Morgan began in 1911 by building three-wheeler, two-seater, V-Twin-engined cyclecars. As these were classified as motorcycles, customers could avoid the British car tax by getting these cheap runabouts instead. Morgan was also quick to enter the racing scene, and the publicity gained by all that cyclecar action allowed them to wait until 1935 with their first four-wheeled product, the four-cylinder 4-4.
GN began its operation a year before Morgan, offering four wheels straight from the start. The company was founded by H.R. Godfrey and Archibald Frazer-Nash, and despite playing in the same weight class as the Morgans, certain GN chassis soon ended up with rather powerful engines for their size, all in the name of fearless hillclimb racing.
What neither Mr. Godfrey, Mr. Nash or the crew at Morgan's Pickersleigh Road factory could predict a century ago was what happened when you combined a Three-Wheeler's front assembly with a GN's rear frame.
Okay. So up front, there's going to be a V-Twin running on methanol. Twin carbs, twin magneto, twice the flames. Behind that, the very quick Morgan steering, two thirds of a turn lock-to-lock, a much wider front track sporting a wildly positive camber. Brakes only on those wheels, but at least you get two speeds. That's thanks to the pair of chains going to the rear axle, both of which will need regular greasing. This Morgan is called the RIP Special for rather obvious reasons.
The 2019 Goodwood Members' Meeting starts on the 6th of April.