted a sci-fi picture on the sides inspired by one  of the 'Yes' albums in circulation at the time.  Unfortunately, that made it an easy target for the local law - yes, it was perfectly capable of speeding despite what some people said!
19/02/2012 02:10
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A friend of mine had a three wheeled Morgan. It was fabulous.
19/02/2012 21:29
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Fantastic to read all  about the memories, that  many of us have about 3 wheelers, they  were a common sight on the road as many  of us lads who held  a motorcycle licence were able to drive one. I had a 1950  Bond, aluminium  body,  no reverse, just picked up the front end and pointed it into the right direction. if there was not enough room to turn at  90 degrees. 
   Built in Preston, Lancashire, they were a great success story, over 26000 were built from 1948 until 1966, a collectors item now.
19/02/2012 10:27
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The Blue Flame had four wheels, not three. The front two were close together.

 

Also, the British Thrust 2, driven by Richard Noble, became the fastest car on earth in 1982 with 633mph in the flying mile. The car also bettered Gary Gabelich's flying kilometre speed, although not by the 1% required to ratify a new record.

 

So until Thrust SSC went supersonic, the Blue Flame was really only the second fastest, except that it still officially held the kilometre record. 

19/02/2012 11:09
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Where's the Bond Minicar three wheeler gone? Promising article from experienced MSN contributor turns out another disappointment. Mediocre research for a petrolhead journalist.
19/02/2012 18:33
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Yes, what about the Berkeley? Verrry cool (although we didn't use that word then). Like a small E-Type jag! I loved it. Mine had the 328cc two stroke engine. Fibreglass body. Only snag was if you cornered a bit sharp/fast, the doors would fly open due to the flexing of the body! hahah! great fun though. Killed-off by the Mini, effectively. Isettas were quite popular too,(marketed at "young couples") I remember seeing more of them around than the Messerschmitt, and the early Bond cars were fairly common-place, usually driven by "older" people!
19/02/2012 17:39
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Others have commented on the obvious omissions of the Berkeley and Isetta, but the Skipper also deserves a mention because it's designed to carry a wheelchair-bound driver.

19/02/2012 16:41
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What about Owen Greenwoods mini that must have been safest competetive 3 Wheeler 
20/02/2012 01:42
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What about the Berkley T60 fabulous little three wheeler around the 1960's and that other neat little package the Frisky both ideal for us teenagers then, who were fed up falling off of scooters and tiger cubs and also stopped us getting wet.
21/02/2012 11:41
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One of the most sucessful was a Kit Car, the Lomax, I used to build them and show them at Kit Car shows, they were built on a Citroen 2CV, and had ( still have ) a fantastic follwing.
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