Many thanks to long-standing member Nev Lear for compiling the following brief history of The Morgan Three Wheeler Club. Rumour has it that Nev was one of the founder members, something he denies.
Morgan Three-Wheeler Club History
The formation of the current Three-Wheeler Club pre-dates other Morgan clubs anywhere in the world. Before WWII a Cyclecar Club looked after the sporting activities allied to the Brooklands circuit, whereas a Three-Wheeler Club looked after the social side of the hobby, and many Morgan owners would have belonged to either of these, depending on their interests related to Morgan and other makes of light car.
As the war progressed, in May 1944 a letter appeared in the weekly periodical ‘Motor Cycling’ suggesting that a club for Morgan Three-Wheelers should be formed. Further letters invited interested owners to get in touch and a register of owners was then compiled.
The first Bulletin was circulated in October 1944, and the first social meeting in South London was held in February 1945 as Flying Bombs were falling on the city!
Later in the year the club was well organised for its Inaugural General Meeting in September at Malvern. The war was over and petrol for private use had been available since June. Over the next two or three years local groups were established all over the UK, the majority of which still exist.
Owners were very keen to compete with their cars, and the club very much existed to promote this. At the time, three-wheelers competed on the race tracks under the auspices of the Auto-Cycle Union, classed alongside motorcycles. This followed a ban imposed at Brooklands as far back as 1924 following a serious accident when a very fast Morgan piloted by E.B. Ware suffered a rear wheel puncture and overturned. The underlying reason for the ban was more likely to be the fact that light powerful three-wheelers were beating much more expensive and refined machinery!
The fledgling club continued the tradition when, in 1951, a three wheeler piloted by Cyril Hale came within 0.1sec of the time set at a Chester sprint meeting by Britain’s latest sports car, an XK120 Jaguar!
The sporting side of the club developed alongside an increasing number of local groups that were formed both within the UK and overseas. At one time sprint meetings organised by the MTWC were amongst some of the biggest held in the country with over 100 three-wheelers often present. In the 1970’s representations to the RAC finally reversed the ban of 1924 allowing three-wheelers to compete alongside four wheelers in competition. Again light, powerful and relatively cheap Morgans were to be seen beating much more refined (and expensive) opposition.
Club members have consistently supported many forms of competition all over the world; while in the UK a club championship allied to an agreed formula set by the competing members has always received extensive support.
In the early days of the club many cars were in daily use, but as this declined so did attendance at the club’s national events. Here the club responded by organising bigger and better events, where owners from overseas were attracted to attend. The first, in 1980, in conjunction with the Morgan Sports Car Club saw the attendance of three-wheelers return to the previous levels, and by 1995, the clubs 50th Anniversary saw around 200 cars present. At the Morgan Motor Company’s Centenary celebrations in 2009 over 300 cars were seen on the road attending the various events that year.
There is nothing you can’t do with your Morgan.