Morris Minor Cars
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This features several classic Morris Minor car models.
Morris Minor Series II
An important range of improvements to the Morris Minor came in October 1954. Aside of tackling the question of more power, the 1954 face-lift introduced a much more modern looking and better-equipped vehicle. Gone was the old and slightly fussy radiator grille, replaced by an up-to-date horizontally slatted type, painted in off-white or body colour. The sidelights previously mounted in the front panel, were now carried in the wings themselves, beneath the headlamps. On the inside of the Morris Minor Series 2, the dashboard was revised with the speedometer centrally mounted, while changes to the seats and trim had the desired effect of modernising the interior considerably. Few mechanical changes came with the new look.
Morris Minor Pick-Up
The unique Ice Cream Van formed part of a fleet of vehicles owned by the Lincolnshire firm of Skinners and was a familiar sight in the Boston area for a number of years. Originally starting life as a pickup, the model was adapted by its owners and used an extended rear-end with a rigid covered load bed. Today many of these light commercial variants can still be seen, albeit in restored condition, providing businesses with a reliable and appealing alternative to modern vehicles. The pick up version of the Minor was introduced along with the van and chassis cab in May 1953. When discontinued in 1971, well over 300,000 examples of these LCVs had been produced, with one third going for export.
Morris Minor Series MM Tourer
The star small saloon of the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show was undoubtedly the new Morris Minor, which was described by The Autocar as "a real triumph of British design". Its good looks, unitary construction and new torsion bar suspension put it head and shoulders above any other saloon car in the same class on display. The Series MM Tourer model revived the small Morris open-car tradition, the previous Eights all having been available in the tourer form up to the war. Remarkably civilised, it enjoyed the same standard of trim as the saloon and with the hood raised the car still looked good, unlike most tourers of the period. Total Series MM production was 176,002.
Morris Minor Van
The Morris Minor -based Light Commercial Vehicle range was introduced in 1953 providing businesses with a much needed light van (5 cwt, ¼-ton) as a replacement for the phased-out Morris Eight Series Z van. One major customer for the new model was the Post Office and over the next twenty years the GPO Morris Minor van was to become one of the most familiar sights on the British roads. Although the earliest models had rubber wings (to reduce damage from low-speed knocks) the GPO van changed little over the years, simply keeping pace with saloon car developments as they occurred.
Morris Minor Works Rally
The completion career of the Morris Minor was limited by two major factors during the car's prime years. Firstly, although scoring well on handling, the car was generally underpowered by comparison to its competitors and then, when the tuneable A-series engine was installed, the Minor was up against models like the A35, which had the crucial weight advantage. BMC did, however, campaign the Minor in selected events where they felt the car had a realistic chance of performing well. One marvellous early result was the 23rd place overall Pat Moss and Ann Wisdom achieved in their works Minor, NMO 933 in the 1957 Leige-Rome-Leige-Rally.
Morris Minor Traveller
The Morris Minor Traveller, with its wood framed body was an addition to the range in October 1953. Mechanically identical to the other Series 2 Minors, the floorpan , sills and entire front end of the Traveller were common to the saloons. The standard steel roof finished at a point just above the door pillar where it was joined by an aluminium roof, which ran to the rear of the car. This was supported by the wooden framework, which bolted to the steel floorpan. The side panels were also in aluminium, but the rear wings, which differed slightly to those of the saloon, were in steel. The wood frame itself was made up of 50 pieces of seasoned ash, explaining the extra cost of the models, £599 on announcement, compared to the four-door's £560.
Morris Minor Fire Engine
This unique non-production Morris Minor Fire Engine was built by the Body Development Department at Cowley for used as the first-response vehicle with Morris Motors. Small and low, it could move quickly through a congested factory and arrive at a source of fire well before a full-size appliance. The vehicle is based on an early prototype. Traveller chassis and entered service at the Morris Motors factory in 1952. Modifications were made to the vehicle in 1963, when it received a 1,098cc engine and gearbox in place of the original side-valve unit. TFC 953 remained in service until 1974, after which time it was disposed of by British Leyland. Later restored by the Historica Morris Fire Engine Club, this special Morris Minor now resides at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire.
Morris Minor Police Car
With the introduction of Unit Beat Policing in the 1960s, numerous police forces across Britain chose the Morris Minor for their Panda Car requirements as it represented the ideal small car for this type of work. Cheap to buy and maintain, they became a familiar sight across Britain, some seeing service until the mid 1970s, long after the demise of the Minor in 1971. Usually two-door 1000 saloons, the striking panda livery consisted of white for the doors and that part of the roof forward of the B-posts, while the remainder of the vehicle was finished in Bermuda Blue. Interiors were usually black and of standard design except for the special zipped headlining, which was fitted to give access to the wiring for the roof-mounted illuminated Police sign.
Morris Minor 1000 Convertible
In October 1962 the larger and more powerful 1,098cc engine arrived for the Morris Minor giving the car extra performance to help it compete against the competition, in particular the Ford Anglia and Vauxhall Viva. The 64.6 X 83.7 mm, 1,098cc engine gave 48bhp @ 5,100 rpm and differed from the 948cc unit in that it featured a strengthened ribbed crankcase, and a thrust washer at the centre main bearing. Compression was a fairly high 8.5 to 1 and an SU carburettor was still used. Total production for the open Morris Minor was only 74,960 cars, between 1948 and 1969, or in other words around six out of every hundred cars built, making these the rarest and most desirable models today.