For people who are aware of Morris Minors and Morris 1000’s but don’t know much about them it is easy to categorise them as rather prosaic little motor cars which were largely driven by District Nurses or somebody’s ancient aunt or uncle. Whilst no doubt these and other such worthy people did buy them because they were practical, reliable and affordable, there is also a lot more to them than you might think!
By the way I happily concede that what I say here about the Minor’s origins and design is largely gleaned from the very informative Morris Minor Story on Charles Ware’s Morris Minor Centre web page. This tells us that the car was conceived during the war as a replacement for their popular but by then long in the tooth Series E Morris Eight with the job of designing it being given to the very talented Alex Issigonis and his colleagues Jack Daniels and Reg Job. It was by the standards of the day an advanced machine with a unitary body shell, rack and pinion steering, torsion bar independent front suspension and the engine is located between rather than behind the front wheels no doubt to get the right weight distribution as well as giving a large interior for a relatively short wheelbase.
Issigonis originally wanted a new flat four engine for the car with the legacy of this being the very spacious engine compartment. Morris management said no so he had to settle for the existing Morris 8 engine but even with that unit people soon discovered that the car steered and generally handled so well that you could often outperform more powerful cars on twisty roads. If you are used to driving pre-war or just post-war low-ish budget cars you are in for a very pleasant surprise when you first drive a Minor.
This car comes with its original buff log book which shows that it was registered to Chesterfield dealer Kennings Ltd on 17th August 1950 and must have sold quickly as on 31st August it went to its new owner in Potters Bar. He kept the car for 17 years then sold it in 1967 to a gentleman in St. Albans and in 1997 it went to Cliftonville in Kent where it was fitted with a new floor. In July 2,000 it went to Bournemouth where its new owner set about an extensive restoration which included fitting a new 918cc side valve engine, completely rewiring, reupholstering and fitting new carpets plus respraying it in its original black. The file includes a copy of the Morris Minor magazine which carries an article on the owner and his excellent restoration.
The current owner lives in Ireland but the car has been registered to his sister in the UK so it retains its original registration number.
This lovely low-light split-windscreen Minor is in really nice condition and is lovely to drive. The engine and transmission are quiet, the ride is very good and rattle free and I am sure it will attract attention wherever it goes as well as giving its new owner many years of happy motoring!