Transmogrification by John Bradshaw

A true account of the creation of a Morgan-Ariel Special.

With inspiration and help from friends in the Morgan & Ariel worlds – plus many others – a 3-wheeler has been built in the vintage style out of many parts, mainly from Morgans, Urals and Ariels, hence its name: Muriel. Some bits even came from ancient aircraft, so its Aero label is almost justified.

The (real) trials and tribulations that were eventually surmounted in over a decade of work are recounted & illustrated with numerous drawings & photographs.

Most of the components, people and commercial sources involved are listed and described at the back.



Review in ‘The Malvern Gazette’ – by Roger Bibbings

A plausible provenance of this marvellous vehicle is revealed in an extraordinary book entitled ‘A Tall Short Story’, which is inspired by some of the very special Morgans and their drivers of the1930s and designed & crafted so meticulously by mathematician, amateur engineer and dedicated motorist John Bradshaw. continue reading

Review in ‘MCC’s ‘Informal News’’ – by John Aley

Over the years there have been many books about how this, that or another special was created but I don’t think I’ve ever found one written so entertainingly in such detail. This section is so interspersed by personal anecdotes that we can only hope John gets round to an autobiography one day continue reading

Review in ‘Real Classic’ – by Jim Reynolds

Muriel, an unusual debutante, was revealed for the first time at The Morgan pub in Malvern back in October 2010. Her coming out was witnessed by assorted Ariel, Morgan and general transport buffs, all intrigued to see what John Bradshaw was wishing upon an unsuspecting world. Long term Ariel nut, ex-Chairman of the Owners Club and a serious rider, he’s not renowned for being blandly conventional – witness the modern Dursley-Petersen bicycle he rides with some dash continue reading

About The Author

John Bradshaw

When writing Prose:

John Bradshaw’s professional life was spent working with and writing about mathematics and education. For seventeen years he was an editor for one of the Mathematical Association’s journals and also organised conferences and workshops. He has taught in primary, secondary and high schools and then in college and university. He now also offers some books that are actually intended to be fictional.

When writing ‘factual tales of fettling’:

John Bradshaw grew up surrounded by mechanical things and has not escaped so far. He has always owned wheels and currently has a stable ranging from an 1880s Cogent Ordinary bicycle to a 1990s BMW Z3 sports car, with examples of many things in between.
He was the Social-Sec and then Chairman of the Ariel Owners MotorCycle Club in the 1980s and then created and for a decade organised CycleFest, an international alternative cycle event.

He has written articles for a variety of cycling and motoring magazines. The restoration, modification and maintenance of cycles, motorcycles and cars, and then and writing about it, is nothing new to him, but the Morgan-Ariel Special is his first true creation.

From the same Author

Jakes Bikes & Trikes

Author: John Bradshaw

An innovative and self-made engineer, motorcyclist, and racing driver from Stafford, Jake’s creative work from the 1970s to the ’90s on his ‘TARKUS’ 3-wheeled hill-climbers and sprinters is uniquely chronicled in this new book, the first ever account of his Competition & Roadster Specials.

More Information

Their LEvel Best

Author: John Bradshaw

If you were to fancy taking yourself and your wife on a 2,000 mile trip around war- torn France, would using a very small motorcycle be your first choice of vehicle?

More Information

The Spiders’ Web

Author: John Bradshaw

The full story of the G.N. SPIDER, Basil Davenport’s legendary giant-killing hill-climber.

More Information

Some Strange Short Stories

Author: John Bradshaw

Strange stories for strange readers...

More Information

The Six Day Affair

Author: John Bradshaw

In late August 1939, Hitler’s armies were poised to invade Poland, while in Austria the International Six Day Trial (ISDT) was underway.

More Information


Author: John Bradshaw

An account of the Rediscovery, Restoration, Research and Riding of an Ordinary Bicycle from 1988 through to 1991 with Subsequent Thoughts.

More Information

The Artful Bodger

Author: Peter Henshaw and John Bradshaw

A disparate collection of desperate tales of woe, and occasional subsequent joy. It's actually a totally useless book, but comprised of true accounts of survived disasters collected over many years of attending Rallies, Treffens, Noggins and Trials around the world.

More Information

A Tall Short Story

Author: John Bradshaw

A motoring tale of trials, tribulations, love, war and derring-do. So, it’s a novel book involving Morgan, Ariel, Fairey and diverse other machinery, as well as various MCC events, but also girls & dogs and – well, life really.

More Information