Ace Cycle Car Update

The ACE Cycle Car

The ACE Cycle Car

A couple of years ago I pointed out the ACE Cycle Car, a Morgan styled 3 wheeler powered by a Harley Davidson V-Twin. It's been a little while since I checked out the Ace website and Pete Larsen, the builder of this very sweet little machine, dropped me a line to let me know he's been busy and the site is all new. It certainly is! Loads of new photos of the ACE, in the original red and now, also in white.

There have been several builders who have designed and built 3 wheelers in the Morgan tradition, but, from what I've seen so far, the ACE captures the essence of the original the best. The quality looks first rate, too.

The ACE Cycle Car

The ACE Cycle Car

The ACE is built on a TIG welded tube frame, with rack and pinion steering and powered by either a Harley-Davidson 88" or 103" Twin Cam B V-Twin. The transmission is a 5 speed with reverse. It has a 94 inch wheelbase, room for 2 in the 38 inch wide cockpit, a 10 gallon fuel tank and the whole machine weighs in at 950 pounds. Top speed with the 103 inch engine is 120 mph.

The ACE Cycle Car interior

The ACE Cycle Car interior

For those of you bitten by the urge to buy an old British car, like I was, some years ago, this gives you all of the panache with none of the headache, the modern V-Twin power and up to date electrical system give you reliability and performance while looking as though you've resurrected the old Morgan found sitting in your Aunt Mildred's garage after she passed on. The cool factor is definitely off the charts.

Pete says he'll soon have 5 of these on the road and he'll build one for you, too, with prices starting at $48,000. And please, before someone jumps in and complains about the price, this is not something you buy instead of a Ford Taurus, this is a weekend machine for that select group looking for a car that will get more attention than a new ZR1 Corvette. With the handcrafted quality, low production and really good looks, one of these might not be a bad investment, either.

Of course as Pete points out, there's an immediate payoff, like the attractive 30 something woman who suggested "that should be good for a few dates." Hey, can't hurt.

So before you start looking for some rusty hunk of old British iron to restore, take a look at The ACE, then turn up your mustache into handlebars and throw a silk scarf over your shoulder, ... but I'm just not sure if I could get used to drinking warm beer.

Link: Liberty Motors

The ACE Cycle Car exposed

The ACE Cycle Car exposed

The ACE Cycle Car

The ACE Cycle Car

Jay Leno put up a video of his real Morgan 3 wheeler. Pretty cool as a comparison to the ACE. Thanks for the tip, Ryan!

Comments

  1. Hammerspur says

    Looks FINE, and probably fun to drive! It’d be a way to share some of the joy of motorcycling with my octogenarian father.
    BUT at 50 G’$ I’ll have to wait til’ I win PowerBall or something…

  2. says

    It’s a very popular misconception that the British drink “warm” beer. They drink beer at the proper temperature for the style, and for the darker ales that are common in Britain, a cellar temperature of about 40-55 ºF is appropriate. Compared to what most Americans are used to drinking — American-style light lagers, which can only be served at near-freezing temperatures before they become unpalatably awful — it seems “warm”. I could go on and on, but I won’t, because this is The Kneeslider, not BeerAdvocate. :)

    Back on the topic, I wonder how much he’d sell the kit for? I’d rather have the experience of building one myself (and maybe modifying it to have just enough luggage space for a weekend getaway, too).

    cl

  3. kneeslider says

    Chris, the “warm beer” comment is related to the plentiful jokes about Lucas electrical systems, “Why do the British drink warm beer? Because they have Lucas refrigerators.” If you’ve owned a classic old Jaguar or similar fine machine, you can smile at the reference and ignore the factual inaccuracies. ;-)

  4. Matt Fisher says

    Interesting car, I wonder how it would handle while being driven in a spirited manner on twisty roads.
    Looks like ram air would be painfully easy to do.

  5. todd says

    Very nice. I’d come up with a different air cleaner, if not just fitting in a Guzzi motor instead. I wish someone would take a picture of the rear trunk, they’re much larger than one would imagine – plenty for that “weekend getaway” that Chris pines for.

    They handle good too, just watch out for rear tire blow-outs, that killed a touring couple on a recent club outing that Jay Leno attended.

    -todd

  6. Paulinator says

    When I was but a lad I had a book about race-cars featuring an Italian job (circa 1920ish) that looked like a Morgan with four corners and a raidial engine in the nose…not pretty like it should’ve been, though.

  7. Bjorn says

    In the nineties there was a British? Guzzi powered three wheeler called the Triking. By all accounts it handled beautifully and was available as a kit. The fact that it used the Guzzi gearbox meant there was no reverse gear, a necessity for rego in most Australian states as it was classified as a car which means no stack hat. Something can be worked out with a starter motor but it does add a level of complexity. Whither Triking?

  8. Paul says

    The rollbar ruins the looks. The first prototype didn’t have it, and the original Morgans sure didn’t. I would still like to know what they’re using for a gearbox. A friend of mine emailed them a year or more ago and asked this, and was not given an answer. The Corbins used a VW box hooked up to HD clones, and they broke fast. That’s why the car would be better off with a modern Guzzi twin and it’s original gearbox, ala the Triking. I say that thing will bust the gearboxes. And I bet they’re using an old school VW bug box replacement. There’s other ways to go if you want a fast good looking three wheeler without spending that much money. The Grinnall Scorpion http://www.grinnallcars.com comes to mind.

  9. Paul says

    Bjorn: Best of my knowledge, Tony Divey of Triking retired and there went the Triking. He barely built cars over the years, and he built them from the late 70′s, not the 90′s. I think he might have built seventy the whole time, tops. You could wait three years for one of those things, if you were lucky. Shame somebody didn’t pick it up, but I think he wanted ridiculous money. Mass produced as a diy frame/body panels/major parts KIT, maybe produced across the border in Mexico, it might have had a chance.

  10. Fred X1 says

    two small hoops mirroring the windscreens would solve the rollbar visual. probably be stronger too. and since the engine is optional, how cool would it be with an s&s repro knuckle- or shovelhead.

  11. Armilla says

    I wish it had a single seat in the front and 2 seats in the back. I have 2 boys and they would love to ride in something like this. If you make something like that in the future, let me know. I would like the option of having a hard top that’s removable.

  12. says

    To respond to a couple of issues raised by the readership:
    The roll-bar removes for display.
    The handling is comparable to a Lotus 7 derivative.
    The ACE may be driven to safety with a flat rear tire.
    The trans. is a Borg Warner T-5, rated at 300ft. lb., clutch has same rating. The trans. of course features 5 synchronized speeds plus reverse…features missing from bike gearboxes.
    Those interested in the ACE may want to read the just published review in the London Telegraph.

    Thanks Paul for the great exposure and provocative forum!
    Pete

  13. Stew Crawford says

    I’ve enjoyed immensely looking at all the vehicles on this website, but being retired and living on a fixed income, i’m brought up short by the prices. I wish the makers would offer their products in kit form at reduced prices.

  14. Gary G. Bedard says

    I had the good fortune of visiting Pete Larsen at his Liberty Motors in Seattle in May. The ACE is one beautiful example of a cycle car. I have been in a Trihawk and also helped a neighbor build a Grinnal Scorpion. Each of these 2+1 examples has good features, but I tend towards the retro look of the ACE. The use of the Harley engine gives the ACE instant heritage, enough to be accepted at the beach, Pebble or Daytona. Having seen the drive train first hand, it looks bullet proof, especially when you hear Pete describe the proprietary details. Yes it is expensive, but it is all hand built to the specifications of the owner. There is nothing like the ACE on this side of the pond, in essence it is the American Morgan.

  15. John says

    I am an Englishman now 76 yrs of age,owned a F super Morgan 3 Wheeler in London when I was 19 yrs old. Re the Crash Bar? The center of gravity is so low on these vehicles,ones rear end was only 6 inches above the road once seated,if one went into a corner to fast it just slid sideways slightly,there was never any indication of a front wheel lifting. Cant see the point of a overhead crash bar.
    Main problem was the chain drive to the rear wheel wearing and stretching, in turn snapping the teeth of the rear wheel sprocket.
    This car turned my life around,my social life improved a great deal, women started to want to be with me, in the end there was one gal I felt I could not live without and she wanted needles to say wanted the Morgan gone…big mistake… 16 yrs later she dumped me, then it was divorce time and she was gone,but the love for the Morgan is still there inside me. John

  16. Paul says

    Fantastic car!

    How about using the S&S X-wedge for power? It has a much more symmetrical cam chest than the twinkie.

    just a thought

  17. phil green . says

    I run a tour company in Surfers Paradise Q.L Australia..i was totally hooked by ther Ace, and asked as a very serious buyer, if one could have the seat raised a little , to make room for two adults to sit comfotably, to get over the drive shaft hump, and narrow passenger seat problem .i also wanted to know if i could get it made right hand drive..I got the brush off..so i’ll build my own .

  18. John Chatwin. England says

    I have a 1933 JAP powered Super Sports Morgan Three Wheeler & started watching this ready to pull a know all American to bits. Wrong! I enjoyed every second of it. Jay is a real enthusiast & is to be congratulated. I too enjoy my Mog, I wouldn’t want it if I could not use it. On a crisp sunny morning there is nothing to beat the sound of the big JAP at around sixty five miles an hour. Whatever anyone says or thinks about them one thing is for sure. “You get more smiles per mile” in a Mog trike. John Chatwin.

  19. stew crawford says

    I’ve posted on this vehicle before and after thinking about it for several months, i’ve decided that it’s WAY over priced. It’s beautiful, but is barely street legal. For the asking price on this vehicle I can buy a brand new BMW convertible monster M series car for the same money.. So I can only assume that the maker is hoping for nostalgia sales( Peter Sellers fans). At half the stated price I might be interested.

  20. noel.l.dunnavan@boeing.com says

    The ACE Cycle car uses a Ford 5-speed transmission with reverse; a proprietary torque dampener that reduces the shock loads of very big torque pulses from the Harley Engine.
    I have talked to its creator Pete Larsen: seen the quality of the parts going into it and personally know the bloke who hand welds the frames together. Everything is first rate and the quality of both the engineering and fabrication is top notch!
    Not that the Morgan trikes were cobbled together (in view of the technology available at the time) but the ACE is modern throughout but captures the look, sounds,feel and essence of the 30′s without the fragility and constant maintenance of the early years. A bit pricey but a definite collector car for those who have deep pockets and a romance for a bigone era!

    N.L.Dunnavan
    Tool Engineering
    747-8
    The Boeing company

  21. gene says

    I’ve been observing the ACE website for years. I can’t afford one today, but they are similar in price to any other custom motorcycle. One cannot compare them to any other form of transportation in the US, especially with home government subsidies. This builder has a solution of the future. Though, I suspect air cooled HD US engines will be a temporary power supply. Heck, the “smart car” looks like s**t, and the only advantage is rain protection, and is similarly priced. I currently use a sidecar outfit for my business, and it works well for recreation rides too :)

  22. says

    Hi, The Triking has been in continuous (allthough very low volume) production since 1977 ,available built to any stage from a base chassis/body kit to a complete driving car. All models now use the Guzzi gearbox as std with sequential gearchange- reverse gear is achieved using an optional additional reversing gearbox. Basic body/chassis kit starting price is £2700 (ex works) see http://www.trikingsportscars.co.uk