Davidas for the Moggies—By Steven L. Thompson

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2012 Morgan 3 W Bespoke. Photo by Dennis Glavis

Morgan cars and three-wheelers used to be called Moggies by the blokes I knew in the car and motorcycle racing world of Britain in the late 1960s. They were generally considered to be vehicles of choice for people who wanted to be self-consciously different. Like motorcycles, though, three-wheelers had been used traditionally in Britain for transportation by those unable to afford a car.

The recently unveiled 2012 Morgan 3 W, currently slated to have a $44,000 price tag in Malvern Link, England, is obviously intended for those who can afford a car—as well as a vehicle which, in the U.S., will be considered by state motor-vehicle agencies as a special-category motorcycle, not a car. Meaning that in all but a few states (such as California), any new three-wheel driver will need to get a motorcycle-operator's license with a three-wheeler restriction, and will also have to wear helmets in jurisdictions with mandatory helmet laws. So, we'll soon be seeing that most curious of vehicles: a three-wheeled cyclecar steered by steering wheel but driven by someone wearing a helmet.

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2012 Morgan 3 W Sport. Photo by Dennis Glavis

Dennis Glavis, of MorganWest in Santa Monica, reports that Morgan knows all about this requirement and has struck a deal with Davida helmets to create a Moggie-specific helmet, a bespoke item that presumably will meet all the federal and state safety requirements while allowing the three-wheel driver and passenger to look suitably "different" from your typical motorcyclists or scooterists.

Glavis also says the first U.S. demonstrator three-wheeler will be available, if all goes well in the shop at Malvern, in October. Glavis claims that, as of this writing, the factory has more than 500 orders in hand, with 35 for MorganWest alone.

Recession? What recession?