The original Minor – or poached egg as Lord Nufflield delightfully called it – initially complete with side-valve engine, was a sedate performer, and is even more so today, but thanks to delightful handling and steering, it’s still a great car to drive.
The Minor MM, launched so memorably at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1948, was originally sold as a two-door saloon or Tourer, with grille-mounted headlamps, until the four-door saloon was introduced in September 1950. These had their headlamps mounted in restyled front wings, and the change was adopted by two-doors and Tourers from January 1951.
The low-lamp Minor was replaced by the facelifted Series II in 1952. It retained the split-screen, but now was now powered by the (Austin-designed) A-series engine from Austin’s A30. This engine only appeared in four-door models during 1952, but all models received it from February ’53. Later that year the wood-framed Traveller was added to the range. Many of these cars have been fitted with the stronger 948, 1098 and 1275cc engines from a later Minor or other BMC product.
The 1956 Minor 1000 was the best of the lot – and remains so for those who want one to drive as well as to show. The larger A-series engines finally provided power to match the handling, more so after September 1962 when a 1098cc engine replaced the 948. Larger front brakes were added at the same time. The 1000s are easily distinguished by their curved one-piece windscreen and larger rear window.
Convertibles were dropped in June 1969, saloon production ended in November 1970, but Travellers soldiered on until April 1971.
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Andrew Elphick dives into the archive and finds a forgotten ‘nearly’ entry into the World Sportscar Championship 36 years ago in 1977… Perhaps Porsche will never know how close it came to losing the 1977 world championship for makes. Unthinkable? Possibly, but one must remember that during the course of last season, most of the […]
The Morris Minor was a very popular Panda car throughout the 1960s. Also shown here is what must be one of the rarest of police cars, the Morris 1800, which was sold for just seven months before being relauched as the Princess. Morris Minor A Metropolitan Police Force Morris Minor Panda car. A Morris Minor […]
The installation and maintenance of Britain’s telephone network was originally the responsibility of the Post Office, and as with their purchases of Royal Mail vans, Morris (and later BMC) was traditionally the favoured supplier. This virtual stranglehold was broken in the 1970s, although BL/Austin Rover continued to supply vans during the 1980s, a decade which […]
A number of Morris Minors were on show at the Heritage Motor Centre on the 4th January, 2011 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Minor Million. The special event was organised in conjunction with the Morris Minor Owners Club. The one millionth Morris Minor rolled off the production line on the 4th January, 1961 and […]
The British Automotive Industry reached a hugely important landmark on the 4th January, 1961. That day was earmarked for the launch of a limited edition Morris Minor aptly named the ‘Morris Minor 1,000,000’, by the British Motor Corporation Ltd. The occasion was the production of a million vehicles of the same basic design. This was a […]
Dave Taylor tells all about his love affair with Rose… “Rose” is a 1966 Morris Minor Traveller. She is called Rose because of her colour: Rose Taupe (a fanciful description for a sort of mauve-tinted brown). It’s not the most exciting colour in the car manufacturer’s catalogue, but it is practical in hiding some of […]
End Of The Minor The Morris Minor saloon is to be phased out of production at the end of this year, British Leyland Motor Corporation announced yesterday. But the Minor Traveller estate car and delivery van will still be made and saloons will be available for another 12 months. One of the British motor industry’s […]
MORRIS MINOR TO STAY IN PRESENT FORM FROM OUR MOTORING CORRESPONDENT An announcement by the British Motor Corporation yesterday assured the continuance in its present form of the Morris Minor four-cylinder car. To offset rumours to the contrary, B.M.C. said that the Morris 1000 was to continue in production for some long time to come. […]