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9-in-1: The Morgan Super 3 Origins series


9-in-1: The Morgan Super 3 Origins series

Morgan Super 3 Origins

Special editions tend to stick to one set theme or specification, but the Morgan Super 3 Origins series offers up nine. Ken Pearson explores each one.

We have covered almost every type of passenger vehicle at RUSH so far this year, with hypercars, vans, super saloons, hot hatches and even fully electric SUVs being presented in the pixels of our website. There has been a bountiful buffet of brilliance in all manner of shapes and sizes that we have examined and explored, but they have all been joined by one key factor: they all have four wheels.

There seems to be something of an arms race for limited editions at the moment, with each one being more exclusive or expressive than the last. There will be an even split between the 40 Maserati MC20 Icona and Leggenda homages to the MC12, 38 examples of the Aston Martin Valiant, one Maserati GranCabrio Folgore Tignanello, one Pagani Huayra Epitome and one Caterham Seven made from parts of a retired Royal Air Force helicopter and these are just some of the models that we’ve covered in the last month.

Only two months after unveiling the stunning Midsummer speedster, Morgan have surprised me yet again with their latest take on how to do a special edition…or nine of them, with the Morgan Super 3 Origins series. For the first time at RUSH Magazine, it’s time to talk about a three wheeler.

Morgan Super 3 Origins Bluebird

Super 3 Bluebird

The basis for the collection of special edition two seaters is the Morgan Super 3, a vehicle that sits in the grey area between a motorcycle and a car. The heritage of the Super 3 goes right to the very start of Morgan’s manufacturing history, with the first machine baring H. F. S. Morgan’s name being the single-seat, twin-cylinder three-wheeled Runabout. After refining his concept and adding a second seat, the Runabout became the first production model from Morgan and owing to its odd-numbered wheel count, it avoided the tax on cars as it was classed as a motorcycle - hence why I’ve been avoiding the word car.

Three wheelers would remain in production until 1952, not to return until the 3 Wheeler of 2012 that housed its V-twin engine ahead of the bonnet. After 9 years on sale, it would be replaced with the all-new Super 3. Rather than being powered by a motorcycle engine, the Super 3 uses a naturally aspirated 1.5 litre three-cylinder from Ford which offers 118 bhp and 110 lb ft (150 Nm), which should be more than enough for something weighing just 635 kg.

The output is sent through a five-speed manual to the rear wheel via a chain drive as opposed to the Kevlar belt that was standard at launch, although this is optionally available. The Super 3 can get to 62 mph in 7 seconds and reach a top speed of 130 mph if you’re feeling brave enough and wearing a helmet.

Morgan Super 3 Charlie Mike rear

Super 3 Charlie Mike

The Super 3 is a method of personal transportation where the styling really does speak for itself: it’s retro-modern at its finest with a truly unique shape on the road. The front wheels are clearly visible from all angles, but the single rear wheel is almost perfectly shrouded by the drop-tank body, disappearing from view at certain vantage points. Brand hallmarks like the horseshoe grille, round lights and mirrors are all there, but I think the exposed front suspension and totally open cockpit get the attention first. 

The exposed cabin has a minimalist dashboard with two central digital dials with metal surrounds. There’s no such thing as infotainment here, but I think nothing would look more out of place than a full-width display in the Super 3. The cabin meets the IP64 standard which means it is completely protected from dust ingress and is resistant to water spray from any direction, which should provide some peace of mind if the weather isn’t on your side. My favourite interior feature has to be the starter button which is inspired by a missile launch switch from military aircraft.

Morgan Super 3 Fast Forward interior

Fast Forward interior

Morgan Super 3 Fast Forward

Fast Forward side

When it was launched in 2022, Morgan described the Super 3 as the most customisable product in their range, and with the new Origins series, they’ve shown us just how far they can go with the model. So how has this come about and what’s behind the name? Jonathan Wells, the Chief Design Officer explained by saying:

We drew inspiration from other industries, artistic and industrial movements, and sampled the ‘best bits’ from multiple decades of design. This project has been immersive for all departments within Morgan, who’ve taken pleasure in revisiting and categorising the key inspirations behind Super 3. Those inspirations have manifested themselves in nine striking editions that complete the Super 3 Origins collection.”

Let’s get into them. The Bluebird draws inspiration from Donald Campbell’s CN7 gas turbine-powered land speed record car. The CN7 set the record for the flying mile at 403.1 mph, and the Super 3 homage carries the exact same blue hue. The Campbell family has given Morgan their blessing, and the bluebird emblem features on the bonnet, beneath the roll hoops and within the cabin.

The Boulevard Cruiser uses light pink paintwork and aluminium strips on the side of the body to evoke 1950s American cruisers. This is nicely matched and contrasted to the silver wheels and roll hoops, and ivory leather upholstery.

Morgan Super 3 Boulevard Cruiser

Boulevard Cruiser

The Pickersleigh Speedshop variant is Morgan’s nod to the custom street and salt flat racers that emerged in the 1950s, hand-painted in silver metallic and bright red with a checkerboard design at the end of the bonnet. Black leather and roll hoops combined with silver wheels complete the look. 

Another 50s inspired Super 3 is called Whoosh Bang Pop and I’m not making that up. This is based on the pop art style which emerged around the time and continues to influence comics strips to this day. The white and grey body panels play host to comic-style infographics by the engine, exhaust and side air outlets.

Super 3 Whoosh Bang Pop

Whoosh Bang Pop

An antidote to the cartoons can be found on the Fast Forward edition which pays homage to the Japanese-led gaming and tech revolution of the 1980s which popularised simpler graphic elements. The red, orange and yellow triple-stripe design found on the bonnet and side panels wouldn’t be out of place on a Group C racer from the 80s and I am a big fan of the fast forward symbol and the product label-esque SUPER DYMANIC MS-03 graphics on this edition.

Charlie Mike examples lean on military reconnaissance vehicles for their inspiration, and this is evident with the khaki colouring for the bodywork, wheels and interior that features a mixture of leather and fabric. Camouflage elements, black roll hoops, gauge surrounds, wheel covers, mirrors and side-mounted luggage racks provide the contrast, while giving it a rather utilitarian look. Charlie Mike means Continue Mission.

Keeping with the military theme, Scramble the Jets is one of my favourite editions, with the fighter jet inspired theme with a United States Air Force-style roundel on the sides, along with shades of grey with a yellow band, much like what was seen on the F-86 Sabre when it took to the skies. A red “bomb release” starter switch is the star of the cabin for me.

Morgan Super 3 Scramble The Jets

Super 3 Scramble The Jets

Super 3 Warp Speed

Super 3 Warp Speed

The honour of the fastest sounding name may go to the Warp Speed examples which Morgan say is inspired by sci-fi transportation, which doesn’t have to follow the same rules as real world vehicles do. The Super 3 is a pretty good base model for something of this theme, with polished aluminium for the bonnet, side strakes and roll hoops providing a stark contrast to the yellow paint, while red and blue switches offer a subtle nod to The Matrix in my view.

As for which is my favourite? It’s easy: the Space Race edition. A gloss white body with black and grey graphics have more than just a hint of Saturn V moon rocket and Space Shuttle about them! Red and blue switches return, but in reference to the connectors for the oxygen supply on Apollo spacesuits here. Red lettering for the MORGAN wordmark on the sides and MS3 on the rear deck is a perfect touch.

Morgan Super 3 Space Race front

Space Race front

Morgan Super 3 Space Race rear

Space Race rear

Each Origin variant will have nine examples made for a total of 81, and each one comes with artwork created by the designers that show their thought process and inspirations for each edition. At this point in an article about a limited edition multi-wheeled, steering wheel-equipped machine I would usually say “with style like this, the price is equally impressive” or words to that effect, and this article is no different. However, what’s impressive about the price for the hand-made Super 3 Origins series is that it begins from £47,995. There is room for further options to raise that price, naturally, but save for the entry-level Vauxhall Corsa YES Edition, I can’t think of a more reasonably priced limited-run self-propelled vehicle.

You do forgo things like a roof, infotainment system, adjustable seats, headrests, any notion of subtlety and a fourth wheel but I think that’s the point of the Super 3. The three-wheeler from Morgan is something that is meant to stand out by default, and with the nine special editions that show what the designers were inspired by when creating it, the Super 3 has even more reason to do so.

Morgan Super 3 Pickersleigh Speedshop Front

Pickersleigh Speedshop

Charlie Mike interior

Charlie Mike interior

Scramble The Jets mood board

Scramble The Jets mood board

Bluebird mood board

Bluebird mood board

Space Race inspiration

Space Race inspiration

Written by

Ken Pearson


14 June 2024

Last Updated


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