Hangar works #2 – The Speedy Marmots badges

The 3-Wheeler is a peculiar vehicle. No doubt about it. And despite it’s a true Morgan with undeniable classic looks, it’s so unique it allows to personalize yours in many ways. You can buy your 3-Wheeler and make it look like a superb rat steampunk machine, or a RAF fighter, or a super elegant classic… the combinations are so many, and all look so nice on that car, that choosing your style is not so easy.

The combinations are infinite!

AM and I finally fall for a more classic look for our 3-Wheeler. The Morgan Sport Green colour combined with the quilted dark brown leather, the wood panel dashboard and steering wheel, all the chrome and the Union Jack bonnet badges make a nice elegant classic base. And few decals, as the white stripe along the bonnet and boot, the Danger Afterburn stickers in white and the RAF inspired MOG logo give a light sporty wink. But the whole looks much more classic than a steampunk machine.

Classy…

Looking at all the accessories available for the 3-Wheeler we see there is a nice small badge bar, that once installed stays just on the top of the front plate.

Morgan 3-Wheeler badge bar

In our opinion, the new 3-Wheeler is not the kind of car to put on some vintage badges, but we though it could be fun to design and put our own badge.

So, in our second trip to Malvern, in October 2019, we bought a badge bar for our 3-Wheeler, among of other accessories and goodies.

The MMC factory tour was really nice, guided by our Talk Morgan forum friend Graham. The best possible guide!

So many dream machines in here!
This Plus 8
Who says Morgan aren’t fast?
Iconic wood bench

The new CX platform, base of the new Plus Six and Plus Four, looks really amazing!

New CX aluminum platform enrobed with ash wood. Sexy combination.
Beautiful new red Plus Six

When we entered the 3-Wheeler workshop, we had the best possible surprise: our 3-Wheeler was in the assembly line! Still naked, but the frame had the engine, coupling and gearbox already mounted!

This earplug cable! LOL!
This is our 3-Wheeler at the beginning of the assembly line!
Dream machines at the end of the line.

Back home, we started designing a badge that, with sense of humor, identifies us. After many silly ideas, we ended up with the fabulous, magnificent and unique Speedy Marmots Bomb Squadron badge!

Our fabulous, magnificent and unique badge!

And as the badge bar can fit more badges, and we believed a lonely one would look poor, we though to add a couple more badges: the air force cockades of our beloved countries.

Guatemalan (for AM) and Spanish (for me) air force cockades

Then, we needed to find someone who could make the badges from our designs. We searched the Internet and asked in the Talk Morgan forum and ended up finding a really nice man, Dave, who has a nice web page – Royale Enamel Ltd (www.royale-enamel.com) – and makes customized badges.

We can’t be happier with the result! Dave made an excellent job! The detail of the badges is excellent. You can see the fur and the whiskers on the Marmot face! Of course, they’re not enamel vintage-style badges, but machine printed. But again, the result is really nice, and personalized, as we wanted.

Final badge and details.

In January 2020, I checked with our DGT (the traffic authority here in Spain) if our 3-Wheeler has the right to carry a DGT badge identifying the emissions’ level of the car. And consequently, be allowed to enter and park (depending on how ecological the car is) in some zones of Madrid center.

Good news! Despite the S&S is not a super eco-friendly engine, the restrictive exhausts and low consumption really certify the 3-Wheeler as EU4. So yes, we can have a badge! Normally you must stick the badge (it’s a decal) on your windshield in a visible place, for the authorities to check you’re good to drive and park in the city center. But there is no way we put a huge sticker in our tiny windshields! So again, we contacted Dave and he made us a badge out of a scanned copy of the official sticker. Good enough for the authorities to check the car can enter the city center and park there. Nice customized badge job again!

The DGT Spanish badge for our 3-Wheeler, converted into badge.

Finally, with the badge bar just installed in our 3-Wheeler, we installed the four badges above the plate.

Finally installed.

But due to the vibrations typical of the 3-Wheeler, and despite the badges are tightened to the max, they end up losing the verticality. We tried to fix this problem with rubber tape between the clip and the badge bar, but not good enough. So we ended up drilling the badge clip and the bar, and put a rivet in it.

Also, pondering about the existence of human sub-species such as the badge-stealing-baboon, we decided to drill a second hole between the clip and the badge bottom plate. Both problems solved!

The badge-stealing-baboon exists, trust me…
Close look of the two rivets.

The two rivets are the best solution we could think of. The badges keep still and if someone wants to steal them, he’ll have to do a real mess to break them.

Now our 3-Wheeler is properly identified as a fighter of the Speedy Marmots Bomb Squadron!

Colourful badge bar!

Hangar works #1 – Change of the steering wheel

Our 3-Wheeler is British green (Morgan calls it “Morgan Sport Green”), with dark brown quilted leather trim, and the classic dashboard with Tawny wood panel instead of the standard fighter-looking dashboard with its iconic bomb release button. This, added to the front badge bar with our colourful badges, make the whole a very classic looking combination.

The standard steering wheel, very sporty looking, doesn’t satisfy us for different reasons. Its black leather and black spokes, in our honest opinion, don’t match good enough with the classic style of our 3-Wheeler, and more precisely with the classic dashboard with Tawny wood panel.

Also, the position of the three spokes 2-6-10 is a little unfortunate. In the LHD cars, as ours, the upper right one (at 2) hides part of the dashboard, the tachometer to be more precise. And if you have a RHD car, it’s the upper left one (at 10) that hides your speedometer. It’s not for nothing that many 3-Wheeler owners have turned their standard steering wheels 180º.

For the above-mentioned reasons, we decided to change the standard steering wheel for a beautiful wood one. Our choice is a Moto-Lita wood rim, 3-spoke chromed with holes, 14” (as the standard one), in dark brown wood with rivets. And finished with an elegant Morgan badged cap. And, quite important I would say, we chose the thicker wood rim, to keep a nice grip sensation.

Nice looking dashboard and steering wheel.

Changing the original steering wheel may seem easy, as it comes with the quick release system. But this quick-release system is factory-secured: the Allen bolt that carries the extra nut that blocks the quick-release system has a central pin, preventing the use of a standard Allen key. So, the removal of the standard steering wheel wasn’t that easy…

We love the result! The wood rim is definitely much better looking than the original black one.

We left the quick-release system operative. Despite the still open discussion about the security of the Traven system equipped on the new 3-Wheelers, we prefer to be able to remove the steering wheel every time we park it. It’s more for security reasons. Who would steal a car without a steering wheel? But for comfort too! I must admit that getting in and out of the 3-Wheeler is much easier if you have a removable steering wheel! At least for a driver of my size.

In order to keep the steering wheel properly protected after removing it from the column, we asked an excellent trimmer to make a bag for it. Really nice result! Made from the same dark brown leather, and quilted, as the trim of the car!

The steering wheel bag.

Practical and elegant. We love it!

On the other hand, we thought to reupholster the standard steering wheel with perforated dark brown leather, and thus have two steering wheels available for the car. For this, we would need another quick-release system for the standard steering wheel, since the one it brought is installed on the wooden steering wheel. And here we found an obstacle that deserves a special mention: Morgan Motor Company does not supply loose spares of the quick-release system, but only the whole assembly of the quick-release with the steering column.

Something frankly surprising and unfortunate, since for a simple quick-release system you must pay a fortune for a steering column you won’t use. Unfortunate and even awkward as a spare parts policy. I hope they’ll reconsider soon this policy, and allow us to buy only the quick release.

The change of the steering wheel for the wooden one was really positive. And not only from an aesthetic point of view. Its spokes are much better positioned! They are at 3-6-9, so none of them hides the instruments on the dashboard. We’re really happy with the result. I hope you like it too!

Briefings #5 – Our M3W is finally on the road!

30th of January, 2020

The Christmas Holidays are finished and we’re back in Madrid. Since beginning of January all the paperwork is done and our 3-Wheeler is ready to hit the road!

Waiting for us

But we first have to contract an insurance, or we won’t be allowed to take it out of the showroom! It should be an easy task, but we quickly discover it’s not… In Spain, only two insurance companies have the Morgan 3-Wheeler in their data base, but they have the old EU3 version. Our new one, the EU4, has different power output, so they need to upload the “new” EU4 version to their system. It takes them ten days – YES TEN DAYS! – to do such a simple task.

Anxious to get the car out of the garaje, we call other companies to check if they want to upload the model, but we’re surprised they don’t. The funniest answer was “We don’t even know if it’s a motorcycle or a car! It’s beautiful but too weird! A little scary!”. The Morgan 3-Wheeler is definitely a rare specimen…

Finally, January the 30th, we head to the dealer’s large garage where the Morgan is awaiting us.

In the back of garage we spot another 3-Wheeler. The typical RAF mate green with the shark and the tan leather. One of the early units. We learn then, talking to the garaje manager, that there are no more than ten or eleven 3-Wheelers in the whole country!

Classic configuration! One of the early units.

We do a short briefing to the dealer. Yes, you’re reading right: we teach him many things about the car he doesn’t know. Not the other way round! Again, the forum Talk Morgan is an amazing source of information!

We finally get into the little rocket, escorted by a beautiful Maserati GT, a Quattroporte and a nice DB9 Aston Martin, and start the V-Twin.

Drive it in style!

We make our way to the streets, with the beautiful and reasonably loud roar of the S&S engine. Madrid is a big city, so we’re immerged in a relatively dense traffic. It’s not the same driving here than in Malvern… People look at us with intense curiosity and surprise. But again, the common reaction is a smile and thumbs up.

We’re shy persons, not at all show-off style, but despite having everyone looking at you we feel really happy because the 3-Wheeler does not provoke negative looks or reactions. Totally the opposite.

On our way home, we make a short stop to show it to a good friend of us.

After a little more than half an hour drive, we’re finally home; safe and parked in our garage.

Finally at its new home.
In the garaje, finally home.

This first short trip was really exciting!

Now it’s time to plan plenty of “missions” with the dream machine!

Briefings #4 – Our M3W is here!

December, 2019

The last weekend of November is a very important date for us. Our freshly restored 1988 Range Rover Vogue is exposed at Retromovil – the classic motor show in Madrid – with a very interesting neighbor. A nice Morgan 4/4! Coincidence or premonition?

Nice neighbors!

Morgan’s dealer in Madrid took a new +4 and the grey-orange 3-Wheeler to the show. The afternoon of the second day they have to surround the 3-Wheeler with ribbon-posts, to avoid all curious assistants to leave more fingerprints all over it!

The show is full of really beautiful cars. It’s true that Retromovil is not as important and interesting as other European classic cars’ show, but it’s still worthy to be here!

Aston Martins are always beautiful!
Really beautiful!
Nice Jags at the show too!
I always loved the big old Jags! This restored MKIX reminds me of my grandfather’s MKVII
Impressive wood dashboard in this MKIX

Sunday, December the 1st, last day of the show, I take our beautiful Range Rover back home. It was highly admired and cheered, as the restoration is truly fantastic; but we were not lucky selling it.

3rd of December, 2019: in the morning we go to the Morgan’s dealer showroom, just to ask about our 3-Wheeler, as it should be on its way to Madrid. They tell us that it left the United Kingdom few days ago, but they really don’t know when it’s scheduled to arrive to Madrid. We keep eating our nails.

And suddenly, just half an hour after leaving the dealer’s showroom, they call us back: they’re unloading it from the truck!

We jump back in our car and get there as fast as possible.

Here it is!

Here it is…. Beautiful, elegant, classic British green and superb dark brown colour quilted leather. We’re drooling.

Beautiful from every angle!
Drooling!
The two beauties!

And now? We must wait for all the paperwork to be done! Import, MOT procedures to get the circulation permit, etc.

But we leave for holidays in a couple of weeks!

Unfortunately, the bureaucracy won’t be fast enough, and we’ll have to wait to our return in January to drive the beauty!

At least one more month gnawing our nails!

Briefings #3 – We order our 3-Wheeler!

So, we’ve been in Malvern, visiting the Morgan Motor Company, and we’ve driven the fabulous 3-Wheeler through the Malvern Hills.

It was sensational. Both AM and I are in love with the car. And with all that means being a Morgan owner.

Before our trip there, we sent to Mr. Mark Ledington, plenty of technical questions about the 3-Wheeler. As good sales manager, he sent us all the replies. And we had the occasion to spend some time with him at Malvern’s showroom, clarifying some points and having a deep look at the colours, leather trims and options available. Really kind man. As we said before, the whole team of the Morgan Motor Company is so kind!

But a handcrafted car is for sure peculiar. Therefore, we believe that, before acquiring a such a car, we should know it more thoroughly. And there is no better place that a specific forum of owners and enthusiasts. So, beyond the information they gave us at the dealership, we’ve being gathering more information about the 3-Wheeler, reading and chatting with many other Morganeers on the forum Talk Morgan (www.talkmorgan.com). I highly recommend that forum if you’re thinking about buying a Morgan, or already have one! The level of expertise there is astonishing!

The first thing that attires our attention is the fabulous ambience of the forum. Despite being on an internet forum, there is not a single disrespectful post. In most forums and social networks, hidden behind the anonymity of a keyboard, some people don’t know how to behave. The Talk Morgan forum is a very nice exception. All threads, conversations, opinions, ideas, etc., without missing notes of good humor, are done in the utmost respect for others. As we thought, belonging to the Morgan community is belonging to a group of true gentlemen.

And secondly, we learn that the new 5-speeders are quite robust and reliable machines. With few problems easily solved in your own garage if you’re a good handyman and have the right tools.

AM and I are delighted.

5th of September, 2019: we order it! After nice discussions and ideas up and down about the colours, we go to the dealer in Madrid and place the order!

The Morgan Motor Company car configurator shows it like this
  • Morgan Sport Green
  • Dark Brown leather, quilted
  • New dashboard design with Tawny wooden panel
  • Centre stripe decal in white
  • Union Jack Bonnet badges
  • Danger afterburn stickers in white
  • RAF inspired MOG logo decal
  • Heated seats
  • EU3 appearance pack.
  • Headlight mesh
  • Luggage rack
  • Rear mudguard

We can’t be more excited! The car is scheduled to enter production mid-October 2019!