Well, that was indeed fun. For my first afternoon in Great Malvern visiting one of my favourite Autodesk customers – the Morgan Motor Company – I took a 1/2 day Morgan 3 Wheeler familiarization course. The course was run by a company called 3 Wheel Drive (what a great name :-) and involved focused, hands-on guidance from highly-qualified advanced driving instructors. My tutor, Norm, was a former professional police driver with many years of experience on the roads around Malvern.
I started the day at the MMC Visitor’s Centre:
Norm met me there and introduced me to the Morgan 3 Wheeler we’d be taking out for the afternoon.
There were some logistical bits and pieces to sort out – such as a properly sized crash helmet with intercom, etc. – before we could take it out properly.
Morgan 3 Wheelers are great vehicles for experiencing the English countryside, assuming the weather is good enough (it was). Although some of the road surfaces left a little to be desired – something that can be quite challenging in a 3 Wheeler.
All in all it was a great way to start the visit to Malvern. Not having previously taken any kind of advanced driving training, the class introduced me to some new concepts that I know I’ll find extremely useful irrespective of the type of car I happen to be driving in the future. And it should go without saying that it’s a blast driving an M3W. Too much fun.
Something to bear in mind: the cars are (perhaps obviously – I certainly expected it to be the case) right-hand drive with a manual gearbox, which means that unless you’re well practiced at shifting gears with your left hand it might be quite a challenging experience. Apparently some people who’ve flown in especially from North America have had trouble, in the past.
Luckily, while I haven’t driven cars regularly in the UK in recent years I did pass my driving test there, back in the day, so the skills were mostly locked into muscle memory. Especially as my rental car’s GPS had me leave the motorway much sooner than I’d have otherwise preferred on the drive up to Malvern, which ended up giving me some welcome gear-changing practice.
In the next post (in this series, anyway), I’ll share some pictures of my tour around the Morgan factory, before launching into my interview with Morgan’s head designer, Jon Wells (the primary reason for this trip).