For some English manufacturers such as Lotus, weight is the enemy. “The light is right” [ce qui est léger est bien, en français]Said Colin Chapman, owner of the brand.
A concept dating back to the beginning of the last century and we can trace it back to Morgan, who in 1909 launched a very strange car. The Morgan “3-Wheeler” is unlike anything else on the market. The machine has two large, narrow wheels in the front and a wide tire in the back. No doors, and a motorcycle engine in front. Everyone has a great advantage, weighing less than 500 kilograms.
It might sound crazy, but in 2011, Charles Morgan, the grandson of the brand’s founder, presented “Three New Wheels” at the Geneva Motor Show. Thanks to its Harley-Davidson engine and the Mazda MX-5 gearbox, it aesthetically returns almost unchanged.
With its 115 horsepower, low-to-ground driving position and unmistakable noise, the Morgan Three Wheelers offers a completely unique driving experience, 102 years after its debut! But it is not the only English three-wheeler.
Robin, a national symbol
She became famous outside the UK, thanks to Mr. Bean in the 1980s and 1990s. This Robin was often mocked by him, and he liked to end up on screen in unenviable poses, often … on the wing.
The Top Gear show, starring Jeremy Clarkson, will end the fame of this hilarious creature. But what could have pushed Britain’s sports car maker Reliant to build a three-wheeler?
The car is for everyone
The reason can be found on the side of the legislation. With only three wheels and weighing only 450kg, Robin can be approved in the “B1” class, the equivalent of our cars without a license. Great advantage over competition, coupled with low taxes.
Started in 1973, Reliant Robin will be finished in 2001 with an estimated production of one million copies. A great success for a builder of modest size. Something that makes English three-wheelers jealous.
My name is Bond, Bag Bond
In fact, Robin wasn’t the first attempt at producing a three-wheeler from Reliant. Four years ago, Reliant bought Bond Cars Limited.
In the bride’s basket, a car like no other. Orange dress, looking like nothing is known. Covered in a polyester body, this two-seat three-wheel coupe is in the purest 1970s model. Faced with a higher-than-expected production cost, Reliant has an idea.
Too expensive to be credible
Bond Bug will be sold as a modern premium product. The vehicle is sold as a futuristic form of transportation, and is aimed at younger customers than the classic three-wheelers often driven by retirees.
But at £ 629, it competes with more advanced and functional cars like the Mini or the Lotus Super Seven. Only 2,268 copies of the Bond Bug will be produced. Today’s copy is quoted in good condition at around € 15,000.