Details of the Radford-converted 1100s are still quite sketchy, but on this page we have tried to pull together what is currently known.
ALONGSIDE its much better-known Mini de Ville conversions, Radford also fitted out a number of 1100s to their ususal high standards. The first conversions, completed in mid-1963, were based the Morris 1100, and one of these made an appearance on Radford’s stand at that year’s London Motor Show.
The photo at the top of this page shows the interior of a 1964 Morris 1100 conversion (AYF 872B) which was featured in Car magazine some seven years later. The most obvious features are the new front seats (which, like the rear bench, are trimmed in leather) and the comprehensively-stocked instrument panel, which was something of a Radford trademark. Also visible are the thick-pile carpets, which along with a copious amount of sound-deadening material, helped to considerably reduce interior noise levels when on the move. Other typical Radford touches included spotlights, twin air-horns and a Webasto sunroof. The engine had been treated to a stage two Downton conversion, with a modified cylinder head (raising the compression ratio from 8.5:1 to 9.2:1), single SU HS4 carburettor and new inlet/exhaust manifolds, all of which delivered a useful boost to the car’s low-end torque. Car reported a 0-60 time of just under 14 seconds and a top speed in the low 90s, but were not convinced that the car’s original 1964 price tag of around £2000 had represented value for money.
Radford enthusiast Mike Elwell reports that Harold Radford used one of these Morris 1100 conversions as his personal transport around this time, and it is known that some MG 1100s were also converted in the mid-Sixties. Radford also offered the option of a removable sliding glass division to fit between the front and rear seats, turning these cars into what must surely have been the smallest of all limousines.
For the ultimate in small-car luxury there was Radford’s Princess 1100. Taking the already well-appointed Vanden Plas Princess 1100 as its basis, Radford added such goodies as electric windows, folding Webasto sunroof, Minilite wheels and extra reading lights. At least two of these cars were delivered to Spanish customers in 1967, and are known to have survived (albeit in need of restoration) at least until quite recently; one was featured in the 1100 Club’s magazine Idle Chatter in 1998, while the other was featured in the Spanish magazine Motor Clásico in 2002.
Incidentally, as with the vast majority of Radford conversions, it seems that the base cars would generally have been registered prior to the conversion work being carried out, in order to avoid incurring car tax on the combined cost of the car and conversion.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.