Fresh from his first experience of Morgan machinery in January, our deputy editor takes a second shot at quintessential British motoring with the Roadster 3.7.
A few months ago I spent time with one of the oddest and most enjoyable road cars I'm ever likely to drive, Morgan's aptly named 3 Wheeler. One of the reasons I enjoyed the experience so much was the sense of character and humour it conveyed, without adding a need to 'find the limit'. And so it was that, a few weeks later, as I busied myself twirling a contemplative pencil at the C&P Oval Office, I realised I was not ready to end my Morgan experience just yet.
But the 3 Wheeler was already in the bag: done, dusted, t-shirt in the post. It was time for something new. And by that of course I mean something retro. Something characterful but not in quite the same 'what the hell' manner as the 3 Wheeler. Something a little more refined. Several phone calls later and at a decidedly un-retro 5am, I find myself standing in the crankandpiston.com office car park scanning the 'almost-but-not-quite' British Racing Green machine that marks stage two of my Morgan adventure, the Classic Range-headlining Roadster 3.7.
Though production of the Roadster is only 11 years old (the two-seater replaced Morgan's well-established Plus 8 in 2004 following the latter's 36-year production run), you'd be forgiven for thinking the Roadster had fallen straight out of a classic car auction. Unlike its contemporaries, Morgan insists on working with wooden frames on top of which sits a steel chassis (don't go looking too closely for weight saving aluminium). The design is all curves, with not a garish 'sharpened' bodyline to be found and wing mirror stalks and windscreen wipers – all three of them – that look so delicate, you'd think a light breeze would rip them from their moorings. Likewise the running boards are aesthetically pleasing but the idea of actually standing on one sends a shiver down my spine. Which is ironic since, given the effort required to get in, is enormously tempting.
Full story here.