The Races and the Records:
H.F.S. Morgan realized quite early, that in order to sell his runabouts, he had to prove them in race and competition. So in December 1910
he took part in his first London-Exeter Trial and won a Gold Medal in his 8hp J.A.P.-engined single-seater.
This picture was taken during the A.C.U. Six Days' trial in 1911 on Arkengarthdale Hill. The pure joy of driving his runabout is written in the face
of H.F.S. Morgan.
The first Cyclecar Race ever to be held was over a distance of about eight miles and took place at Brooklands on March 27, 1912. The following cars were participating
in that race: The J.A.P.-engined Morgan, driven by Harry Martin, an Autotrix-J.A.P., a Rollo-J.A.P., two Sabellas and two Bedelias. This race was won by Mr.
Harry Martin in his Morgan Runabout in 8min and 32½sec, followed by the Sabella who already needed more than 11min. Here are a few sentences from the Motor Cycling
Magazine, describing this race:
"... the red flag dropped and the race had begun. H.Martin, on the Morgan was away like a shot ... at the end of the first round the Morgan had gained
a big lead, and as Martin flashed past at close on 60 an hour he was given a rousing cheer ... There was no sign of his passenger on the machine, as he was
cuddled up in the boot so as to lessen the wind resistance ... the Morgan was increasing its lead, and finally won easily at a speed of just on 60 m.p.h."
In 1912 H.F.S. competed for the One-Hour Record: Throughout the whole year there was a strong battle between Bedelia, G.W.K. and Morgan,
but in his last attempt for that year, at the end of November 1912, H.F.S. Morgan succeeded and won the title and the "Light Car and Cyclecar ChallengeTrophy."
The picture shows H.F.S. just prior to the record attempt, assisted by his father Henry George Morgan.
H.F.S. set a new 50-mile record with a speed of 59,43mph and brought the one-hour record to 59miles 1123yards, his fastest lap being at 62mph.
The next huge success came at the Cyclecar Grand Prix in Amiens, France. Driven by Gordon McMinnies and Frank Thomas as passenger and
mechanic it was again a Morgan Three-wheeler that won the Grand Prix!
A scene from the Cyclecar Grand Prix in July 1913. Mc.Minnies won this 162,9miles race in 3hrs 53min. and 9secs in front of Mr. Bourbeau in a Bedelia
and Mr. Violet in a Violet-Bogey.
Look at this picture: It shows E.B. Ware's crashed car at the J.C.C.'s 200-Mile Race in 1924. The accident happened in round 35 of the race, when the tread
of the rear tyre came off and locked the rear wheel. The Morgan spun around, hit a fence and finally overturned throwing out it's occupants. Ware and his mechanic Allchin
had to be hospitalized, fortunately both recovered.
As a consequence of that accident all three-wheelers were banned by the J.C.C. for future races. This ban was revoked some years later.
One more major event took place in 1929/30 when a female driver, Mrs. Gwenda Stewart, broke record after record at Montlhéry.
Teaming with Douglas Hawkes, who prepared her Super Aero, she was fastest over the flying kilometer as well as over long distance races of
2500 kilometers. She held close to 50 records in the classes J (three-wheel cyclecars with passenger not exceeding 750cc) and K (three-wheel
cyclecars not exceeding 1.100cc).
Numerous other drivers contributed to the great successes of the Morgan Three-wheelers: To many to name them all, I just want to list some of them:
Even after the Second World War the Morgan Three-wheelers continued racing until today thanks to fearless drivers like
Cyril Hale, Mike Guess, Mike Duncan, Tony Quinn, Fred Sisson, Greg Bibby, Bob Angell, Bill & Maggie Tuer, Chas & Tim Reynolds,
Andy Abraham & Jo Courage, Pete Jones, Stewart Becker (he races SALOME, a 4-wheeled conversion of a 1928 3-wheeler) and many, many more.
- Harry Martin, he won the first ever cyclecar race at Brooklands in 1912.
- E.B. Ware, after securing numerous records had a fatal crash in 1924.
- Harold Beart, raced a Blackburne engined Aero and achieved several records.
- Norman Norris, in 1925 he became a driver for Lea Francis.
- Robin Jackson.
- Douglas Hawkes, held several records, owner of 'Land Crab' and 'Flying Spider'.
- Eric Fernihough.
- Ron Horton.
- Mrs. Gwenda Stewart, she had no driver licence but was fastest on the track: 115,66mph.
- George Goodall, Morgan's works manager.
- Jack Sylvester.
- Roger and André Darmont, they built and raced the French Darmont Morgan.
- P.Burnat, raced a Darmont Special.
- Tommy Rhodes.
- Clive Lones.
Here a link to: Photos of C. Lones' 1929 Super Sports Aero named "Tiger Cat".
- Henry and Richard Laird.
If you are interested in the whole story of the races and successes of the Morgan Three-wheelers: I can highly recommend you a book from
Dr. J.D. Alderson and D.M.Rushton "Morgan Sweeps the Board - The Three-wheeler Story". It's really loaded with information!
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