Its superior power-to-weight ratio enabled H F S Morgan's humble, three-wheeled cyclecar to outperform many a larger engined four-wheeler, and its maker was not slow to capitalise on his creation's competition potential. A Gold Medal in the 1911 London-Exeter-London Reliability Trial with Morgan himself driving was followed by victory in the inaugural cyclecar race at Brooklands the following year, Harry Martin taking the chequered flag three minutes ahead of the field. Racetrack successes led directly to road-going spin-off in the form of the Grand Prix model, introduced for 1914. The first Aero sports model, inspired by the Grand Prix, followed immediately after WWI. Progressively developed, the ever-popular Aero remained a fixture of the Morgan range until 1932 when the original two-speed chain transmission began to be phased out in favour of a conventional three-speed gearbox.
Power units from various suppliers were used in the Aero over the years, and this example had a 1923 Anzani engine fitted when it was acquired by the late owner in February 1978. Interestingly, there is a colour photograph on file, undated but taken no earlier than 1966 as there's a 'D' registered FIAT 500 in the background, which shows 'MT 2211' taking part in a run to Blackpool fitted with a JAP sidevalve engine. The '23 Anzani engine was swapped subsequently for a more appropriate 1929 unit, which is in the car today. An accompanying invoice issued in March 2009 by PTB of Crossway Green, Derbyshire relates to rebuilding the Anzani engine with new flywheels, crank pin, etc. Also on file is a photocopy of an old-style logbook listing various owners from 1956 onwards, together with insurance documents indicating that the Morgan was owned by one J M Holleran from circa 1968. John Holleran is recorded as keeper on the accompanying old-style green continuation logbook (issued May 1976) followed by the late owner. Additional documentation consists of SORN paperwork, Swansea V5C and a quantity of MoT certificates (23 in number) dating back to the mid-1970s, the most recent of which expired on 1st April 2012. MoT certificates no longer being required for pre-1960 vehicles, this much enjoyed Morgan Aero should require only the minimum of re-commissioning before returning to the road.