The vintage years of the Morgan 3-wheeler
(Continued from the July issue)
1926.—Enthusiasm for Morgan was unabated, in spite of one unkind cartoon which depleted a Grand Prix Morgan and two kids in a pram, the caption reading “The Two-Seater They Talk About Before Marriage—And The One They Get!” One Aero owner made a replica of his car to a scale of 3/4 in. = 1 ft. and set it up on the Morgans radiator cap; and in the serious sphere of speed events R. T. Horton was racing at Southport sands where Bullough’s Morgan was in winning form while R. R. Jackson and Eric Fernihough, in the Inter-Varsity Hill Climb, gained first and second places in the unlimited sidecar class. Fernihough, later to become one of the World’s fastest motorcyclists, then still an undergraduate at Cambridge, had built a single-cylinder Morgan Special (see MOTOR SPORT August 1926), using a 1925 494-c.c. a/c. push-rod o.h.v. J.A.P. engine which ran up to 5,700 r.p.m. With this he was very successful. At Brooklands on March 31st he covered five miles (f.s.) at 73.12 m.p.h., five km. (f.s.) at 73.37 m.p.h., ten miles (s.s.) at 69.65 m.p.h. and ten km. (s.s.) at 72.37 m.p.h., passing Pratts spirit through the Amac carburetter and using Castrol oil and Avon tyres. These were new Class I records, and in June Fernihough was out again, clocking 71,81 m.p.h. for a f.s. km., 71.91 m.p.h. for a f.s. mile. On the last day of August, taking his fiancée, Miss Butler, as passenger, he went after long-distance records in the half-litre Morgan. He set up new records from 100 km. to 6 hours, at speeds around 57/59 m.p.h., although for the six hours the average had dropped to 49.51 m.p.h. Best speed was 59.7 m.p.h. for 100 miles. But unfortunately the rear tyre burst and the driver and his girl passenger who had been sharing two-hour spells at the wheel, were thrown out as the Morgan overturned, but were not badly hurt.
This was the age when record breaking paid well in respect of bonus money, so the very next day G. E. Tottey, the New Imperial rider who still turns up at B.M.C.R.C. Brooklands Re-Unions, took out a 490-c.c. Omega-J.A.P. 3-wheeler and raised Fernihough’s 50-mile, one-hour and 100-km. records, respectively to 60.09, 60.52 and 60.52 m.p.h. However, Fernihough put a 599-c.c. J.A.P. engine in the Morgan, and covered 50 km. at 62.29 m.p.h., 50 miles at 62.61 m.p.h., 100 km. at 62.72 m.p.h. and averaged 62.69 m.p.h. for the hour, new Class I records. (J. J. Hall, with the 1,100-c.c Omega-J.A.P., took Class K records for three hours (58.84 m.p.h.), four hours (58.64 m.p.h.), five hours (57.9 m.p.h.), six hours (57.34 m.p.h.), seven hours (56.59 m.p.h.). 200 miles (59.14 m.p.h.) and 500 km. (57.88 m.p.h.)—happy days!)
In trials, naturally, Morgans went on scoring successes, and it was estimated that since 1920 they had won 27 gold, 14 silver and nine bronze medals in the “Land’s End” alone. H. Beart & Co. of London Road, Kingston were fitting steering reduction gears and foot throttle controls to Morgans, the Aero owned by “Shacklepin” of The Light Car & Cyclecar being amongst them, and Jackson and Booth of Congleton sold a proprietary reverse gear. (At least one policeman was obviously unaware that 3-wheelers were not compelled to have a reverse gear, incidentally!) In the Scottish Six Days’ Trial the 1,096-c.c. Morgans of Spouse and Watson gained silver medals but H.F.S. and Carr retired, the former with leaky water joints, the latter damaging his chassis on Loch Losgoinn. In the strenuous International Six Days Trial Goodall (NP 636), Horton (CJ 6343) and Carr (NP 65), using w/c. Aero-J.A.P.s with the new 10-h.p. o.h.v. engine, did magnificently, all winning “golds” and the Team Prize in their class. Their total loss of marks was only 20, whereas the sole surviving team of sidecars lost 310 marks.
Performances like this were excellent publicity and in the face of fierce competition from 4-cylinder small cars the Morgan remained extremely popular, Homac’s advertising that they could not give delivery in under 14 days. The Motor Cycle & Cycle Trader reported that the 10.4-h.p. w/c. o.h.v. Blackburne-Aero would do 10-30 m.p.h. in 5.2 sec. on the 4.6 to 1 top speed, or in 2.8 on the 7.9 to 1 low speed, had a top speed of 72 m.p.h., and would stop in 34 yards from 40 m.p.h. using only the foot brake, in 26 yards if hand and foot brakes were both applied (this apparently with front brakes). Alternative ratios of 5 to 1 and 10 to 1 were spoken of, the tyres were 700 x 85, the petrol tank held three gallons.
Up to October 1926 a 349-c.c. Villard 3-wheeler held the km. and mile f.s. 3-wheeler records in Class H (up to 750 c.c., ) at 55.49 and 55.12 m.p.h. respectively. Class I (up to 500 c.c.) records were shared by Jackson (498-c.c. Morgan-Blackburne), Fernihough/Miss Butler (494-c.c. Morgan-J.A.P.) and Tottey (494-c.c. Omega-J.A.P.), Fernihough holding the majority, the fastest being Jackson’s f.s. km. at 72.44 m.p.h., Class J (up to 750 c.c.) was Tottey’s preserve, with a 730-c.c. Omega-J.A.P., but Sandford’s 747-c.c. Sandford had the s.s. km. and mile records and the fastest was the Omega’s f.s., km. at 78.29 m.p.h. Class K (up to 1,100 c.c.) was almost a Morgan monopoly, by Beares 1,096-c.c. Blackburne and 1,097-c.c. J.A.P., except for the s.s. km. and mile records held by Jackson’s Blackburne and the 200-mile and 3-hour records held by Hall’s 1,097-c.c. Omega-fastest being the f.s. km. at 103.37 m.p.h. Passengers were carried in all classes.
At Olympia in 1926, with Morgan showing a dozen cars and a chassis on Stand No. 53, Omega and Coventry-Victor continued to exhibit and were joined by the single-cylinder £65 H.P. For 1927 the Morgan was grease-gun lubricated, 7-in. front brakes standardised on the De Luxe, Family and Aero models, and the bevel-box was redesigned to allow a larger ball-bearing behind pinion, while the rear fork and bearings, counter-shaft, dogs rear axle were strengthened, and there was ample clearance for the largest rear tyres. The Standard model, now with double electric horn and celluloid-covered steering wheel, cost £89. More commodious bodies figured on the De Luxe, Family Aero models, and 4-in. Dunlop were standard. Prices were, respectively, a/c. £110, w/c. £120, a/c. 111, w/c. 121; w/c. Aero £127, racing with 10/40 w/c. engine £140. An electric starter cost £10 extra. A Super Aero with V-mudguards and one-piece body, delivery taking two months or more, was offered at £145 with a J.A.P. or Blackburne engine and a newcomer was the Family Aero, evoked by A. C. Maskell who drove one in the “Land’s End,” costing £142. Mottled aluminium dashboards were standardised.
Finally, as the year drew to a close the Morgan Club dinner saw 125 people at the Hotel Cecil and on Christmas Eye the Company announced that in the M.C.C. Brooklands High Speed Trial standard Aero Morgans had covered 67.8, 64.4, 61.9 and 60.7 miles in the hour, driven respectively by C. J. Turner, A. C. Maskell, R. T. Horton and J. I. Goddard.
1927.—Early in the year the Colmore Cup Trial proved a typical “mud-plug” and won Horton’s Morgan a “gold,” H.S.F. (in AB 16) and Chippendale “silvers,” Goodall a bronze medal; D. S. Peacey drove a 498-c.c. and three Omegas competed. It was estimated that since 1913 Morgans had taken 18 gold and eight silver medals and the Evans Cup on three occasions in the Colmore and, since 1920, 15 gold, 11 silver and the Team Prize in the Victory Trial.
R. R. Jackson put a 60 x 88 mm. (496 c.c.) V-twin Blackburne engine similar to that which Wal Handley used in the 1926 Senior T.T. into a Morgan, running it at the C.U.A.C. Speed Trials at Hatley Park, and captured the 50-km. Class I record from Fernihough, at Brooklands, at 64.52 m.p.h., using Castrol oil, B.P. petrol and Dunlop tyres.
A wordy duel was fought out in the correspondence pages of The Light Car & Cyclecar between R. Siran and H. Heart. It centred round a supercharged S.C.A.P.-engined D’Yrsan which was said to have averaged 110 m.p.h. for two laps of Montlhery Track and the latter’s challenge. Although Heart agreed to put his Morgan-Blackburne against the s/c D’Yrsan over ten miles, or against a non-supercharged D’Yrsan over 50 miles at Montlhery, the match never materialised, fizzling out as such proposals often do.
“Shacklepin” reported favourably on the latest o.h.v. 85.7 x 95 mm. (1,096 ex.) 8.45-h.p. J.A.P. engine which had been fitted to his 1925 Aero (XX 8647) the previous August, which would pull down to 10 m.p.h. in top, or open up to 40 in low, 70 m.p.h. in top speed, giving over 50 m.p.g. from a B. & B. carburetter set for economy, or 45 in town work. A Mr. Russell of Harrington Gardens, S.W.7 was prepared to supply a fabric coupé body, called the Newton an Aero chassis for under £200 complete, claiming a weight increase of only about 5 lb., and drove one in the “Land’s End,” in which 16 Morgans competed (six “golds,” three “silvers,” four “bronze,” the coupé taking one of the latter). F. H. Hambling of Kilburn foretold the future by offering a 3-speed gearbox, with ratios of 15.2, 7.66 and 4.4 to 1 and single chain, for £12, his demmo. car being a G.P. Anzani. In the “Welsh 24” H. Gallie’s Morgan (RN 8706) won the cup for best passenger-vehicle performance and in the A.C.U. Six Days’ F. James’ Aero Morgan took a “gold” but Carr, in Aero-J.A.P. UY 761, failed a hill and had tyre trouble. In the “Edinburgh” 14 Morgans between them netted 11 “golds” and three “silvers,” Vidler and Macaskie driving Aero models RK 6401 and MK 2448.
By the summer of 1927 there was a considerable crusade for a revival of races in which 3-wheelers could compete on level terms with conventional cars and various pleas for the safety of the tricycles were advanced, including a statement by J. J. Hall that he had driven 1,600 miles round Brooklands without mishap. Mr. Williams of Metro Motors offered temporary headquarters for the organisation of such a race, which was to take form in 1928. Meanwhile, 3 Scottish Morgan Club was formed, with a five-bob subscription. At Arpajon, Dhome driving a Darmont-Morgan covered a mile at 90.41 m.p.h., a Sandford the km. at 97.95 m.p.h., the mile at 97.28 m.p.h., and Dhome’s 500-c.c. Darmont-Morgan the f.s.. km. at 71.57 m.p.h.
The clamour for a Club to foster racing of 3-wheelers and cars on a level basis grew and the Morgan Club was re-formed as the New Cyclecar Club, with Prof. A. M. Low in the chair and the racing committee consisting of H. Heart, J. J. Hall, E. B. Ware, Capt. A. Frazer-Nash and G. E. Tottey. The scare caused by Ware’s 1924 accident was at last being overcome! Unfortunately, at this most inopportune time, J. J. Hall and Vic Derrington who was his passenger, were badly hurt when their 750-c.c. Morgan, during a record attempt at Brooklands, burst its Palmer back tyre on the Railway Straight. But this did not damp the new club’s enthusiasm, Heart sagely observing that a standard Amilcar or Austin 7 might be safer in a 200-mile Grand Prix, owing to the fact that they would not be able to attain anything like the speed
Before the accident Hall set new Class K records from one and two hours and 100 miles, his best speed 67.71 m.p.h. for the hour, the Morgan using R.O.P. petrol and Sternol oil. At Southport, where S. Brownhill’s Morgan ran with a specially-lowered frame, the back wheel protruding through the top of the tail, Horton beat the fastest sidecar by over 5 m.p.h., covering the f.s. km. at 93.2t m.p.h. The perennial topic of tyre wear disclosed that well over 10,000 miles was possible on the original tyres. A typical journey was that accomplished by a 1927 s.v. w/c. De Luxe Morgan-J.A.P. (KM 8790), from Chatham to Liverpool in pouring rain, nearly 250 miles in 91 hours including stops, this owner using 26 in. x 3 1/2 in. Dunlop s.s. cords which had punctured once in 7,000 miles, the front tyres hardly worn, the rear one just beginning to lose its tread.
“Focus” of The Light Car & Cyclecarused an o.h.s. Aero-J.A.P. (CJ 743) to cover the Scottish Six Days’ Trial. It had an electric starter, front brakes, 27 in. 4 in. balloon front tyres, a gear-driven dynamo, improved bevel-box, new type silencers and pneumatic seat squab. Edinburgh was reached from London on the first day, and only Amulree and Kenmore put the Morgan onto the 10 to 1 bottom speed, for it could climb Fish Hill, Broadway, in top. Over the entire 1,800 miles, only two gallons of oil were used, and petrol thirst averaged 53 m.p.g. “Focus” got 39 in low, but found 65 m.p.h. in top speed enough, as prop-shall whip came in thereafter, and he thought the steering heavy, the driver’s left foot cramped, the clutch pedal travel too long, a rear shock-absorber and a handbrake ratchet desirable. But this “exhilarating and health-giving” vehicle, costing £140, proved entirely troublefree.
Not to be outdone, “Friar John” of the same journal took a holiday tour in a Family model (UV 761). Going out of London on the then-new-and-uncompleted Barnet By-Pass, the Morgan made mid-Lincolnshire, 135 miles, on the first day. In all, about 800 miles were covered, without need for a single adjustment, and the steering, geared about 2 to 1, was judged a great improvement. For 1928 prices were again reduced, the Standard model, supplied only in dark red, to £85, the De Luxe to £100, or £110 in w/c. J.A.P. form, the Family model to £102, or £112 with w/c. J.A.P. engine, the Aero to £119 a/c, £132 with 10/40 o.h.v., h.c. tuned J.A.P. engine, while the new Special Super Sports with this engine was priced at £155.
1928.—Although the roads were taking on a sophisticated air, with new by-passes and petrol pumps, etc., and small saloons were becoming the vogue, the Morgan continued to hold its own, especially amongst the sports light cars, the new Super Sports model with rounded tail, enveloping a rear-end crudely exposed on the Aero model, cycle-type front mudguards, low-level exhaust pipes, but retaining aeroscreens, being a match for contemporary Salmsons, Amilcars and Ulster Austins—even at a time when a 1922 G.N. in good condition could be bought for £4. Three-wheelers, in fact, continued to be much in evidence, Hawkes taking records at Montlhery with a 490-c.c. M.E.B., the 10-mile record being lifted to 74.6 m.p.h. H. F. S. continued to be very active, driving a Family model to Geneva and back and taking an Aero through the Scottish Six Days’ Trial.
The main excitement, however, was the Brooklands Meeting organised by the New Cyclecar Club in August. Throwing caution to the winds, as it were, a “Grand Prix” course was devised with a sandbank S-bend in the Finishing Straight and another where the cars turned into the Railway Straight. To swell the entries, which totalled 74, 4-wheelers were admitted and the only accident befell an Austin 7, which overturned!
Several wide-track Super Sports Morgans, still sometimes called Super-Aeros, ran, and competition came from Vidler’s racing flat-twin 746-c.c. Coventry-Victor. R. R. Jackson drove his old lowered 546-c.c. vee-twin Morgan-Blackburne, Horton his very fast Morgan with Heart’s old Blackburne engine and pedal-applied Bowden wire-and-rod front brakes, all with Brooklands “cans” and fish-tails.
The first all-3-wheeler race, a 3-lap handicap, was won by Jackson, at 67.85 m.p.h., Morton second, Lones third. In another 3-lap handicap a T.T. Riley was no match for the Morgans, Morton’s winning by over 1-of-a-mile, at 92.4 m.p.h., from Maskell’s and Lones’ Morgans. Horton then won a 5-lap handi- cap, at 94.5 m.p.h., by from Jackson and Lones. He was lapping at 98 m.p.h. and must have reached the “ton” down the Railway Straight. The big race, however, was the Cyclecar G.P. over 20 laps of the special course, in three classes. Gardner’s s/c. Salmson retired after three laps with a broken petrol pipe, Morton after five, with oil on the brakes. Maskell’s Morgan broke its gear lever, being confined to top, and Lones won by a lap from Wilkinson’s Riley and Smythe’s Amilcar, the Coventry-Victor being fourth. Lones stopped once for water, as he was using a small radiator. His 1,096-c.c. Morgan-J.A.P. averaged 54.1 m.p.h. and used a B. & B. carburetter, ML magneto, Lissen plugs, Coventry chains, John Bull and Dunlop tyres, Newton and Hartford shock-absorbers, B.P. aviation petrol and Shell oil.
At the opposite extreme, a 1924 Family model (DC 4363) towed a collapsible caravan through the Lake District at an average speed of 20 m.p.h. And in the Scottish Six Days’ Trial F. H. James drove the only Morgan (W 157) and won a silver medal.
Late in the season Jackson was out on Brooklands with his 498-c.c. Morgan, setting I Class records from 50 km. to one hour, the latter at 71.4 m.p.h. For 1929 the long-awaited geared steering, which had been an extra in 1928, was standardised, bevelbox and rear hub bearings were fitted with oil-retaining felt washers, heavier ball-bearings were used behind the bevel pinion, a greaseproof cover was fitted over the clutch, the sliding axles were provided with grease-containing cavities and anti-wobble steering pins were fitted to all models. The gear-driven dynamo, provided in 1928, was improved by using skew gears and a stronger dynamo bracket. The battery was placed in the tail of the Aero, which had a better hood. The other models were strengthened and improved in appearance and the sidescreens and battery were housed behind the squab on the De Luxe model. The a/c. 980-c.c. s.v. J.A.P. engine was standard on the non-sporting models, giving 55 m.p.h. in the 4.5 to 1 top speed, low speed being 8 to 1. The front brakes were operated by a central lever. Whereas the De Luxe model measured 9 ft. 6 in. x 4 ft. 10 in., and now cost £92, the wide track of the Super Sports gave it overall dimensions of 9 ft. 8 in. x 5 ft. 3 in. It had the w/c. 1,096-c.c. J.A.P. engine and could do 80 m.p.h. in the 4 to 1 top speed. The price was reduced to £150. Least expensive was the Standard model, at £86.
1929.—Perhaps the 4-wheelers were closing in, but still the Morgan exerted itself. H. F. S. (in AB 16) led a team in the Scottish Six Days’, Wilton in CE 423, Reid in GO 7253 and Harris in ML 1142, all o.h.v. Aero-J.A.P.s, two with flared front wings, two with cycle-type, which won two “golds” and two “silvers,” H. F. S. missing a Silver Cup because of a sooted plug. Lones won a B.M.C.R.C. Private Owners’ Handicap race at 51.7 m.p.h., and in the “Edinburgh” ten, Morgans started and nine took gold medals, including Maskell’s Family model, which carried four adults through the trial. The new Cyclecar Club again held its Brooklands Meeting, on August 31st. The first race was won by Sydney Allard’s Morgan, at 73.37 m.p.h., from a couple of Austins. Seven well-known Morgan exponents contested the 3-lap 3-wheeler Handicap, Rhodes winning easily, at 87.9 m.p.h., from Lones, after Horton had retired, Maskell third. Horton’s 496-c.c. Morgan won a mixed 3-lap Handicap, which included a Riley 9 saloon which lapped at over 69 m.p.h. and blown Amilcar, Salmson, Austin and Ratier cars, at 71.15 m.p.h., from Lones’ 996-c.c. Morgan-J.A.P. and Gardner’s Salmson. In spite of many retirements, Morgan honours were upheld in the 5-lap Handicap, which Rhodes’ Blackburne-engined car won at 89.74 m.p.h. by half a lap, in spite of a rehandicap. Austins unsuccessfully pursued him.
The 20-lap Cyclecar G.P. over the “road” course attracted 21 starters: and some drama, Clayton’s Amilcar and Maskell’s Morgan both retiring after minor incidents at the artificial bends.
C. Jay, from the Morgan works, in Goodall’s a/c. 730-c.c. Morgan J.A.P., carrying ballast in lieu of an acrobatic Passenger, won by nearly two laps from Gardner’s scratch Amilcar Six, the Morgan averaging 64.7 m.p.h. Jay was duly presented with the Light Car & Cyclecar Cup by H. F. S. Morgan. An Austin 7 was third. The winner used an Amal Carburetter, ML magneto, Discol fuel, Castrol oil and Dunlop tyres.
At another B.M.C.R.C. meeting Lones’ single-cylinder 498-c.c. Morgan-J.A.P. won a 5-lap All-Comers Passenger Handicap at 77.81 m.p.h. At the end of the year prices were somewhat changed, the Standard and Family models to £87 10s., the Super Sports to £145, the Aero still being available at £110.
The outstanding Morgan occurrence of the year was undoubtedly Gwenda Stewart’s record attacks at Montlhery. Douglas Hawkes prepared for her an a/c. 998-c.c. Super Sports-J.A.P., with which she took the 5-km. and 5-mile records, at over 103 m.p.h. Later she put the hour record to 95 m.p.h. Hawkes then tuned the Morgan, raising the c.r. to 7 1/4 to 1, putting in a high gear that enabled the engine to run at 4,500 r.p.m. when lapping at over 103 m.p.h., and fitting 4.20 x 27 track Dunlop tyres. The stripped Morgan then set the hour record to 101.5 m.p.h., the first time any 3-wheeler had covered over 100 miles in the hour, for the motorcycle record stood at 89.4 m.p.h., while the 1,100-c.c. car hour record was only 1.74 m.p.h. quicker, by a blown 4-cylinder 2-stroke Cozette. The Morgan, running on large carburetters and undiluted alcohol fuel, averaged 15 m.p.g. The front tyres were worn at the sides and very little rubber was left on the back tyre.
This was only a beginning, for after smaller carburetters had been substituted, using a small quantity of benzoic in the fuel, the c.r. lowered, and road-racing Dunlops of the same size fitted, four days later Gwenda Stewart successfully broke long-distance records, from 7 to 12 hours, at speeds varying from 66.39 to 67.46 m.p.h. The Morgan now gave 36 m.p.g and the tyres were scarcely worn. Hawkes also installed a 730-c.c. J.A.P. engine in the Morgan, to enable Mrs. Stewart to set new Glass J records for five to eight hours and 500 miles, at speeds of 70.57 to 71.09 m.p.h., breaking some of their own M.E.R.-J.A.P. records, the Morgan faster than in its 998-c.c. form.
Lones had been busy at Brooklands with his 346-c.c. Morgan J.A.P., taking Class records from 5 km. to two hours, at speeds of 56.75 to 70.47 m.p.h. and then Mrs. Stewart excelled herself at Montlhery. Hawkes provided 498-c.c. J.A.P. and 346-c.c. J.A.P. engines for further successful record attacks, so that during the year she broke 71 records with the Morgan, the fastest her Class K 5-mile at 106.3 m.p.h., the 350 engine doing 74.07 m.p.h. for 5 km., the 500 a speed of 77.24 m.p.h. for an hour and the 750 doing 85.2 m.p.h. for an hour.
1930.—The year opened with further activity at Montlhery by the irrepressible Hawkes/Stewart equipé and the Morgan. With S. C. H. Davis as co-driver, Gwenda set new figures for records from 1,500 km. to 24 hours, the Morgan actually stopping after 21 hours, for which period it averaged 64.85 m.p.h. inclusive of depot stops. And for 12 hours, it averaged 72.72 m.p.h. A broken piston stopped the car, but Hawkes had a spare engine ready. Subsequently Mrs. Stewart drove the Morgan over shorter distances, being timed at 113.52 m.p.h., the highest speed officially achieved by a vintage-type 3-wheeler. She also averaged 110.69 m.p.h. over five miles. I believe she was actually timed in a speed trial at 117 m.p.h.
Nineteen-thirty was the last year of the 2-speed Morgan, because in 1931 a new layout with 3-speed gearbox and final drive by a single chain superseded the famous 2-speeder transmission used from 1909 to 1930. However, the 2-speeders were still listed, to vanish finally in 1933, except for the £80 976-c.c. Family model. The M-type chassis had been introduced early in 1930, with underslung rear suspension and a knock-out rear spindle. An internal-expanding foot-brake was arranged inside the low-gear sprocket and the bevel-box was redesigned with two forged-steel wheel-supporting beams, arranged co-axially with the countershaft, and as the box was bolted to a flange on the end of the prop.-shaft it was easily removable, the smaller bevel-wheel shaft being mounted on ball-bearings and coupled to the end of the prop.-shaft. The wheelbase was shortened by some 3 in. and the shorter prop.-shaft was less prone to whip. The 2 to 1 geared steering was popular, although some owners thought a 3 to 1 reduction would be better. The twin aero-screens of the Aero model were replaced by a two-panel vee-screen and the racing J.A.P. engine was given enclosed valve gear.
“Sartor” of The Motor Cycle wrote very enthusiastically of his o.h.v. Aero-J.A.P. (WE 6000), which was faster on a regular 53-mile journey than a motorcycle, by some nine minutes, “hardly touching the brakes and cornering a good deal more slowly.”
The B.S.A.f.w.d. 3-wheeler began to compete in trials alongside the Morgans, but still the latter took most of the awards, such as 11 gold medals and two “silvers” in the “Land’s End” and “golds” by Goodall, Walker, Cannon, Moss, Senior, and R. D. Smith in the “Edinburgh,” in which event Welch and H. T. Smith gained silver medals.
And afterwards. . . . The Morgan in its new 3-speed form continued to flourish, but its vintage years were over. Morgans were allowed to compete with 4-wheelers in the I.C.C. Relay Race, in which the Morgan team was always a great sight, the cars crackling round at the top of the bankings, throttles held wide open by rubber bands, leaving the drivers both hands with which to steer! They never won this ingenious race, being heavily handicapped, but in 1933 the Morgan team of Rhodes, Laird and Lanes finished second, at 89.01 m.p.h., the same drivers repeating this performance, and making the fastest speed, at 90.91 m.p.h., in 1934. For racing the wide-track front axle tubes were now in general use.
For a simple vehicle the keynote of which was utility, the Morgan 3-wheeler gained a quite fantastic number of successes in sporting events. Indeed, its sponsors, of whom the Rev. Morgan died in 1937 and H. F. S. at the age of 77, in 1959, purposely introduced the sports G.P., Aero and Super Sports models and encouraged competition activities, in which many of the works personnel, from H. F. S. and G. H. Goodall downwards, participated.
In 1935 the 4-cylinder Morgan 3-wheeler, with Ford Eight (and, later, Ford Ten) engine, appeared and the first 4-wheeler, Morgan 4/4, arrived in 1936. The 990-c.c. Matchless vee-twin engine was fitted to the Super Sports Morgan 3-wheeler, however, the last batch of these models being shipped to Australia after the war, and after 1934, all the vee-twin Morgans had these engines, in a/c., and w/c., s.v. and o.h.v. versions. The Family model had been endowed with a dummy radiator grille in 1933 and the spare wheel was mounted on the tail of the sports body. All chassis except the Super Sports were lowered 1 1/2 in. by means of cranked front cross-tubes and detachable bolt-on wheels were standardised. For 1935 the barrel-body with spare wheel on the end was adopted for the F-model Super Sports. Peter Morgan joined the Company in 1947 and the F4 and F Super Ford-engined 3-wheelers were discontinued in 1950. The sporting tradition of the Morgan was carried on by the Plus Four 4-wheeler, introduced that year and still prominent in today’s racing and other competition events. And the Morgan 3-Wheeler Club, with 1,200 members, keeps alive the great 3-wheeler tradition. These articles give but an outline of Morgan history. It is to be hoped that one day, perhaps, the knowledgeable Robin Richmond, aided by Lindop and Birks, may be persuaded to write a book about the famous 3-wheeler.—W.B.