Today we launch our Me and My Motor feature and each week we will chat to someone with a passion for vehicles – from classics to hot hatches and from motorcycles to vintage. This week, we talk to Eric Londesbrough about his 1934 Morgan three-wheeler Family-4

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What vehicle/s do you own (model/year), and for how long?

A 1934 Morgan three-wheeler Family-4. I bought it shortly after I retired, which is about 20 years ago

The Northern Echo:

The 1934 Morgan three-wheeler Family-4

Why did you decide to buy this particular vehicle?

I’ve always been a great enthusiast for motorcycles. I owned motorcycles from 1914 up to more modern times, as well as motorcycles and sidecars. As I got older, I thought a three-wheeler would be easier to deal with because ancient bikes need an awful lot of kicking or pushing to get them to start sometimes. I thought a three-wheeler would stand up on its own and you only have to press a button and it’ll go.

The Northern Echo:

Eric and his Morgan

I’ve always loved the Morgan car and the Morgan three-wheeler is so unusual. There was one for sale in Burton on Trent, by a man who was in the vintage motorcycle club. I went down to have a look at it and discovered when I got there that it had been his wife’s. She had always ridden pillion with him and was getting tired of sitting on the back. So her bought her this Morgan and she loved it. She had only driven it twice when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died very quickly. According to one of his children who I spoke to, every time he went into the garage he’d look at it and become very upset.

When I went to look at it, it was in a very poor condition, but it was a reasonable price and I knew I could do it up if I bought it. When I went back for it, he told me he’d decided not to sell it because it was his wife’s, but one of his children appeared and persuaded him to sell it.

I brought it home, took it completely to pieces, down to the chassis and rebuilt it, painted it, did the engine and gears – the lot. And it’s run beautifully ever since.

What do you mainly use it for, and do you take it to shows or events?

I take it to vintage motorcycle club events, but I always feel that I would rather have a motorcycle there than a three-wheeler because everybody else has. We go to vintage club events, but I don’t take part. And I always just love to go round the country lanes because it’s such fun. I go to all the local shows – I went round the village flying the Union Jack on VE Day.

The Northern Echo:

Some classic details

What does your family think about your passion for vehicles?

My son has always been a great enthusiast and he’s had vintage motorcycles himself. My daughter used to ride pillion with me in her teens but then boyfriends came along and eventually she got married to a man who is not at all interested in that kind of thing. My son has his name on the Morgan for when I’m no longer here to use it. He lives in Malvern, not far from the factory where it was built and he feels it belongs there.

The Northern Echo:

Nothing finer than a classic car with come classic detail

What was your first vehicle and why did you buy it?

The first car I ever had was a three-wheeler – a Bond Minicar. It was a horrible thing.

What is your dream vehicle and why?

I don’t think I dream about vehicles very much. I’ve got the car that I love and I want. I suppose one of my favourite cars is the Mazda MX-5 sports car, I always thought they were lovely.

Would you ever go electric and why?

I look at all the information about them and I certainly think that they are the future, but at 85 years of age I think I might stick to the sort of car I’ve got, rather than changing.

The Northern Echo:

Just a great looking car

What do you think a car says about its driver?

I think it does say something. I think in many cases a car is a thing to get you from A to B and they would have no special relationship. But with some people, to have a flash car is something that’s good for their ego and makes them feel good. I put myself in that bracket because I think the Morgan is a superior vehicle and something so unusual.

What’s your favourite road to drive on and why?

I’m going to say the one that I drive on the most and that’s the A167 from Darlington to Northallerton. I’ve been using it for years and years. There are some lovely drives in the Lake District, in Scotland and in Wales, but the A167 is the one I use most often.

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