1938 Morgan Supersports
Year of manufacture1938
1938 Morgan Super Sports Roadster
Registration no. EWJ 617
Frame no. D1830
Engine no. MX4/910
The 'ultimate' pre-war Morgan three-wheeler
Extensively restored and improved
H F S Morgan's first three-wheeler of 1910 coincided with an upsurge of interest in cyclecars. Of simple construction with front-mounted motorcycle engine and two-speed chain transmission, the Morgan was light, fast and economical to run. V-twin engines from a wide variety of manufacturers were employed, though those from J A Prestwich predominated. Competition from small sportscars forced the adoption of a three-speeds-and-reverse gearbox in 1931, the last two-speed model leaving the factory the following year. A more refined version - the F4, with 8hp Ford Model Y four-cylinder power unit - appeared soon after, later forming the basis of the first four-wheeled Morgan. From the mid 1930s onwards, Morgan three-wheelers, like George Brough's superlative motorcycles, were fitted with Matchless v-twin engines in preference to those from JAP, and for the three-wheeler enthusiast for whom high performance remained top priority, the Matchless-powered Super Sports was the model of choice. Sadly, taxation changes and the arrival of the four-wheeled 4/4 in 1936 meant that the three-wheeled Morgan's days were numbered, annual sales dwindling to a mere handful by 1939. When production resumed after WW2, Ford-powered models were the only ones on offer. Today the late Super Sports model, with its distinctive 'barrel back' coachwork and spare wheel recessed in the tail, is among the most sought after of all Morgan three-wheelers.
This Super Sports has the overhead-valve, water-cooled, Matchless MX4 engine and thus for many enthusiasts of the marque represents the Morgan three-wheeler in its ultimate incarnation. 'EWJ 617' was extensively restored in 2005 when works carried out included a professional engine overhaul; renewal of the timber body frame and metal panels to original specification; a professional re-spray; conversion to 12-volt alternator electrics with modern fused wiring; brakes converted to hydraulic operation; and re-upholstering the seats in leather. In short: virtually every part of the car was overhauled, renewed or improved. A full list of works carried out and specialists involved is available, and the Morgan also comes with sundry restoration invoices, an old-style continuation logbook (1956) and a V5C registration document.