I was toying with a character idea for a female 00 for a possible up-coming campaign and wanted something really distinctive for her. I wanted a fast, modern car, but something with a quirky, retro style so I turned to the venerable house of Morgan. I decided she needed a Morgan Aero 8, and specifically the hardtop Aeromax.
Established in 1910, Morgan is one of the oldest British car companies and is still turning out interesting designs like the Aero 8, their old roadsters, and the very nimble Three-Wheel (which got its start as a tax dodge for motorists in the 1930s.) Morgan was famed for their use of wood for their frames until very recently, when they switched to lightweight aluminum. The Aero has gone through a series of design tweaks since 2000, including the unfortunate “cross-eyed” period (image google the car…you’ll see what I mean.)
MORGAN AERO 8
Employing a BMW 4.8 litre V8 and their 6 speed Getrag gearbox, the Morgan puts out about 360hp and 370 ft-lbs of torque for a 2600 lb. vehicle, giving the car a 0-60mph of 4 second, and a top spedd of about 170mph. A two-seater, the car is optimized with a 50/50 weight distribution with just the driver. Just under four feet high, the vehicle is low, sleek, and with independent suspension and brakes for all the wheels, is very stable in turns.
Leather and aluminum abound in the cabin, which is very minimalist, even in the Aeromax coupe.
PM: +1 RED: 4 CRUS: 80 MAX: 170 RNG: 220 FCE: 2 STR: 5 COST: from $120,000
…and a bonus. Their distinctive 3-Wheeler.
Created to allow British motorists a cheap car that avoided the high taxation of the 1930s (it was classed as a motorcycle), the 3-Wheeler is powered by a 1983cc S&S motorcycle engine mounted transversely at the front of the car, and a 5-speed Mazda gearbox. The fat rear wheel drives the vehicle, while the exposed twin wheels at the front provide surprisingly stable and nimble steering. They seat two with massive legroom (the pedal length is adjustable) and decent comfort, save for exposure to the elements.
The “Moggie”, as they are known to their aficionados, weight under 1200 lbs. allowing the 82hp motor to still push them to 60mph in 6 seconds with a top speed of 115mph.
PM: +1 RED: 4 CRUS: 60 MAX; 115 RNG: 300 FCE: 0 STR: 3 COST: $60,000
GM Information: The Morgan receives a -1EF to safety tests.
(I haven’t had a chance to drive either of these, but an acquaintance here in Albuquerque has both the Aero and the 3-Wheeler. He is highly complementary of the Aero’s speed and maneuverability, as well as the comfort. He describes the 3-Wheeler as “exhilarating” — even though it is slower and a bit unstable in hard turns [yes — they will tip] and prefers it to the more useful Aero.)