Sunday, May 6, 2012

1933 Morgan Matchless Aero Super Sport

Cycle, December 1984
In 1933, Matchless made 50-degree twins, overhead valve and side valve, 1100 and 990cc with water jackets, specifically for Morgan.  In Allan Girdler's article, "The Morgan," he explains:

"To start his Super Sport, John Willburn inserts the crank into a dogged tunnel in the nose of the crankshaft.  He yanks smartly upward and the Matchless fires instantly, a sharp crackle that rips the air.  Willburn reaches back to the hand throttle and backs it off.  There's a clutch pedal and a brake pedal, but the throttle is hand controlled by a lever on the steering wheel.
     "Operating the Morgan--one hesitates to say driving, much less riding--is an acquired skill.  Left-hand-and-foot shifting like an old Harley, right-foot breaking like a new Venture, steering like a go-kart.  And the throttle cable length somehow varies with steering wheel position, so the engine speeds up on right turns, slows to the left.  (Further, legend says people used to snag the throttle lever with their jacket sleeves, resulting in busy moments.)
     "So the three-wheel Morgan is different, and so what?  To see one at full song--brass radiator gleaming, pipes crackling, the exposed rocker arms thrashing away, the pilot deftly twirling the controls while reveling in an excuse to wear a World War I Flying Ace helmet and goggles--is to know the three-wheeler's time never quite came, and will never go away."

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