Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Morgan Family Model 'Runabout' three-wheeler

A rare period photo of a Morgan Family model three-wheeler. Budget motoring for the family man, none-the-less still a considerable luxury for the time.

It's rather difficult to date a two speeder Family Morgan as they really didn't change much from year to year. There was a re-style to the bonet in 1931 but asides from that very few changes happened in the production run from 1919 to 33. This particular one has acetylene headlights, most pictures you see they are fitted with electric, but electric was an option so that doesn't help in putting a year to it. Beaded edge tyres are fitted which should date it to 1925 or earlier. There is a slight up-kick in the bodywork at the tail, this changed through the years. Overall I'd put this car as c1924 but am happy to be corrected by Morgan experts.

For those not familiar with Morgans the two-speeders had a v-twin engine up front with a cone clutch behind it. This drove a shaft to a bevel box and gearbox that formed part of the swinging arm rear suspension; this ensured that chain tension remains a constant. There are two chains to the rear wheel with different sprocket sizes on each: this gives the two speeds. Which chain and sprocket is driven is controlled by sliding dogs in the gearbox with neutral in the middle. There is no reverse.

c1924 Morgan Family 'Runabout'.

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