The only thing more awesome than a Morgan Three-Wheeler is a Morgan Three-Wheeler with a fourth wheel.
Wait. What? Isn’t that just a car? No. The RIP Special is so much more amazing than that. It cobbles together the best bits of two British cyclecars—a Morgan Three-Wheeler and a GN—to create something far more than the sum of its parts. Or wheels.
Goodwood Road & Racing featured this insane track car in a video promoting the upcoming April members meeting. Charlie Martin regularly flogs the car at events throughout the UK, and comes across as a thoroughly likeable chap as he explains the intricacies of this crazy concoction.
All of the parts are from the late 1920s, so you won’t find much in the way of sophisticated hardware. The V-twin hanging off the front slurps methanol pressurized with a hand pump. The exposed valvetrain is drip-oiled, its flow controlled by a knob on the dash. And it seems there’s two of everything: cylinders, magnetos, carburetors, brakes, and speeds. About those: they’re both chain-driven, shifted via a dog clutch on the rear axle. Martin jokes the car is geared “high and higher” for the Goodwood circuit.
This wild machine appears almost terrifying to drive. Given that the brakes are only on the front axle and the four-wheeler has a wickedly quick steering ratio—Martin says it’s about two turns lock-to-lock—taking corners at speed is not for the timid. Perhaps that’s why Martin calls the car the RIP Special.